Meet the Composer
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Meet the Composer is a Peabody Award-winning podcast from WQXR’s Q2 Music that takes listeners into the minds and creative processes of the composers making some of the most innovative, compelling and breathtakingly beautiful music today. At the convergence of interview, music and sound design, Meet the Composer aims to show the listener who the composer is as a person, as a thinker and as an artist.
||CleanKickstart Season Three||Hi, I’m Nadia Sirota, host of Meet the Composer (MTC). MTC is a podcast that confronts the artists and art that move us, using radio storytelling to tease out what makes these pieces and people tick. We aim to share the music we love with anyone who is||5/9/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: 'Viola Concerto: Part II' by Nico Muhly||I'm so excited to share today's Meet the Composer bonus track with you. Last October, I traveled to Detroit to perform the US premiere of Nico Muhly's viola concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Leonard Slatkin. The orchestra has gr||12/27/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanNico Muhly: Community Theater||First, a disclaimer. I wanna make something clear right off the bat here: I'm completely in the tank for Nico Muhly. We went to college together and he has been one of my best friends and most frequent collaborators ever since. But! He is deeply gifted c||12/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: 'Scape' by Anna Thorvaldsdottir||This week’s Meet the Composer Bonus Track is a world premiere recording of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s piano work Scape. Scape, like many of Anna’s works, uses extended techniques to create unique, otherworldly textures. For this piece, Anna demands qu||11/23/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAnna Thorvaldsdottir: Composing Is Second Nature||Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer whose work conjures entire environments of sound, surrounding the listener in a dark and forbidding landscape. Anna thinks sonically; her music comes from a deeply non-verbal place, and she has developed a br||11/8/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: The Lost Movement of Ingram Marshall's String Quartet, "Voces Resonae"||Today’s MTC bonus track is a WORLD PREMIERE! Or, apropos of its October release, we might call it a movement brought back from the dead. This undead movement was born back in 1981, when Ingram Marshall wrote a string quartet for the Kronos Quartet ca||10/12/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanIngram Marshall: A Connecticut Hippie In California||Ingram Marshall is often called a California Minimalist, a title which, while not exactly geographically accurate, allies him with a loose cadre of artists writing ambient, visceral scores. It’s a title he’ll happily wear, but it only vaguely descri||10/4/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: LPR Live Preview||I’m thrilled this week to give you a sneak peek of a new Q2 Music podcast called LPR Live coming out this Fall. It’s hosted by Conor Hanick, a longtime friend and radio colleague, a brilliant pianist and all-around sensitive and insightful advocate||8/25/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: 'Light and Matter' by Kaija Saariaho||I am so thrilled to bring you this Meet the Composer Bonus Track! We are extremely lucky to present this recording of Kaija Saariaho's piano trio Light and Matter, taped live at the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress, just this past May 22 by||8/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanKaija Saariaho: Ears Open||Kaija Saariaho's music evokes all sorts of natural sounds, the kinds of complex, white noise-y sounds that we often tune out. She's able to take the instruments of the orchestra and pull out of them the sound of wind rustling through trees, or waves hitt||7/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: 'Stringsongs' by Meredith Monk||I am absolutely THRILLED to present this week’s bonus track, an exclusive in-studio performance of Meredith Monk’s transcendent string quartet Stringsongs. Stringsongs is Meredith’s first string quartet. Written in 2005, the piece was premiered by||7/13/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanMeredith Monk: Creation as Spiritual Practice||Living legend Meredith Monk is a composer, vocalist, dancer,choreographer and filmmaker. While all of these descriptors are technically on point, none quite gets to the bones of who she is as an artist. Meredith seamlessly blends these media into arres||6/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAnnouncing Season Two||Hi, I'm Nadia Sirota, host of Q2 Music's Meet the Composer (MTC). We set out to create something really different with MTC – a look into the minds and creative processes of composers making some of the most innovative, strange and breathtakingly bea||4/6/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: 'Intercepting a Shivery Light' by Marcos Balter||Building on a long-standing collaborative relationship, Marcos Balter wrote Intercepting a Shivery Light for the Anubis Quartet, a saxophone ensemble, in 2012. The piece's title is an anagram for Everything in its Right Place, a Radiohead song, which M||11/11/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanMarcos Balter: Failure Is an Option||For Marcos Balter, stellar composition requires the dedicated, daily practice of an athlete. He doesn't think it possible to unearth and hone brilliant musical ideas without slogging through a whole bunch of failures along the way, nor does he believe tha||10/29/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: 'Its Motion Keeps' by Caroline Shaw||In 2012, the Grammy award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus commissioned the the future Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw to write a new work for their upcoming Benjamin Britten centenary celebration concert at Carnegie Hall. The result, "Its M||10/13/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanCaroline Shaw Lives Life Beautifully||Caroline Shaw began her love affair with music at the age of two, when her mom started teaching her violin. Throughout her childhood, Caroline had a lesson every Wednesday afternoon, and sang and played in school and at music camps, falling for chamber||9/29/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: Excerpts from The Hunger by Donnacha Dennehy||In 1844, Asenath Nicholson, a school teacher, reformer and proprietor of an all-vegetarian boarding house in New York City, travelled to Ireland to "personally investigate the condition of the Irish poor." Upon her arrival, she saw the beginnings of the||9/8/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanDonnacha Dennehy: Composing With Frequency||Donnacha Dennehy is an Irish composer who thought he was going to study with spectral icon Gérard Grisey in Paris. When he showed up, however, it was apparent that Grisey had accepted him into his study under the mistaken notion that he was not, in fact, a gentleman but a lady.||8/25/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: "Sabina" from The Companion Guide to Rome by Andrew Norman||In 2007, composer and newly minted Rome Prize-recipient Andrew Norman found himself among 15 artists and 15 scholars heading to the Eternal City for a period of several months of reflection and writing. The defining work produced from this opportunity||8/11/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAndrew Norman: Better Living Through Architecture||Andrew Norman was a well-feted kid composer, a precocious pre-adolescent who wrote works with grand, filmic gestures for his middle school orchestra and had the local newspapers filling their style sections with profiles invoking Mozart. Then he went to||7/28/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: The Wind in High Places by John Luther Adams||Recorded Live in the Q2 Music Studios||7/6/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBonus Track: Meet the Composer Launch Party and Concert||Recorded Live at The Greene Space on June 24, 2014||6/30/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanJohn Luther Adams: Bad Decisions and Finding Home||John Luther Adams made all of the wrong career decisions. He got kicked out of multiple high schools, went to the "wrong" college, never finished his master's degree, and ultimately moved as close as he could to the edge of society, to a cabin, in Alas||6/23/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
Captivating, accessible window into composers
I’ve always had a hard time getting into contemporary classical music, so I was thrilled when I saw the Kickstarter for Meet The Composer. I’d previously already heard Nadia Sirota’s performances of some contemporary composers’ works, and really appreciated them. So I was excited to see what she would explore and bring to everyone’s attention.
Excellent discussions, beautiful editing, and long excerpts of music. I’ve bought recordings of the composers featured (as much as I’ve been able so far) and they are excellent—really upending my existing classical collection. :) I have appreciated how varied the episodes are: while they all cover the same kind of format, they end up going in a very composer- and music-led direction that really help to illuminate some great musicians and their music.
Awesome and wonderful
I'm so into this! For one thing, suddenly I've listened to all this music I didn't know about before. I'm passingly familiar with the occasional contemporary composer but I really don't know anything about this world and so learning about it is exciting. And the interviews and discussions are so detailed and rich, and yet not so jargony that I can't follow them. Sometimes shows that involve one expert talking to another are just...I feel how much I'm not the target audience. But Sirota keeps that from happening, for the most part. It's just a really beautifully made show and I get so excited when there's a new one. Also, they are nice and loooong. I'm wondering, though - are there some episodes that aren't up on iTunes? There are some "extras" for episodes that don't seem to exist.
Awesome interview + fresh, compelling sound design = winning formula for contemporary classical music!