Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Pocahontas (1939)

ballet-legend in one act, for orchestra

stage work

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1939
    • Duration: 35 mn
    • Publisher: Associated Music Publishers
Detailed formation
  • 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 4 percussionists, harp, piano, strings

Premiere information

  • Date: 24 May 1939

    États-Unis, New York


    le Ballet Caravan, direction : Fritz Kitzinger.


  • Suite pour orchestre de Pocahontas. Publication Edwin Kalmus, version révisée en 1961. Pub. AMP, 20 min.
  • enregistrement : American Composers Orchestra, direction : Paul Dunkel, CRI 610.

Program note

While I was a student in Paris the choreographer George Balanchine had two weeks of Balanchine ballets in the Champs Élysée. A man I'd known in college, Lincoln Kirstein, was very much impressed by this and it was he that got George Balanchine to come over to the United States and start the New York City Ballet. In the early days, I was a musical advisor to that for a while. I was commissioned actually to write one ballet for them, which was done in 1939 on the subject of Pocahontas.

Elliott Carter.