Contemporary Classical Music
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      Recent Programs

      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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      Spektral Quartet

      Spektral Quartet

      Spektral Quartet – Serious Business CD Release

      Though relatively new on the scene, with their signature combination of virtuosic playing, audience-friendly manner and willingness to take risks, Spektral Quartet is proving to be a string quartet to watch. We’ll feature their latest release on the Sono Luminous Album, Serious Business.

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      Shanghai New Music Week Part II

      The Relevant Tones team travels to Shanghai for New Music Week, a relatively new but impressive festival held by the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music. This second in a four-part series features performances by the renowned Ensemble Intercontemporain.

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      Shanghai New Music Week, Part I

      The Relevant Tones team travels to Shanghai for New Music Week, a relatively new but impressive festival held by the oldest conservatory of music in China. This first in a four-part series features the music of Chinese composers featured at the festival.

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      Gunther Schuller

      He’s played with Miles Davis, was principal horn of the Cleveland Symphony at age 18, is the co-creator of the “third stream” movement and so much more. In this program from 2014, Seth talks with the late Gunther Schuller about his incredible life and legacy in music.

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      eighth blackbird LIVE at the MCA

      On January 8 we’ll feature Grammy-winning super group eighth blackbird live at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where the group is in the midst of a year-long artist residency.

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      Music Inspired by Rumi

      Persian mystic poet and polymath Rumi has inspired countless artists, and composers are no exception. Music from Eric Whitacre, Augusta Read Thomas, Christopher Theofanidis, and more.

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      Generations

      Although a famous name can open some doors, it’s not always easy following in the footsteps of a great artist. Many children of great composers and performers have chosen to go a different route altogether, but others have found their own artistic identity.

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      CD Roundup: New Releases

      Our quarterly foray into the joyous, overflowing mass of music that is the Relevant Tones mailbag will feature highlights from the newest releases by composers from around the world. Rand Steiger: Elusive Peace (excerpt) Ben Reimer, drum set; Leanne Zacharias, cello New World 80747 2:24 Joseph Schwantner: Looking Back: I. Scurry About… Jennie Oh Brown, […]

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      Bright_Sheng

      Composer Spotlight: Bright Sheng

      Chinese composer Bright Sheng grew up hearing traditional Chinese music but became fascinated by Western classical music. As a composer, he’s forged a highly successful career blending both sound worlds into a fascinatingly distinctive sonic identity.

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      Shulamit Ran

      Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Shulamit Ran crafts music of an intimately personal nature, making her one of the most often performed composers of her generation. We’ll talk with Shulamit about her music, the Contempo music series, and her legacy at the University of Chicago, where she was a highly regarded professor for many years.

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      Seth Boustead, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Jesse McQuarters at Rautavaara's home in Helsinki, Finland.

      Seth Boustead, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Jesse McQuarters at Rautavaara's home in Helsinki, Finland.

      Modern Symphony, Part II

      The symphony is perhaps the most storied form in classical music, but that doesn’t stop critics from periodically declaring its demise. What’s happening with the symphonic form in the modern era? Who is choosing to write for large forces and how are they keeping the sound fresh?

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      Musical Moonlighters II

      When we featured composers for whom music is a second job, we discovered so many “secret” composers that we’re returning to the subject to feature another crop of musical moonlighters.

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      Sono-Luminus

      Sono Luminus

      In the short time since its launch, the Sono Luminus label has filled a vital need for composers by focusing primarily on contemporary music. We’ll talk with CEO Collin Rae about their mission and philosophy and play music from several important new releases.

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      In the Field: Colombia, Part II

      We continue our survey of music by Colombian composers and performers.

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