Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky

Mozartiana’s prayerful opening will touch your spirit and the upbeat theme and variations that follows builds to pure exhilaration.

Mozartiana is set to the Suite No. 4, Tschaikovsky’s arrangement and orchestration of several short works by Mozart. Balanchine first choreographed to this music at the start of his career in 1933, and nearly 50 years later, he returned to the score to create a new ballet, one of his last works. After seeing the work, author Solomon Volkov wrote this letter to Balanchine:

Dear Georgi Melitonovich, I want to thank you for Mozartiana. You entirely changed my attitude towards [Tschaikovsky’s] ‘Mozartiana.’ I respected that suite, but I did not love it. I see now that I did not understand it. Your interpretation revealed the inner sadness and delicate harmony of this music. How subtly sketched in Gigue the flourishing bow of the Russian composer to the Austrian genius! The dance does not follow the music, mirroring its meter and rhythm. It draws the music into a complex counterpoint; Mozartiana blossoms. The music thus is a ballerina that the partner does not just support, but unexpectedly lifts into the air. And Mozartiana flies, amazed.
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Suite No. 4, Mozartiana, Op. 61 (1887)
June 4, 1981, New York City Ballet, Tschaikovsky Festival, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Suzanne Farrell, Ib Andersen, Christopher d'Amboise

27 Min.
Costumes by
Rouben Ter-Arutunian
Lighting by
Ronald Bates (original production); Mark Stanley (current production)