Monumentum pro Gesualdo

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Igor Stravinsky

Known for its plush refinement, this streamlined leotard ballet arrests viewers with its formal beauty and simplicity.

The music for Monumentum pro Gesualdo was composed to honor the 400th birthday of Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, (1560-1613), the 16th century’s most chromatic—and having been suspected of murder, most scandalous—composer. The score was first performed on September 27, 1960, at the 23rd Venice Music Festival at La Fenice, with Stravinsky conducting. Of the score, Stravinsky said, “My Monumentum was intended to commemorate the 400th anniversary of one of the most personal and original musicians ever born to my art.” Balanchine created this ballet in November 1960, less than two months after the score premiered.

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Monumentum pro Gesualdo (1960)
November 16, 1960, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Diana Adams, Conrad Ludlow

8 Min.
Set by
David Hays (1960)
Lighting by
David Hays (1960); Ronald Bates (1974); Mark Stanley (current production)