Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

First Performances

This page consists of a chronological list of the first performances of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji’s works given so far. It can be thought of as consisting of four sections:

  • 1920-1936: from Sorabji’s first public performance to his withdrawal from the concert stage
  • 1946-1975: from Cecil Ewing’s performance of “In the Hothouse” in Bristol, given with the composer’s permission, to the end of the period of the ban
  • 1976-2000: from the lifting of the ban to the beginning of Jonathan Powell’s recital series
  • 2001-: from the beginning of Jonathan Powell’s extensive series of recitals and recordings

In the case of works for more than one performer, the soloist (e.g., singer) is given first, followed by the pianist’s name. The specific pieces or movements performed are given after the title; the word “complete” is used when it seems desirable to be specific.

Dates followed by a bullet () are those on which partial first performances took place.

Only the first concert at which the Études transcendantes (100) (1940-44; 456 pp.) were first performed, namely, by Yonty Solomon on 30 September 1979, is listed. See a list ordered by performer.

A list arranged by etude number, giving duration (both individual and cumulative, from Fredrik Ullen’s recordings), performer, date, city, and country, can be found on the Sorabji Archive’s website.

The Sorabji Archive also maintains a detailed database of all performers of Sorabji’s works with their performances, not only with date and city, but also with identification of the concert venue and context. A database of compositions can also be used to find a list of all performances.

Click on a column heading to sort, then shift-click on other headings to sort on multiple columns.
Surround strings with quotation marks for specific searches. Refresh the page to revert to the initial order.

Date City Title Performers
Date City Title Performers
1920-11-02 London Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1921-06-02 Paris Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) Martine, Marthe; Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1922-01-13 Vienna Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1927-10-12 London Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926 version; 2 pp.) Rutland, Harold
1928-05-17• London Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.); first movement Davies, E. Emlyn
1930-01-16 Glasgow Nocturne, “Jāmī” (1928; 28 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1930-04-01 Glasgow Sonata IV for Piano (1928-29; 111 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1930-04-22 London Le jardin parfumé—​Poem for Piano Solo (1923; 16 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1930-12-01 Glasgow Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1936-12-16 Glasgow Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111 pp.) Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji
1946-05-17• Bristol Two Piano Pieces (1918, 1920; 20 pp.); “In the Hothouse” Ewing, Cecil
1961-05-05 Germantown, PA Suggested Bell-Chorale for St. Luke’s Carillon (1961; 1 p.) Gentieu, Norman P.
1966-10-20 New York, NY Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) Gates, John
1973-03-21 Urbana, IL Pastiche on the “Minute Waltz” by Chopin (1922; 7 pp.) Bruce, Neely
1975-05-11 Oyster Bay, NY Pastiche on the Habanera from “Carmen” by Bizet (1922; 6 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1976-12-07 London Two Piano Pieces (1918, 1920; 20 pp.); complete Solomon, Yonty
1977-06-16 London Sonata III for Piano (1922; 75 pp.) Solomon, Yonty
1977-11-22 London “Gulistān”—​Nocturne for Piano (1940; 28 pp.) Solomon, Yonty
1977-11-22 London St. Bertrand de Comminges: “He was laughing in the tower” (1941; 16 pp.) Solomon, Yonty
1978-04-15 Greenvale, NY Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1937 version; 2 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1978-04-15 Greenvale, NY Transcription in the Light of Harpsichord Technique for the Modern Piano of the Chromatic Fantasia of J. S. Bach, Followed by a Fugue (1940; 15 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1978-06-27 London Concerto da suonare da me solo e senza orchestra, per divertirmi (1946; 70 pp.) Solomon, Yonty
1979-06-03 London Trois fêtes galantes de Verlaine (ca. 1919; 11 pp.) Manning, Jane; Solomon, Yonty
1979-06-06 London Rosario d’arabeschi (1956; 45 pp.) Solomon, Yonty
1979-09-30• Como Études transcendantes (100) (1940-44; 456 pp.); nos. 1, 10, 24 Solomon, Yonty
1979-11-19 Roanoke, VA Fantasiettina sul nome illustre dell’egregio poeta Christopher Grieve ossia Hugh M’Diarmid (1961; 10 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1980-02-02 Toronto, ON Cinque sonetti di Michelagniolo Buonarroti (1923; 40 pp.) Ingram, Henry; New Music Concerts Ensemble, cond. Robert Aitken
1982-05-02 Philadelphia, PA Il tessuto d’arabeschi (1979; 32 pp.) Smith, William; members of the Philadelphia Orchestra
1982-09-28 Baltimore, MD Prelude, Interlude, and Fugue for Piano (1920, 1922; 17 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1984-11-19 Baltimore, MD Valse-fantaisie for Piano (1925; 16 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1984-11-19 Cleveland, OH Pastiche on the Hindu Merchant’s Song from “Sadko” by Rimsky-Korsakov (1922; 4 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1987-07-25 London Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.); complete Bowyer, Kevin (first and third movements); Trotter, Thomas (second movement)
1989-02-24 Hilversum Quasi habanera (1917; 6 pp.) Madge, Geoffrey Douglas
1990-02-21 London Désir éperdu — Fragment (1917; 1 p.) Rycraft, Malcolm
1991-07-23 London Variazione maliziosa e perversa sopra “La morte d’Åse” da Grieg (1974; 2 pp.) Amato, Donna
1991-08-19 Calgary, AB Frammenti aforistici (4) (1977; 1 p.) Rumson, Gordon
1992-09-16 London Toccatinetta sopra C.G.F. (1929; 8 pp.) Amato, Donna
1992-10-09 London Due sutras sul nome dell’amico Alexis (1981, 1984; 2 pp.) Amato, Donna
1993-03-26 Vienna Passeggiata arlecchinesca sopra un frammento di Busoni (“Rondò arlecchinesco”) (1981-82; 16 pp.) Amato, Donna
1993-03-26 Vienna “Quaere reliqua hujus materiei inter secretiora” (1940; 16 pp.) Amato, Donna
1994-11-22 Warwick Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.); first movement Bowyer, Kevin
1995-03-29 London Fantasiettina atematica (1981; 2 pp.) Matthews, Victoria; Harrison, Daniel; Golding, Katie
1996-07-02• London Symphonia brevis for Piano (1973; 120 pp.); first movement Amato, Donna
1998-01-31 State College, PA Passeggiata variata sul nome del caro e gentile amico Clive Spencer-Bentley (1981; 3 pp.) Frantz, Albert
1998-03-21 Sollentuna Pasticcio capriccioso sopra l’op. 64, no 1 del Chopin (1933; 8 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1998-03-21 Sollentuna Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel—​Transcription de concert pour piano (second version, 1945; 26 pp.) Habermann, Michael
1998-12-06 New York, NY Quintet no. 1 for Piano and Quartet of Stringed Instruments (1919-20; 72 pp.) Berg, Christopher; assembled string quartet
1999-04-04 Madison, WI Transcription of the Prelude in E-flat by Bach (1945; 4 pp.) Pierce IV, Solon W.
1999-04-08• Duluth, MN Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.); theme, var. 103, 8, 14, 22 [theme and vars. 1-53, 100]. Rubin, Justin
1999-04-10 Santa Fe, CA Trois poèmes du “Gulistān” de Saʿdī (1926, rev. 1930; 16 pp.) Clark, Peter; Berg, Christopher
1999-04-20 New York, NY L’heure exquise (1916; 2 pp.) Burton, Amy; Musto, John
1999-06-05 Sewickley, PA Benedizione di San Francesco d’Assisi (1973; 2 pp.) Stater, Brent; Amato, Donna
1999-06-13 Frankfurt Chaleur—​Poème (1916-17; 32 pp.) Schmitt, Stefan; Frankfurter Orchester Gesellschaft
2000-03-23 London Vocalise pour soprano fioriturata (1916; 3 pp.) Skeen, Debra; Newlands, Lydia
2000-10-02• Pittsburgh, PA Symphonia brevis for Piano (1973; 120 pp.); second section of second movement Amato, Donna
2000-11-03 London Apparition (1916; 5 pp.) Leonard, Sarah; Powell, Jonathan
2000-11-03 London Hymne à Aphrodite (1916; 5 pp.) Leonard, Sarah; Powell, Jonathan
2001-03-01 London Passeggiata veneziana sopra la Barcarola di Offenbach (1955-56; 24 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2001-03-01 London Un nido di scatole sopra il nome del grande e buon amico Harold Rutland (1954; 26 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2001-05-15 London Roses du soir (1915; 4 pp.) Lixenberg, Loré; Powell, Jonathan
2001-05-15 London Villa Tasca: Mezzogiorno siciliano—​Evocazione nostalgica e memoria tanta cara e preziosa del giardino meraviglioso, splendido, tropicale (1979-80; 47 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2001-10-26 London Fantasia ispanica (1933; 54 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2001-11-28 Evanston, IL Opus secretum atque necromanticum (1980-81; 48 pp.) Grante, Carlo
2001-12-18 London Toccata [no. 1] for Piano (1928; 66 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2002-09-11 New York, NY Sonata no. 0 (1917; 30 pp.) Nasseri, Soheil
2002-11-14 New York, NY Arabesque (1920; 2 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2002-11-14 New York, NY Chrysilla (1915; 4 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2002-11-14 New York, NY L’étang (1917; 2 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2002-11-14 New York, NY I Was Not Sorrowful—​Poem for Voice and Piano [Spleen] (between 1917 and 1919; 3 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2002-11-14 New York, NY L’irrémediable (1927; 8 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2002-11-14 New York, NY The Poplars (1915; 3 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2002-11-14 New York, NY Trois poèmes (1941; 13 pp.) Farnum, Elizabeth; Kampmeier, Margaret
2003-03-16 Utrecht Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] [publ. as Concerto II] (1920; 144 pp.) Amato, Donna; Radio Symfonie Orkest, cond. Ed Spanjaard
2003-03-16 Utrecht Fourth Symphony for Piano Alone (1962-64; 240 pp.) Houdt, Reinier van
2004-02-20 London Frammenti aforistici (20) (1964; 9 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2004-06-17 New York, NY Symphonia brevis for Piano (1973; 120 pp.); complete Amato, Donna
2005-03-06 Ghent Frammenti aforistici (Sutras) (104) (1962-64; 37 pp.) Vandewalle, Daan
2005-07-24 Montpellier Il gallo d’oro da Rimsky-Korsakov: Variazioni frivole con una fuga anarchica, eretica e perversa (1978-79; 93 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2007-04-22 London Fragment: Prelude and Fugue on FxAxx DAxEx (1926; 3 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2007-06-22 London Schlussszene aus “Salome” von Richard Strauss—​Konzertmäßige Übertragung für Klavier zu zwei Händen (1947; 25 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2008-12-18• London Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.); vars. 1-13 Powell, Jonathan
2009-07-06• Glasgow Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.); third movement Bowyer, Kevin
2010-01-29• London Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.); vars. 14-22 Powell, Jonathan
2010-06-06 Glasgow Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.); complete Bowyer, Kevin
2010-06-18 Glasgow Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.); complete Powell, Jonathan
2011-04-12 Urbana, IL Le mauvais jardinier (1919; 1 p.) Fuller, Amy; Conrad, Kent R.
2011-10-07• Bloomington, IN Symphonic Variations for Piano (1935-37; 484 pp.); limited to var. 56 (“Allusion to the finale of B-flat minor Sonata of Chopin”), played as (partial) music for Dear Frédéric by choreographer Dwight Rhoden by the Indiana University Ballet Theater, part of a production entitled Steps in Time. Kingsland, Chappell
2013-10-27 ’s-Hertogenbosch Sixth Symphony for Piano (Symphonia claviensis) (1975-76; 270 pp.) Powell, Jonathan
2014-11-23 Stoke Newington, London Frammento cantato (1967; 1 p.) Mark Oldfield; Christopher Scobie
2014-12-20• Karlsruhe Toccata quarta (1964-67; 149 pp.); “Intermezzo secondo” Steininger, Florian
2015-05-03 New York Movement for Voice and Piano (1927, 1931; 9 pp.) Adriane Greif; Jason Wirth
2015-12-03 Ghent Symphonic Nocturne for Piano Alone (1977-78; 113 pp.) Huisman, Lukas
2022-07-03 ’s-Hertogenbosch Toccata terza (1955; 91 p.) Sánchez-Aguilera, Abel
2024-01-06• Karlsruhe Toccata quarta (1964-67; 149 pp.): “Quasi corale” Steininger, Florian
Last modified: 2024-03-05
© Marc-André Roberge 2024
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website dedicated to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context, provided that due credit is given, but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites are not guaranteed to be or remain valid or persistent and their content is not guaranteed to be or remain accurate or appropriate.

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