I made the following list for a class I'm teaching on the symphony, and then it occurred to me that such a list might be of general interest. I compiled the works by date of completion, giving the date of premiere (if different) in parentheses; some works (the Berwald and Ives symphonies, for example) were premiered long after they were composed, and it seemed more appropriate to associate them with the point at which they entered the world. Besides, certain works have been known to have an impact in manuscript before their premiere. I have listed only works called "symphony," and no recent ones explicitly titled "Sinfonia" or "Sinfonietta." Since I am an American specialist, the list shows a certain American bias in the inclusion of minor composers. Naturally, many, many composers of symphonies are omitted (for example, Robert Simpson, Edmund Rubbra, John Becker, Peter Mennin, Joonas Kokkonen), simply because the list became unhelpful for students if it contained too much information.

Dates are mostly from Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and are not guaranteed by the compiler. Please contact me to correct errors, but - please - not to catch me on composers you feel were too important for me to have omitted. - Kyle Gann


A Chronology of the Symphony
1730-2005

18th-Century Symphonists:

Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700/1-1775): 77 syms
Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789): 80 syms
William Boyce (1710-1779): 8 syms
Ignaz Holzbauer (1711-1783): 60+ syms
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788): 18 syms
Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777): 60 syms
Georg Matthias Monn (1717-1750): 21 syms
Johann Stamitz (1717-1757): 58 syms
Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787): ca. 60 syms
Florian Leopold Gassmann (1729-1774): 60 syms
Christian Cannabich (1731-1798): 100+ syms
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): 104 (108) syms, 1759-1795
Francois-Joseph Gossec (1734-1829): 50+ syms
Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782): 36+ syms
Michael Haydn (1737-1806): 41 syms
Leopold Hofmann (1738-1793): 19 syms (11 surviving)
Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739-1799): 100+ syms
Jan Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813): 73 syms
Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805): 28 syms, 1771-1799
Carl Stamitz (1745-1801): 51 syms (28 surviving)
Anton Stamitz (1750-ca.1789): 12 syms
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832): 4 surviving syms
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): 41 (52) syms, 1765-1788
Ignaz Josef Pleyel (1757-1831): ca. 45 syms

From 1800 to the Present:
Symphonies are listed by dates of completion (or final compositional work in the case of unfinished symphonies); if different, premiere date listed in parentheses; premiere date unlisted if unknown. In some cases, the date given may be the premiere date if the date of completion is unknown or not supplied in reference works. Each composer's full name is given at his or her first appearance; last name only thereafter.

1800: Ludwig van Beethoven 1

1801: Beethoven 2 (1802)

1804: Beethoven 3 Eroica (1805)

1806: Beethoven 4 (1807)

1807: Carl Maria von Weber 1, 2

1808: Beethoven 5, 6 Pastoral

1809: Etienne-Nicolas Mehul 1, 2, 3

1810: Mehul 4

1811: Louis Spohr 1

1812: Beethoven 7 (1813), 8 (1814)

1813: Franz Schubert 1

1815: Schubert 2, 3, Cherubini D major

1816: Schubert 4 Tragic, 5

1818: Schubert 6

1820: Spohr 2

1821: Schubert 7 unfinished

1822: Schubert 8 Unfinished

1824: Beethoven 9 Choral, Felix Mendelssohn 1

1826: Schubert 9 Great

1828: Schubert 10 unfinished, Spohr 3

1830: Hector Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

1832: Mendelssohn 5 Reformation, Richard Wagner

1833: Robert Schumann g, Mendelssohn 3 Italian

1834: Berlioz Herold in Italy

1835: Spohr 4 Die Weihe der Tšne

1837: Anthony Philip Heinrich The Columbiad

1838: Spohr 5

1839 : Berlioz Romeo et Juliette

1840: Berlioz Symphonie funebre et triomphale, Mendelssohn 2 Lobegesang, Spohr 6 Historical

1841: Schumann 1, 4 (1852)

1842: Mendelssohn 3 Scottish, Franz Berwald 1 Serieuse (1843), Berwald 2 Capricieuse (1914), Niels W. Gade 1 (1843), Spohr 7 Irdisches und Gšttliches im Menschenleben

1843: Gade 2 (1844)

1845: Berwald 3 Singuliere (1905), Berwald 4 (1878), Heinrich Manitou Mysteries

1846: Schumann 2, Gade 3 (1847)

1847: Spohr 10

1850: Schumann 3 (1851), Gade 4, Spohr 9 Die Jahreszeiten

1852: Gade 5

1853: Camille Saint-Saens 1

1856: Franz Liszt Dante (1857), George Bristow d Jullien, Georges Bizet (1935)

1857: Gade 6, Liszt Faust, Heinrich Migration of American Wild Passenger Pigeons, Spohr 8

1859: Saint-Saens 2, Bristow f#

1861: Joachim Raff 1 An das Vaterland

1863: Anton Bruckner f (1924)

1864: Bruckner 0 (1924), Edvard Grieg C minor

1865: Gade 7, Antonin Dvorak 1 The Bells of Zlonice (1936), Dvorak 2 (1888), Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov 1

1866: Raff 2, Bruckner 1 (1868), Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky 1 Winter Dreams (1868)

1867: Alexander Borodin 1 (1869)

1868: Rimsky-Korsakov 2 Antar

1869: Raff 3 Im Walde

1871: Gade 8, Raff 4

1872: Raff 5 Leonore, Bruckner 2 (1873), Tchaikovsky 2 Little Russian (1873)

1873: Raff 6, Bruckner 3 (1877), Dvorak 3 (1874)

1874: Bristow Arcadian, Bruckner 4 Romantic (1881), Dvorak 4 (1892), Rimsky-Korsakov 3

1875: Raff 7 In den Alpen, Dvorak 5 (1887), Tchaikovsky 3 Polish, John Knowles Paine 1 (1876)

1876: Raff 8 Fruhlingsklange, Raff 11 Der Winter, Bruckner 5 (1894), Borodin 2 (1877), Johannes Brahms 1

1877: Brahms 2

1878: Raff 9 Im Sommer, Tchaikovsky 4

1879: Raff 10 Zur Herbstzeit, Paine 2 In the Spring (1880)

1880: Dvorak 6 (1881)

1881: Bruckner 6 (1883), Richard Strauss d

1882: George W. Chadwick 1

1883: Bruckner 7 (1884), Brahms 3

1884: Strauss f

1885: Dvorak 7, Brahms 4, Gabriel Faure d

1886: Saint-Saens 3 (with organ), Borodin 3 unfinished, Chadwick 2

1887: Bruckner 8 (1892), Vincent D'Indy Cevenole (sur un chant montagnard francais)

1888: Tchaikovsky 5, Gustav Mahler 1 Titan (1889), Cesar Franck d

1889: Dvorak 8 (1890)

1890: Alberic Magnard 1 (1891)

1892: Carl Nielsen 1 (1894), Alexander von Zemlinsky 1

1893: Dvorak 9 From the New World, Tchaikovsky 6 Pathetique, Magnard 2 (1896)

1894: Mahler 2 Resurrection (1895), Chadwick 3

1895: Sergei Rachmaninoff 1 (1897)

1896: Bruckner 9 unfinished (1903), Mahler 3 Ein Sommermorgentraum (1902), Amy (Mrs. H.H.A.) Beach Gaelic, Magnard 3 (1899), Erno von Dohnanyi F (1987)

1897: Zemlinsky 2 (1899), Paul Dukas

1898: Charles Ives 1 (1953), Ernest Chausson

1899: Jean Sibelius 1, Franz Schmidt 1 (1902)

1900: Alexander Scriabin 1

1901: Mahler 4, Scriabin 2, Dohnanyi 1(1902)

1902: Mahler 5 (1904), Nielsen 2 The Four Temperaments, Ives 2 (1951), Sibelius 2

1903: Wilhelm Stenhammer 1

1904: Strauss Symphonia domestica, Ives 3 (1946), D'Indy 2

1905: Mahler 6 (1906), Scriabin 3 The Divine Poem

1906: Mahler 7 Symphony of the Night (1908), Albert Roussel 1 La Poeme de la foret (1908), Arnold Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 1

1907: Mahler 8 Symphony of a Thousand (1910), Sibelius 3, Igor Stravinsky Eb (1908), Karol Szymanowski 1 (1909)

1908: Rachmaninoff 2, Edward Elgar 1

1910: Mahler 9 (1912), Mahler 10 unfinished, Elgar 2, Ralph Vaughan Williams 1 A Sea Symphony, Szymanowski 2 (1911)

1911: Nielsen 3 Sinfonia espansiva (1912), Sibelius 4

1913: Schmidt 2, Magnard 4 (1914)

1914: Vaughan Williams 2 London

1915: Strauss Alpine, Sibelius 5, Stenhammer 2, Ives Universe unfinished (1996)

1916: Nielsen 4 The Inextinguishable, Ives 4 (1965), Sergei Prokofiev Classical (1918), Szymanowski 3 Song of the Night (1921), Charles Koechlin 1

1917: Henry Cowell 1, Roger Sessions D Major

1918: D'Indy 3 Sinfonia brevis de bello Gallico (1919)

1921: Sir Arnold Bax 1 (1922), Roussel 2 (1922)

1922: Nielsen 5, Vaughan Williams 3 Pastoral, Howard Hanson 1 Nordic (1923)

1923: Sibelius 6, Zemlinsky Lyric (1924)

1924: Sibelius 7, Prokofiev 2 (1925), Gustav Holst Choral

1925: Nielsen 6 Sinfonia semplice, Aaron Copland 1 (with organ), Copland A Dance Symphony (1931), Dmitri Shostakovich 1 To October (1926), Bax 2 (1929)

1926: George Antheil 1 (1927)

1927: Shostakovich 2 The First of May (1930), Sessions 1

1928: Schmidt 3, Prokofiev 3 (1929), Anton Webern (1929), Virgil Thomson Symphony on a Hymn Tune (1945)

1929: Bax 3 (1930), Randall Thompson 1 (1930)

1930: Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, Prokofiev 4, Hanson 2 Romantic, Arthur Honegger 1 (1931), Bax 4 (1932), Roussel 3, William Grant Still 1 Afro-American (1931)

1931: Thomson 2 (1941), Bax 5 (1934), Thompson 2 (1932)

1932: Szymanowski 4 Symphonie concertante

1933: Schmidt 4 (1934), Roy Harris 1 1933 (1934), Carlos Chavez 1 Sinfonia de Antigona, Koechlin Seven Stars

1934: Copland Short Symphony, Paul Hindemith Mathis der Maler, Bax 6 (1935), Benjamin Britten Simple, Eduard Tubin 1

1935: Vaughan Williams 4, Chavez 2 Sinfonia India (1936), Roussel 4

1936: Rachmaninoff 3, Shostakovich 4 (1961), Harris 2, Sir William Walton 1, Samuel Barber 1

1937: Shostakovich 5, Antheil 2, Walter Piston 1 (1938), Tubin 2 Legendary, Still 2 Song of a New Race

1938: Hanson 3, Cowell 2 Anthropos

1939: Shostakovich 6, Harris 3, Bax 7, Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 2 (1940)

1940: Stravinsky C, Harris 4 Folksong Symphony, Hindemith Eb, Karl Amadeus Hartmann 1 Attempt at a Requiem (1957), Britten Sinfonia da Requiem (1941), Darius Milhaud 1

1941: Shostakovich 7 Leningrad (1942), William Schuman 3, 4 (1942), Honegger 2 (string orchestra) (1942), David Diamond 1, Elie Siegmeister 1

1942: Cowell 3 Gaelic, Bohuslav Martinu 1, Leonard Bernstein 1 Jeremiah (1944), Antheil 3 American, Tubin 3, Lou Harrison 2 Elegaic (1975), Vincent Persichetti 1 (1947), 2

1943: Shostakovich 8, Vaughan Williams 5, Harris 5, Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphosis, Schuman 5 Symphony for Strings, Hanson 4 Requiem, Martinu 2, Piston 2 (1944), Tubin 4 Lyrical (1943)

1944: Prokofiev 5 (1945), Harris 6 Gettysburg Address, Martinu 3 (1945), Diamond 2, Antheil 4, Barber 2, Dohnanyi 2 (1948), Koechlin 2

1945: Shostakovich 9, Martinu 4, Diamond 3 (1950)

1946: Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements, Copland 3, Hindemith Symphonia Serena, Hartmann 2 Adagio (1950), Cowell 4 Short Symphony (1947), Martinu 5 (1947), Honegger 3 Liturgique, 4 Deliciae Basilienses (1947), Sessions 2 (1947), Milhaud 2, Tubin 5, Persichetti 3 (1947)

1947: Prokofiev 6, Hartmann 4 (string orchestra) (1948), Witold Lutoslawski 1 (1948), Shapero Symphony for Classical Orchestra (1948), Wallingford Riegger 3 (1948), Piston 3 (1948), Milhaud 3 Hymnus ambrosianus, Still 4 Autochthonous

1948: Vaughan Williams 6, Schuman 6 (1949), Cowell 5 (1948), Olivier Messiaen Turangalila (1949), Diamond 4, Antheil 5 The Joyous, Milhaud 4, Hans Werner Henze 1

1949: Hartmann 3 (1950), Bernstein 2 The Age of Anxiety, Antheil 6, Thompson 3, Henze 2

1950: Hartmann 5 Simphonie concertante (1951), Honegger 5 Di tre re (1951), Piston 4 (1951), Siegmeister 2 (1952), Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer Symphonie pour un homme seul

1951: Hindemith Symphony for Band, Hindemith Die Harmonie der Welt, Henri Dutilleux 1, Gustaf Allan Pettersson 1, Chavez 3 (1954), Henze 3, Persichetti 4 (1954)

1952: Prokofiev 7, Vaughan Williams 7 Sinfonia antartica (1953), Harris 7, Harris Symphony for Band, Cowell 7, 8 Choral (1953), Chavez 4 Sinfonia romantica (1953)

1953: Shostakovich 10, Hartmann 6, Cowell 9 (1954), 10 (1957), 11 The Seven Rituals of Music (1957), Martinu 6 Fantaisies symphoniques, Pettersson 2 (1954), Andre Jolivet 1 (1954), Chavez 5, Milhaud 5, Persichetti 5 for strings (1954)

1954: Hanson 5 Sinfonia Sacra (1955), Piston 5 (1956), Tubin 6

1955: Cowell 6, Pettersson 3 (1956), Piston 6, Milhaud 6, Henze 4 (1963)

1956: Vaughan Williams 8, Cowell 12 (1960), Stefan Wolpe, Riegger 4 (1957), George Rochberg 2 (1959), Einojuhani Rautavaara 1 (1957), Milhaud 7, Persichetti 6 for band

1957: Shostakovich 11 The Year 1905, Diamond 6, Sessions 3, George Rochberg 1 (1958), Rautavaara 2, William Bolcom 1, Siegmeister 3 (1959)

1958: Vaughan Williams 9, Hartmann 7 (1959), Cowell 13 Madras (1959), Sessions 4 (1960), Milhaud 8 Rhodanienne, Tubin 7, Still 3 The Sunday Symphony, Persichetti 7 Liturgical (1959), Toshiro Mayuzumi Nirvana

1959: Dutilleux 2, Pettersson 4 (1961), Jolivet 2, Henryk Gorecki 1 1959

1960: Schuman 7, Walton 2, Piston 7 (1961), Chavez 7 unfinished, Milhaud 9, 11 Romantique, Mayuzumi Mandala

1961: Shostakovich 12 The Year 1917, Cowell 14, 15 Thesis, Diamond 8, Rautavaara 3 (1962), Chavez 6 (1964), Milhaud 10, George Walker, Harrison Symphony on G (1964)

1962: Shostakovich 13 Babi Yar, Harris 8, Schuman 8, Hartmann 8 (1963), Cowell 16 Icelandic (1963), Diamond 7, Pettersson 5 (1963), Milhaud 12 Rural, Henze 5 (1963)

1963: Harris 9, Cowell 17, Bernstein 3 Kaddish, Rautavaara 4 Arabescata, Britten Cello

1964: Cowell 18, Diamond 5 (1966), Sessions 5, Jolivet 3, Bolcom 2 Oracles

1965: Harris 10 Abraham Lincoln, Cowell 19, 20, Piston 8

1966: Pettersson 6 (1968), Sessions 6, Tubin 8

1967: Hanson 6 (1968), Lutoslawski 2, Pettersson 7 (1968), Sessions 7, Giya Kancheli 1, Persichetti 8

1968: Harris 11, Schuman 9 Le fosse ardeatine (1969), Sessions 8

1969: Shostakovich 14, Harris 12 Pere Marquette, Pettersson 8 (1972), Rochberg 3 (1970), Tubin 9 Sinfonia semplice (1971), Henze 6

1970: Pettersson 9 (1971), Kancheli 2 Chants, Still 5 Western Hemisphere, Persichetti 9 Sinfonia: Janiculum (1971), Siegmeister 4 (1973)

1971: Shostakovich 15 (1972), Aulis Sallinen 1

1972: Pettersson 10 (1974), Alfred Schnittke 1 (1974), Sallinen 2 Symphonic Dialogue, Gorecki 2 Copernican

1973: Pettersson 11 (1974), Gloria Coates 1 Music for Open Strings, Tubin 10, Kancheli 3

1974: Pettersson 12 The Dead on the Square (1977), Coates 2

1975: Schuman 10 American Muse (1976), Sallinen 3, Kancheli 4 In memoria di Michelangelo, Siegmeister 5 Visions of Time (1977)

1976: Harris 14 Bicentennial Symphony 1976, Pettersson 13 (1978), Rochberg 4, Gorecki 3 Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

1977: Hanson 7 A Sea Symphony, Kancheli 5 In remembrance of my parents

1978: Pettersson 14 (1981), 15 (1982), Sessions 9 (1980), Coates 3 (string orchestra)

1979: Schnittke 2 St. Florian (1980), Sallinen 4, Bolcom Symphony for Chamber Orchestra

1980: George Perle Short, Hermann Nitsch Island

1981: Schnittke 3, Glenn Branca 1 Tonal Plexus, John Harbison 1 (1984)

1982: Branca 2 The Peak of the Sacred, Ellen Zwilich 1 (1983), Harrison 3

1983: Branca 3 Gloria, 4, Lutoslawski 3, Pettersson 16, Isang Yun 1 1983, Siegmeister 6 (1984)

1984: Schnittke 4, Coates 4 Chiaroscuro, Branca 5 Describing Planes of an Expanding Hypersphere, Richard Wilson 1, Rochberg 5 (1986), Henze 7, Yun 2

1985: Diamond 9, Coates 5 Choral, Zwilich 2 Cello, Sallinen 5 Washington Mosaics, Yun 3

1986: Rautavaara 5, Wilson 2, Kancheli 7 Epilogue, Bolcom 4 (1987), Yun 4, Siegmeister 7

1987: Harbison 2, Rochberg 6, Yun 5

1988: Schnittke 5, Coates 6, Branca 6 Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven

1989: Branca 7, John Corigliano 1 (1990), Siegmeister 8 (1990)

1990: Harrison 4 Last, Sallinen 6 From a New Zealand Diary, Bolcom 5

1991: Coates 7, 8, Harbison 3

1992: Branca 8 The Mystery

1993: Branca 9 L'eve future, Philip Glass Low, John Adams Chamber Symphony, Michael Daugherty Metropolis

1994: Coates 9, 10 Drones of Druids on Celtic Ruins, Branca 10 The Mystery Part 2, Glass 2

1995: Glass 3

1996: Glass Heroes

1998: Branca 11

1999: Glass 5 Requiem, Bardo, and Nirmanakaya

2000: Branca 12

2002: Glass 6 Plutonian Ode

2005: Glass 7

Recent composers of more than 20 symphonies:

Havergal Brian: 32 syms., 1927-1968 (22 of them after the age of 80)
Alan Hovhaness: more than 63 syms., 1939-present
Nikolai Miaskovsky: 27 syms., 1908-1950

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