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Program Notes

The ISO’s program notes, written by Program Book Annotator Marianne Williams Tobias, give an overview of the program and provide historical context about the composer’s life.

Program notes for classical works date back to the 1937–1938 season, when the ISO became a professional orchestra. We invite you to learn about the passion, tragedy, triumph, and inspiration behind the pieces that the ISO performs.

These program notes are held under copyright by the Program Note Annotator and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. We invite you to use these notes as reference material only. The notes should not be reused on websites or printed material without permission from the ISO. For more information or to inquire about notes that are not listed on the website, please contact Jen Huber, Communications Content Manager, at jhuber@indianapolissymphony.org.

Program Notes are organized in alphabetical order, by composer’s last name below.


JUMP TO:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

John Adams

Born February 15, 1947 in Worcester, Massachusetts

B

Johann Sebastian Bach

Born March 21, 1685 in Eisenach, Germany
Died July 28, 1750 in Leipzig, Germany

Béla Bartók

Born March 25, 1881 in Sâanicolau Mare, Romania
Died September 26, 1945 in New York City, NY

Leonard Bernstein

Born August 25, 1918, Lawrence, MA
Died
October 14, 1990, New York City, NY

Alban Berg

Born February 9, 1885 in Vienna, Austria
Died December 24, 1935 in Vienna, Austria

Luciano Berio

Born October 24, 1925 in Oneglia
Died May 27, 2003 in Rome, Italy

Johannes Brahms​

Born May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany
Died
April 3, 1897 in Vienna, Austria

Anton Bruckner

Born September 4, 1824 in Ansfelden, Austria
Died
October 11, 1896 in Vienna, Austria

C

Fryderyk Chopin

Born March 1, 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, Poland
Died October 17, 1849 in Paris, France

Aaron Copland

Born November 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, NY
Died
December 2, 1990, in Westchester, NY

D

Claude Debussy

Born August 22,1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died
March 25, 1918 in Paris, France

Henri Duparc

Born January 21, 1848, Paris, France
Died
February 12, 1933, Mont-de-Marsan, France

Maurice Duruflé

Born January 11, 1902 in Louviers, France
Died
June 16, 1986 in Louveciennes, France

Antonín Dvořák

Born September 8, 1841 in Nelahozeves, Czech Republic
Died
May 1, 1904 in Prague, Czech Republic

E

Edward Elgar

Born June 2, 1857 in Broadheath, England
Died
February 23, 1934 in Worcester, England

F

Manuel de Falla

Born November 23, 1876 in Cádiz, Spain
Died November 14, 1946 in Alta Gracia, Argentina

César Franck

Born December 10, 1822 in Liege, Belgium
Died November 8, 1890 in Paris, France

G

Alberto Ginastera

Born April 11, 1916 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died June 25, 1983, in Geneva, Switzerland

George Gershwin

Born September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, NY
Died
July 11, 1937 in Los Angeles, CA

Alexandre Guilmant

Born on March 12, 1837 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Died on March 29, 1911 in Meudon, France

H

Kimmo Hakola

Born July 27, 1958 in Jyväskylä, Finland

Franz Joseph Haydn

Born March 31, 1732 in Rohrau-on-the-Leitha, Lower Austria
Died
May 31, 1809 in Vienna, Austria

Paul Hindemith

Born November 16, 1895 in Hanau, Germany
Died December 28, 1963 in Frankfort, Germany

Gustav Holst

Born Sept 21, 1874 in Cheltenham
Died May 25, 1934 in London, England

K

Aram Khachaturian

Born June 6, 1903 in Tbilisi, Georgia
Died May 1, 1978 in Moscow, Russia

L

György Ligeti

Born May 28, 1923 in Târnăveni, Romania
Died June 12, 2006 in Vienna, Austria

Anatoli Liadov

Born May 10, 1855 in St. Petersburg, Russia
Died August 28, 1914 in Polinovka, Russia

Witold Lutosławski

Born January 25, 1913, Warsaw, Poland
Died
February 7, 1994, Warsaw, Poland

M

Edward MacDowell

Born on December 18, 1860 in New York City, NY
Died on January 23, 1908 in New York City, NY

Gustav Mahler

Born on July 7, 1860, Kaliště, Czech Republic
Died
on May 18, 1911, Vienna, Austria

Felix Mendelssohn

Born February 3, 1809 in Hamburg, Germany
Died November 4, 1847 in Leipzig, Germany

Olivier Messiaen

Born December 10, 1908 in Avignon, France
Died April 27, 1992 in Clichy, France

Darius Milhaud

Born September 4, 1892, in Marseille, France
Died June 22, 1974, in Geneva, Switzerland

Modest Mussorgsky

Born on March 21, 1839 in Toropets, Russia
Died on March 28, 1881 in Saint Petersburg, Russia

N

Carl Nielsen

Born June 9, 1865 in Norre-Lyndelse, near Odense on the Island of Fyn, Denmark
Died October 3, 1931 in Copenhagen, Denmark

O

Carl Orff

Born July 10, 1895, Munich, Germany
Died
March 29, 1982, Munich, Germany

P

Matthias Pintscher

Born January 29, 1971 in Marl, Germany

Francis Poulenc​

Born January 7, 1899 in Paris, France
Died
January 30, 1963 in Paris, France

Sergei Prokofiev

Born April 27, 1891 in Sontzovka, Ukraine
Died
March 5, 1953 in Moscow, Russia

R

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Born April 1, 1873 in Oneg, Russia
Died March 28, 1943 in Beverly Hills, California

Maurice Ravel

Born March 7, 1875 in Ciboure, Basse Pyrenees
Died December 28, 1937 in Paris, France

Max Richter

Born March 22, 1966 in Hamelin, Germany

Henri-Joseph Rigel

Born February 9, 1741 in Wertheim am Main, Germany
Died
May 2, 1799 in Paris, France

S

Franz Schubert

Born January 31, 1797 in Himmelpfortgrund, Austria
Died Nov. 19, 1828 in Vienna, Austria

Robert Schumann

Born on June 8, 1810, Zwickau, Germany
Died
on July 29, 1856, Endenich, Bonn, Germany

Igor Stravinsky

Born June 18, 1882 in Oranienbaum, Russia
Died
April 6, 1971 in New York City, New York

Caroline Shaw

Born in 1982

Dmitri Shostakovich

Born September 25, 1906 in St. Petersburg, Russia
Died
August 9, 1975 in Moscow, Russia

Jean Sibelius

Born December 8, 1865 in Hämeenlinna, Finland
Died September 20, 1957 in Jarvenpaa, Finland

Sarah Kirkland Snider

Born in 1973

Richard Strauss

Born June 11, 1864 in Munich, Germany
Died
September 8, 1949 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Johann Strauss

Born October 25, 1825 in Vienna, Austria
Died June 3, 1899 in Vienna, Austria

T

Toru Takemitsu​

Born October 8, 1930, Tokyo, Japan
Died
February 20, 1996, Minato, Tokyo, Japan

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Born May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia
Died November 6, 1893 in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Daniel Temkin

Born August 26, 1986 in Houston, Texas

W

Richard Wagner

Born May 22, 1813 in Leipzig, Germany
Died February 13, 1883 in Venice, Italy