Center for Latter-day Saint Arts

On This Day...

A DAILY FACTOID OF OUR ART HISTORY

Feb. 18

Leroy Robertson's Oratorio from the Book of Mormon is premiered on this date (1953) by the Utah Symphony, Maurice Abravanel, conducting. The idea for the massive work that tells the story of Jesus Christ using texts from the Book of Mormon came from Elder Melvin J. Ballard circa 1919, but Robertson began continual work nearly two decades later. The premiere was so successful that it was performed six times in seven weeks to sell-out crowds and commercial recordings were made in 1953, 1961, 1978, 1986, and 1996. "Leroy Robertson and the Oratorio from the Book of Mormon: Reminiscences of a Daughter," by Marian Robertson Wilson, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: 8/2 (1999) 4-13, 84.

Glen Nelson