Contemporary Classical Music
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      Recent Programs

      LucierPreissing

      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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      finland pic

      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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      finalnd forest

      In the Field: Finland, Part I

      The next installment of In the Field brings us to a country that has exported a dizzying list of big name composers and conductors in the last couple of decades: Finland. We’ll talk with established composers and rising stars about their music and the lasting influence of the Sibelius Academy.

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      Christopher Rouse

      Composer Spotlight: Christopher Rouse

      For many years the composer-in-residence with the NY Philharmonic, Christopher Rouse combines neoromanticism with hard driving, rock-inspired rhythms to create a fascinating musical style all his own.

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      Host Seth Boustead at the 2014 Thirsty Ear Festival.  Photo by Elliot Mandel.

      The Thirsty Ear Festival (syndicated release)

      The syndicated release of Relevant Tones’ annual live contemporary music festival, recorded July 12, 2014 at City Winery in Chicago. Performers include Fonema Consort, Gaudete Brass, and Graham Reynolds.

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      Foster the Music: Ireland

      The Contemporary Music Centre in Ireland is one of the world’s foremost models of government support for composers, with dozens of composers receiving financial support, commissions and travel grants. We plunge into the incredible wealth of music created by this program.

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      darmstadt

      Foster the Music: Darmstadt

      One of the world’s most famous new music festivals has been held in Darmstadt since 1946. We’ll trace the festival from its beginnings through modern times and feature some of the seminal works that were premiered there.

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      kathleen supove

      Modern Virtuoso: Pianist Kathleen Supové

      One of America’s most acclaimed and versatile contemporary music pianists, performance artist and keyboardist Kathleen Supové is known for breaking boundaries between audience and performer and for her multimedia performances as the “Exploding Piano”.

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      Starobin-BLOG-copy

      Finding the Bridge

      Founded in 1981 by enterprising guitarist and tireless contemporary music promoter David Starobin, Bridge Records was one of the first-ever contemporary music labels and is still going strong today.

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      GrahamReynolds1

      The 2014 Thirsty Ear Festival (live WFMT broadcast)

      Relevant Tones’ annual live broadcast returns with a live, 2-hour broadcast from City Winery. Performers include Fonema Consort, Gaudete Brass, and Graham Reynolds.

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      The New York Philharmonic’s 2014 Biennial, Part II

      More music and interviews from the front lines of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Biennial.

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      New York Philharmonic

      The New York Philharmonic’s 2014 Biennial, Part I

      Relevant Tones travels to New York to feature the Philharmonic’s exciting 2014 Biennial. From world premieres by the next generation of young composers to established juggernauts, the NYP Biennial is at the cutting edge of music today.

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      Joseph Schwantner

      Joseph Schwantner

      A master of orchestral timbre and an ardent individualist, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner has been one of the most prolific composers in the 20th and 21st centuries. He visits our studios to talk about his life and music.

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