Contemporary Classical Music
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      Upcoming Programs

      MICHELANGELI FESTIVAL, HELILOOJAD

      In the Field Estonia: Arvo Pärt Centre

      Mystical Minimalist Arvo Pärt is one of the most significant composers in the 20th and 21st centuries, and in this program we’ll travel across the Baltic to Estonia to visit his musical homeland and talk with the people curating his music.

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      Image Credit: Alex Delfanne

      What is Wandelweiser?

      Originally a German musical creation, Wandelweiser is a kind of extreme minimalism that is fast becoming popular with composers around the world. We talk with two of its creators, Jürg Frey and Eva-Maria Houben, about the phenomenal growth of this movement.

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      The Art of Spoken Word

      It takes fine craftsmanship to achieve a perfect partnership between text and music in which neither element overshadows the other. This week, we’ll listen to a fascinating array of spoken word and music by composers striving to achieve this symmetry.

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      Haunted Landscapes: Music of George Crumb

      Legendary composer George Crumb created a unique, haunting sound world that leaves an indelible impression upon anyone who hears it. The master turns 85 in October and we’ll celebrate with an entire show dedicated to his outlandish music.

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      Recent Programs

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      Starting From Scratch

      This week’s Relevant Tones focuses on composers who have tried to step outside the box, redefine their definitions of music, and start over without limitations. We’ll be examining the works of Alvin Lucier, Chris Preissing, James Tenney, Lou Harrison, and more.

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      Modern Concerto

      The ultimate instrumental showcase, the concerto has inspired composers to torture performers for hundreds of years, relentlessly pushing their physical capabilities. Now that performers have virtually no limits on their technique, how are composers innovating this storied form?

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      alarm will sound

      Crossing Barriers

      A big trend in the 2000’s saw contemporary music ensembles commissioning composers not to write new pieces for them but to arrange music by pop artists. We’ll listen to music from two such collaborations: Alarm Will Sound performing arrangements of electronic musician Aphex Twin and Osso Quartet’s arrangements of indie pop superstar Sufjan Stevens.

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      In the Field: Finland, Part II

      Part II of our field trip to Finland features more interviews and performances of music by leading and emerging composers from this incredible musical hotbed.

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