Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Concert Venues

This page lists the concert venues where Sorabji and others gave first performances of his works between 1920 and 1936 as well as those where later first performances took place. Different performances are gathered under a single entry. Historical data about the venues are given only for those used during Sorabji’s years of public life.

The list can serve as a guide for a Sorabji pilgrimage, in which case the web sites and the Google Maps links will prove useful.

In the case of Études transcendantes (100) (1940-44; 456 pp.), only the first concert at which selections were first performed are listed.

Details about the early performances of Sorabji’s music are given elsewhere.

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.

Years Venue Comments
Years Venue Comments
1919 “Holford House”, West Wing, Regent’s Park, London NW1 {Google Maps}

“Holford House” was built in 1832-33 by Decimus Burton (1800-1881) for the wine merchant James Holford. It was located on the Outer Circle, in the north-western section of Regent’s Park, between Avenue Road and the east edge of the London Zoo. It was severely damaged by a bomb in 1944 and demolished in 1948.

For photographs of the house and of the music room, see Felix Cherniavsky, The Salome Dancer: The Life and Times of Maud Allan (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1991), between pp. 128-29.
Sorabji played Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.) for Ferruccio Busoni at the home of the dancer Maud Allan (1873-1956).
1920 Mortimer Hall, 93 Mortimer Street, London W1W 7SS {Google Maps}

Mortimer Hall was located near Queen’s Hall, east of Regent Street, halfway between Oxford Circus and the Broadcasting House.

Built from 1906-10 by W. and E. Hunt, it was designated as a Grade II listed building in 1985.

For pictures, see the London Picture Archive and the present website.
Sorabji gave the first performance of Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.) on 2 November 1920 as part of the Second Sackbut concert.
1921 Société des Agriculteurs de France, 8 rue d’Athènes, Paris 75009 {Google Maps} Sorabji gave the first performance of Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) with Marthe Martine on 2 June 1921 for a concert of the Société musicale indépendante.
1922 Musikverein, Kammersaal, Bösendorferstraße 12, A-1010 Wien {Google Maps} Sorabji played Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.) and Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.) on 13 January 1922.
1924 Contemporary Music Centre, London; concert held at the Art Workers’ Guild Hall, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR {Google Maps}.

The building, which is located south-east of Bloomsbury Square, is still the home of the Art Workers Guild.
Sorabji played Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.) on 13 May 1924.
1927 Aeolian Hall, 135-137 New Bond Street, London W1S 2TQ {Google Maps}

Aeolian Hall is now called Renoir House and houses antiques shops.
Harold Rutland gave the first performance of the 1926 version of Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926, 1928, 1937; 2 pp.) on 12 October 1927.
1928, 1930 Westminster Congregational Church (now Westminster Chapel), Buckingham Gate, London SW1 6BS {Google Maps} E. Emlyn Davies gave the first performance of the first movement of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) on 17 May 1928.

Sorabji gave the first performance of Nocturne, “Jāmī” (1928; 28 pp.) on 16 January 1930.
1930, 1979 British Broadcasting Corporation, London Regional (842 kc’s, 356.3 m.)

The session probably took place in the Savoy Hill headquarters, located off the Strand in Central London {Google Maps}, where the BBC operated between 1923 and 1932, when it moved to Broadcasting House on Portland Place, London W1A 1AA {Google Maps}.
Sorabji gave the first performance of Le jardin parfumé: Poem for Piano Solo (1923; 16 pp.) on 22 April 1930, between 9.25 and 9.40 p.m.

Jane Manning and Yonty Solomon gave the first performance of Trois fêtes galantes de Verlaine (ca. 1919; 11 pp.) on 3 June 1979.
1930, 1931, 1936 Stevenson Hall, housed in what, in the 1990s, was the Music Room of The Town House Hotel, West George Street, Glasgow G2 1NG (Nelson Mandela Place, in front of the Church of Scotland, St George’s-Tron Parish Church) {Google Maps}

Stevenson Hall was named after Sir Daniel Stevenson (1853-1944), a ship builder and benefactor of the Scottish National Academy of Music.

For a photograph, see F. H. Bisset, “The Scottish National Academy of Music”, The Musical Times 71, no. 1048 (1 June 1930): 497-501; 499 {JSTOR}.
Sorabji gave the first performances of the following works:
  • Sonata IV for Piano (1928-29; 111 pp.), 1 April 1930
  • Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.), 1 December 1930
  • Nocturne, “Jāmī” (1928; 28 pp.), 29 April 1931
  • Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111 pp.), 16 December 1936
1936 Cowdray Hall, 1a Henrietta Place, Cavendish Square, London W1M 9AE {Google Maps} (not to be confused with Cowdray Hall in Aberdeen)

The entrance to Cowdray Hall is now the goods entrance of the Royal College of Nursing, whose main entrance is at 20 Cavendish Square, not far from Wigmore Hall. The building was at some point the home of the statesman Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1852-1928).
John Tobin played Pars prima from Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) on 10 March 1936.
1946 Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TL {Google Maps} Cecil Ewing gave the first performance of “In the Hothouse” from Two Piano Pieces (1918, 1920; 20 pp.)
1961 St. Luke’s Church, 5421 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144 {Google Maps} Norman P. Gentieu gave the first performance of Suggested Bell-Chorale for St. Luke’s Carillon (1961; 1 p.) on 5 November 1961.
1966, 1977, 2002 Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019-3210 {Google Maps} John Gates gave an unauthorized performance of Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) on 20 October 1966.

Michael Habermann gave his first authorized Sorabji recital on 22 May 1977.

Soheil Nasseri gave the first performance of Sonata no. 0 for Piano (1917; 30 pp.) on 17 September 2002.
1973 University of Illinois School of Music, Urbana-Champaign Campus, 1114 West Nevada Street, Urbana, IL {Google Maps} Neely Bruce gave the first performance of Pastiche on the “Minute Waltz” by Chopin (1922; 7 pp.) on 21 March 1973.
1975 Christ Church, Parish Hall, 61 E Main St, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 {Google Maps} Michael Habermann gave the first performance of Pastiche on the Habanera from “Carmen” by Bizet (1922; 6 pp.) on 11 May 1975.
1976-79 Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP {Google Maps} Yonty Solomon gave the first of a series of authorized Sorabji recitals on 7 December 1976.
1978 Post College (now called LIU [Long Island University] Post), Great Hall, 720 Northern Blvd, Greenvale, NY 11548 {Google Maps} Michael Habermann gave the first performance of 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.) on 15 April 1978.
1979 Salone Villa Olmo, Via Simone Cantoni, 1, 22100 Como, Italy {Google Maps} Yonty Solomon gave the first performances of three of the Études transcendantes (100) (1940-44; 456 pp.) on 30 September 1979.
1979 Hollins College, Talmadge Hall, 7916 Williamson Rd, Roanoke, VA 24020 {Google Maps} Michael Habermann gave the first performance of Fantasiettina sul nome illustre dell’egregio poeta Christopher Grieve ossia Hugh M’Diarmid (1961; 10 pp.) on 19 November 1979.
1980 Walter Hall, University of Toronto {Google Maps} Henry Ingram and the New Music Concerts Ensemble, cond. Robert Aitken, given the first performance of Cinque sonetti di Michelagniolo Buonarroti (1923; 40 pp.) on 2 February 1980.
1982 Old Pine Street Church, 412 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 {Google Maps} Deborah Carter and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra gave the first performance of Il tessuto d’arabeschi (1979; 32 pp.) on 2 May 1982.
1982 Leakin Hall, Peabody Institute, 1 East Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD 21202 {Google Maps} Michael Habermann gave the first performance of Prelude, Interlude, and Fugue for Piano (1920, 1922; 17 pp.) and Valse-fantaisie for Piano (1925; 16 pp.) on 28 September 1982.
1982, 2003 Muziekcentrum Vredenburg (now the TivoliVredenburg), Centrale Bibliotheek Oudegracht 167, 3511 Utrecht {Google Maps} Geoffrey Douglas Madge gave the first modern complete performance of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) on 11 June 1982.

Donna Amato with the Radio Symphonie Orkest, cond. Ed Spanjaard, gave the first performance of Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.), and Reinier van Houdt gave that of Fourth Symphony for Piano Alone (1962-64; 240 pp.), both on 16 March 2003.
1984 West Shore Unitarian Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd, Rocky River, Cleveland OH 44116 {Google Maps} Michael Habermann gave the first performance of Pastiche on the Hindu Merchant’s Song from “Sadko” by Rimsky-Korsakov (1922; 4 pp.) on 19 November 1984.
1987 Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 9BZ {Google Maps} Kevin Bowyer and Thomas Trotter give the first performance of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) on 25 July 1987.
1990 Royal College of Music, Concert Hall, Prince Consort Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BS {Google Maps} Malcolm Rycraft gave the first performance of Désir éperdu (Fragment) (1917; 1 p.) on 21 February 1990.
1991 Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX {Google Maps} Donna Amato gave the first performance of Variazione maliziosa e perversa sopra “La morte d’Åse” da Grieg (1974; 2 pp.) on 23 July 1991.
1991 Pleasant Heights United Church, 1112 19 Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0Z9 {Google Maps} Gordon Rumson gave the first performance of Frammenti aforistici (4) (1977; 1 p.) on 19 August 1991.
1992-2001 British Music Information Centre, 10 Stratford Place, London W1C 1AA {Google Maps} Several first performances were given over the years by Loré Lixenberg (with Jonathan Powell), and Debra Skeen (with Lydia Newlands), but mostly by Donna Amato and Powell.
1993 St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 619 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022 {Google Maps} Donna Amato gave the first performance of “Quaere reliqua hujus materiei inter secretiora” (1940; 16 pp.) on 21 March 1993.
1993 Wiener Sezession, Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna {Google Maps} Donna Amato gave the first performance of Passeggiata arlecchinesca sopra un frammento di Busoni (“Rondò arlecchinesco”) (1981-82; 16 pp.) on 26 March 1993.
1995 City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB {Google Maps} Victoria Matthews (oboe), Daniel Harrison (flute), and Katie Golding (clarinet) gave the first performance of Fantasiettina atematica (1981; 2 pp.) on 9 March 1995.
1998 Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, Recital Hall, Music Building I, Allen Street, University Park PA 16802 {Google Maps} Albert Frantz gave the first performance of Passeggiata variata sul nome del caro e gentile giovane amico Clive Spencer-Bentley (1981; 3 pp.) on 31 January 1998.
1998 Sollentuna Centrum, Aniaraplatsen, 191 47 Sollentuna, Sweden {Google Maps} Michael Habermann gave the first performances of Quasi habanera (1917; 6 pp.), Pasticcio capriccioso sopra l’op. 64, no 1 del Chopin (1933; 8 pp.) and Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel—​Transcription de concert pour piano (second version, 1945; 26 pp.) on 21 March 1998.
1998, 2002, 2004 Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Center, Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023 {Google Maps} Christopher Berg and an assembled string quartet gave the first performance of Quintet no. 1 for Piano and Quartet of Stringed Instruments (1919-20; 72 pp.), and Tellef Johnson gave the first modern performance of Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.), and Felicity La Fortune and Christopher gave the first public performance of Trois fêtes galantes de Verlaine (ca. 1919; 11 pp.) on 6 December 1998.

Elizabeth Farnum and Margaret Kampmeier gave a recital featuring songs by Sorabji (many in first performances) on 14 November 2002.

Donna Amato gave the first complete performance of Symphonia brevis for Piano (1973; 120 pp.) on 17 June 2004.

Jonathan Powell gave the first American performance of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) since 1984 on 20 June 2004.
1999 Brittingham Gallery III, Elvehjem Museum of Art [now the Chazen Museum of Art], 800 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706 {Google Maps} Solon Pierce gave the first performance of Transcription of the Prelude in E-flat by Bach (1945; 4 pp.) on 4 April 1999.
1999 College of Santa Fe [later the Sante Fe University of Art and Design, closed in 2018], Southwest Annex, 600 St Michaels Drive #7615, Santa Fe, NM 87505 {Google Maps} Peter Clark and Christopher Berg gave the first performance of Trois poèmes du “Gulistān” de Saʿdī (1926, rev. 1930; 16 pp.) on 10 April 1999.
1999 Miller Theater, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 {Google Maps} Amy Burton and John Musto gave the first performance L’heure exquise (1916; 2 pp.) on 20 April 1999.
1999 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 801 Beaver St, Sewickley, PA 15143 {Google Maps} Donna Amato gave the first performance of Transcription of the Prelude in E-flat by Bach (1945; 4 pp.) on 4 April 1999, while Brent Stater and Amato gave the second performance of Benedizione di San Francesco d’Assisi (1973; 2 pp.) on 5 June 1999.
1999 Hessischer Rundfunk, Bertramstraße 8, 60320 Frankfurt am Main, Germany {Google Maps} The Frankfurter Orchester Gesellschaft, cond. Stefan Schmitt, gave the first performance of Chaleur—​Poème (1916-17; 32 pp.) on 13 June 1999.
2000 Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL {Google Maps} Sarah Leonard and Steven Gutman gave the first performance of Apparition (1916; 5 pp.), Hymne à Aphrodite (1916; 5 pp.), and “La dernière fête galante” from Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) on 3 November 2000.
2001 London University, King’s College, Great Hall, Strand, London WC2R 2LS {Google Maps} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of Fantasia ispanica (1933; 54 pp.) on 26 October 2001.
2001 Lutkin Hall, Northwestern University School of Music {Google Maps} Carlo Grante gave the first performance of Opus secretum atque necromanticum (1980-81; 48 pp.) on 28 November 2001.
2003 Trinity College of Music, King Charles Court, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9JF {Google Maps} Karl Lutchmayer gave the first performance of the three versions of Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926, 1928, 1937; 2 pp.) on 21 March 2003.
2004 St Cyprian’s Clarence Gate, Glentworth Street, Marylebone, London NW1 6AX {Google Maps; a few steps from Sorabji’s London apartment} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of Frammenti aforistici (20) (1964; 9 pp.) on 20 February 2004.
2005 Stedelijke concertzaal “de bijloke”, Ghent {Goolge Maps} Daan Vandewalle gave the first performance of Frammenti aforistici (Sutras) (104) (1962-64; 37 pp.) on 6 March 2005.
2005 Salle Pasteur, Centre Corum, Place Charles de Gaulle, 34000 Montpellier {Google Maps} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of “Il gallo d’oro” da Rimsky-Korsakov: Variazioni frivole con una fuga anarchica, eretica e perversa (1978-79; 93 pp.) on 24 July 2005.
2007 Oceanic Studios, The Barons, St Margarets, Twickenham TW1 2AW {Google Maps} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of Fragment: Prelude and Fugue on FxAxx DAxEx (1926; 3 pp.) on 22 April 2007.
2007 St John’s Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3HA {Google Maps} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of Schlussszene aus “Salome” von Richard Strauss—​Konzertmäßige Übertragung für Klavier zu zwei Händen (1947; 25 pp.) on 22 June 2007.
2008 Memorial Chapel, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ {Google Maps} Kevin Bowyer gave the second performance of the first movement of Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.) on 3 February 2008.

Bowyer gave the first complete performance of Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.) on 6 June 2010.
2008 Concert Hall, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ {Google Maps} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.) on 18 June 2010.
2011 Smith Music Hall, Memorial Room, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign {Google Maps} Amy Fuller and Kent R. Conrad gave the first performance of Le mauvais jardinier (1919; 1 p.) on 12 April 2011.
2013 Muziekcentrum De Toonzaal, ’s‑Hertogenbosch (now known as the Willem Twee tonzaal) {Google Maps} Jonathan Powell gave the first performance of Sixth Symphony for Piano (Symphonia claviensis) (1975-76; 270 pp.) on 27 October 2013.
2014 Sutton House, Homerton High Street, Stoke Newington, London E9 6JQ {Google Maps} Mark Oldfield and Christopher Scobie gave the first performance of Frammento cantato (1967; 1 p.) on 23 November 2014.
2015 St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003 {Google Maps} Ariadne Greif and Jason Wirth gave the first performance of Movement for Voice and Piano (1927, 1931; 9 pp.) on 3 May 2015.
2015 MIRY Concertzaal, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Jozef Kluyskensstraat 2, Ghent {Google Maps} Lukas Huisman gave the first performance of Symphonic Nocturne for Piano Alone (1977-78; 113 pp.) on 3 December 2015.
Last modified: 2021-06-08
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website devoted 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 cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, valid or persistent, and their contents cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, accurate or appropriate.

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