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Timon of Athens

supplement to
The Duke – Where and When
A Chronicle of Duke Ellington's Working Life and Travels

This webpage was created and is maintained by David Palmquist

Added 2021-06-04, moved to this supplementary page, 2024-01-04
Last updated 2024-02-22 and 2024-02-25


1963 was a busy year for Duke Ellington. From January 9 until mid-March, the orchestra toured Europe and Britain. Most returned home in early March, but Ellington and Strayhorn stayed in France. Ellington got sick and was hospitalized in Paris, finally going home March 15.

Near the end of May, the band began a month in Europe, touring U.S. military bases for a week, then Scandinavia, finishing June 23. In early September, off they went again, this time for the well-known tour of the near east and south Asia. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...:

In London (England) in January, the director of an upcoming Stratford Festival play saw Ellington perform part of Such Sweet Thunder and thought of asking him to compose the music for the play Timon of Athens. Wire stories announced the engagement as early as February 5.

Ellington was also hired to produce a one-hour musical revue (My People) for the American Negro Emancipation Centennial Authority, to be performed from August 16 to September 3. He was working both projects at the same time.

Timon of Athens:


This gloomy Shakespearean tragedy in modern costume was the one of four plays performed in rotation at the 1963 Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ont.'s Festival Theatre from July 29 to Sept. 13.

Stratford Festival archivist C. Schindler confirmed the closing date and advised Timon of Athens alternated with the other productions presented during the season, based on the 1963 season brochure, there were on average two performances per week and there were both matinee and evening performances.