This moving and consoling work is probably Austrian composer Alban Berg's best known and most frequently performed piece. The concerto was composed in response to the tragic death from polio of Manon Gropiys, the 18-year-old daughter of the composer's friends Alma Mahler (once Gustav Mahler's wife) and the architect Walter Gropius. Berg famously dedicated it "to the memory of an angel."
Berg worked on the concerto very quickly, completing it within a few months. The score is dated August 11, 1935 and it was the last work that Berg completed as the 50-year-old composer died a few months later on December 24, 1935 of blood poisoning caused by an insect bite. The concerto was posthumously premiered on April 19, 1936, in Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona.