"I am greatly relieved by your assurance that I will not be prodded or hurried for I can only work in my own tempo and under my own pressures." - Igor Stravinsky, 1964
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Stravinsky’s stay at Princeton. To commemorate the legendary composer’s relationship with the University, we turn to the annals of Princeton’s history. A record of various correspondences, regarding Stravinsky’s commission and the nature of the developing composition, reveals an eager composer and an enthusiastic University. In a November 9, 1964 reply to Stanley J Seeger, a Princeton alum, Stravinsky wrote, “I am greatly relieved by your assurance that I will not be prodded or hurried for I can only work in my own tempo and under my own pressures.”
Just two years later, Requiem Canticles was given its world premiere right here in McCarter Theatre. The October 8, 1966 program featured works performed in memory of Claude Debussy and Aldous Huxley, both of whom Stravinsky knew well. In attendance were contemporary composer, Aaron Copland, and theoretical physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer. To recreate the beginning of the 1966 concert, we will open Sunday’s performance with Stravinsky’s setting of Pater Noster.