A notable Czech composer, Jaromir Weinberger achieved sudden fame with the production of his opera, Svanda dudâk (Schwanda, the Bagpiper), written in a popular Bohemian style, at the Czech Opera, in Prague in 1927. Weinberger fled Europe under the growing Nazi threat and took up residence in New York in 1939, where he enjoyed a number of major orchestral performances and commissions of all kinds. One of these came from renowned saxophonist Cecil Leeson, who aske Weinberger to compose a concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra.
Due to the outbreak of World War II, the premiere would not happen until 1946, six years after the completion of the concerto in piano score. The work was revised following the premiere and it is only now that those revisions have been incorporated into the solo saxophone and piano reduction with this performance edition by Weinberger scholar, publisher and saxophonist Tristan Willems.