Cradle Will Rock

blitzstein and cradle cast 1937Marc Blitzstein’s biggest and best-remembered hit, The Cradle Will Rock was a left-wing dream when it opened in 1937, in the middle of the Great Depression. Both an attack on wealth and the political power it brings, and a paean to labor and poor people struggling to get by, the show got a huge publicity boost from its legendary opening.

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Available Works

Airborne Symphony

50 minutes
First Performance: New York City Symphony; Leonard Bernstein, conducting –April 1, 1946

The Cradle Will Rock

ca. 2 hours
First Performance: New York, Venice Theatre (unauthorized) –June 16, 1937

Freedom Morning

12 minutes
First Performance: London, Royal Albert Hall –September 28, 1943

The Guests

20 minutes
First Performance: New York City Ballet –January 20, 1949

The Harpies

20 minutes
First Performance: New York, Manhattan School –May 25, 1953

Innocent Psalm

Invitation to Bitterness

ca. 3 minutes
First Performance: New York City, Merkin Hall –September 20, 1989

I’ve Got the Tune

30 minutes
First Performance: Columbia Broadcasting –October 24, 1937


full evening
First Performance: Winter Garden, New York –March 9, 1959

Native Land

First Performance: screening, New York –May 11, 1942

No for an Answer

90 minutes
First Performance: Mecca Temple, New York –January 5, 1941

Orchestra Variations

15 minutes
First Performance: American Composers Orchestra, New York –October 9, 1988

Piano Concerto

30 minutes
First Performance: Brooklyn Philharmonic –January 1, 1986

Piano Percussion Music

12 minutes
First Performance: Steinway Hall, New York –March 21, 1929

Piano Solo

20 minutes
First Performance: Mellon Galleries, Philadelphia –February 5, 1934

Piano Sonata

7 minutes
First Performance: League of Composers, New York –February 12, 1928


full evening
First Performance: 46th Street Theater, Broadway –October 31, 1949

Regina (Scottish Opera version)

full evening
First Performance: Scottish Opera –May 16, 1991

Scherzo “Bourgeios at Play”

3 minutes

Serenade for String Quartet

ca. 17 minutes
First Performance: Yaddo Artists' Colony –April 30, 1932

String Quartet, “Italian”

ca. 21 minutes
First Performance: Philadelphia –February 25, 1931

Suite from “Surf and Seaweed”

16 minutes
First Performance: New York City, film screening –March 15, 1931

This is the Garden

ca. 30 minutes
First Performance: New York, Carnegie Hall, Interracial Fellowship Chorus –May 3, 1957

The Threepenny Opera

full evening
First Performance: New York City, Theater de Lys, Carmen Capalbo, dir., Samuel Matlowsky, cond. –March 10, 1954


15 minutes
First Performance: Philadelphia, Bellevue-Stratford ballroom –May 6, 1929

Twelve Whitman Songs

Marc Blitzstein Songbook, Vol. I, II, III

Completed Works & Unpublished/Unfinished Works

At the time of his unexpected and tragic death in 1964, much of Blitzstein’s work was left unfinished and unpublished, leaving behind a legacy that has been largely overlooked in the ensuing decades. There are many such works not currently available for public performance.  Learn more about these works.