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Timelines in music history: Contemporary music

25 March 1881

Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and pianist Béla Bartók is born. Read more...

8 July 1882

Australian-American composer, pianist and folksong collector Percy Grainger is born. Read more...

16 Dec 1882

Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and educationist Zoltán Kodály is born. Read more...

3 Oct 1882

Polish composer Karol Szymanowski is born. Read more...

17 June 1882

Russian composer Igor Stravinsky is born. Read more...

1883

The monks of Solesmes issue the first edition of the Liber gradualis, advocating a version of Gregorian chant based on studies of the early sources. Read more...

22 Dec 1883

French composer Edgard Varèse is born. Read more...

3 Dec 1883

Austrian composer Anton Webern is born. Read more...

1885

Guido Adler’s essay 'Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft', charting the course of musicology as a discipline is published. Read more...

9 Feb 1885

Austrian composer Alban Berg is born. Read more...

27 Jan 1885

American popular musical theatre composer Jerome Kern is born. Read more...

?26 May 1886

American popular singer Al Jolson, famous for his role in the first non-silent film, The Jazz Singer, is born. Read more...

25 Jan 1886

German conductor, composer and author Wilhelm Furtwängler is born. Read more...

16 Sept 1887

Birth of composer and highly influential teacher of composition, Nadia Boulanger. Read more...

5 Feb 1887

Otello, one of the most universally respected of Verdi’s operas, his its première at La Scala. Read more...

11 May 1888

Irving Berlin, one of Broadway’s most melodic composers, is born. Read more...

23 April 1891

Russian composer and pianist Sergey Prokofiev is born. Read more...

10 March 1892

Swiss-French composer Arthur Honegger is born. Read more...

4 Sept 1892

French composer Darius Milhaud is born. Read more...

18 Dec 1892

Première, at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcraker. Read more...

21 Aug 1893

French composer Lili Boulanger is born. Read more...

15 April 1894

American blues, jazz and vaudeville singer Bessie Smith, the 'Empress of the Blues', is born. Read more...

20 Jan 1894

American composer and teacher Walter Piston is born. Read more...

16 Nov 1895

German composer, theorist, teacher, viola player and conductor Paul Hindemith is born. Read more...

30 Oct 1896

Amy Marcy Beach's Gaelic Symphony has its première by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Read more...

28 Dec 1896

American composer, teacher and writer on music Roger Sessions is born. Read more...

25 Nov 1896

American composer and critic Virgil Thomson is born. Read more...

11 March 1897

American composer, writer, performer, publisher and teacher Henry Cowell is born. Described by Cage as ‘the open sesame for new music in America’, he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music. Read more...

29 May 1897

Austrian-born Hollywood composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold is born. Read more...

12 Feb 1898

Composer Roy Harris, one of the most influential figures in American symphonic composition, is born. Read more...

1898

Satie's Gymnopédies, the collection of three piano pieces for which he is most well known, are published. Read more...

26 Sept 1898

American composer, pianist, and conductor George Gershwin is born. By the age of 30 he would become America’s most famous and widely accepted composer of concert music. Read more...

7 Jan 1899

French composer and pianist Francis Poulenc is born. Read more...

14 Nov 1900

American composer, writer on music, pianist and conductor Aaron Copland is born. Read more...

23 Aug 1900

Austrian composer and writer Ernst Krenek is born. Read more...

2 March 1900

German composer Kurt Weill is born. Most famous for his music theatre works, he was one of the most important composers of the interwar period. Read more...

30 April 1902

Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande is given its première at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. Read more...

11 Sept 1903

German writer on music and philosopher Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno is born. One of the founders of the Frankfurt school of philosophy, his writings on 20th-century music remain influential for composers and theorists. Read more...

6 June 1903

Armenian composer, conductor and teacher Aram Khachaturian is born. Along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich he was a pillar of the Soviet school of composition. Read more...

22 Nov 1903

Pope Pius X's motu proprio, Tra le sollecitudini, initiates the restoration of Gregorian chant to active church use. Read more...

1 March 1904

American dance-band leader and trombonist Glenn Miller is born. Leader of one of the most popular and best-remembered dance bands of the swing era, his success was built on precise playing and carefully crafted arrangements. Read more...

2 May 1904

American popular singer and actor Bing Crosby is born. Read more...

3 Feb 1904

Italian composer, pianist and writer Luigi Dallapiccola is born. Read more...

9 Dec 1905

Richard Strauss’s opera Salome has its première at the Dresden Hofoper. Read more...

1906

Bartók and Kodály's first anthology of Hungarian folk song arrangements, Magyar népdalok, is published. Read more...

25 Sept 1906

Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich is born. He is generally regarded as the greatest symphonist of the mid-20th century, and was only major Russian composer to spend his entire career under Soviet rule. Read more...

11 Nov 1906

Ethel Smyth's opera The Wreckers has its première (in German, as Standrecht) at the Neues Theater, Leipzig. Read more...

1907

Busoni’s Entwurf einer neuen Ästhetik is published. Little noticed at first, it aroused great controversy when it was republished during the First World War. Read more...

11 Dec 1908

American composer Elliott Carter is born. Although not affiliated with any particular school or style, he is widely considered America's greatest composer since Copland. Read more...

10 Dec 1908

French composer, organist and teacher Olivier Messiaen is born. One of the most original composers of the 20th century, he was also one of its most important teachers. Read more...

1908

Schoenberg's Second String Quartet is the first composition to break with tonality. Read more...

30 May 1909

American clarinettist, composer and bandleader Benny Goodman is born. Read more...

25 Jan 1909

Richard Strauss's Elektra has its première at the Dresden Hofoper. Read more...

4 Aug 1910

American composer and teacher William Schuman is born. Read more...

25 June 1910

Firebird, the first of Stravinsky's ballets for Diaghilev, has its first performance at the Paris Opéra. Read more...

1910

After meeting Emmeline Pankhurst, Ethel Smyth composes her March of the Women, which becomes an anthem of the British women's suffrage movement. Read more...

7 July 1911

American opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti is born. Read more...

1912

Schoenberg completes Pierrot Lunaire, one the most successful works of his expressionist period. Read more...

5 Sept 1912

American composer and writer John Cage is born. One of the leading figures of the postwar avant garde, the influence of his compositions, writings and personality has been felt by a wide range of composers around the world. Read more...

31 March 1913

In a concert alongside works by Schoenberg, Webern, Zemlinsky and Mahler, Berg’s Fünf Orchesterlieder causes a riot at its première in Vienna. Read more...

1913

Luigi Russolo's futurist manifesto L’arte dei rumori, in which he first advocated the creation of music through noise and everyday sound, is published. Read more...

22 Nov 1913

English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten is born. He was one of the most important British composers of the 20th century, and was responsible for reviving English opera. Read more...

29 May 1913

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring has its première at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The famous riot at the performance may have been due as much to the choreography, by the great dancer Nizhinsky, as to Stravinsky's revolutionary music. Read more...

6 May 1915

American composer and theorist George Perle is born. One of the first American composers to be attracted to the Second Viennese School, he became an important writer on serial music. Read more...

12 Dec 1915

American popular singer and film actor Frank Sinatra is born. Read more...

10 May 1916

American composer and theorist Milton Babbitt is born. He is one of the most influential American composers of serial and electronic music. Read more...

25 April 1917

American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald is born. Often considered the quintessential female jazz singer, she influenced countless American and international popular singers of the post-swing period. Read more...

12 June 1917

Hans Pfitzner's opera, Palestrina, a fictional account of the Council of Trent and the composition of Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli has its première at the Prinzregententheater, Munich. Read more...

25 Aug 1918

American composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein is born. He was perhaps the most famous and successful native-born figure in the history of classical music in the USA. Read more...

24 May 1918

Béla Bartók's opera Bluebeard's Castle has its première at the Opera in Budapest. Read more...

1919

Rebecca Clarke's Viola Sonata ties for first place with Ernst Bloch's Viola Suite in the prestigious Coolidge Competition. The tie is broken in favour of Bloch by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge herself who, however, becomes an important patron of Clarke. Read more...

7 April 1920

Indian sitar player and composer Ravi Shankar is born. One of the first Indian classical musicians to gain popularity in the West he has colloborated with many musicians, including Philip Glass, George Harrison, and Yehudi Menuhin. Read more...

16 Jan 1920

Henri Collet first designates the French composers Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc, Auric, Tailleferre, and Durey as 'Les six'. Read more...

1920

Lev Termen invents the Theremin, one of the first electronic instruments, and the first to achieve widespread success. Read more...

14 Feb 1920

Satie's most influential work, the 'symphonic drama' Socrate, is given its first performance in a private Paris salon. It would not be staged until 1936. Read more...

1922

Ethel Smyth is made a DBE, the first female composer to be so honoured. Read more...

?29 May 1922

Greek composer and architect Iannis Xenakis is born. His uncompromising musical language had a strong influence on many younger composers in and outside of Europe. Read more...

28 May 1923

Hungarian composer György Ligeti is born. He was one of the most important and influential composers to emerge in the aftermath of total serialism. Read more...

23 Oct 1923

American composer and writer Ned Rorem is born. Read more...

29 Jan 1924

Italian composer Luigi Nono is born. A leading figure in the postwar European avant garde, his music explored a passionate social and political commitment through the most advanced technical means. Read more...

6 Jan 1924

Poulenc's Les biches, one of the first ballets typifying 'lifestyle modernism', has its première in Monte Carlo. Read more...

12 Feb 1924

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue has its première in a New York concert billed as 'An Experiment in Modern Music'. Read more...

26 March 1925

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez is born. As a composer, Boulez is one of the principal figures of the European avant garde; as a conductor he is internationally renowned for the clarity and precision of his interpretations. Read more...

14 Dec 1925

Alban Berg's opera, Wozzeck has its première at the Staatsoper in Berlin. Read more...

25 May 1926

American trumpeter, flugelhorn player and bandleader Miles Davis is born. An original, lyrical soloist and a demanding group leader, he was the most consistently innovative musician in jazz from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Read more...

12 Jan 1926

American composer Morton Feldman is born. With Cage, Wolff and Brown he was one of the leading figures in American experimental music, later becoming one of the most admired composers of the 20th century. Read more...

1 July 1926

German composer Hans Werner Henze is born. A prolific composer, he is best known for his numerous operas, ballets, symphonies and concertos. Read more...

12 May 1926

Shostakovich's Symphony no. 1 brings the teenaged composer international fame. Read more...

10 June 1928

German musicologist Carl Dahlhaus is born. Perhaps the leading figure in his field in the latter half of the 20th century, his teachings and voluminous writings explored new methods and fields of study that changed the nature of musicological discourse. Read more...

1928

Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra, one of the greatest works of his serial period, is completed. Read more...

22 Aug 1928

German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen is born. The leading German composer of his generation, he has been a seminal figure of the postwar avant garde, redefining notions of serial composition and helping to pioneer electronic music. Read more...

30 May 1928

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Die Dreigroschenoper opens to great success in Berlin. It became one of the longest-running musical shows in Broadway history. Read more...

31 Aug 1928

Stravinsky's opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex is given its first performance in an unstaged production at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris. Its first staged performance was at the Vienna Staatsoper on 23 Feb 1928. Read more...

24 Oct 1929

American composer George Crumb is born. Read more...

1930

Ruth Crawford becomes the first female composer to receive a Guggenheim fellowship. Read more...

23 Nov 1933

Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki is born. A leading figure in the Polish postwar avant garde, the aggressive sonic experiments of his early pieces gave way to an uncompromising neo-romanticism that has found popular acclaim and critical condemnation. Read more...

1933

Margaret Bonds performs Florence Price's Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony. The occasion marks two firsts for African Americans. Price is the first African American woman to have a work performed by a major symphony and Bonds is the first African American to perform as soloist with the Chicago SO. Read more...

8 Sept 1934

English composer Peter Maxwell Davies is born. Along with Birtwistle and Goehr he was a member of the so-called 'Manchester school' that invigorated postwar British composition. His finest pieces have a depth of symbolism and historical reference rarely encountered elsewhere in contemporary music. Read more...

8 Feb 1934

Virgil Thomson's 'Opera to be sung', Four Saints in Three Acts, is premièred in Hartford, CT. Read more...

27 Nov 1935

German composer Helmut Lachenmann is born. One of the major exponents of the postwar avant garde in Europe, he is considered by many to be Germany's most important composer since Stockhausen. Read more...

11 Sept 1935

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is born. Best known for his religiously inspired compositions written in an austere and seemingly simple tonal style, he is one of a number of composers of the former Soviet Union to have dramatically departed from an earlier, more avant garde, style. Read more...

8 Jan 1935

American rock and roll singer, guitarist and actor Elvis Presley is born. As the most successful artist of the mid-1950s rock and roll explosion, his impact on popular music has been greater than almost any other single performer. Read more...

24 June 1935

American composer and performer Terry Riley is born. His best-known work, In C, is often credited as the first work to bring musical minimalism into mainstream culture. Read more...

14 Oct 1935

American composer and performer La Monte Young is born. One of the founders of the minimalist movement in music, Young's music is primarily concerned with extended durations and equal temperament tunings. Read more...

10 Oct 1935

Gershwin's magnum opus, his folk opera Porgy and Bess, has its première in New York. Read more...

3 Oct 1936

American composer Steve Reich is born. Along with Glass, Riley and Young he was one of the originators of musical minimalism in the 1960s; he has since become one of the most acclaimed American composers of his generation. Read more...

18 Jan 1936

The Pravda editorial, 'Muddle Instead of Music', written in response to Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, initiates a period of heavy Soviet arts censorship. Read more...

16 March 1937

American composer David Del Tredici is born. Read more...

31 Jan 1937

American composer and performer Philip Glass is born. One of the most commercially successful composers of his generation he was, along with Reich, Riley and Young, a principal figure in the establishment of musical minimalism in the 1960s. Read more...

1937

The first part of Hindemith’s theoretical treatise, Unterweisung in Tonsatz, is published. Read more...

8 June 1937

First performance of Carl Orff's setting of Medieval cantiones profanae, Carmina burana, in Frankfurt. Read more...

21 Nov 1937

The first performance of Shostakovich's Symphony no. 5, to overwhelming public acclaim, contributes to the temporary rehabilitation of the composer with the Soviet authorities. Read more...

2 June 1937

Alban Berg's opera, Lulu has its première at the Stadttheater in Zürich. Read more...

26 May 1938

American composer, pianist and author William Bolcom is born. A leading figure in the 1970s ragtime revival, his mature compositions seek to erase boundaries between popular and serious music. Read more...

16 Feb 1938

American compser John Corigliano is born. Read more...

6 Sept 1938

American composer, pianist and conductor Joan Tower is born. Read more...

9 June 1938

American composer Charles Wuorinen is born. Read more...

1939

Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 1 for piano, cymbals and turntables playing test tone recordings is one of the first works to envisage the expansion of sonic possibilities implied by electronic technologies. Read more...

1940

In his piece for dance accompaniment, Bacchanale, Cage invents the prepared piano as a convenient substitute for unwieldy percussion instruments. Read more...

24 May 1941

Birth of Robert Zimmerman, who will change his name 18 years later to Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan will be much more famous than Robert Zimmerman. Read more...

1941

The first volume of The Schillinger System of Musical Composition by Joseph Schillinger is published. Read more...

20 Nov 1942

American composer, singer, dancer and choreographer Meredith Monk is born. Read more...

31 March 1943

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! has its first performance. Read more...

1944

Messiaen's Technique de mon langage musical is published. Read more...

28 Jan 1944

English composer John Tavener is born. Read more...

7 June 1945

Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes receives its first performance at London's Sadler's Wells. Read more...

16 May 1946

Irving Berlin's most successful musical, Annie Get Your Gun its première. Read more...

1946

The Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik are initiated at Darmstadt by Wolfgang Steinecke. They would become one of the most influential meeting points for the musical avant-garde. Read more...

17 June 1946

French composer Gérard Grisey is born. Before his premature death in 1998 he was one of the leading figures in French spectral music. Read more...

15 Feb 1947

American composer and conductor John Adams is born. The most successful minimalist composer to follow the generation of Reich and Glass, he is known particularly for his operatic works on contemporary subjects. Read more...

5 June 1947

American performance artist and composer Laurie Anderson is born. She made an unexpected crossover into the popular domain with her song 'O Superman', and became one of the most influential women composers of her time. Read more...

11 March 1947

French composer, performer and theorist Tristan Murail is born. Along with Dufourt and Grisey he is one of the leading figures in French spectral music. Read more...

10 Feb 1948

The Soviet resolution ‘On the Opera The Great Friendship by V. Muradeli’ decrees that all music should be subjugated to the dictates of Stalinist Marxist-Leninism. Read more...

1948

Under the auspices of Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française Pierre Schaeffer founds, in Paris, the world's first studio for electro-acoustic music. Read more...

1949

Harry Partch explains, in his Genesis of a Music, his theories of performance art. Read more...

1949

Messiaen's piano study Mode de valeurs et d’intensités stimulates Boulez's interest in the possibilities of total serialism. Read more...

1951

Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Herbert Eimert set up the Studio für Elektronische Musik in Cologne. Read more...

May 1952

The international arts festival L'ouevre du XXe siècle is held in Paris. Organised by Nicolas Nabokov and the Congrès pour la liberté de la culture, it was intended as an ideological response to the restrictions of Soviet culture. Read more...

1953

Henry Brant composes the first of his works for spatially separated instruments, Antiphony I, for five orchestral groups. Read more...

2 Sept 1953

American composer and saxophonist John Zorn is born. Read more...

8 June 1953

Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, an opera about Elizabeth I of England, commissioned to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II, has its première at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Read more...

1954

Pierre Boulez presents the first of his Concerts du Petit-Marigny, a concert series that would become the Domain musical a year later. Read more...

1952

John Cage composes his 4' 33'', a composition in three movements, each of which is marked 'tacet'. Read more...

18 June 1955

First performance of Boulez's Le marteau sans maître. Read more...

16 Oct 1955

Xenakis's orchestral work Metastaseis causes a scandal at its first performance at Donaueschingen. The composer's first significant work, its use of massed orchestral sonorities had a great influence on subsequent composers. Read more...

1956

The first 'Warsaw Autumn' international festival of contemporary music is held. The first event of its kind in the Eastern bloc it quickly became an important focus for new music in East and West Europe. Read more...

1957

Max V. Mathews produces computer-generated musical sounds with a transducer. Read more...

1958

Noah Greenberg’s New York Pro Musica Antiqua revives the medieval liturgical drama The Play of Daniel. Read more...

1958

Edgard Varèse's Poème électroniqe is presented at the Brussels Exposition Universelle in the Philips Pavilion, designed by Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis. Read more...

June 1960

The first performance of Ligeti's Apparitions at the ISCM festival in Cologne launches his international reputation. Read more...

1960

Penderecki's Threnody 'To the Victims of Hiroshima', renowned for the directness of its expression at a time of advanced post-serial complexity, is composed. Read more...

1961

John Cage's influential first collection of writings, Silence, is published. Read more...

13 April 1961

First performance, in Venice, of Nono's opera Intolleranza 1960. The culmination of the composer's early use of political texts, its première provoked protest and uproar. Read more...

30 May 1962

Britten's War Requiem is first performed as part of a festival marking the consecration of the new cathedral at Coventry. Read more...

9 Feb 1964

The Beatles bring 'Beatlemania' to the United States with their performance of 'I want to hold your hand' on the Ed Sullivan Show. Read more...

9 June 1962

The performance association Fluxus is formed by the artist and architect George Maciunas. Read more...

8 Nov 1965

Terry Riley's In C, one of the classic works of early minimalist music, is first performed at the Tape Music Center, San Francisco. Read more...

1965

Rochberg’s Contra Mortem et Tempus experiments with collage techniques Read more...

15 Feb 1965

Bernd Alois Zimmerman's Die Soldaten has its première at the Cologne Opernhaus. Read more...

March 1966

Penderecki's St Luke Passion has its première in Münster cathedral. A marriage of traditional oratorio and avant-garde techniques it aroused both controversy and great acclaim. Read more...

2 April 1968

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: a Space Odyssey opens, using a soundtrack composed entirely of pre-recorded classical works. The film helps introduce Ligeti's music to an international mainstream audience. Read more...

1968

Kurtág's The Sayings of Péter Bornemisza has its première at Darmstadt. Read more...

Aug 1969

Woodstock Music and Art Festival held. Although not the first of the major rock festivals that emerged in the '60s, it was the biggest, and the most iconic. Read more...

1970

Alvin Lucier composes his most famous piece, I Am Sitting in a Room, in which a tape feedback loop is used to transform a spoken text through the resonant frequencies of the room. Read more...

1971

Reich composes Drumming, the summation of his early career. Read more...

1972

Birtwistle completes The Triumph of Time, one of his most important orchestral works. Read more...

Reich's Music for Eighteen Musicians, one of his most substantial and important instrumental works, is completed. Read more...

25 July 1976

Glass's first opera, Einstein on the Beach, has its première at the Avignon Festival. Read more...

1977

The IRCAM music research institute in Paris is opened under Boulez’s directorship. Read more...

6 Sept 1977

Thea Musgrave's opera, Mary Queen of Scots has its première at the Edinburgh Festival. Read more...

1979

Hugues Dufourt coins the term 'spectral music' to describe a compositional approach, emerging in France, Romania and Germany, which uses the acoustic properties of sound itself as its basic material. Read more...

18 Oct 1981

Boulez's Répons is given its first performance at Donaueschingen. One of the most significant works to emerge from IRCAM, it was revised and extended twice by the composer after this date. Read more...

1983

The first compact discs go on sale. Read more...

April 1984

Robert Ashley's televised opera in seven episodes, Perfect Lives, is first broadcast by Channel 4 in Great Britain. Read more...

1985

Grisey completes his monumental cycle, Les espaces acoustiques. Comprising six individual works, the cycle is a 90-minute exploration of the musical possibilities of sound spectra. Read more...

21 May 1986

Harrison Birtwistle's Mask of Orpheus has its première at the London Coliseum. Read more...

1987

Cage composes Two for flute and piano, the first of a series of 'number pieces' that form the final major phase of his work. Read more...

22 Oct 1987

John Adams's opera Nixon in China, a treatment of the US President's 1972 meeting with Chairman Mao, has its première at the Houston Grand Opera. Read more...

1988

In his string quartet Different Trains, Steve Reich uses for the first time recorded speech as a source of melody. Read more...

February 1993

A recording by the London Sinfonietta and Dawn Upshaw of Górecki's Third Symphony reaches number 6 on the British pop album charts. Read more...

26 Jan 1997

Lachenmann's 'music with images' Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern has its première at the Hamburg Staatsoper. Read more...

1 Oct 1997

First performance of Thomas Adès's Asyla at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The work would go on to win the 2000 Grawemeyer prize for Adès, the youngest recipient of the award. Read more...

9 July 2000

Following a campaign by musicologist Liane Curtis, Amy Marcy Beach's name is added to the frieze of famous composer names on the Hatch Memorial Concert Shell in Boston, Massachusetts. Beach, a native of Boston, is the only female composer on the frieze. In celebration the Boston Pops performes Beach's Bal Masque. Read more...

2001

Rihm completes his major orchestral work Jagden und Formen. Read more...

2003

Stockhausen's cycle of seven operas, Licht, is completed. Begun in 1977 it is yet to be performed in its entirety. Read more...

25 May 2004

Shadowtime, Ferneyhough's 'thought opera' on the life and ideas of Walter Benjamin, has its première at the Prinzregententheater, Munich. Read more...

1 Oct 2005

First performance, in San Francisco, of Doctor Atomic, the third opera composed by John Adams in collaboration with Peter Sellars. Using a libretto developed from declassified government documents and first-hand personal narratives, the opera tells the story of the creation of the first atomic bomb. Read more...


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