Open Air Music and Fireworks Concert

A fireworks concert on an open air stage is very popular with audiences during the summer months of July and August.

In the US, a July 4th concert often features spectacular displays of fireworks.

In Canada, Victoria Day concerts frequently have fireworks. Recently, Canadians have been less inclined to refer to the holiday as a birthday celebration for Queen Victoria and have simply attended a May concert.

In other parts of the world any celebration concert might have fireworks included in the program. Since purchasing fireworks has become relatively easy, local festivals, feasts and celebrations often include fireworks at the end or finale of free outdoor concerts.

The music videoclip above is the concert finale with fireworks of an open air music concert on Rynok Square in Lviv, Ukraine. The Festival Orchestra is performing the famous overture to the opera Taras Bulba by Mykola Lysenko, Myron Yusypovych conducts.

What Classical Music is Most Often Performed With Fireworks?

The most popular classical music pieces for a fireworks display are:

  • Music for the Royal Firework by Georg Frideric Handel

Interesting fun facts: many people incorrectly call the composer – Georg Friedrich Handel. His real name is Georg Frideric Handel.

  • The Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa

Classical Music Concert with Fireworks
Classical Music Concert with Fireworks

Interesting fun facts: according to the United States Act of Congress, Code Title 36, 304, The Stars and Stripes Forever is officially “the national march”.

  • The 1812 Overture by Piotr Tchaikovsky

Interesting fun facts: the overture has 16 cannon shots and was written to celebrate the Russian Empire’s victory over Napoleon, not the US – British War of 1812.

  • Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner

Interesting fun facts: this popular tune is from the beginning of Act 3 in the opera Die Walküre.

  • Polovetsian Dances by Alexander Borodin

Interesting fun facts: concert performances usually omit the chorus and dancers of this Act 2 scene from the opera Prince Igor – Kniaz Igor.

Who Started the Trend to Perform Classical Music and Fireworks?

Fireworks Concert
Fireworks Concert

The first recorded performance of fireworks and music was in the 18th century. Unfortunately, it had rather disastrous results.

The 18th century War of the Austrian Succession (1740 – 1748) had involved most of the European powers: Prussia, Bavaria and France on the one side and Austria, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Sardinia and Saxony on the other side.

The Treat of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War. The Treaty was signed on October 18, 1748 in the city of Aix-la-Chapelle. This is the French name for what is today the city of Aachen, in Germany.

King George II of Great Britain decreed that a great celebration to end the war was to take place in London. The celebration was coordinated by an official who had the illustrious title of “Comptroller of His Majesty’s Fireworks for War as for Triumph”. The performance was to end in a fireworks display. Georg Frideric Handel was commissioned to write music.

The Music for a Royal Fireworks was performed on April 27, 1749. The fireworks were planned for the end of the musical performance.

The fireworks ignited one of the pavilions near where the orchestra was seated. The structure burned to the ground.