Contemporary Classical Music
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      Recent Programs

      1 CD Grab Bag

      CD Grab Bag

      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 their music with our listeners. Amy Wurtz: String Quartet No. 1, I […]

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      Peter Sculthorpe, piano-sydney

      Del Sol Quartet – Quartets of Peter Sculthorpe

      This new release by the Del Sol Quartet marks the first time that all of the string quartets by Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe have appeared on one recording.  We’ll play several selections from this remarkable new album.

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      Terry Riley

      Composer Spotlight: Terry Riley at 80

      One of the key pioneers in the incredibly influential minimalist movement, Terry Riley is a restless artist who has constantly sought to reinvent himself over his long career.  We’ll start with the landmark piece In C and work our way through the numerous highlights of his musical output. Terry Riley: Emily and Alice fr. The […]

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      Assad Brothers

      Legendary Brazilian guitar duo Sérgio and Odair Assad have been performing and recording together for 50 years, reinventing guitar technique along the way.  We’ll talk with Sérgio about their remarkable career and feature music by a wide variety of composers who have written for them.

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      Jay's Grave closeup_Feb_2012

      In Memoriam  

      From Stravinsky’s famous In Memoriam: Dylan Thomas to Hindemith’s Trauermusik, composers have long written their most personal and moving music as a tribute to a friend or great figure they admired.  We’ll remember several great personalities with musical tributes by modern day composers. William Mayer: Brass Quintet, II Iowa Brass Quintet CRI 767 3:16 Ross […]

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      Manfred Wakolbinger’s "Connection"

      Manfred Wakolbinger’s "Connection"

      CONTACT! at the the NY Phil Biennial: Beyond Recall

      Matthias Pintscher leads a concert of US premieres with members of the New York Philharmonic at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. All works based on public sculptures from Salzburg.    

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      Stulginska

      Composer Alive: Poland  

      An innovative collaboration with Warsaw composer Agnieszka Stulgińska in which a piece of music is publicly performed in installments as work on it progresses.  We’ll hear Agnieszka’s thought process, play each installment, and sit alongside the composer as she hears the world premiere of the completed work.

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      phone1

      Dial Tones

      RT calls up our radio and podcasting friends around the world to find out what new music they think will dominating our airwaves and digital bit streams in 30 years.

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      Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain

      Relevant Tones partners with the Santa Fe Opera to feature a sneak preview of Jennifer Higdon’s soon-to-be-premiered first opera, Cold Mountain, based on Charles Frazier’s best-selling novel.

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      Postcard from Ukraine

      Letters from Ukraine

      Relevant Tones has been carrying on a correspondence with several musicians in this war-torn region, where making music has recently been a challenge.  We’ll share their stories and feature chamber and orchestral works by composers determined to carry on.

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      mic headphones

      Listening Party

      We invite some of our favorite musical friends to bring a new recording into the studio for listening, lively discussion and the joy of new discoveries. Max Grafe: “Bantams in Pine-wood” fr. Three Madrigals Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble 1:53 Michael Gordon: Industry Maya Beiser, amplified cello 10:23 Peter Ablinger: Drei Minuten für Orchester SWR Sinfonieorchester/Sylvain […]

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      bowed piano ensemble

      Playing it Wrong

      It gives technicians fits, but composers and performers are always experimenting with new “wrong” ways to play their instrument.  From Bartok pizz to prepared piano, multiphonics to slap tongue, many of these techniques have made it into the standard repertoire.  What new extended techniques are being pioneered today?

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      Augusta Reed Thomas

      Composer Spotlight: Augusta Read Thomas

      One of the leading composers of our time and an ardent promoter of new music throughout the world, Augusta Read Thomas is an artistic force to be reckoned with.  

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      Light Shadow in Citizen Kane

      Musical Chiaroscuro

      Literally “light-dark,” chiaroscuro in art is the creation of depth through the play of light and shadow.  This artistic technique has inspired legions of composers to try and create the same contrasts in music through timbral shadings and instrumental colors. Jacob Druckman: Chiaroscuro (excerpt) Juilliard Orchestra/Foss New World 80381 1:04 Steven Block: Shadows Slovak Radio […]

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      Drum Kit: Problem Child

      It’s essentially just a conveniently placed grouping of popular percussion instruments and yet, the drum kit is often cited as the dividing line between popular music and classical. We’ll examine how composers are using the drum kit today and what impact it’s having on genre boundaries.

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