The Fourth Of July's Russian Soundtrack

Jul 24, 2013

Fourth of July celebreation in Havre, Montana.

Tchaikowsky’s 1812 Overture, with cannon and fireworks booming away at its end, is featured in Fourth of July concerts across the nation.

How did this music, a celebration of Russia’s rout of Napoleon’s army, become music for our American celebration?

In 1974 the Boston Pop’s conductor, Arthur Fiedler, was looking for something to add some “zip” to his outdoor July 4th concerts. And so an exciting tradition was born.