A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Erik Satie

Event icon
December 4, 1872: Eric Satie (6) and his three-year-old brother Conrad are baptized into the Roman Catholic faith in St. Catherine’s Church, Honfleur. Their Scottish mother had them baptized as Anglicans but upon her death two months ago, the boys are sent to live with their paternal grandparents, who insist on the change.
Event icon
January 21, 1879: Alfred Satie, the father of Eric Satie (12) marries Eugènie Barnetche, a piano teacher. Eric’s mother died in 1872.
Event icon
November 4, 1879: Eric Satie (13) takes the entrance examination for the Paris Conservatoire.
Event icon
November 8, 1879: Eric Satie (13) enters the preparatory piano class of Emile Descombes at the Paris Conservatoire.
Event icon
June 15, 1882: Eric Satie (16) plays Beethoven’s (†55) Piano Sonata op.26 for his examination in piano at the Paris Conservatoire. His examiners are unimpressed and they dismiss him from the Conservatoire.
Event icon
December 4, 1883: Eric Satie (17) enters the harmony class of Antoine Taudou as an auditor.
Event icon
September 9, 1884: Erik Satie (18) dates his first extant composition, an Allegro for piano. See 12 April 1980.
Event icon
November 6, 1885: Erik Satie (19) enters the intermediate piano class of Georges Mathias, a pupil of Chopin (†36), at the Paris Conservatoire. The Certificate of Admission is signed by the director, Ambroise Thomas (74).
Event icon
November 15, 1886: Erik Satie (20) joins the 33rd infantry regiment of the French army.
Event icon
December 9, 1886: Erik Satie (20) leaves Paris with the 33rd Infantry Regiment for Arras.
Event icon
March 17, 1887: Music by Erik Satie (20) appears in print for the first time. His salon piece Valse-ballet is published in his father’s La Musique des familles. See 7 May 1979.
Performance icon
May 18, 1887: Le roi malgré lui, an opéra comique by Emmanuel Chabrier (46) to words of Najac and Burani after Ancelot and Ancelot, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. The response is tepid. Among the audience is Erik Satie (21).
Event icon
August 18, 1888: The first Gymnopédie by Erik Satie (22) is published in his father’s La Musique des familles.
Event icon
November 24, 1888: Erik Satie (22) advertises the publication of the third of his Trois Gymnopédies. “To the musical public, we cannot recommend this essentially artistic work too highly. It is a work which rightly stands among the most beautiful of the century in which this unfortunate gentleman was born.”
Event icon
February 9, 1889: An advertisement for Erik Satie's (22) Ogives appears in Journal du Chat Noir, "The indefatigable Erik-Satie, the sphinx-man, the composer with a head of wood, announces the appearance of a new musical work of which from henceforth he speaks most highly.  It is a suite of melodies conceived in the mystic-liturgical genre that the author idolizes, and suggestively titled Les Ogives."
Event icon
March 23, 1889: The following announcement appears in the French periodical La Lanterne Japonaise : M. Erik Satie, musical composer, received the following letter, which he has asked us to print: “Sir, For eight years I have suffered from a polyp in the nose, complicated by a liver disorder and rheumatic pains. On hearing your Ogives my condition showed a clear improvement. Four or five applications of your Gymnopédie no.3 cured me completely. I hereby authorize you, Monsieur Erik Satie, to make any use of this testimonial you may wish. In the meantime please accept the thanks of your grateful Femme Lengrenage, Day worker at Précigny-les-Balayettes. As for us, our opinion of M. Erik Satie, whom we do not have the honor of knowing personally, can be summed up in four words: he’s a hot rabbit!”
Performance icon
March 10, 1892: Trois sonneries de la Rose-Croix, three fanfares by Erik Satie (25), are performed for the first time, at the inauguration of the First Rosicrucian Salon at the Church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, Place du Louvre in Paris.
Event icon
March 19, 1892: Le fils des étoiles, a pastorale kaldéenne by Erik Satie (25) to a story by Péladan, is given a public dress rehearsal, in Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris. See 22 March 1892.
Performance icon
March 22, 1892: Le fils des étoiles, a pastorale kaldéenne by Erik Satie (25) to a story by Péladan, is officially performed for the first time, in Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris. It is the first titled work that Satie wrote for the Salon de la Rose-Croix of Joseph-Aimé Péladan, whose goal is “to ruin realism, reform Latin taste and create a school of idealist art.” See 19 March 1892.
Event icon
October 27, 1892: Claude Debussy (30) dedicates copy no.45 of his Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire to Erik Satie (26), whom he calls a “gentle medieval musician strayed into this century for the joy of his friend CA Debussy.”
Event icon
December 17, 1892: Erik Satie (26) and Contamine de Latour present their “christian ballet” Uspud, to Eugène Bertrand, director of the Théâtre National de l’Opéra. They have already sent the score to Bertrand, but the director did not acknowledge that he received it. An interview with the composer was arranged only after Satie sent his seconds to arrange a duel. Satie tells Bertrand, “...it is an artistic manifestation of great consequence, and we believe that the National Academy of Music should make it a point of honor to mount it with all the luxury and care that it deserves.” Satie further suggests that a commission should be formed to judge the work, half of them chosen by the Minister of Fine Arts, half by Satie and Latour. At that, Bertrand throws them out of the office.
Event icon
January 14, 1893: Erik Satie (26) meets Suzanne Valadon in Paris. She is a famous model for many of the leading painters in the city. In the evening, Satie proposes marriage. “She had too many things on her mind to get married; so we never brought up the subject again.” She will move in with him and they engage in a tumultuous affair. “...she has a tender little belch which is often inspiring.” See 20 June 1893.
Event icon
June 20, 1893: Suzanne Valadon moves out of Erik Satie’s (27) apartment in Paris and back in with her former lover Paul Mousis, a wealthy lawyer. The composer responds by placing large posters in the street outside his door, questioning her virtue. See 14 January 1893.
Event icon
October 15, 1893: Erik Satie (27) founds the Église Métropolitaine d’Art de Jésus Conducteur. He appoints himself Parcier et Maître de Chapelle.
Event icon
April 30, 1894: Erik Satie (27) applies for the second time to the Institut de France, this time to fill the vacancy left by the death of Charles Gounod (†0). See 17 May 1894.
Event icon
May 17, 1894: Having been ignored by the jury choosing a successor to Charles Gounod (†0) for the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France, Erik Satie, on his 28th birthday, fires off a letter to Le Ménestrel addressed to Camille Saint-Saëns (58), the jury president. “Your aberration can only be due to your refusal to accept the ideas of the Century and to your ignorance of God, which is the direct cause of Esthetic decline. I forgive you in Jesus Christ and embrace you in the grace of God.”
Performance icon
May 29, 1894: La porte héroïque du ciel, a drame ésotérique by Erik Satie (28) to words of Bois, is performed for the first time, in Paris.
Event icon
April 30, 1896: Erik Satie (29) makes his third application to the Institut de France, this time to fill the vacancy left by the death of Ambroise Thomas (†0).
Event icon
May 12, 1896: The music critic Willy (Henri Gauthier-Villars) writes in Echo de Paris, “The paradoxical Doret will conduct, at the Exposition of Geneva, certain Gymnopédies by Erik Satie (29), who has taken care beforehand to have them orchestrated by Claude Debussy (33). That’s fine, but it’s not enough. To make performable the music of that mystical sausage-brain, it does not suffice to have it orchestrated by a composer of talent; someone else would also have to rewrite the melody. And even that would be worthless...”
Performance icon
February 20, 1897: The first and third of the Trois Gymnopédies by Erik Satie (30), as orchestrated by Claude Debussy (34), are performed for the first time, in the Salle Erard, Paris.
Event icon
October 19, 1899: Claude Debussy (37) marries Rosalie “Lily” Texier in a civil ceremony in Paris. She is a model in a dressmaker’s firm, the daughter of a telegraph inspector for the French Railroad. Among the witnesses is Erik Satie (33). Debussy teaches a lesson in the morning so he can afford dinner with his new wife after the ceremony.
Performance icon
December 9, 1900: Two of the three Nocturnes, Nuages and Fêtes, by Claude Debussy (38) are performed for the first time, in Paris. Critics are generally positive. At the concert, Erik Satie (34) is introduced to pianist Ricardo Viñes by Maurice Ravel (25). Viñes will become a major exponent of Satie’s work. See 27 October 1901.
Performance icon
January 16, 1904: Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, seven pieces for piano duet by Erik Satie (37), is performed for the first time, privately at the Paris home of Paul Sordeo by Maurice Ravel (28) and Ricardo Viñes.  See 18 April 1916.
Event icon
April 10, 1904: During the performance of a Beethoven (†77) symphony in the Cirque d’été, Paris, Erik Satie (37) exchanges words with his arch-enemy, the critic Henri Gauthier-Villars (pseud. Willy). Not satisfied with the responses he is receiving, Satie begins to beat Willy, who responds with his walking stick. The composer is removed to a nearby police station.
Performance icon
July 26, 1904: Erik Satie’s (38) song La Diva de l’”Empire” to words of Bonnaud and Blès, is performed for the first time, in the revue Dévidons la bobine, in Berck, Pas-de-Calais.
Performance icon
November 19, 1904: Petit Recueil des fêtes, a cycle of four songs by Erik Satie (38) to words of Hyspa, is performed completely for the first time, in Cabaret des Quat'z'Arts, Paris.
Performance icon
November 22, 1907: Pousse l’amour, an operetta by Erik Satie (41) to words of Féraudy and Kolb, is performed for the first time, at the Comédie-Royale, Paris.
Performance icon
January 4, 1908: Two songs by Erik Satie (41) to words of Hyspa are performed for the first time, at Cabaret Les Quat'z'Arts, Paris, the composer at the keyboard:  Rambouillet and Marienbad.
Event icon
July 4, 1909: At an official ceremony in Arcueil Town Hall, Erik Satie (43) is decorated by the Prefect of the Seine with the Palmes académiques for civil services, an honor usually reserved for “earnest school teachers and public minded civil servants.”
Event icon
January 14, 1911: Erik Satie (44) writes to his brother, "Ravel (35) is a prix de Rome of very great talent.  A more astonishing Debussy.  He assures me-every time I meet him-that he owes me a great deal.  Fine by me." (Nichols, Ravel, 120)
Performance icon
January 16, 1911: Through the efforts of Maurice Ravel (35), Erik Satie (44) is given his first important hearing at a concert of the Société Musicale Indépendente in the Salle Gaveau. Ravel premieres the Sarabande no.2 from 1887 and the Gymnopédie no.3 from 1888. Works by Claude Debussy (48) are given their first hearing: Rhapsody no.1 for clarinet and orchestra, and two of the Préludes, Book I for piano (Le Vent dans la plaine, “Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir”). The concert proves a great success.
Event icon
March 30, 1912: Erik Satie (45) writes to Ricard Viñes asking to dedicate one of his Pièces froides to him. “Don’t imagine that my work is music. That’s not my line. I do, to the best of my ability, phonometry. Nothing else. Am I anything else than an acoustician without great knowledge?”
Event icon
April 15, 1912: The first in the series of reviews entitled “Memoirs of an Amnesiac”, by Erik Satie (45), appears in the Revue musicale S.I.M. in Paris.
Performance icon
June 17, 1912: The orchestrated version of En Habit de cheval by Erik Satie (46) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Gaveau by Société de Musique Independante. The composer is refused admittance because he is not dressed well enough. Also premiered is Les vendanges op.30/1 for orchestra by Charles Koechlin (44).
Performance icon
April 5, 1913: Véritables Préludes flasques (pour un chien) for piano by Erik Satie (46) are performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris.
Performance icon
June 5, 1913: Descriptions automatiques for piano by Erik Satie (47) is performed for the first time, in Salle Erard, Paris.
Performance icon
December 5, 1913: Embryons deséchés for piano by Erik Satie (47) is performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris.
Performance icon
December 18, 1913: Les pantins dansent, a poème dansé by Erik Satie (47) to words of Saint-Point, is performed for the first time, in Salle Léon-Poirier, Paris.
Performance icon
January 14, 1914: New works are heard at a concert of the Société Indépendante in Salle Erard, Paris.  They are Three Japanese Lyrics for solo voice and piano by Igor Stravinsky (31) to words translated by Brandta, Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé for solo voice and chamber ensemble by Maurice Ravel (38), Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l'oeil for piano duet by Florent Schmitt (43), and Erik Satie's (47) piano work Chapitres tournés en tous sens.
Performance icon
March 28, 1914: Croquis et agaceries d’un gros bonhomme en bois for piano by Erik Satie (47) is performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris.
Event icon
May 15, 1914: In Paris, Erik Satie (47) composes the Choral inappétissant (Unappetizing Chorale) from Sports et divertissements, “on an empty stomach.” He directs that it is to be performed “hypocritically.”
Event icon
August 1, 1914: As a result of the murder of Jean Jaurès, Erik Satie (48) leaves the Radical Party and joins the Socialist Party of France.
Performance icon
April 2, 1916: Choses vues à droite et à gauche for violin and piano by Erik Satie (49) is performed for the first time, at École Lucien de Flagny, Paris. Also premiered are Satie’s Trois Poèmes d’amour for voice and piano to his own words.
Performance icon
April 18, 1916: Two of the Trois Mélodies by Erik Satie (49) to words of Godebska and Chalupt, are performed for the first time, at the Société Lyre et Palette, in the Salle Huyghens, Paris. Also heard is the first public performance of Satie's Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, seven pieces for piano duet.  The pianists are Satie and Ricardo Viñes.  Jean Cocteau hears Satie's music for the first time.  See 16 January 1904 and 30 May 1916.
Performance icon
May 16, 1916: Trois mélodies by Erik Satie to words of Fargue, Godebska, and Chalupt, are performed for the first time, in Paris on the eve of the composer’s 50th birthday.
Performance icon
May 30, 1916: A concert of the works of Erik Satie (50) and Enrique Granados (†0) takes place at the Paris home of Mme Germaine Bongard, 5 rue de Penthièvre, “for the benefit of artists affected by the War.” Satie premieres his Avant-dernières pensées. The printed program is illustrated by Matisse and Picasso. Satie’s Trois Mélodies, to words of Fargue, Godebska, and Chalupt, are performed completely for the first time. See 18 April 1916.
Event icon
August 11, 1916: Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie (50) sign a postcard to Valentine Gross, informing her of an important development: “Picasso is doing Parade with us.”
Event icon
November 2, 1916: Erik Satie (50) gives his first public lecture, “Les animaux dans la musique.”
Performance icon
November 19, 1916: Trois Valses distinguées du précieux dégoûté for piano by Erik Satie (50) is performed for the first time, by the composer, at the Société Lyre et Palette as part of an exhibition of paintings including works by Matisse and Picasso.  Also premiered are parts of his unperformed ballet Parade in an arrangement for piano duet.  See 18 May 1917.
Performance icon
March 11, 1917: Heures séculaires et instantanées for piano by Erik Satie (50) is performed for the first time, in Galerie Barbazzanges, Faubourg St. Honoré.
Event icon
May 11, 1917: Guillaume Apollinaire publishes an “introduction” to Erik Satie’s (50) ballet Parade, to be premiered a week hence, in the Paris journal Excelsior. “In short, Parade will upset the ideas of quite a number of spectators. They will be surprised, to be sure, but in the pleasantest way, and fascinated; and they will learn how graceful modern movement can be—something they had never suspected.”
Performance icon
May 18, 1917: Parade, a ballet réaliste by Erik Satie (51) to a story of Cocteau and Massin, with sets and costumes designed by Pablo Picasso, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre du Chátelet, Paris. The audience is generally appreciative, the critics are savage. In his program notes, Guillaume Apollinaire says the work is “a kind of surrealism”, the first use of the term. One writer says Satie’s music is “infinitely more stupid than ingenious, more boring than drole, more senile and antiquated than audacious and innovative.”
Event icon
May 30, 1917: The critic Jean Poueigh, after savaging Parade, receives a card, written in beautiful calligraphy, which says, “Sir and dear friend, You are nothing but an asshole, and an unmusical asshole at that. Erik Satie (51).” See 3 June 1917.
Event icon
June 3, 1917: The critic Jean Poueigh receives another post card from Erik Satie (51). “You are not as dumb as I thought...Despite your bonehead air and your short-sightedness, you see things at a great distance. Erik Satie.” See 30 May 1917.
Event icon
June 6, 1917: Georges Auric, Louis Durey, and Arthur Honegger (25) organize an homage to Erik Satie (51) in Salle Huyghens. This is the beginning of the group of young composers organizing itself around Satie, soon to be called Nouveaux Jeunes.
Event icon
July 12, 1917: Erik Satie (51) is sentenced to eight days in prison, a fine of 100 francs and 1,000 francs in damages in the libel suit of Jean Poueigh brought as a result of the card Satie sent following Poueigh’s review of Parade. See 18 May 1917 and 27 November 1917.
Event icon
September 26, 1917: On the recommendation of Paul Dukas (51), Francis Poulenc (18) visits Paul Vidal, conductor of the Opéra-Comique, in search of composition lessons. Poulenc shows him his Rapsodie nègre. When he sees the dedication to Satie (51) Vidal stands and bellows, “Your work stinks, it is ridiculous, it is merely a load of balls...Ah! I see you are running with Stravinsky (35), Satie, and company. Well then, good day!”
Event icon
October 4, 1917: Erik Satie (51) writes to his publisher, Alexandre Rouart: “I am in the most critical situation: penniless.”
Event icon
November 27, 1917: Erik Satie (51) appeals the judgment of 12 July 1917. Eventually the sentence will be suspended and the Princesse de Polignac helps him pay the damages and fine.
Performance icon
December 1, 1917: Sonatine bureaucratique for piano by Erik Satie (51) is performed for the first time, in Salle Huyghens, Paris.
Performance icon
December 11, 1917: Rapsodie nègre, for baritone, piano, string quartet, flute, and clarinet by Francis Poulenc (18) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier, Paris. This is the first work of Poulenc to be performed in public. When the singer does not appear, objecting to the nonsense text, the composer performs the vocal part. This is the first concert of a group of young composers organizing itself around Erik Satie (51) called Les Nouveaux Jeunes.  It also sees the premiere of Vieux sequins et vieills cuirasses, three pieces for piano by Erik Satie.
Event icon
March 13, 1918: World War I: Erik Satie (51) is almost killed by a German air raid in the Place de la Concorde, Paris.
Event icon
March 15, 1918: The French Minister of the Interior probationally suspends the punishment of Erik Satie (51) on good conduct. See 27 November 1917.
Event icon
April 3, 1918: Erik Satie (51) writes of Claude Debussy, “My poor friend! What a sad end. Now people will discover that he had enormous talent. But that's life!”
Performance icon
April 3, 1918: Erik Satie’s (51) drame symphonique Socrate, to words of Plato translated by Cousin, is performed for the first time, privately, at the Paris home of the Princesse de Polignac, the composer at the piano. See 24 June 1918 and 14 February 1920.
Performance icon
June 24, 1918: Excerpts from Erik Satie’s (52) drame symphonique Socrate, to words of Plato translated by Cousin, are performed at the home of soprano Jane Bathori in Paris. See 3 April 1918 and 14 February 1920.
Performance icon
February 16, 1919: The first complete performance of Erik Satie's (52) drame symphonique Socrate to words of Plato translated by Cousin, takes place privately at the home of the Princesse de Polignac, 57 avenue Henri-Martin, Paris.
Performance icon
March 21, 1919: Part I of Erik Satie’s (52) drame symphonique Socrate, to words of Plato translated by Cousin, is performed at La Maison des Amis des Livres in Paris before a prestigious audience. The composer is at the piano. See 3 April 1918, 24 June 1918, and 14 February 1920.
Performance icon
December 14, 1919: Sports et divertissements for piano by Erik Satie (53) is performed for the first time, privately at the Paris home of Mme Vogel at 18 rue Bonaparte. See 31 January 1922.
Performance icon
December 18, 1919: Piano works by Erik Satie (53) are premiered in Paris:  Menus propos enfantins, Peccadilles importunes, and perhaps Engantillages pittoresques.
Performance icon
December 19, 1919: The first international presentation of the music of Les Nouveaux Jeunes takes place at the Institut des hautes Etudes de Belgique in Brussels. Works by Erik Satie (63), Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger (27), Darius Milhaud (27), Francis Poulenc (20), and Germaine Tailleferre are performed. A conference on new music accompanies the concert.
Event icon
January 16, 1920: Henri Collet publishes his article “Un livre de Rimsky et un livre de Cocteau--Les Cinqs Russes, les Six Français et Erik Satie (53),” in Comoedia. This begins the history of that unlikely combination of six French composers called “Les Six”: Arthur Honegger (27), Darius Milhaud (27), Germaine Tailleferre, Louis Durey, Francis Poulenc (20) and Georges Auric.
Performance icon
February 14, 1920: Erik Satie’s (53) symphonic drama Socrate is performed publicly for the first time, in a piano setting, by the Société National de Musique in Salle de l’Ancien Conservatoire, Paris. Critics are confused and mixed. See 3 April 1918, 24 June 1918, 21 March 1919, and 7 June 1920.
Performance icon
February 21, 1920: At a concert organized by Jean Cocteau at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the following works are performed for the first time: Le boeuf sur le toit, a ballet by Darius Milhaud (27), Sonata for piano duet and Cocardes, a cycle for solo voice, cornet, trombone, bass drum, triangle, and violin, both by Francis Poulenc (21) (the latter to words of Cocteau), and Trois petites pièces montées by Erik Satie (53).
Event icon
March 8, 1920: During an intermission of a play by Max Jacob in the Galéries Barbezanges, Paris, the audience is informed that “furnishing music” (musique d’ameublement) will be played and that they should act as if it does not exist. The music is a collection of well-known symphonic and operatic tunes played by piano, three clarinets, and trombone under the supervision of Erik Satie (53) and Darius Milhaud (27). As the audience takes their seats to listen to the music, Satie goes through the hall encouraging everyone to go on talking, keep moving, and not listen to the music.
Performance icon
March 18, 1920: The first of the five Nocturnes for piano by Erik Satie (53) is performed for the first time, in Salle Pleyel, Paris. See 7 June 1920.
Performance icon
June 7, 1920: Socrate, a symphonic drama by Erik Satie (54), is performed for the first time in its orchestral setting, in the Salle Erard, Paris.  Also premiered are the second and third of the five Nocturnes for piano by Erik Satie (54). See 14 February 1920 and 18 March 1920.
Performance icon
December 19, 1920: Two of the Quatre Petites Mélodies for voice and piano by Erik Satie (54) to words of Lamartine, is performed for the first time, in Galerie La Boétie, Paris. See 12 April 1921.
Performance icon
January 24, 1921: Three new works are performed for the first time, in the Salle des agriculteurs, Paris: Homenaje for guitar by Manuel de Falla (44) and L’accueil des muses for piano by Albert Roussel (51), both in honor of Claude Debussy (†2), and Premier menuet for piano by Erik Satie (54). The Falla piece is played on harp-lute. See 8 March 1921.
Performance icon
April 12, 1921: Quatre Petites Mélodies for voice and piano by Erik Satie (54) to words of Lamartine, Cocteau, Radiguet, and Anonymous are performed completely for the first time, in Galerie Georges Giroux, Brussels. See 19 December 1920.
Performance icon
May 24, 1921: New stage works are performed in the Théâtre des Mathurins, Paris:  Le Gendarme incompris, a comédie-bouffe by Frencis Poulenc (22) to words of Cocteau and Radiguet, and Le Piège de Méduse, a lyric comedy by Erik Satie (55) to his own words, conducted by Darius Milhaud (28). Satie tries to have the performance stopped. The actor Pierre Bertin is doing a too real impersonation of Satie.
Performance icon
June 14, 1921: La belle excentrique, a fantaisie sérieuse by Erik Satie (55), is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre du Colisée, Paris.
Performance icon
October 27, 1921: Sonnerie pour réveiller le bon gros Roi des Sings (lequel ne dort toujours que d'un oeil) for two trumpets by Erik Satie (55) is performed for the first time, in Queen's Hall, London.
Event icon
December 3, 1921: Erik Satie (55) meets Man Ray at an exhibition of Man Ray’s paintings in Paris. Afterwards, walking along the street, the two go into a shop where they buy a flat iron, glue, and a box of tacks. They return to the gallery and glue a row of tacks onto the surface of the flat iron. It is Man Ray’s first Dada sculpture.
Performance icon
January 17, 1922: Premier Menuet for piano by Erik Satie (55) is performed for the first time, in Salle de La Ville l’Evêque, Paris.
Performance icon
January 31, 1922: Sports et divertissements for piano by Erik Satie (55) is performed publicly for the first time, in Salle de La Ville l’Evéque, Paris. See 14 December 1919.
Event icon
February 17, 1922: Rival claimants to the leadership of the Dada “movement”, André Breton and Tristan Tzara, are given a “trial” in the Closerie des Lilas (a cafe) in Paris. About 100 members of the city’s artistic world are in attendance, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, and Jean Cocteau. The “judge” is Erik Satie (55). Insults are thrown back and forth in an uncontrolled and uproarious manner. Afterwards, one group, including Satie, goes to another cafe to preserve Bréton’s “defeat” on paper.
Performance icon
May 18, 1922: Renard, a burlesque in song and dance by Igor Stravinsky (39) to his own scenario after Afanasyev, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. A party afterwards, organized by Sydney and Violet Schiff, is attended by Stravinsky, Sergey Diaghilev, Pablo Picasso, TS Eliot, Edith Sitwell, Frederick Delius (60), Marcel Proust, and James Joyce.
Performance icon
January 4, 1923: Two chamber works by Francis Poulenc (23) are performed for the first time in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris: Sonata for clarinet and bassoon and Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone.  Also premiered is the fourth of the Five Nocturnes for piano by Erik Satie (56).
Performance icon
May 30, 1923: La statue retrouvée, a divertissement by Erik Satie (57) to a story by Cocteau, Picasso, and Massine, is performed for the first time, in the Paris home of Count Étienne de Beaumont. Also premiered are Ludions, five songs for voice and piano or organ to words of Fargue, the composer at the organ. See 21 December 1923.
Event icon
June 14, 1923: The École d’Arcueil is organized and announced by Erik Satie (57) at a Paris concert of his followers. The society is dedicated to Satie’s ideals.
Performance icon
July 6, 1923: In the Théâtre Michel in Paris, Tristan Tzara attempts to save Dada, the movement he began in 1916. It is a hodgepodge of music, poetry, and theatre including readings of Cocteau, Soupault, and Eluard, music of Stravinsky (41) and Satie (57), and Tzara’s play Le Coeur à gaz . Fights break out in the hall and onstage, then moving out into the street. The electric footlights are smashed and candles are brought forth. Police are called in twice to restore order. This marks the virtual end of Dada, a movement Jean Cocteau called “Le Suicide-Club.”
Performance icon
October 4, 1923: The elite of artistic Paris is on hand to witness a concert given by George Antheil in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, to publicize the upcoming season of the Ballet Suédois. Those present include Erik Satie (57), James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, and Man Ray. A riot is staged by Margaret Anderson, editor of The Little Review, for a film she is making. Police take away many of the rioters.
Performance icon
December 21, 1923: Ludions (Bottle Imps), a cycle of five songs by Erik Satie (57) to words of Fargue, are performed publicly for the first time, at the Salle des agriculteurs, Paris, the composer at the piano. See 30 May 1923.
Performance icon
June 15, 1924: Mercure, a ballet by Erik Satie (58) to a scenario by de Beaumont and Massine, scenery and costumes by Picasso, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre de La Cigale, Paris. A small group of surrealists disrupts the performance with shouts of “Long live Picasso, down with Satie!”
Performance icon
December 4, 1924: Relâche (No Performance), a ballet instantanéiste by Erik Satie (58) to a scenario by Picabia and Börlin, is performed for the first time, in a public dress rehearsal at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris. The premiere was scheduled for 29 November but, true to its title, the show was cancelled because the lead dancer became ill. See 7 December 1924.
Performance icon
December 7, 1924: Relâche (No Performance), a ballet instantanéiste by Erik Satie (58) to a scenario by Picabia and Börlin, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris. Posters onstage tell the audience, “Those who aren’t satisfied are authorized to f--- off.” Satie and Picabia appear onstage in a 5CV car owned by the conductor, Roger Désormière. The critics find the music beneath contempt. See 4 December 1924.
Event icon
February 20, 1925: Erik Satie (58) enters a private room in the Hôpital St.-Joseph, Paris through the generosity of Comte Étienne de Beaumont.
Death icon
July 1, 1925: Evening. After seven months of illness, Erik Alfred Leslie Satie dies in Room no.4 of the Armand-Heine Ward at St. Joseph Hospital, Paris, Republic of France, of cirrhosis of the liver, aged 59 years, one month, and 14 days.
Event icon
July 6, 1925: The remains of Erik Satie are buried at Cimitière d'Arcueil-Cachan in Arcueil, Val-de-Marne, attended by Charles Koechlin (57), Albert Roussel (56), Maurice Ravel (50), Arthur Honegger (33), Germaine Tailleferre, Darius Milhaud (32), Georges Auric, Jean Cocteau, and Pierre Templier (his publisher and Mayor of Arcueil). But there are far more local townsfolk on hand than celebrities. One wreath of violets carries the inscription: “To M. Satie from his fellow tenants.”
Event icon
September 10, 1925: Authorization to break the seals on the apartment of Erik Satie (†0) is granted and the room, in the Maison des Quatre Cheminées, 22 (now 34) rue Cauchy, is entered by a clerk of the court and a brother of the composer. They find living quarters with no gas or electric light, no running water, one window, a folding cot with no sheets, two pianos, one full of unopened mail and thousands of sheets of paper written with exquisite calligraphy.
Performance icon
May 3, 1926: Messe des pauvres for children's voices, men's voices, and organ by Erik Satie (†0) is performed for the first time, in Brussels 31 years after it was composed.
Performance icon
May 17, 1926: Two stage works by Erik Satie (†0) are performed for the first time, in a concert setting, in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on what would have been Satie’s 60th birthday: Genevieve de Brabant, possibly a shadow theatre play, to words of Latour, and Cinq grimaces pour Le songe d’une nuit d’été to words of Shakespeare adapted by Cocteau. See 13 April 1983.
Event icon
September 1, 1935: The Nazi Party sends out one of several letters listing composers whose music is considered degenerate and may not be played. Among those honored are Erik Satie (†10), Ernst Bloch (55), Joseph Matthias Hauer (52), Alfredo Casella (52), Alban Berg (50), Kurt Weill (35), Ernst Krenek (35), and Aaron Copland (34).
Performance icon
August 14, 1948: John Cage (35) produces a performance of Erik Satie’s (†23) The Ruse of Medusa at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Buckminster Fuller plays Medusa, while Merce Cunningham plays a mechanical monkey. The set is created by Willem de Kooning while his daughter plays Medusa’s daughter. The director is Arthur Penn. Cage plays the music.
Performance icon
September 9, 1963: Vexations for piano solo by Erik Satie (†38) is performed, possibly for the first time, in New York. The performance begins at 18:00 with a relay of ten pianists including John Cage (51), David Tudor, Christian Wolff (29), James Tenney (29), John Cale, David Del Tredici (26), and Joshua Rifkin.  Andy Warhol is in attendance and the experience has a major influence on his work.
Performance icon
November 21, 1969: A day-long event called MEWANTEMOOSEICDAY is staged by John Cage (57) at the University of California, Davis. In different spaces the following things occurred: a performance of Erik Satie’s (†44) 18-hour piano piece Vexations, lectures by Cage, Satie’s Socrate in a two-piano reduction by Cage, Satie’s Furniture Music continuously played, and the first performance of Cage’s 33 1/3, for records, gramophones, and audience. Cage bought 300 long playing records (chosen by the record store manager) for the audience to select and play on twelve phonographs arranged around the performance space.
Performance icon
October 5, 1978: Letter to Erik Satie 2 (†53) by John Cage (66) is performed for the first time, at City Center Theatre, New York. It is performed simultaneously with Merce Cunningham’s solo dance Tango.
Performance icon
May 7, 1979: Erik Satie’s (†53) first published works, Valse-ballet and Fantaisie-valse for piano, are performed publicly for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. Also premiered is his fanfare for two trumpets Sonnerie pour réveiller lo bon gros Roi des Singes (lequel ne dort toujours que d’un oeil), composed in 1921 . See 17 March 1887.
Performance icon
May 9, 1979: Uspud, a ballet chrétien by Erik Satie (†54) to a story by Contamine de Latour and Satie, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris 87 years after it was composed. See 17 March 1887.
Performance icon
April 4, 1980: Mercure--Poses Plastiques for 14 players by Harrison Birtwistle (45) after Satie (†54) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.
Performance icon
April 12, 1980: Erik Satie’s (†54) earliest extant composition, a nine-bar allegro for piano, is performed for the first time, in Teatro di Porta Romana, Milan, 96 years after it was composed. See 9 September 1884.
Event icon
April 13, 1983: Genevieve de Brabant, possibly a shadow theatre play, by Erik Satie (†58) to words of Latour, is staged for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice. See 17 May 1926.
Performance icon
July 22, 1995: Embarquement pour Cythère for violin and piano by Erik Satie (†70) is performed for the first time, in the Bishop's Palace, Hereford, England, 78 years after it was left incomplete by the composer.
Performance icon
May 16, 2002: San Bernardo for piano by Erik Satie (†76) is performed for the first time, in Toronto, 89 years after it was composed.