Scotch Symphony

Choreography by: George Balanchine

Music by: Felix Mendelssohn

A scenic escapade in the Scottish Highlands, this charming Balanchine ballet features brisk footwork and a wistfully romantic pas de deux.

New York City Ballet first appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1952. George Balanchine was so impressed by the grandeur of the landscape, and the parade of the massed Scottish regiments in their stirring Night Tattoo, that he paid homage to the sweep and freshness of the highlands with this work, set to Mendelssohn’s early romantic symphony inspired by the composer’s 1829 visit to Scotland. Without recreating any specific ballet, Balanchine nevertheless freely evokes the situations and style of such 19th century ballet favorites as La Sylphide, which had a Scotch locale, and served as a prototype for Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides.

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Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, 'Scotch,' 1842 (first movement omitted)
November 11, 1952, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama
Original Cast
Maria Tallchief, André Eglevsky, Patricia Wilde

24 Min.
Costumes by
Women's costumes by Karinska; Men's costumes by David Ffolkes
Set by
Horace Armistead; Painted by Scenic Studios
Lighting by
Jean Rosenthal