concert, in music, public performance of a group of musical compositions. Originally the word referred simply to a group of musicians playing together; concerts by a solo performer are properly called recitals. The earliest recorded public concerts were organized by a London violinist, John Banister, in 1672. Many orchestral concerts were given in the 18th cent., and early in the 19th cent., which saw great development of concert life; public concerts of chamber music were often given. In the American colonies, the first concert on record took place in Boston in 1731.