Notable events

Busoni invites Sorabji to play his Piano Sonata No. 1 to him and gives him a letter of introduction to encourage its publication which appears in London the following year
Sorabji gives his only BBC broadcast, playing his Le Jardin Parfumé; Delius writes to Sorabji “I listened to your Jardin Parfumé … last night … it interested me very much. There is real sensuous beauty in it …”
Following much advance publicity, Sorabji premières his Opus Clavicembalisticum in Glasgow
“… a big conception of a big and very individual mentality … of its sincerity and power there is no doubt … the creation … compels wonder and admiration … its performance … an equally great accomplishment” Musical Opinion
“… Sorabji’s much-heralded visit … amazed by the composer’s technique as a pianist” Musical Times
“ Sorabji’s style … very much influenced by his quite exceptional facility on the keyboard … astonishing … delivered with amazing power” Glasgow Herald
“Sorabji is one of the most original of contemporary composers. His music reveals a consummate craftsmanship and a significance which combines intellect and imagination” Musical Opinion
In his final public appearance as pianist, Sorabji premières his Toccata Seconda and at about this time resolves to withdraw both himself and his music from the concert platform
Sorabji makes private recordings of some of his works
A three-hour-long radio broadcast on Sorabji, including some of his own recordings, is given on WNCN (New York); many who heard it write in with tremendous enthusiasm and the programme is rebroadcast in subsequent years on other USA stations.
Yonty Solomon presents Sorabji’s music to a London audience for the first time in 40 years
“Solomon performed prodigies of transcendental pianism” Tempo
“One of the most important recitals in London of the past few years … Yonty Solomon was given a great ovation — well deserved” Argus, Cape Town
“… an exhilarating musical exhumation … this strangely ornate music” Sunday Times
“… such long vistas … packed with incident … a marvellously tensile performance” Daily Telegraph
London Weekend Television broadcasts the first ever television programme on Sorabji, with appearances by Yonty Solomon, Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, Felix Aprahamian — and even the reclusive Sorabji himself.
“Solomon played … exquisitely; rich but delicate traceries of sound … were (Sorabji) to venture up to London to hear his works performed — and … note the intelligence and genuineness of the applause — he might indeed get a pleasant surprise” The Times
“Russell Harty as narrator and interviewer…did well in penetrating Sorabji’s Dorset home and drawing the composer into some enjoyably unguarded remarks. Yonty Solomon proved a persuasive advocate for the immensely difficult piano music …” Daily Telegraph
Five days later, Yonty Solomon premières Sorabji’s Piano Sonata No. 3 to great critical acclaim
Geoffrey Douglas Madge gives the first of his six complete performances to date of Opus Clavicembalisticum, a work not heard in public since the composer’s 1930 première; Netherlands Radio broadcasts the entire concert from Utrecht live and a 4-LP recording was made at the time
John Ogdon records Opus Clavicembalisticum in London
Kevin Bowyer and Thomas Trotter give — between them — the world première of Sorabji’s Organ Symphony No. 1 in London under the auspices of the International Congress of Organists
Kevin Bowyer makes the world première recording of Organ Symphony No. 1 in Bristol and performs and broadcasts the entire work in Denmark; the first Sorabji recording to be issued in England, it is released as a 2-CD set in November only a few days after the composer’s death
In a blaze of publicity, John Ogdon gives the London première of Opus Clavicembalisticum at Queen Elizabeth Hall; this concert almost certainly attracted more media attention before and after than any other musical event that year. Ogdon was greeted with a standing ovation the length and enthusiasm of which had probably not been witnessed for the première of any large-scale musical work since Schönberg’s Gurrelieder stunned a Viennese audience three-quarters of a century earlier
John Ogdon’s Opus Clavicembalisticum recording is finally released by Altarus Records as a 4-CD set in a special presentation box with a 64-page book in place of the customary few pages of liner notes; a veritable flood of reviews, some of considerable dimensions, follows over no less than two years in UK, Germany, USA, Austria, Canada and elsewhere, seemingly competing with one another in the use of superlatives: “Recording of the Year” status is awarded to this most lavish presentation by The Gramophone in 1989 and The Sunday Times in 1991
Encouraged by international response to their first venture into the CD field, Altarus Records continues to make many more CD recordings of Sorabji’s music
With the assistance of The Sorabji Archive, distinguished musicians and scholars of international repute begin to make authentic new editions of Sorabji’s works from copies of the manuscript scores which are issued by the Archive
To mark the Sorabji centenary, Scolar Press publish the first substantial volume on the composer, Sorabji: A Critical Celebration, edited by Prof. Paul Rapoport; it is reprinted 18 months later
Donna Amato, with numerous performances and three CDs including Sorabji’s music already to her credit, gives the world première of Part I of Sorabji’s Piano Symphony No. 5, Symphonia Brevis, in London; this is the first time a substantial work from the composer’s final years is heard in public and she proposes to première and record the entire symphony — almost two and a half hours in duration — in the 2004/05 season
Christopher Berg organises and participates (as pianist) in an all-Sorabji concert in New York including the world première of his Piano Quintet No. 1
Elizabeth Farnum and Margaret Kampmeier perform all but one of Sorabji’s songs for soprano and piano in a New York recital to launch their new CD première recording of them
A festival in Utrecht (Netherlands) featuring Sorabji’s works concludes with two concerts presenting the world premières of his Piano Concerto No. 5 played by Donna Amato with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra conducted by Ed Spanjaard and Piano Symphony No. 4 played by Reinier van Houdt; these were, respectively, the first performances anywhere of a major orchestral work and a complete piano symphony by Sorabji
Donna Amato gives the complete world première of Piano Symphony No. 5, Symphonia Brevis and Jonathan Powell plays Opus Clavicembalisticum in New York’s Merkin Hall