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      Recent Programs

      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

      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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      In the Field: Colombia, Part I

      Relevant Tones continues our popular In the Field series with a trip to Bogotá and Medillín for interviews with composers and performers busily making this South American country a mecca for new music.

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      Kickstarter has emerged as a viable way for artists to realize their wildest ambitions, including new albums, commissions, world premiere performances and more.  We’ll sample a few Kickstarter projects that we feel deserve wider support and recognition.

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      A Decade of New Music Chicago

      Formed as an unprecedented umbrella organization comprised of all of the groups in the city performing contemporary music, New Music Chicago is a model of large-scale, inter-organizational cooperation.  We’ll feature audio from their ten-year anniversary concert.

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      The Santa Fe Opera

      Known just as much for its idyllic setting as its commitment to commissioning exciting works from big name composers, the Santa Fe Opera Festival has been the scene for some landmark developments in modern opera. We’ll feature the premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain as well as three other fascinating Santa Fe opera commissions.

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      Music of Marrying and Burying

      Since earliest times, music has always had a ritual purpose in human society, but these ritualistic functions are often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the modern world. We’ll play music by composers still thinking of the ceremonial importance music can play in our lives.

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      Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

      Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

      Kronos Quartet

      Ground breakers, virtuosos, and commissioners of many of the world’s twentieth and twenty-first century string quartet masterpieces, the influence of the Kronos Quartet cannot be underestimated.  We’ll feature a sampling of their luminous output over the years.

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      Michael Colgrass

      Composers Among Us: Michael Colgrass

      Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass has had a varied career as jazz drummer, freelance percussionist and composer of a dizzying array of works in every conceivable genre.

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      SIRGA Festival

      A relatively new festival in a remote part of Catalonia featuring music by electro-acoustic composers, SIRGA has recently grown into an international event that brings musicians from all over the world.  Relevant Tones visits the SIRGA festival to feature audio from their concerts.

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      Composer Collectives

      The twentieth century saw an interesting movement as composers banded together in collectives to help promote each other’s work. The movement has only gotten stronger in the twenty-first century with the rise of entrepreneurialism in classical music. We’ll feature the music of several composer collectives and take a close look at their inner workings.

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      9 The Laptop Ensemble

      The Laptop Ensemble

      This week we’re exploring a newer musical medium: the laptop.  We wanted to find out what exactly groups named PLOrk, CLOrk, and Benoit and the Mandelbrots could possibly have to offer. The answer surprised us.  We discovered improvisation, live coding, and even orchestral collaboration.

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      8 A Modern Symphony

      The Modern Symphony

      Much like the novel, people are always pronouncing the symphony to be a dead form.  And yet, composers continue to write symphonies at an incredible pace.  We’ll feature music by composers around the world who are adding to the symphonic canon.

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