• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever

Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto Premiered in 1940

Spanish virtuoso Antonio Brosa gave the premiere performance alongside the New York Philharmonic and conductor Sir John Barbirolli

Benjamin Britten began composing his Violin Concerto Op. 15 when he was just 25 years old, and as the Second World War was brewing towards the end of the 1930s. Britten, who was a committed pacifist and had registered as a conscientious objector, relocated to America at around this time, where he joined his friends, the writers Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden.

It is possible that the concerto's ominous and martial opening on the timpani refers to the oncoming threat of war. Given that the piece was written for the Spanish virtuoso Antonio Brosa, that opening may also refer to the Spanish Civil War, which had recently concluded.

Brosa gave the work its premiere performance alongside the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli.

Britten was famously unhappy with the structure of the violin concerto, making revisions to it in 1950, 1954, and 1965.

"I hope what I have done is to leave the work as it would have been had I been able to write it in 1939 with my present experience," Britten wrote to Albert Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times in 1950. "I think I bit off then a bit more than I could chew — especially in the last movement."

You can hear violinist Julia Fischer performing the work alongside Stuttgart's SWR Symphonieorchester and conductor Thomas Søndergård below.


upcoming events

october 2023

21sepAll Day03octKronberg Academy Festival(All Day) Kronberg Academy, Beethovenpl. 1, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus, GermanyEvent Type :OtherFOLLOW

16octAll Day27"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition(All Day) Teatro Carlo Felice, Passo Eugenio Montale, 4, 16121 Genova GE, ItalyEvent Type :competitions Event Tags"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

20oct1:00 pm5:00 pmLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls RdEvent Type :competitions Event TagsLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach CompetitionFOLLOW

23octAll Day29Concours de Genève International Music Competition — String Quartet(All Day) Victoria Hall, Rue du Général-Dufour 14, 1204 Genève, SwitzerlandEvent Type :competitions Event TagsConcours de Genève,string quartetFOLLOW

28octAll Day05novISANGYUN International Piano Competition(All Day) Tongyeon Concert Hall, 38, Keunbalgae 1-Gil Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 53079 South KoreaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsIsangYun International Piano Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW

november 2023

03novAll Day13Global Music Education League Violin Competition(All Day) China Conservatory of Music, China, Beijing, Chaoyang, Anxiang Rd, 安翔路甲1 邮政编码: 100107Event Type :competitions Event TagsGlobal Music Education League Violin CompetitionFOLLOW

12novAll Day24China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition(All Day) Shenzhen Concert Hall, 2016 Fuzhong 1st Rd, 福田CBD Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, 518048Event Type :competitions Event TagsChina Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW

15nov(nov 15)10:05 pm18(nov 18)10:05 pmViolin Society of America Convention10:05 pm - 10:05 pm (18) Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, 110 S Eutaw St, Baltimore, MD 21201Event Type :conferences & tradeshows Event TagsViolin Society of America ConventionFOLLOW

22novAll Day26Long Thibaud International Violin Competition(All Day) University of Paris II, Grand Amphithéâtre, 75005 Paris, FranceEvent Type :competitionsFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right