By American Public Media
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Composers Datebook is a daily two-minute program designed to inform, engage, and entertain listeners with timely information about composers of the past and present. Each program notes significant or intriguing musical events involving composers of the past and present—with appropriate and accessible music related to each.
||CleanLou Harrison's "Pacifika Rondo"||In one of his poems entitled The Ballad of East and West, the British poet Rudyard Kipling penned a line of verse which was destined to enter the English language as an often-quote cliché: ‘Oh, Eas...||5/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDelibes plays with dolls?||In 1967, the Beatles released a song about “a girl with kaleidoscope eyes,” but on today’s date in 1870, it was “a girl with ENAMEL eyes” that was the subject of a ballet that debuted in today’s da...||5/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanElgar's Second||On today’s date in 1911, Edward Elgar conducted the first performance of his Second Symphony with the Queen’s Hall Orchestra. Now, Elgar’s First Symphony had generated a lot of excitement when it ...||5/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDa Ponte (and Mozart) in New York||In 1805, a 56-year-old Italian man of letters immigrated to America. Now, there wasn’t much call for Italian men of letters in America in those days, so over the next twenty years, in New Jersey,...||5/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBright Sheng's "Flute Moon"||Today we offer more proof (if you still need it) that the world of MUSIC, like the world in general, is getting smaller all the time. On today’s date in 1999, the Houston Symphony, led by its Germ...||5/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAdolphe's "Tyrannosaurus Sue"||Popular as the imaginary purple dinosaur named “Barney” might be with American kids, in the 1990s he got some competition from another T-Rex named “Sue.” Sue was the nearly complete fossilized skel...||5/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBeethoven in New York||On today’s date in 1846, a Grand Festival Concert took place at New York’s Castle Garden, a popular spot for 19th century Manhattanites to enjoy fireworks, balloon ascensions, ice cream, and band c...||5/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSaint-Saens and "Babe" at the organ||It’s a little ironic that at the height of his career, the great Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saens was more appreciated in England and the United States than in his native France. And so, it’s...||5/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean"Big bang" symphony by Hovhaness?||On today’s date in 1980, at 8:32 a.m. Pacific Time to be exact, Mount St. Helens erupted, its north face collapsing in a massive rock avalanche. Pressurized gasses from the volcano flattened 150 mi...||5/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBernstein's Philharmonic "stats"||On today’s date in 1969, Leonard Bernstein conducted his last concert as the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Bernstein had been named the orchestra’s Music Director in November of 1957...||5/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTower's "Concerto for Orchestra"||Joan Tower is one of America’s most famous – and quotable – women composers. She once asked audiences to imagine her idol, Beethoven, as a composer-in-residence with a modern American orchestra: “I...||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThompson's Third||In May of 1949, a Festival of Contemporary Music was underway at Columbia University in New York, and during that Festival (on today’s date, in fact) a new symphony received its first performance, ...||5/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRautavaara's Fifth||On today's date in 1986, the Finnish Radio Symphony gave the premiere performance of the Symphony No. 5 of the Finnish composer, Einojuhanni Rautavaara. The Finnish Broadcasting Company had come ...||5/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBeach at the opera||On today’s date in 1995, an opera by the American composer Amy Beach received its first professional production at Lincoln Center in New York City – 63 years after Beach completed it – in the summe...||5/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanReich and Korot tell tales||In the 1960s, an American composer named Steve Reich prepared some electronic pieces consisting of gradually shifting tape loops of the same prerecorded – and somewhat enigmatic – spoken phrases. R...||5/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLloyd-Webber's long-lived "Cats"||Primitive man probably imitated animal sounds for both practical and religious reasons. More recently, the Baroque-era composer Heinrich Franz von Biber imitated one particular animal for comic eff...||5/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVerdi gives a refund||Is the customer always right? Apparently Giuseppe Verdi thought so – to a degree, at least. On today’s date in 1872, Verdi sent a note to his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, with an attached letter he ...||5/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCopland at the movies||Some classical music snobs look down their nose at film scores, considering them less “serious” and more “commercial” than “art” music written for the concert hall. Aaron Copland, for one, deplor...||5/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSondheim at the Forum?||Stephen Sondheim was 32 years old when his musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” opened on Broadway on today’s date in 1962. The best seats in the house at New York’s Alvin The...||5/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSalieri leaves, Seidl arrives||On today’s date in 1825, the Italian composer Antonio Salieri breathed his last in Vienna. Gossip circulated that in his final dementia, Salieri babbled something about poisoning Mozart. Whether h...||5/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGeorge Perle||Today’s date marks the birthday of the American composer and musicologist George Perle, who won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1986. In a 1985 interview, Perle vividly recalled his first musical ...||5/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTchaikovsky at Carnegie Hall||If I ask, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” you say, “Practice!” (Of course!) But back in 1891, Peter Tchaikovsky would have probably answered, “by ship” – since he had, in fact, sailed from Europ...||5/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVaughan Williams' "London Symphony"||At Queen’s Hall in London, on today’s date in 1920, the British conductor Albert Coates led the premiere of the revised version of the Second Symphony, the “London” Symphony of Ralph Vaughan Willia...||5/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPleyel and Poulenc||Pleyel and Company was a French piano firm founded in 1807 by the composer Ignace Pleyel. The firm provided pianos for Chopin, and also ran an intimate Parisian 300-seat concert hall called the Sal...||5/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPurcell's "really big show"||On today’s date in 1692, London audiences at the Queen’s Theatre, Dorset Garden, were treated to a lavish theatrical entertainment entitled “The Fairy Queen.” This show was loosely based on Shake...||5/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLeo Sowerby||Today’s date marks two important anniversaries in the life of American composer, teacher, and organist Leo Sowerby, who lived from 1895 to 1968. Sowerby was born on May 1st in Grand Rapids, Michiga...||4/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDel Tredici's In Wartime||On today’s date in 2003, the Wind Ensemble of the University of Texas at Austin, led by Jerry Junkin, premiered a new work for wind band by the American composer David Del Tredici. Its title was “...||4/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHerbert's Earthquake Benefit||April 29th fell on Sunday in the year 1906, and readers of The New York Times photogravure supplement were able to view scenes of the terrible destruction in San Francisco that followed the great e...||4/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDiamond's Elegy||Despite its relation to both the physics of sound and pure mathematics, music, for most people—including composers—is essentially an emotional language. Despite its abstract sound, that’s the cas...||4/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNicholas Slonimsky, Date-Meister||We have a special DATEBOOK birthday to note today, for on this date in 1894, one of music’s great “date-meisters,” Nicholas Slonimsky, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. A self-described “failed ...||4/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
At last, from my email to my iPod
I have enjoyed this as an email for a long time. It's good to see it as a podcast. As always, I wish the music portion would be longer.
As a music student in college and a young composer, I find this podcast to be very informative. If you enjoy this podcast, you should check out Naxos' Classical Music Spotlight Podcast as it goes more in depth (average length of 20 minutes).
This is a wonderful snippit. I always enjoy it. I also wish the music portion was longer. Maybe it's just long (short?) enough for many people. I have followed through on many of the works mentioned.