City Cafe

Celebrating the Anniversary of Rite of Spring

Audio version of this story here.

One hundred years ago yesterday – May 29, 1913, a landmark of modern music was unveiled before a Paris audience. And that audience famously and mercilessly greeted it with boos, jeers and hisses. It was the premiere of the Ballets Russes’ The Rite of Spring.

The setting was a primeval village whose ritual culminated in the choice and sacrifice of a young maiden. The choreographer was the company’s legendary dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. The composer of the score was in seat M-20, a young Igor Stravinsky

Yesterday on All Things Considered San Francisco Symphony director Michael Tilson Thomas spoke to NPR’s Robert Siegel about that infamous night.