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  Most performed pieces by living composers  David Bruce at 17:45 on 03 January 2007

Does anyone know if there is a list anywhere of the most frequeuntly played pieces by living composers, it would be interesting to see which ones they are and how often they get performed. I know Macmillan's Veni Veni Emmanuel has had several hundred performances.

Failing a full list anyone care to guess which other pieces might be on the list?

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  red5 at 16:20 on 06 January 2007

Surely John Tavener would feature somewhere, that one that was done at Princess Diana's funeral, I forget its name - hymn for athene or something like that!

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  David Bruce at 07:48 on 07 January 2007

yes I'm sure the various of the minimalists would top the list. It would be very interesting to see how it filtered down beyond that.

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  scott_good at 14:11 on 07 January 2007

ha - in the US, beethoven 7 was played more than john adams total...


the only brit mentioned is maxwell davies "orkney wedding" which also recieves many performances in canada...


Beethoven's Seventh Was Most-Performed Work of 2005-06

By Ben Mattison
12 May 2006

While Mozart dominated concert programs this season, Beethoven's Seventh Symphony was the single work most performed by North American orchestras, with 89 performances, according to the American Symphony Orchestra League's annual repertoire report.

According to the ASOL's statistics, based on information submitted by 322 ensembles, performances of Mozart shot up during his 250th-anniversary year. There were a total of 1,453 Mozart performances this season, far more than Beethoven (948), Tchaikovsky (581), and Brahms (495).

By comparison, there were 647 performances of Mozart in 2004-05 and 672 in 2003-04; Beethoven was played more during both seasons.

In 2005-06, the most-performed Mozart work, and the second most-performed work overall, was Symphony No. 41 ("Jupiter"), with 76 performances. Other top choices included Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 (73 performances), Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (72), Brahms' Symphony No. 1 (68), Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (67), Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 (65), and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 (62).

The most-performed contemporary work (defined as composed within the last 25 years) was Joan Tower's Made in America, which was commissioned by ASOL and Meet the Composer for small orchestras across the country; it got 58 performances in 2005-06.

Other popular new works included Jennifer Higdon's Blue Cathedral, which got 19 performances; Aaron Jay Kernis's Musica Celestis for String Orchestra (18); Osvaldo Golijov's Last Round (14); and Peter Maxwell Davies' Orkney Wedding With Sunrise (13). After Tower, whose works had a total of 81 performances, John Adams was the most-performed contemporary composer, with 78 performances.

With a total of 1,072 performances, contemporary works accounted for about 14 percent of all performances in 2005-06, up (thanks in large part to Tower's piece) from 9 percent in 2004-05.

American works accounted for 17 percent of performances, with Copland, Gershwin, and Samuel Barber most frequently heard.

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  David Bruce at 18:45 on 07 January 2007

Thanks very interesting. A couple of those names are not very familiar at all here in the UK - and the numbers are quite low aren't they!

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  scott_good at 15:59 on 08 January 2007

A way in which a work can see many performances is to compose a concerto for a "rare" instrument - or, at least rare at the front of the stage. Veni Veni Emmanuel is such a case, as also is the Motorbike concerto, which has been played hundreds of times all over the world - and by other soloists than Lindberg.

"The Motorbike Concerto was commissioned 1988 by the Swedish National Concert Institute for Christian Lindberg . The piece had its world premiere in Nov. 1989 with Christian Lindberg, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Since the first performance the Motorbike Concerto has become Sweden's most frequently played work on the international scene." - from the program note.

BTW - have y'all heard this piece? It's great - I love it!

Note: I would have to assume that canaries for solo tympani by Elliot Carter would have to top the list of most performed pieces - works that are like rites-of-passage, and are performed on just about every percussionists degree recitals.

However, most of these kinds of pieces are by dead dudes.

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  David Bruce at 08:25 on 10 January 2007

Yes the Motorbike Concerto is a lot of fun - I'd love to see it live someday. I didn't know the Carter, but in the age of youtube, I do now - here's a guy playing it:

  Re: Most performed pieces by living composers  cherylhoad at 11:00 on 29 January 2007

Hello, I read this on the Masterprize website: "Since winning Masterprize 2003, Christopher Theofanidis's piece, Rainbow Body, has become the world's most performed piece for symphony orchestra written by a living composer, with over 30 performances scheduled for 2004 and 5"