Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Early Performances

This page provides all the known details surrounding the early performances of Sorabji’s music, which were in most cases his own. Times and ticket prices as well as the make of pianos, when known, are listed. Full programmes are given in all cases. The concert venues themselves are discussed elsewhere.

Two concerts sponsored by the Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music, whose dates are printed in italics, are mentioned even though they never took place. They serve as a record of Erik Chisholm’s (and Sorabji’s) projects.

Bullets (): Works played by Sorabji in concerts involving other performers
Dates in italics: Concerts planned but not given
Dates in bold type: Concerts given by performers other than Sorabji

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Date City Venue Works Played
Date City Venue Works Played
1920-11-02 London Mortimer Hall, Second Sackbut Concert

Time: 8.15 P.M.; tickets: 5/9 (reserved), 3/ (unreserved)
Franz Liszt, Ich möchte hingehen and Der König von Thule; Carl Loewe and Franz Schubert, Der Erlkönig; performed by John Goss.

Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.)•; performed by Sorabji.

Frederick Delius, Songs of Sunset and I-Brasîl; performed by John Goss.

Paul Ladmirault, Rhapsodie gaélique; performed by T. P. Evans and Philip Heseltine (pianoforte duet).
1921-06-02 Paris Société des Agriculteurs de France, Société musicale indépendante (“Concert de musique étrangère”)

Tickets: 8, 6, and 4 francs

Pianos: Pleyel, Érard
Alban Berg, Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano; performed by J. Guyot and Mlle Suzie Welty.

Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.)•; performed by Marthe Martine and Sorabji.

Igor Stravinsky, Piano Rag-Music; performed by Alberte Heskia.

Arthur Honegger, three fragments from Le roi David; performed by Mme Sheridan (accompanied by M. Sheridan).

Mathijs Vermeulen, Trois tableaux des Pays-Bas (“La nuit dans une vieille ville”, “Paysage d’automne”, “Le port”); performed by Mlle Juliette Lampre.

Karol Szymanowski, Four Songs on Poems by Rabindranath Tagore, op. 41; performed by Marya Freund and an unidentified pianist.

Franco Alfano, String Quartet no. 1; performed by the Quatuor Pascal (the performance of Béla Bartók’s String Quartet no. 2 was cancelled at the last minute).
1922-01-13 Vienna Musikverein, Kammersaal Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.)
Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.).
1924-05-13 London The British Music Society, London Contemporary Music Centre (British National Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music)

Time: 8.15 P.M.; tickets: 6d

Pianos: Steinway and Chappell
Printed programme: Arnold Bax, A Folk Tale, and Frank Bridge, Morning Song; performed by Beatrice Harrison and Harriet Cohen; replaced with: Arnold Bax, Second Piano Sonata; performed by Harriet Cohen.

Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.)•; performed by Sorabji.

John Ireland, Sonata for Violoncello and Pianoforte; performed by Beatrice Harrison and Harriet Cohen.
1927-10-12 London Aeolian Hall

Time: 8.30 p.m.

Piano: Bechstein
Harold Rutland, “some quite charming pieces of his own” (Eric Blom); Robin Milford, Gavotte and Jig; performed by Rutland.

Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926, 1928, 1937; 2 pp.); performed by Rutland.
1928-05-17 London Westminster Congregational Church Johann Sebastian Bach, Passacaglia in C Minor; Sigfried Karg-Elert, Chorale Prelude; César Franck, Pièce symphonique; performed by E. Emlyn Davies.

Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.): second movement; performed by E. Emlyn Davies.
1930-01-16 London Westminster Congregational Church Dieterich Buxtehude, Chaconne; Max Reger, Rhapsody; Franz Liszt, Variations on a Theme from “Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen” by J. S. Bach; performed by E. Emlyn Davies.

Nocturne, “Jāmī” (1928; 28 pp.); performed by Sorabji.
1930-04-01 Glasgow Stevenson Hall, Fourth Recital of National Music (originally scheduled for 26 March 1930?) Sonata IV for Piano (1928-29; 111 pp.)
1930-04-22 London British Broadcasting Corporation, London Regional Broadcast, Chamber Music

Frequency: 842 kc’s (356.3 m.)

Time: 9.05 to 10.15 p.m.
Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 33, no. 4; Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet in E Minor, op. 59, no. 2; performed by the Kutcher Quartet (Samuel Kutcher and Pierre Tas, violins; Raymond Jeremy, viola; Douglas Cameron, cello).

Le jardin parfumé: Poem for Piano Solo (1923; 16 pp.)•; performed by Sorabji (9.25 to 9.40 p.m.).
1930-12-01 Glasgow Stevenson Hall, Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music, Fifth Concert

Time: 7.30 p.m.
Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.); performed by Sorabji.
1931-03-31 Glasgow St. Matthew’s Church of Scotland, Bath Street (Charing Cross), Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music A planned performance of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) by Erik Chisholm and Patrick Shannon was announced but did not take place.
1931-04-29 Glasgow Stevenson Hall, Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music, Thirteenth Concert

Time: 8.00 p.m.
Ottorino Respighi, Sonata in B Minor for violin and piano; performed by Bessie Spence and Harold Thomson.

Nocturne, “Jāmī” (1928; 28 pp.)•; performed by Sorabji.

William Walton, Façade; performed by A. Parry Gunn (reciter) and an ensemble conducted by Erik Chisholm.
1932-03-15 Glasgow Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music A planned concert of chamber music, with works by Ravel, Villa-Lobos, Wilhelm Maler, Szymanowski, Erik Chisholm, Ernst Toch, W. G. Whittaker, and Sorabji, was to feature Sorabji as performer.
1932-10-19 Bombay Live broadcast on AIR (All India Radio) Sorabji performed unidentified works of his on the radio (not excluding that he may have improvised).
1932-12-07 Bombay Live broadcast on AIR (All India Radio)

Time: 9.30 p.m.
Sorabji performed unidentified works of his on the radio (not excluding that he may have improvised).
1933-00-00 Bombay Live broadcast on AIR (All India Radio) Sorabji performed unidentified works of his on the radio (not excluding that he may have improvised).
1936-03-10 London Contemporary Music Centre, Cowdray Hall Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.): Pars prima; performed by John Tobin.
1936-12-16 Glasgow Stevenson Hall, Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music, Second Concert

Time: 8.00 p.m.
Robert Schumann, Schön Hedwig, op. 106, and Ballade vom Haideknaben and Die Flüchtlinge, op. 122; Richard Strauss, Das Schloss am Meere, TrV 191; Jean Sibelius, Ett ensamt skidspår [The lone ski trail]; and Edvard Grieg, Bergliot, op. 42; melodramas performed by Patrick Shannon (reciter) and Erik Chisholm (piano) [titles given in English in the programme, which is likely to have been the language of performance].

Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111 pp.)•; performed by Sorabji (with an interval before the “Notturno”).
Last modified: 2021-06-08
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

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