Composers Datebook®

Mozart says, 'Call me Amade'

Composers Datebook - March 10, 2024


On this date in 1785, a new Piano Concerto in C major was given its premiere at the Burgtheater in Vienna, with its composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, at the keyboard.

Years later, this piano concerto was labeled as Mozart’s 21st, and given the number 467 in the chronological list of his works compiled by Ludwig Ritter von Koechel, an Austrian botanist, mineralogist and Mozart enthusiast.

Today, this work is popularly referred to as the Elvira Madigan Concerto, for the simple reason that its romantic slow movement was used to great effect in a 1967 Swedish film of that name to underscore a passionate love story.

That Swedish movie helped to bring Mozart’s concerto to the attention of a far wider audience than ever before, as did the 1984 movie Amadeus, with Mozart’s music in general.

Musicologists might wince when they hear the title Amadeus. It’s a matter of historical record that Mozart signed his name “Amadeo” or “Amadé.” Others object that a Swedish film should provide a nickname for one of Mozart’s most sublime works — but, for better or worse, both Amadeus and Elvira Madigan are labels that seem to have stuck to Mozart’s name and his concerto.

Music Played in Today's Program

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Piano Concerto No. 21; Alfred Brendel, piano; Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Neville Marriner, cond. Philips 412 856

On This Day


  • 1839 - American composer and organist Dudley Buck, in Hartford, Conn.;

  • 1844 - Spanish composer and violinist Pablo de Sarasate, in Pamplona;

  • 1892 - French composer Arthur Honegger, in Le Harve;

  • 1903 - American composer and jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, in Davenport, Iowa;


  • 1832 - Italian-born composer Muzio Clementi, age 80, in Evesham, England;

  • 1870 - Czech-born composer and pianist Ignaz Moscheles, age 75, in Leipzig;

  • 1910 - German composer Carl Reinecke, age 85, in Leipzig;

  • 1991 - American composer Elie Siegmeister, age 82, in Manhasset, N.Y.;


  • 1785 - Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467, at the Burgtheater in Vienna, with the composer as soloist;

  • 1837 - Mercadante: opera Il Giuramento (The Oath), in Milan;

  • 1875 - Goldmark: opera Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba), in Vienna at the Court Opera (Hofoper);

  • 1877 - Borodin: Symphony No. 2, in St. Petersburg, by the Russian Musical Society, Eduard Nápravik conducting (Julian date: Feb. 26);

  • 1880 - Paine: Symphony No. 2 (Spring), at Sanders Theater in Boston, by the Boston Philharmonic, Bernard Listermann conducting; The following day, the orchestra of the Harvard Musical Association performed the same work downtown at Boston's Musical Hall, with Carl Zerrahn conducting;

  • 1888 - Franck: symphonic poem Pysché, in Paris;

  • 1912 - Gliere: Symphony No. 3 (Ilya Murometz) in Moscow (Gregorian date: Mar. 23);

  • 1916 - Granados: Intermezzo & Epilogue, from Goyescas, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;

  • 1922 - Loeffler: Irish Fantasies (Nos. 2, 3 & 5 only) for voice and orchestra, by the Boston Symphony, with Pierre Monteux conducting and tenor John McCormack the soloist;

  • 1932 - Wallingford Riegger: Dichotomy for orchestra, in Berlin;

  • 1952 - David Diamond: Quintet for clarinet and strings, at Town Hall in New York City, by clarinetist David Oppenheim, Nathan Gordon and Lillian Fuchs (violins), and Aaron Twerdowsky and Bernard Greenhouse (cellos);

  • 1963 - Henze: opera Il re Cervo (The Stag King), in Kassel at the Staatstheater; This is the 2nd version of Henze's opera König Hirsch which was first staged in an abridged version in Berlin on September 24, 1956; The complete original version of the opera was eventually staged in Stuttgart on May 7, 1985;

  • 1964 - John Harbison: Sinfonia, in Cambridge, Mass., with violinist Rose Mary Harbison and the Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard, Gregory Biss conducting;

  • 1977 - John Harbison: Diotima for orchestra, in Boston, with the Boston Symphony, Joseph Silverstein conducting;


  • 1937 - Frank Capra's film The Lost Horizon opens at the Four Stars Theater in Los Angeles, featuring a classic film score composed by Dmitri Tiomkin (and conducted by Max Steiner).

Love the music?

Donate by phone

Show your support by making a gift to YourClassical.

Each day, we’re here for you with thoughtful streams that set the tone for your day – not to mention the stories and programs that inspire you to new discovery and help you explore the music you love.

YourClassical is available for free, because we are listener-supported public media. Take a moment to make your gift today.

More Ways to Give

Your Donation


Latest Composers Datebook® Episodes


Latest Composers Datebook® Episodes


About Composers Datebook®

Host John Birge presents a daily snapshot of composers past and present, with timely information, intriguing musical events and appropriate, accessible music related to each.

He has been hosting, producing and performing classical music for more than 25 years. Since 1997, he has been hosting on Minnesota Public Radio's Classical Music Service. He played French horn for the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra and performed with them on their centennial tour of Europe in 1995. He was trained at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy.

About Composers Datebook®