Contemporary Classical Music
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      Recent Programs

      Going Solo

      There is perhaps no more intimate connection in music than when a composer writes a solo piece specifically for a gifted performer, crafting the piece for the player’s specific strengths and musical tastes. We’ll talk with several performers about solos that have been written for them and feature performances of the pieces recorded live in our Levin studio.

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      In the Field: Seoul, Part II

      The second in our two-part series featuring composers and performers from Seoul, South Korea.

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      In the Field: Seoul, Part I

      Relevant Tones goes in the field to this hotbed of contemporary classical music- Seoul, South Korea- to discover emerging and established composers. In part I we’ll chat with the composers and showcase the dynamic music scene there.

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      Modern-Day Moonlighters

      Philip Glass is arguably the most famous plumber, mover and cab driver ever to work in New York. While not every example is that extreme, there are quite a few composers with day jobs – multitalented people that advocate for their fellow composers, write, work in radio or have a Ph.D in neuroscience.

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      Composers Among Us: Laura Elise Schwendinger

      Our popular series profiling emerging composers continues with Laura Elise Schwendinger, an artist whose strongly personal style of music is filled with kinetic energy and slow-burning intensity.

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      The Modern Oratorio

      Large-scale sacred works might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of contemporary music, but a number of important composers are creating expansive works inspired by their concept of a higher power.

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      In the Field: Mizzou Part II

      More music from the vibrant inferno of creative energy that is the Mizzou International Composers Festival, featuring Alarm Will Sound, exciting works by faculty composers and a bundle of premieres, concerts and workshops.

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      In the Field: Mizzou Part I

      Fast becoming the go-to summer music festival in the Midwest, the concerts and workshops at the University of Missouri’s International Composers Festival are a sure-fire place to hear imaginative new music from emerging composers.

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      Composer Spotlight: Zhou Long

      One of the first composers to graduate from the Beijing Conservatory upon its reopening after the Cultural Revolution and the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his opera Madame White Snake, Zhou Long creates thoughtful, spiritually-infused music that has resonated with audiences across the globe. Zhou Long: Wood fr. The Five Elements (excerpt) Music […]

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      Payton MacDonald – Super Marimba

      Percussionist Payton MacDonald calls Super Marimba the nexus point of all of his artistic activities. Featuring influences from jazz and classical to Hindustani and improvisational music, this is the marimba as you’ve never heard it before.

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      In the Field: Poland, Part II

      We at Relevant Tones had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Wrocław, Poland to attend the storied World Music Days festival, where we met a wealth of Polish composers who are part of the living legacy of this vibrant cultural mecca. Next time on Relevant Tones, we’ll hear the second of a two-part series titled, In the Field: Poland.

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      In the Field: Poland, Part I

      We at Relevant Tones had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Wrocław, Poland to attend the storied World Music Days festival, where we met a wealth of Polish composers who are part of the living legacy of this vibrant cultural mecca. Next time on Relevant Tones, we’ll hear the first of a two-part series titled, In the Field: Poland.

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      Image Credit: Harry M. Rhoads

      Image Credit: Harry M. Rhoads

      Through the Grapevine

      We’re having a ball trying to keep up with our ever-expanding musical collection as composers and performers around the world joyously overwhelm us with their creations. We’re consistently amazed by their level of talent and artistry, and are thrilled this week to share it with our listeners.

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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 music.

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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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