Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104 premiered on this day in 1896.
The first performance was given by English cellist Leo Stern.
It’s believed Dvořák initially refused requests to compose the work, stating “the cello was a fine orchestral instrument … but totally insufficient for a solo concerto.”
The cornerstone of today’s cello virtuosi repertoire, the concerto has been recorded by nearly every well-known cellist – with the work often lauded as ‘supreme’, ‘the greatest’ and ‘the king’.