Ebony Concerto was written by Igor Stravinsky for Woody Herman and his orchestra. It was first performed by the orchestra in a memorable concert at Carnegie Hall, New York, on March 25, 1946, to great public and critical acclaim.
Igor Stravinsky is one of the most representative figures of modern music. His works have shocked, enthused, amazed and irritated, without ever leaving his audience indifferent. His revolutionary musical precepts, his constant quest for novelty as a real mirror of our changing world, are expressed through a music based on a deep sense of sound and a great genius… This is why his “Firebird Suite”, “The Rite of Spring” and “Petrushka”, to name but a few of his major works, are considered masterpieces of the modern period.
This is also why Stravinsky was so impressed by Woody Herman’s Band and their recordings of “Bijou”, “Goosey Gander” and “Caldonia”. His creativity, invention and deep sense of modernity echoed amazingly with this jazz band. A few months after Stravinsky met Woody Herman, he gave him the Ebony Concerto, a landmark work of the time when jazz and modern thinking were coming together.