Contemporary Classical Music
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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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      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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      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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      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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      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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      Arvo Pärt Foundation

      Mystical Minimalist Arvo Pärt is one of the most significant composers in the 20th and 21st centuries, and in this program we’ll travel across the Baltic to Estonia to visit his musical homeland and talk with the people curating his music.

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      Into the Forbidden City and Beyond

      In a barrier-busting intercultural collaboration, the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra partnered with the New Zealand String Quartet to tour commissioned pieces by composers from both countries.  In a Relevant Tones exclusive, we’ll feature the music from this historic project.

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      Image Credit: Alex Delfanne

      What is Wandelweiser?

      Originally a German musical creation, Wandelweiser is a kind of extreme minimalism that is fast becoming popular with composers around the world. We talk with two of its creators, Jürg Frey and Eva-Maria Houben, about the phenomenal growth of this movement.

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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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      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 outlandish music.

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      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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      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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      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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      The Polish Legacy

      As part of Polish American Heritage Month, we put together a live concert of works by a wide range of composers from one of the great music-loving countries of the world . We’ll hear music from this concert and talk about the incredible legacy of classical music in Poland.

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      Has Anyone Seen the Bridge?

      Just in the last couple of years Alarm Will Sound has covered Aphex Twin, cello goddess Maya Beiser covered Led Zeppelin and the Osso Quartet recorded music of indie darling Sufjan Stevens. What’s going on here? We’ll feature this fun new trend of performers commissioning composers to arrange pop songs.

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