2023 Season


Rott composed the symphony’s first movement for the Vienna Conservatory’s
composition contest in the summer of 1878. The work was openly ridiculed by the judges, to the point where Bruckner stood up and rebutted, “Do not laugh, gentlemen, of this man you will heargreat things yet!” The second movement was completed in early fall of 1878. Sketches and drafts of the latter two movements came in the fall of 1879 with the orchestrations in the following summer of 1880.

The newly completed symphony was submitted for the Beethoven Prize and the Ministry of Arts and Education competition in 1880; both were rejected. With persistence, Rott met with the judges, including Karl Goldmark, Edward Hanslick, and Johannes Brahms. According to Rott, Brahms scolded him saying “[the symphony] could not possibly have been composed by himself,” while refusing the score. In a final attempt to justify his work, Rott gave the
manuscript to conductor Hans Richter in hopes of a performance by Richter and the Vienna Philharmonic. Only days before Rott’s mental collapse, Richter kindly acknowledged the symphony, but never performed the work.

In 1890, Mahler decided to borrow the symphony from Rott's close conservatory friends, notably Friedrich Loehr, around the time of his death. Mahler again revisited the score ten years later with an interest in programing the work with the Vienna Philharmonic. However, he withdrew the idea and the symphony was forgotten for nearly a century.


PEJAČEVIĆ [PEJACSEVICH], DORA (1885–1923). Hungarian-born Croatian composer of the Modern Romantic Generation; composer of the first Croatian symphony to be performed within Croatia.

Born into a distinguished aristocratic family and reared and educated in privilege, she came to view her life of privilege as unjust and contemptible, a conviction that intensified as she witnessed the horrors of World War I, the deadliest war in human history, and saw those horrors magnified by the social inequities that shielded her own social class while leaving millions of others all the more exposed and vulnerable, with few social protections or compensations to reward them for their service in the conflict that had been created by, and for, her own class.

Pejačević was thirty-seven when she died.

Her Symphony In F-sharp Minor is the only symphony she wrote and she worked on it from 1916- 1917 and revised in 1920.  The premiere of the work was given in 1920 in Dresden and was such a success that the great conductor Arthur Nikisch performed it in concert.  The symphony is a work in late Romantic style and is in four movements.

The structure of the symphony is loose and almost rhapsodic with its piling up of motives and themes, but the material is handled with deftness and wonderful feel for instrumental color.