Today, I am very pleased, because I received confirmation that one of the great dreams of my life will come true. The director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna, Oskar Nedbal, accepted my symphony. (…) It will be, therefore, on January 25, when my greatest work (so far) will be played in Vienna.
These are the words of Dora Pejačević from a letter to the painter Maksimilijan Vanka (November 9, 1917) to whom she proudly announces the (incomplete) performance of the Symphony in F sharp minor, Op. 41 which took place in 1918. Two years later, on February 10, 1920, an integral performance was staged by the Dresden Philharmonic under the baton of Edwin Lindner in the former Gewerbehaus in Dresden. Music critics enthusiastically accompanied Dora’s performance of the Symphony. All the more so because the composer was announced on the poster and the program leaflet only with the initials of the name and surname, so that it could not be distinguished that she was a woman.
The great success opened the door to the next great performance of the Symphony, which was to take place this time in Leipzig, in the interpretation of the top Gewandhaus Orchestra under the direction of the famous Arthur Nikisch. But that performance, unfortunately, did not happen due to Nikishch’s sudden death. It took a full hundred years (1922-2022) for the Gewandhaus Orchestra to fulfill its “debt” to Dora!
On 3 and 4 February 2022, the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig under the direction of Andris Nelsons plays the Dora Pejačević Symphony… Interested listeners can watch a live broadcast of the performance of the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk on Friday, 4 February at 8 pm.
It should not be forgotten to mention that the Gewandhaus Orchestra plays from sheet music made by the Croatian Music Information Center. (MIC)