Monumentum pro Gesualdo
Monumentum pro Gesualdo is a ballet by New York City Ballet co-founder and balletmaster George Balanchine to eponymous music by Igor Stravinsky composed in honor of the 400th birthday of composer Carlo Gesualdo and consisting of Stravinsky's orchestrations of Gesualdo's madrigals. The premiere took place on Wednesday, November 16, 1960, at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, with scenery and lighting by David Hays (new lighting by Ronald Bates in 1974) and was conducted by Robert Irving; the composer conducted the score's orchestral premiere on Tuesday, September 27, 1960 for the XXIII Venice Music Festival at La Fenice.
The ballet premiere was part of a special Salute to Italy, which also included the premiere of Variations from Don Sebastian, called the Donizetti Variations since 1961, and performances of Balanchine's La Sonnambula and Lew Christensen's Con Amore. It was first performed in conjunction with Movements for Piano and Orchestra in 1965, and this practice has been followed almost consistently since 1966, with the same leading female dancer in both in most performances. The ballet has three parts, each of just over two minutes duration. NYCB principal dancer Darci Kistler chose to include Monumentum pro Gesualdo in her farewell performance, Sunday, June 27.
- Jacques d'Amboise, for whom the male role was created, was unable to dance the premiere.