Joshua and Angela share the rich musical and cultural legacy of composer, pianist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Kennedy Center Honors Inductee Tania León. A self-professed ‘citizen of the world,’ Leon defies classification while elevating the significant contributions from her Afro-Cuban, Nigerian, Chinese, and French heritage.
Angela Brown (00:08):
Hey everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Melanated Moments in Classical Music. I’m your co-host Angela Brown.
Joshua Thompson (00:17):
And I’m Joshua Thompson. Angela, Today I’ve got a composer whose melanated melange of greatness and cultural roots and influences cover the entire globe, and whose talents and compositions qualify her as one of the most revered artists of her time.
Angela Brown (00:37):
Oh, Baby. Now we’re talking. And Who is this illustrious woman of note, Mr. Joshua?
Joshua Thompson (00:45):
Oh, well, today we’re talking about none other than composer pianist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the most recent honoree of the Kennedy Center honors Tania Leon.
Angela Brown (00:56):
Joshua Thompson (00:57):
She’s, she bad. She bad. Let me give you just a little bit of background on this dynamic and diasporic cultural gem. So, she was born in Havana, Cuba in 1943. And so she is a composer, conductor, educator, and artistic consultant of Cuban African, Chinese, Spanish, and French heritage.
Angela Brown (01:22):
Joshua Thompson (01:23):
Like she is, she’s the whole pot. Like God had ingredients, he was like, mix all this together, stir, shake, and bam. She’s delicious. So she began studying piano at the age of four. And if you remember around her lifetime, when she’s born and coming of age in the sixties, Cuba is, is really kind of going through it, right? We’ve got Castro and uh, bay of pigs and all that. And so she and her family, uh, immigrate to the United States as refugees transported on those, unfortunately all too common, Miami Freedom Flights, uh, right. So she’s, uh, you know, escaping this oppressive regime. Her family and her moved to New York and she continues her or her music education at New York University. And in 1969 she becomes the founding member and the first musical director of Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theater of Harlem.
Angela Brown (02:19):
Joshua Thompson (02:19):
Yeah. And so she establish, establishes its music department, the music school, and the orchestra.
Angela Brown (02:27):
Joshua Thompson (02:28):
So she does that for quite several decades and composes. And from 1993 to 1997, she was the new music advisor to the New York Philharmonic. She served as Latin American Music advisor and to the American Composer’s Orchestra until 2001. And when I tell you I’m reading this bio and it goes on and on and on, I’m gonna hit you with the cliff notes cause she’s just done so, so much. She’s been the subject of profiles and interviews on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision, and she’s had commissions that were from the JF Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, National Endowments for the Arts, and on and,
Angela Brown (03:13):
Joshua Thompson (03:14):
Angela Brown (03:15):
Joshua Thompson (03:15):
She’s got a 40 chamber works, 10 orchestra pieces, six ballets, numerous vocal compositions and pieces for piano. She’s just absolutely stunning. And we will talk all about this fabulous lady, but that is like the quickest rundown I can give you. And that was long rundown [laughter]
Angela Brown (03:34):
Wow. I mean, she, she’s such a prolific, dynamic lady and has such an obvious representation of culture, innovation, and artistry. Just remarkable
Joshua Thompson (03:48):
Tho-those are the perfect words. And I 120% agree, I really do. So her compositions are a fantastic representation and illustration, not just of her heritage, but of her very humanistic perspective and how she views her place in the world and her role in it.
Angela Brown (04:08):
Well, how so?
Joshua Thompson (04:10):
So we’re gonna listen to a couple of her works, but I really think the best way to kind of explain this is using her own artist statement. And I think it’s, I think it’s brilliant. So she says, “I am who I am thanks to my masio heritage and my ancestors from China, Nigeria, France, and Spain. I’m a citizen of the world with a global consciousness. And I do not like to be categorized by race, gender, or nationality. My music is my contribution to mankind. This is my heritage and I’m proud of it”
Angela Brown (04:47):
All right. Now, but you on Melanated Moments in Classical Music, baby. I’m sorry, [laughter] Yeah. You like that though, Joshua?
Joshua Thompson (04:55):
I, I, Yeah.
Angela Brown (04:57):
Can we hear an example of her broad contribution to mankind and music?
Joshua Thompson (05:02):
Well, of course we can. What you thought I was going not let you listen to her stuff. Of course we can. Come on now. There’s, there really is a lot to choose from. Uh, but let’s start out, I’m gonna give you like a little softball. Right. And, uh, I really, really like the wittiness and dexterity of this first piece, mainly because it also happens to be my repertoire. It’s just so much fun. This is her prelude number one, also known as Sopressa or Surprise.
Music Plays (05:28):
[“Prelude No. 1: Sorpressa,” featuring Adam Kent on Piano by Tania Leon].
Angela Brown (06:19):
What? Well, that was, that was a surprise. [laughter] I didn’t know it was over. I was waiting. I love that. It’s quick, it’s witty and what a fun way to turn a piece on its head with the final phrase of surprise
Joshua Thompson (06:35):
My thoughts exactly. It is, it’s a quick in and out and I think it demonstrates the dexterity of the musical language that she has within her and really taps into It’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.
Angela Brown (06:47):
Yeah. She’s a combination of so many influences and cultures. Joshua, is there a piece you can think of that really highlights her Afro Cuban lineage?
Joshua Thompson (06:58):
Oh, without a doubt. Without a doubt. There there is. And it’s fun and it’s festive and it’s called Alegre, which means joyful in Spanish. Um, you know, Leon uses a very contagious Latin groove that compels one to dance and dig into those offbeat accents and really spreads into this spirit improvisation that is just, uh, well, it’s, it’s just joyful. Yeah. So listen to a little bit of joy today. How bout that?
Angela Brown (07:24):
Music Plays (07:24):
[“Alegre,” by Tania León, featuring the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble.]
Angela Brown (10:13):
Woo. That feels like dancing in the street or being at a block party baby or, or New Orleans doing the cake walk or.
Joshua Thompson (10:22):
Angela Brown (10:22):
You know, on the second line or one of them lines, child. Just fabulous. I loved it. You.
Joshua Thompson (10:28):
Angela Brown (10:29):
I remember you wanting to bring her into the show last season, not being able to coordinate the schedules and stuff. But even since last season, she’s continued this illustrious career full of compositions and accomplishments. Uh, why don’t you tell us a little bit about that?
Joshua Thompson (10:49):
For sure. And, and I do echo your sentiments. It was a whole block party and street party over here, and I saw y’all stink face as you was grooving with it. It’s, it’s just fun. It’s fun. But you know, you’re right. We, I really wanted her on the show last season. She busy, she stays busy and even since then, I mean, she’s still racking up these accolades and things that just add to this already brilliant career. Um, because I wanted to bring her on to discuss her 2021 Pulitzer Prize winning piece in music. Uh, it, it was just lauded absolutely everywhere and it was called Stride, or it is called Stride. And, and she was commissioned to do it, her and other and 19 other women composers. And hers was selected as an homage that was meant to acknowledge the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. For those of you out there unfamiliar, it’s the 19th Amendment that actually gives women the right to vote in America in 1920, right?
Angela Brown (11:48):
Joshua Thompson (11:48):
So very timely, very timely for all this. And, you know, Leon was looking for inspiration and things in her life and the life in which she lives to, to create this. And she really landed on the life and times of Susan B. Anthony, you know, the very famous suffragist as inspiration for this piece, this driving piece that archives musically the, the Women’s Rights Movement from its inception.
Angela Brown (12:15):
Yeah. Well, what, let’s hear a little bit up.
Joshua Thompson (12:19):
Okay. We can hear a portion of it. I’ve been like scanning everywhere to find a whole one and I can’t find one, uh, because it was just premiered in February of 2020. So it’s still very, very new. Um, but we’re gonna hear an excerpt from the New York Philharmonics rehearsal cause they world premiered the piece. And, uh, there’s a couple friends in that video, principal clarinetist, Anthony McGill, who we’ve had on this show. It was just kind of really special seeing him, you know, play and perform on this. So this is kind of a nice little melanated moment family type of, uh, homage, yeah, it is. So let’s listen to this excerpt of Tania Leon’s Stride, and then we’ll discuss it afterwards.
Angela Brown (13:00):
Music Plays (13:00):
[“Stride” featuring the New York Philharmonic by Tania Leon]
Angela Brown (15:57):
Joshua Thompson (15:59):
Angela Brown (16:01):
Yeah, I like that when it was, it was totally different from, uh, the Alegre, uh, the, the joyful. Uh, but you can hear the steps and the strides, uh, of, of women.
Joshua Thompson (16:16):
Angela Brown (16:16):
Making their way to their destiny to vote. So yeah. I I like this one.
Joshua Thompson (16:23):
You can, and, and it’s important to remember, this is a very small excerpt. It’s a, it’s a much broader work. And what I do like about it is there’s that consistent and steady in the low brass and percussion that boom boom boom you know, those are those, like you said, the strides and the steps that you can hear. And there’s all this crazy cacophony that’s going on in the middle. She intentionally does this cause it really compels folks to kind of go back to the history of the Women’s Suffragist movement so you can really hear what’s going on. So there’s a, uh, an interview that she did I think last year with NPR, um, that’s just excellent. Shares a few more excerpts and just kind of gives a little bit more into Ms. Leon. But I think she’s amazing. She can give you everything from a surprise to a street party and even score a whole woman’s movement. The sister is bad. And to show you how bad she is, uh, in December of this year, she’s gonna be a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, along with the likes of Ms. Gladys Knight. They’re gonna ride that midnight train to the Kennedy Center, honey.
Angela Brown (17:27):
Yeah. That’s one of my favorite singers. And I tell you that is great. Joshua, this was a wonderful feature of a composer who I’m sure many may not be aware of, cause I know this was my first time really delving into who she was. But I bet me and others are gonna take a deeper dive into her growing catalog.
Joshua Thompson (17:52):
You know, and I hope that’s the case for you and for everyone because she’s still out here kicking, she’s still representing humankind and, uh, yeah, I think she’s a fascinating person. Well worth the time taking that deeper dive. So that’s all the time we got for this episode. As always, I’m Joshua Thompson.
Angela Brown (18:12):
And I’m Angela Brown.
And this has been Melanated Moments in Classical Music.
Angela Brown (18:23):
Our product partner is our Auralex Acoustics, an Indianapolis based company dedicated to developing acoustical products that offer a high quality listening experience. We thank them for their support of our podcast.
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In this week’s playlist, we celebrate Black Music Month which takes place in June. It was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to honor and celebrate Black artists’ contributions to music. We’ll be honoring the late Herman Whitfield III, an Indianapolis native who was a gifted pianist and composer. We’ll also hear performances of artists who have been featured in season four of Classical Music Indy’s podcast, Melanated Moments in Classical Music.
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Convinced that music has the power to change lives, she is internationally recognized for her innovative approach to programming and audience development, deep commitment to education, and championing of music’s importance in the world. Marin is the first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria, and Britain, she is, as the New York Times put it, not only “a formidable musician and a powerful communicator” but also “a conductor with a vision.” Want to hear and learn more about Marin Alsop and live in the Indianapolis area? Join us Wednesday, May 25th at 7:30 p.m. for a special one-night screening of the film The Conductor, featuring internationally renowned conductor Marin Alsop.
In this week’s playlist, we have guest curator José Valencia of the Kokomo Symphony Orchestra (KSO) speaking about the organization and some of his musical background and insights. In addition to working with the KSO, Mr. Valencia is the founding music director and artistic advisor for the cutting-edge Indianapolis-based Orkestra Projekt. He is also Assistant Conductor and concertmaster of the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra.
Claiming no allegiance to either end of the historical spectrum, Brooklyn Rider most comfortably operates within the long arc of the tradition, seeking to illuminate works of the past with fresh insight while coaxing the malleable genre into the future through an inclusive programming vision, deep-rooted collaborations with a wide range of global tradition bearers, and the creation of thoughtful and relevant frames for commissioning projects.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring performances by the Los Angeles contemporary music ensemble, WILD UP. They are led by artistic director and founder, Christopher Rountree. This GRAMMY-nominated ensemble has worked with numerous artists since first forming in 2010. They have held residencies at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Colburn School, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, National Sawdust, and the Hammer Museum, and taught at dozens of educational institutions across the U.S.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you works by American composer, Rain Worthington. Some influences in her works have included world music, minimalism, and romanticism. Inspired by the energy of the contemporary classical scene, she pursued her love of orchestral music and taught herself notation and orchestration.
This week we are highlighting the Indianapolis City Market and our guest curator for this playlist, Executive Director, Keisha Harrison. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Keisha Harrison has called Indianapolis home for almost the past two years.
This year it is even more important to shine a light on the wonderful composers of film music. The Academy Awards recently mentioned that eight awards will not be presented during the live March 27th telecast including, Best Original Score, Film Editing, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound, Documentary Short, and Live-Action Short and Animated Short. The current plan is to present these eight awards during the pre-telecast hour. We stand with these artists and hope they receive the recognition they deserve.
In this week’s playlist, we are highlighting pieces and performances by women artists who have Indiana ties in honor of Women’s History Month. This annual event celebrates the important contributions of women of the past to the present. We’ll shine a light on some great woman artists who have contributed to society with their musicianship.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring the works of Grammy-nominated American composer Missy Mazzoli. Missy is an active TV and film composer, writing music for the Amazon TV show Mozart in the Jungle, and is a pianist and keyboardist with Victoire, an all-female chamber rock quintet she founded in 2008 dedicated to her own compositions.
This New York-based ensemble is currently quartet-in-residence at the John J. Cali School of Music and the Royal College of Music in London. The quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by composers of color. There are even some local ties to this amazing ensemble. Cellist Felix Umansky is a native of Carmel, Indiana, and joined the Harlem Quartet in the spring of 2015.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you the music of English composer, Rachel Portman. If you don’t know her by name, you might already know her by her music. Portman is an award-winning film composer and has scored for films like Race, The Cider House Rules, and A Dog’s Purpose just to name a few. Portman shattered the glass ceiling with her score for the 1996 film, Emma, and became the first woman ever to win an Oscar for best original score.
In this week’s Black History Month playlist, we bring you recordings by composers, performers, and artists who have been highlighted in our podcast, Melanated Moments in Classical Music. Melanated Moments is the ward-winning podcast from Classical Music Indy that shines a spotlight on musical works composed by, for, and about Black people.
We are excited to feature composer, conductor, and educator, Tania León in this week’s New Classical playlist. She is a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, León instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, co-founded the American Composers Orchestra’s Sonidos de las Américas Festivals, was New Music Advisor to the New York Philharmonic, and is the founder/Artistic Director of the nonprofit and festival Composers Now.
Moses Hogan: A Bridge That Can …
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring Spanish conductor, Juanjo Mena. This is in conjunction with the upcoming Classical Series concert by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra happening on January 28th and 29th. Mena will be leading the ISO’s, “Greetings from Latin America” concert. Juanjo Mena began his conducting career in his native Spain as Artistic Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra in 1999.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you performances by trombonist, Mark Hetzler. He was the former Principal Trombonist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as the Florida Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra. One interesting fact about Mark is that he’s a member of the experimental rock band, Mr. Chair, where he plays his trombone while hooked up to an effects pedalboard, giving it an electric trombone feel.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you the music of northern Indiana composer, Jorge Muñiz. Based in South Bend, Indiana, Jorge is a Professor of Music at Indiana University South Bend’s Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts as well as the Interim Dean. In addition to winning the First Grand Prize of the European Young Composers Competition, Muñiz has won several other international awards including the City of Alcobendas Composition Prize, the Flora Prieto Composition Prize, the Guerrero Foundation Music Prize, the Joaquin Turina Music Prize, and the Spanish Society of Authors Young Composers Competition.
This week’s playlist theme is in observance of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. January, 11th is also National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. This has become a growing issue in our time not just in the United States, but across the globe. We are raising awareness on this issue through music, specifically composer, Du Yun.
Hey, Starshine! This is Okara Imani, Media Production Fellow for Classical Music Indy, and your guide to The “I” in Classical Music. I’m here to highlight the cultural and social intersections of the classical art form, beyond the Classical Period and beyond the constructs of Euro-centric high society origins.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you performances by a group who are programming a diverse range of voices, commissioning flexible new works, and re-imagining educational programs. That ensemble is Sō Percussion. They are a percussion-based music organization that creates and presents new collaborative works to adventurous and curious audiences and educational initiatives to engaged students, while providing meaningful service to its communities, in order to exemplify the power of music to unite people and forge deep social bonds.
It’s that time of year! Bustling shops, family gatherings, and a nip in the air. This week we bring you works for the upcoming Holidays. However you may celebrate, we hope this season is full of joy and good health. The playlist is filled with many works that will surely get you in the holiday spirit.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you works by award-winning composer, Mason Bates. He is an American composer and DJ, which all translates to his works. His works often mix electronic dance music with traditional symphonic writing. Locally, his 2019 Grammy awarding-winning opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, was a Jacobs School of Music co-production with the Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and San Francisco Opera back in 2018.
For this week’s playlist, we connected with the Carmel Christkindlmarkt to create a playlist that will get you in the holiday spirit. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt has brought the old-world charm of Christmas in Germany to Carmel, Indiana. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt is an open-air Christmas market in traditional German style, and was founded as a nonprofit organization in 2017 with the support of the City of Carmel and Mayor James Brainard. It runs annually from November 20th through December 24th.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you performances by the Catalyst Quartet. The Grammy Award-winning ensemble was founded by the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Organization in 2010. They believe in the unity that can be achieved through music and imagine their programs and projects with this in mind, redefining and reimagining the classical music experience.
Alastair’s previous positions include Music Director of the Illinois Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series, Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Assistant Conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, and Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Tate has held numerous Composer-in-Residence positions and his commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and many more.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring local composer and Butler University Professor, Michael Schelle. A man of many talents, he has been the Composer in Residence and founder of the notorious JCA Composers Orchestra at Butler University, a two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in Music, a finalist for the International Humour in Poetry Competition (Paris), a published author (film music book), and a restaurant critic.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring Caroline Shaw. She is the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition, Partita for 8 Voices. Shaw is a New York-based vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She performs as a violin soloist, chamber musician, and as a vocalist in the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
Many great classical music artists have connections to Indiana. In this week’s playlist, we’ll be featuring conductor, Robert Spano, who has Indiana roots. Born in 1961 in Conneaut, Ohio, and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, he grew up in a musical family, composing and playing flute, violin, and piano.
In this week’s New Classical channel, we are excited to feature the Spektral Quartet. The quartet has received multiple Grammy nominations, as well as one Latin Grammy award. Spektral also takes great pride in its home city of Chicago: championing the work of local composers, bridging social and aesthetic partitions, and cultivating its ongoing collaborations and residencies in the Chicago region.
Also known as Indiana’s Nicest Day, this year the Penrod Arts Fair took place Saturday, September 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Annually organized by The Penrod Society, this year’s fair featured over three hundred artists, six entertainment stages, and 75 arts-related non-profit organizations, including Classical Music Indy. If you went to the arts fair, Classical Music Indy let people place a sticker on a picture of a living artist of their choice.
Ric’key Pageot: Inspiring a Mo …
This week on Classical Music Indy’s Local Classical channel, we present music by composers, performers, and conductors of Hispanic descent, both from the United States and from Latin American countries. This playlist was also guest curated by Consuelo Poland, Founder and Executive Director of the Latinas Welding Guild. Consuelo’s nonprofit organization here in Indianapolis aims to empower Latinas and all women personally, creatively, and economically through welding.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring the string quintet ensemble, Sybarite5. They have collaborated with artists like Ehsan Matoori, Shane Shanahan, Jakub Ciupinski, Clarice Assad, and more. Sybarite5 has appeared at festivals including Ravinia, Caramoor, Wolf Trap, Grand Teton, Aspen, Interlochen, Chautauqua, and many others. International appearances include Canada’s Tuckamore Music Festival, the New Docta International Music Festival in Cordoba, Argentina, and the Osaka Festa in Osaka, Japan.
All the great classical music we love has to have started somewhere, and often that place was in the classroom. All your favorite classical music composers, conductors, soloists, and more couldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for music educators. In this week’s playlist, we are featuring works chosen by Indiana music educators in honor of National Arts in Education Week.
Known as “Indiana’s Nicest Day” and one of the largest single-day arts fairs in the country, The Penrod Arts Fair is taking place this year on Saturday, September 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s fair will feature over three hundred artists, six entertainment stages, and 75 arts-related non-profit organizations, including Classical Music Indy, all taking place at the beautiful Newfields.
In this week’s New Classical channel we are excited to feature conductor, Eun Sun Kim. She is the first Asian woman conductor to lead an American opera company. As of August 1, 2021, Eun Sun Kim is the Music Director of the San Francisco Opera. A native of Seoul, Kim studied composition and conducting and later continued her studies in Stuttgart where she graduated with distinction. After graduating she went on to win First Prize in the International Jesús López-Cobos Opera Conducting Competition at the Teatro Real.
In this week’s playlist, we are highlighting artists that are performing in this year’s ChamberFest Brown County. The festival is taking place from August 17th-22nd in Nashville, Indiana. Part of ChamberFest’s mission has been to bridge divides in rural Indiana through classical music performance and education of the highest caliber.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring the recordings from the 2020 Micro Composition Project. This Classical Music Indy Program has been very successful and we are excited to share the upcoming premiere concert date for the 2021 Micro Composition Project. The works will premiere at the Indianapolis Propylaeum’s Porch Concert Series on Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This week’s playlist highlights living composers, new music specialist artists, and the work of the Music in Bloom Festival, coming to Indianapolis audiences August 11–14, 2021. From full orchestra to solo works, your host, concert pianist, and Music in Bloom founder/Artistic Director, Clare Longendyke guides listener’s through Music in Bloom’s featured artists of past and present.
The Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra has been the ensemble-in-residence at the Indiana History Center and the University of Indianapolis since 1999. Their performances and recordings are all performed with period instruments built between 1600 and 1750. They make it a mission to perform and promote music of the 17th and 18th centuries using period instruments and historically informed performance practices.
Inclusive Practices You Can In …
As a listener-supported service, we wanted to program a playlist featuring works specifically selected by our listeners. At the beginning of June, we sent out surveys requesting our listener’s favorite classical pieces, periods, and soloists. The results were great and this playlist includes a little of everything based on the responses. Thank you for making our streaming service possible.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring award-winning American composer, Joel Puckett. His music is performed by the leading artists of our day and is consistently recognized by organizations such as the American Composers Forum, BMI, Chorus America, National Public Radio, and the American Bandmasters Association
2021 marked the one-year anniversary of Krzysztof Penderecki’s death. As a polish composer and conductor, Penderecki became a leader in the world of contemporary music. One of his first groundbreaking works was his avant-garde piece, Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. His music often confronted subjects such as social injustice, religion, and politics.
Since 1979, June has been known as Black Music Month. In the classical music world, black artists are so often underrepresented. In this month’s playlist, we’ll be highlighting music by black composers, soloists, conductors, and more. This playlist has selections spanning from the 17th century to today.
As a composer, Xavier did most of his studies privately with Rodrigo Asturias. In 2013 he won the Silver Medal at the fourth International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition in Prague. Xavier studied music theory at the University of Cincinnati where his thesis was ranked no. 4 in the National Best-Seller Dissertation List. He obtained his Ph.D. in composition at the University of California San Diego where he studied with Roger Reynolds, Philippe Manoury, and Chinary Ung.
Corey Denham‘s project resulted in an album that highlights a modern language of classical improvisation for flute and percussion with Jenna Page. This album draws upon experiences and memories from specific landmarks around Indianapolis, recreating the atmosphere of these locations and connecting Indianapolis listeners to places they know and love.
In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, this week’s New Classical streaming playlist will be featuring Dr. Loretta K. Notareschi and her piece String Quartet OCD. Dr. Notareschi is a professor of music at Regis University and is very open about her mental health. One of the hardest moments of her life was when she grappled with an unnerving postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In 2020, The Classical Music Indy Recording Fellowship sought to provide an opportunity for two outstanding musicians to engage in a top-of-the-line recording experience of their own choosing, while providing mentorship on developing a career in the recording industry. One of the chosen fellows was Chloe Boelter. Chloe recorded a set of female-composed French and German art songs.
In this week’s playlist, we’ll be featuring Argentinean bandoneonist, Héctor Del Curto. Born into a family of bandoneon players, Mr. Del Curto was introduced to the world of Tango and bandoneon by his grandfather, Héctor Cristobal. By the age of 17, he had won the title “Best Bandoneon Player Under 25” in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the “Last Giant of Tango.”
In honor of April being the Month of the Young Child, this playlist was made with kids in mind. We’ll be featuring works that have been in the Fantasia films, cartoons, and more. Pieces like Sergei Prokofiev’s, Peter and the Wolf Op. 67, are great examples of classical music to introduce to children as it includes a spoken narrative.
In this week’s playlist, we’ll be featuring music selections from films in honor of the upcoming 2021 Oscars. There is one composer whose works you will hear much of in this playlist and that is the great John Williams. Also included in this playlist is a film score that is a contender for an Oscar this year. It is from the film, Minari and the music is by Emile Mosseri.
In this week’s Local Classical channel, we’ll be highlighting local Indianapolis musician, Mark Ortwein. Mark is a bassoonist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, but his talents don’t stop at bassoon since he is also a sought-after instrumental doubler. Over the last 20 years, Mark has performed in many different musical projects including professional recordings, musical theater, chamber ensembles, jazz, and R&B groups, as well as many orchestral performances, including being a member of the Saxophone section for the Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel.
Ignatius Sancho: Composing the …
In this week’s playlist, we are excited to feature American Composer David Lang. Lang is already an accomplished composer as he is a Grammy and Pulitzer prize winner. Lang is one of America’s most performed composers and many of his works resemble each other only in the fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform their structures. His catalog is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber, and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling, and very emotionally direct.
Our friends at The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) have a Laureate Series that features prize winners of past competitions and special guests. As for the competition, violinists from around the world come to compete at this prestigious organization elevating the arts scene in Indianapolis. During this month of March, the IVCI is bringing back 1994 gold medalist Juliette Kang and 2006 laureate Bella Hristova. Since their initial visits to the IVCI, both their careers have been quite fruitful and their names have received international acclaim.
Laura Karpman: Catch the Fire …
The second segment in guest host Clare Longendyke’s Amplify! series presents a program of works by female-identifying composers of color as a celebration of the intersection between Black History Month and Women’s Month. This eclectic program highlights works that celebrate multicultural musical styles from around the world. Enjoy pieces by some of Clare’s favorite living female composers mixed with some of the most important female voices of classical music’s past, voices that continue to influence the aesthetics and compositional approaches of composers today.
This week, we partner with our friends at the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO) to feature the music from the 1927 silent film Metropolis. Since 1984, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra’s mission has been to advance and promote music composed for the small orchestra through professional concert performances and education programs. On Saturday, March 20th Fritz Lang’s Metropolis will be accompanied live by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
As Women’s History Month begins, we are highlighting women musicians, composers, and conductors of the past and present. In this week’s playlist, we are featuring London-born composer Anna Clyne. Anna Clyne is a GRAMMY-nominated composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Described as a “composer of uncommon gifts and unusual methods” in a New York Times profile and as “fearless” by NPR, Clyne’s work often includes collaborations with cutting-edge choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians. From 2010–2015, Clyne served as a Mead Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Ways to Better Support LGBTQ+ …
The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) Laureate Series features prize winners of past competitions and special quests. During this month of February, the IVCI is bringing back the 2014 Silver Medalist Tessa Lark. Ms. Lark has been a featured soloist at numerous U.S. orchestras, recital venues, and festivals since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen.
Make Music Meaningful for Chil …
In this week’s New Classical playlist, we’ll be featuring works by American composer Robert Paterson. Robert Paterson was named Composer of The Year in 2011 by the Classical Recording Foundation at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. His music has been on the Grammy ballot for the past six seasons, and his works have appeared on National Public Radio’s Best of the Year lists for classical music and regularly appear on radio playlists across the United States.
In this week’s Local Classical channel we’ll be featuring recently retired Indiana University Clarinet Professor James Campbell. James Campbell has been a soloist with over 60 orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Russian Philharmonic, and the Montreal Symphony, and has performed Copland’s Clarinet Concerto four times with Aaron Copland conducting.
This week we bring you the music of Dr. Bill Banfield. Dr. Banfield is an award-winning composer whose symphonies, operas, chamber works have been performed and recorded by major symphonies across the country. Few have a wider, performed professional composing output, that has had public concert performances, reviews, radio, recordings of some 12 symphonies, 7 opera, 9 concerti, chamber, jazz, and popular forms. This alone making Dr. Banfield one of the most performed, recorded composers of his generation. In 2010 and 2016, Dr. Banfield served as a Pulitzer Prize judge in American music.
In this week’s playlist, we feature the music that was highlighted in the latest installment of Classical Pairings Host Challenge. Beginning mid-November 2020, a different Indianapolis arts leader challenged host Nicholas Johnson with a piece of music to pair with a cocktail, using a local spirit.
In this week’s programming, we bring you music that has been nominated for the 2021 Grammy Awards! The Grammy’s take place near the beginning of each year, however, this year the awards have been pushed back to March 14, 2021, due to Covid-19 precautions. We’ll be featuring music by composers Shulamit Ran, Jennifer Higdon, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. This dynamic trio released their album in collaboration with the Pacifica Quartet entitled, Contemporary Voices in 2020. It has been nominated in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. The Indiana University-based quartet is also joined by alto saxophone soloist and Indiana University faculty member, Otis Murphy.
Teaching Your Kids At Home? He …
Nicholas Sokol is a composer, conductor, and pianist specializing in solo, chamber, orchestral, choral, and electronic music. Nicholas’ music has been performed throughout the United States and at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall. His music has been performed by members of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, members of the New World Symphony, the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, and the Atlantic Music Festival New Music Ensemble.
As we eagerly enter into the new year, we’ll celebrate by featuring Americana works. This weeks’ playlist features the album Not Our First Goat Rodeo. The album is a fun mix between Classical and Bluegrass and is sure to get you into the 2021 spirit. Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile star in this fun and genre-blending album. This is a sequel from their 2013 Grammy award-winning album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions.
This is not a story to pass on …
Eric Salazar holds a B.M. in Clarinet Performance from Ball State University and an M.M. in Clarinet Performance from Bowling Green State University. He has performed as a soloist and group musician in 8 states of the US and overseas in Belgium. Salazar was also a part of 2020’s Micro Composition Project, in which Classical Music Indy commissioned six different Indianapolis-based composers to create new engaging works to disrupt the genre’s traditional listening experience.
The first segment in guest host Clare Longendyke’s Amplify! series presents a program of works by black composers. As performers and audiences around the world aim to expand the classical music stage to include a more equitable and diverse array of voices, this radio program strives to do the same by introducing listeners to new names in classical and contemporary music, new works from these composers, and new aesthetics within classical composition. As music is truly a universal language, let us work to fight inequality and injustice in classical concert music by amplifying the voices that have too long been silenced. Connect with Classical Music Indy’s New Classical Streaming channel to hear Clare Longendyke’s Amplify! playlist.
5 Helpful Tips for Teaching Hi …
Composer Mina Keohane’s self-titled group is undeniably jazz but draws more influences from rock and hip-hop grooves rather than the standard swing or bop styles. The Group has been steadily making a name for themselves with a fanbase in the midwest, New England, Down South, and parts of Europe. The beautiful emotional pieces on the album are complemented by tunes with dissonance and edgy bass and drum grooves. Fans of creative modern instrumental music will love the Mina Keohane Group’s Doppelganger.
As the Christmas holiday approaches, we wanted to get you in the spirit in a new way. Composer Phil Kline came up with a unique way of Christmas caroling in 1992 where he made the audience become the performer. Phil Kline composed four tracks of music that each participant gets in the form of a CD, cassette, or mp3. Every participant gets a different track and the tracks are meant to be played at the same time, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture that is different from every listener’s perspective.
Timothy Gondola, 26, was born in Ithaca, NY, grew up and resides in Indiana. He majored in geography and minored in music at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN). He’s pursuing a Master’s in GIS at IUPUI. At age four, Timothy started learning piano from his mother. At Macalester College he discovered jazz, delving into the jazz piano repertoire by learning Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum transcriptions, including ones he transcribed himself. In 2013, he also started taking lessons in jazz with Mike Vasich, and classical lessons with Lauri Saeger-Wright.
This week we bring back guest streaming host, Clare Longendyke. Clare is an award-winning pianist who is nearing completion of her doctorate in piano performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and is the founder and artistic director of the Music in Bloom Festival, a series of concerts in Indianapolis highlighting classical music from the 21st century. She is a sought-after pianist, performing over 50 concerts a year in North America and Europe. This week, Clare explores the music of French musical pedagogue and composer Nadia Boulanger.
Rob Funkhouser is an Indianapolis-based composer, performer, and instrument builder. He recently received an M.M. from Butler University in Music Composition, and most recently completed confidently, but with an awkward gait for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.
Since 1990, November has been established as National Native American Heritage Month. America has always had a mosaic of cultures dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land. This week on Classical Music Indy Streaming’s New Classical channel, we feature music by two Native Americans, R. Carlos Nakai, and Brent Michael Davids.
Composer Andy Akiho has been recognized with many awards during his career, including the Rome Prize, Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize, Harvard University Fromm Commission, the American Composers Orchestra, Carlsbad Commission for the Calder Quartet, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, and Chamber Music America.
Part of Classical Music Indy’s Micro Composition Project, this week we’ll be featuring Indianapolis-based American composer, multi-media artist, and pianist, Gabrielle Cerberville. Originally from New York State, Cerberville holds a degree in composition from Butler University.
Running from September 15, the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, to October 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
In addition to featuring music by living composers, part of the vision for CMI Streaming’s New Classical channel is to give you fresh takes on the classical music you already know and love. We make good on that promise this week with the Classical Hits Reimagined playlist
Turn an ear to podcast host an …
This week on our Local Classical channel, CMI Streaming presents our first Classical Block Party. Created in collaboration with some of our local business partners, we present some of classical music’s best “jams” as well as music paired with some of the best local summer food, beer, and cocktails.
The Chineke! Foundation was founded in 2015 to provide career opportunities for young Black and Minority Ethnic classical musicians in the UK and Europe. In 2017, the Chineke! Orchestra, the organization’s flagship ensemble, made its BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall in August and performed at many other leading festivals throughout England, all to great critical acclaim.
With stay-at-home restrictions and many arts events cancelled, the staff at Classical Music Indy miss seeing our arts colleagues in person, going to concerts, and seeing audiences react to the great work our local arts organizations provide in our community.
May is Jewish American Heritage Month and we celebrate this week by featuring music by composer Osvaldo Golijov. Though he was born in Argentina to Romanian parents and spent time living in Israel, Golijov joined the faculty of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1991.
Despite the fact that we’re all stuck inside, and aside from the occasional random overnight freeze, spring has sprung in Indiana. To celebrate spring, we’re digging into the CMI archives this week to bring you Rob Funkhouser’s “Three Peacetime Images for Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park.”
Angela Brown brings her unbrid …
This week on CMI Streaming we feature local composer and Butler University faculty member Frank Felice. Felice is an eclectic composer who writes with a postmodern mischievousness: each piece speaks in its own language, and they can be by turns comedic or ironic, simple or complex, subtle or startling or humble or reverent.
As we wrap up our Women’s History Month programming, we feature music this week by composer and vocalist Hanna Benn. Benn’s multi-disciplinary approach has incorporated dance, opera, and theatre — submerging boundaries and discovering new sonic landscapes in the process.
We continue our celebration of Women’s History Month on CMI Streaming with this week’s featured artist, pianist Kate Boyd. An active soloist and chamber musician, Boyd has performed solo recitals at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Schubert’s birth house in Vienna, the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Musikhalle Hamburg, in addition to many places throughout the US, Greece, Ireland and Canada.
We continue our celebration of Women’s History Month this week by featuring music by composer Eliza Brown. Brown’s work is often interdisciplinary, with a recent focus on musical theater and opera. She also writes music that is, what she calls, intertextual, opening dialogues with existing pieces of music, historical styles, and other cultural artifacts.
All this month on CMI Streaming, we celebrate Women’s History Month by featuring the musical contributions of women artists, including composers and performers. American composer Jennifer Higdon taught herself to play the flute at age 16 before beginning formal music studies at age 18 and composition at age 21. Despite the late start, Higdon has become one of the most often-performed contemporary composers.
We continue our Black History Month programming this week with our featured artist, soprano Angela Brown. Born in Indianapolis, Brown has led a world-renowned career as a vocal soloist. Her highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted Angela onto the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages.
Throughout the month of February, CMI Streaming is celebrating Black History Month by featuring music by African-American performers, conductors, and composers. This week, we’ll hear several pieces performed by brothers Anthony and Demarre McGill.
In collaboration with the Ronen Chamber Ensemble, this week we feature violinist Pavel Berman. Berman won the 1990 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and serves as guest artist with the Ronen Chamber Ensemble in their performance at the Glick Indiana History Center.
Flutist Amy Porter has led a distinguished career as a performer and has been hailed by critics for both her performance and her passion for scholarship. In 2006, Porter became the first performing artist to be awarded the University of Michigan’s Henry Russel Award for distinguished scholarship and teaching ability and she has been featured as a soloist with orchestras around the world.
This week on CMI Streaming’s New Classical channel, we feature an ensemble that has made a name for themselves performing music by living composers. Eighth Blackbird has been hailed as “one of the smartest, most dynamic ensembles on the planet” by the Chicago Tribune.
Clarinetist Elizabeth Crawford, a faculty member at Ball State University’s School of Music and CMI Streaming’s featured artist for this week, is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and later studied at Furman University, the University of Michigan, and Florida State University. A longtime member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Crawford spent the early 2000’s living in London, where she had the opportunity to perform with nearly all the major orchestras in England.
Ohio-based composer Rick Sowash strives for a sense of authenticity in his music. In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Sowash spoke of the influence of his grandmother, who, though she has passed away, still influences his compositional process, keeping him grounded in music that truly comes from who he is.
This week on CMI Streaming’s local channel, we feature the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Founded in 1986 by Henry Leck, each year, the ICC serves more than 2,500 singers between the ages of 18 months and 18 years who are enrolled in the ICC’s various music education programs.
This week on CMI Streaming, we feature music by John Williams, an iconic American composer who has been nominated for 51 Academy Awards for his work on music for films dating back to 1967. His first win in the Best Original Score category came in 1975 with his score for Jaws. Just two years later, perhaps Williams most iconic work earned him another Oscar win, with his score for 1977’s Star Wars.
This week on CMI Streaming, we feature our very own Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 1930, by Ferdinand Schaefer, the ISO turned fully professional in 1937. Shortly after this transition, the orchestra gained national prominence, releasing a series of phonograph recordings RCA Victor and Capitol Records in the 1940s and 50s.
The Dover Quartet rose to international prominence following a sweep of the 2013 Banff Competition, at which they won every prize. Named the Cleveland Quartet Award-winner, and honored with the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Dover Quartet has become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world, performing more than 100 concerts in North America in 2018 and 2019
Canadian Brass performs at Clo …
The concert series “Sacred Art …
Annie Fischer was a Hungarian-Jewish pianist of great renown. Although an unfamiliar musician to Americans, her passion for music and excellent performance ability were greatly admired by her contemporaries. Fischer left behind a wealth of recordings, some from the studio and many from her live performances.
Get ready to dance! Although an unfamiliar style to some, klezmer is a music that has an undeniable folk sound that is combined with rhythms of dance. This musical style uses instruments to imitate the laughter and/or weeping of the human voice and is most often heard during times of merriment. Read below to learn more, and to listen to some recordings at the end.
Rebecca Clarke is a name many violists know. She was an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, and composer during post-Victorian Era England. Despite a controlling and abusive father, she was able to leave her mark on the world with her musical achievements.
When George Walker won the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his work in 1996, famed conductor Zubin Mehta wrote in the Star Ledger, “this composer has finally gotten the recognition he deserves.” With an active career as a pianist and composer, Walker has made incredible contributions to the classical music world.
James Aikman, Composer-In-Residence with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, has written a new concerto for viola, which will be premiered on April 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm, with soloist Csaba Erdélyi, ICO principal violist. We’ve put together this playlist to preview the ICO performance at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University.
The F. Bruce Peck Jr. Music Library at Classical Music Indy contains a wealth of classical recordings, many what you would expect – Beethoven, Bach, Brahms. We are also thrilled to house a number of albums that feature works by outstanding women composers like Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger, Valerie Coleman, and Jennifer Higdon. See what music is in our library and why we love it!
Margaret Allison Bonds is an often-unsung master of classical music. Her first-rate works blend styles of African and European origin, and her compositions for voice and piano have profoundly moved audiences. Bonds is best known for her collaborations with the great African American poet Langston Hughes. Read below about Bonds’ life, career, and musical contributions to the American classical music world.
Anne Duthie McCafferty grew up in Indianapolis and has played with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 45 seasons. She never thought she would have the chance to have a performance job, but when the opportunity arose she took it. Since then, McCafferty has performed for millions of people, performed numerous fantastic pieces, and coordinates the local chapter of Classical Revolution. Read below about her life, career, and impact on Indy.
Indianapolis has a robust local classical music scene, worthy of being treasured as one of our city’s defining assets. And with NOTE, Classical Music Indy aims to tell stories that will delight and surprise avid classical fans, as well as welcome those new to the world of classical music. For this first issue, we chose to feature Women in Music, to celebrate local influencers past and present that have made stunning accomplishments not only with their talent, but also with their leadership in the genre.
We put together a playlist of often unsung masterpieces by composers of African descent. Featuring music with a distinctly American sound by composers like William Grant Still and Florence Beatrice Price, and classical era music by French composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
To help your Valentine’s Day plans, Michael Toulouse created a list of music inspired by the Lover’s Holiday. He shares a list bathed in the full spectrum of love, from the totally imaginary, to the tragically unrequited, to the ecstatically fulfilled, to the catastrophically extinguished. Some of these loves were concrete, while others were more abstract. But they had one thing in common: they all inspired great music.
Vicky Chow has been called a “new star of new music” by the Los Angeles Times and is an incredible performer of newly composed music. To preview her performance on February 6 at 7pm at the IMA Galleries at Newfields, we put together this playlist that shows off her work as a soloist and chamber musician. Get 20% off your tickets…
PRISM Quartet is a legendary saxophone quartet that the New York Times calls “A bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets.” We’ve put together this playlist to preview their performance with Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis at the Glick Indiana History Center on January 31, 2018 at 7:30 pm.
It’s not fake news, it’s very real. This Month in Classical Music History is a series dedicated to finding stories of the good, the bad, and the downright weird. In this article, read about a Beethoven historian who blatantly made things up, the NY Phil’s Young People’s Concerts under Leonard Bernstein, and a scandalous dance scene from an opera that was so seductive, all subsequent performances were cancelled.
There’s a wide world of under appreciated holiday music out there just waiting to be discovered. So if your holiday wish list includes a request for some fresh seasonal sounds, Kyle Long has assembled an assortment of recommended albums for you to enjoy.
Robin Cox is a violinist and composer bringing unique performance projects to Indianapolis. Previously based in L.A., Cox has found accessibility and inclusivity in the Midwest arts scene, allowing the composer more freedom in his own work. Read below about the music and watch the amazing performances created by Robin Cox.
This week we asked Classical Music Indy’s own Program Director, Michael Toulouse, to reflect on emotions in music. Read below about the long history of music describing human expression, and how though our modern attention spans have shortened, music can almost instantaneously evoke a feeling.
Here at Classical Music Indy we are thankful for our community, our generous donors, and, of course, our talented performers! We connected with several of our musicians to see what Thanksgiving traditions they have with their families. From food to family to music, each artist has their own unique Thanksgiving customs. Read below to see how Corey Denham, Bethany Daugherty, Laura Recendez, Maya Nojiri Sutherland, John Alvarado, and Jennifer Gallegos spend their Thanksgiving!
For Transgender Awareness Week we wanted to highlight a truly innovative individual from classical music, Wendy Carlos. During her 40 year career, she has pioneered new technology and been wildly successful, while also being true to herself and inspiring the LGBTQ community with her openness about transitioning. Read below about her recording career, success as a composer, and reflections on her life.
In the third week of October people across America celebrate Free Speech Week. In this country, we have the ability to freely express ourselves in words or music. While some classical composers may have experienced censorship during their lives, it didn’t keep them from expressing their views!
Classical music is rich with history of magnificent music, compelling divas, and innovative composers. Not every world premiere was grand, however. This Month in Classical Music History is a series dedicated to finding stories of the good, the bad, and the downright weird. This month read about the first opera composed in the New World, the life of the violin maker Guarneri del Gesù, and Beethoven’s last will and testament.
Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer of the Romantic Era. He began performing at age 10 and is known for his instrumental works and his opera, Sampson et Dalila. In honor of Camille’s birthday on October 9, 1835, we put together this playlist of our favorites!
Clara Schumann was a German musician and composer and was one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. Her concert career changed the format and repertoire of the piano recital. In honor of Clara’s birthday on September 13, 1819, we put together this playlist of our favorites by her!
Over the summer we ran a three …
August is Romance Awareness Month. Even if you had no idea such a thing existed, you have nearly a week to make up for the oversight. And making up is the point. Romance Awareness is all about reconnecting, rejuvenating, and even rekindling our most important relationships.
Rhythm! Discovery Center is the creative vision of the Percussive Arts Society. Described as “the world’s first fully-interactive drum and percussion museum,” Rhythm! Discovery Center takes an innovative approach to experiencing the universality of rhythm and percussion. We spoke with Joshua Simonds, Executive Director of the Percussive Arts Society and Rhythm! Discovery Center, to learn more about this unique institution in Indianapolis.
Leonard Berntsein was an extremely versatile composer who wrote music for everything from solo voice to a full-sized chorus and orchestra. And while he did write wildly popular shows for Broadway, like West Side Story, he also wrote pieces based on his Jewish faith and ancient philosophers. Enjoy!
Classical music is rich with history of magnificent music, compelling divas, and innovative composers. Not every world premiere was grand, however. This Month in Classical Music History is a series dedicated to finding stories of the good, the bad, and the downright weird. This month, we’ve dug up moments from history that are often overlooked. Read about a composer’s poisonous encounter with mushrooms, a prominent opera house, and the first stereo!
Nerds, assemble! We’ve put together a playlist of the greatest video game soundtracks of all time. Remember the first time you defeated that boss? Don’t worry, that feeling of nostalgia is normal. Be transported back to another world with these top fan favorites!
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we spoke with Zach Rupp, Assistant Brewer and Cellerman with TwoDEEP Brewing Co. Zach shares his favorite types of music, why he likes working at TwoDEEP, and what he listens to while enjoying a TwoDEEP brew.
Performance anxiety is an issue for numerous musicians, from beginner to veteran. With symptoms ranging from the shakes to a full blown disappearance of skill, once that ball is rolling how do you stop it? Classical Music Indy asked Dr. Miranda George, a trumpet player, vocalist, and teacher who has lectured and written about performance anxiety, to write a three part series on the topic. In Part 3 of the series, Dr. George provides guidance for teachers, conductors, and leaders of ensembles on the ways they can create an environment of performance confidence.
Classical Music Indy now brings you free weekly listening playlists through Spotify. Gustav Mahler, the renowned conductor, visionary composer, and uncompromising idealist in all things musical, was born on July 7, 1860. “A symphony should be like the world,” he preached to a fellow composer, and he provided plenty of real-world examples to show what he meant.
Performance anxiety is an issue for numerous musicians, from beginner to veteran. With symptoms ranging from the shakes to a full blown disappearance of skill, once that ball is rolling how do you stop it? Classical Music Indy asked Dr. Miranda George, a trumpet player, vocalist, and teacher who has lectured and written about performance anxiety, to write a three part series on the topic. In this second article of her three part series, Dr. George explains key strategies that sufferers from stage fright can implement to keep them on track.
We’re taking a moment to honor the founders of the Fine Arts Society (now Classical Music Indy), who teamed up exactly 49 years ago to bring classical music to everyone via radio. This list was prepared with Norbert Neuss, F. Bruce Peck, and their supporters in mind.
Last year while developing our summer issue of NOTE magazine, we discovered that Paul Page was one of the first radio hosts for WAIV, the Indianapolis station that first broadcast Classical Music Indy (formerly the Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis). The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016 was Paul’s final year announcing the race before retiring. This article, that ran in NOTE in May 2016, is a tribute to his amazing life and legacy. Guest contributor, Jill Ditmire, talked to Paul about his life and what led him from classical music radio to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a broadcasting career spanning more than 46 years. Enjoy learning about Paul Page – the Voice of the Indy 500!
Performance anxiety is an issue for numerous musicians, from beginner to veteran. With symptoms ranging from the shakes to a full blown disappearance of skill, once that ball is rolling how do you stop it? Classical Music Indy asked Dr. Miranda George, a trumpet player, vocalist, and teacher who has lectured and written about performance anxiety, to write a three part series on the topic. In this first article, Dr. George explains the signs and root causes of this issue, and how engaging in a conversation of the topic may help teachers reach their struggling pupils.
This week Classical Music Indy continues to honor Jewish American Heritage Month by taking a look at “the most original musical thinker of our time” – Steve Reich. Over the course of his 60 year career, Reich has helped pioneer and develop American Minimalism and Postminimalism, through the innovative use of phasing and electronics. Read below about Reich’s life and how his Jewish heritage influenced his work.
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we talk to Anne Maschmeyer, Beautification Director with Downtown Indy, Inc. She shares about her career and how music influences her life and work as a proponent of improving quality of life in Indianapolis.
For some seniors in our community, every day is a struggle with reduced mobility, lack of transportation, and limited resources, decreasing their social interaction and recreational opportunities. To combat these forces, Classical Music Indy provides the Senior Series, which brings live music directly to residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers.
Ever wondered how to improvise like a Jazz pro? For this week’s blog, Shawn Goodman shares with us her step-by-step method for teaching Jazz improvisation. Shawn Goodman is an Indianapolis Jazz musician and educator. Her method focuses on learning how to hear chord changes. Musicians and music educators, take note of this great method!
Classical Music Indy employs a diverse range of musicians for our events around Indianapolis. In 2016 we hired 95 musicians. Classical Music Indy has dedicated our blog articles to outstanding women musicians this month. We’ve shared about great women music educators in America and about under-recognized women musicians throughout history. This week, we take a look at a few of Classical Music Indy’s top performers – women who are doing great work here and now in the city of Indianapolis. Read below about these incredibly talented musicians, and hopefully you’ll hear them at one of our events in the near future!
In honor of Women’s History month, Classical Music Indy takes a look at four important figures from Classical Music history. Hildegard von Bingen, Barbara Strozzi, Fanny Hensel, and Amy Beach were all women who impacted future generations with their musicianship. Each of these four women had their own struggles during their time, but still made their voices heard. Read below to learn about each musician’s life and musical works!
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we are featuring Eloise Paul, a Mentor at the Andre B. Lacy School of Business at Butler University, and Board Member of Classical Music Indy. She shares with us how music has helped her throughout her life, why she became involved with Classical Music Indy, and why the arts are important to Indianapolis.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked Lauren Kapalka Richerme, Assistant Professor of Music Education at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, to profile two female innovators in the field of Music Education. Read below about Francis Elliot Clark and Patricia Shehan Campbell, two women who have had profound influence on the lives of children and the promotion of music as a key to educational success.
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we talked with Carl Butler, the Principal Flute for the Indiana Wind Symphony and Vice President, Legal, at Angie’s List. He talks about how important music is to him, and how it has helped him in his career as a lawyer.
How can music help a child in need? The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra is a family and youth development program of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra aimed at providing music education and skill-building to Indianapolis youth. Krystle Ford, Associate Director of the MYO, shares with us how using music as a medium can teach a student important life skills and provide a way for the whole family to come together.
To help your Valentine’s Day plans, we asked Classical Music Indy’s very own talented radio host, Michael Toulouse, to create a list of music inspired by the Lover’s Holiday. Michael shares what makes each of these pieces particularly inspiring, tragique, and romantic.
Part of Classical Music Indy’s ongoing work is to highlight diversity in the classical music world, and explore the unique voices and perspectives of multicultural musicians and audiences. In recognition of Black History Month, Classical Music Indy honors two of the Black musicians who made history by gracing concert stages and bringing unique cultural experiences to the music they performed.
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. Christina Summers, from Christel House Academy, has a background in theater and education. Read below to hear Christina’s thoughts on how music affects her life, the importance of arts in education, and why students should have opportunities to be creative.
We’ve asked composer Dr. Scott Perkins to write about his experience overseas exploring Silesia, where famed composer Olivier Messiaen was a prisoner of war during World War II. Dr. Perkins writes how Nazi guards encouraged Messiaen’s continued music-making once they realized his stature. Crowds of prisoners and Nazi guards gathered to listen to performances. Messiaen found some semblance of freedom despite the captivity. He continued communicating in the language he knew best – his music.
This week our friend John Alvarado, Lecturer of Guitar at IUPUI and President of the Indianapolis Society of the Classical Guitar, discusses the presumed dichotomy of classical guitar vs electric guitar in the musical community. Read below to learn how these two genres don’t need to be separated as much as some may think.
As we approach the end of this year, we take time to contemplate the successes of our organization. Classical Music Indy’s President and CEO, Molly Deuberry Craft, writes that 2016 was “a notable year.” Read below to see all that CMI has achieved this year in the name of music. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!
The holidays are for spending time with family, relaxing, and treating ourselves. Music students and professionals deserve a break after playing so much Holiday music, but can’t afford to take extended time away from their instruments. In this week’s blog Heidi Radtke, Instructor of Saxophone at Butler University and regular Classical Music Indy performer, shares how to keep those chops up over the holiday break. Happy practicing!
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. Eduardo Luna an artist, DJ, and community advocate. He is currently working as a Big Car Collaborative staff artist and is a co-founder of Nopal Cultural, a local latino arts organization. Read below for Eduardo’s take on the importance of music, what music means to him, and how music affects community.
It’s hard to make time to practice music when you are working full-time as a teacher and freelance musician. Elizabeth Efroymson-Brooks, Director of Cello and Director of Suzuki Steps Early Childhood Program at the Indianapolis Suzuki Academy, shares her wisdom on practicing with her fellow teachers. Read below to see how Liz makes time to practice and what she does to improve her playing.
In honor of Thanksgiving we asked Elise Shrock, the “Indy Food Maven,” to share her family traditions and some ideas for fun new foods to add to the traditional favorites. We’ve also compiled a short list of recipes that put a cultural twist on Thanksgiving classics. Enjoy!
In recognition of Native American and Alaska Native heritage month, Classical Music Indy spoke with Steven Alvarez, the Director of Arts & Education at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Alvarez is a classical percussionist and vocalist. Read below where Alvarez highlights four prominent musicians in the Native community.
We attended and performed for Celebrate Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) at the Eiteljorg Museum with partner Nopal Cultural this past Saturday, October 29. There’s still time to visit Nopal Cultural’s Día de los Muertos Linocut Prints and Altar Exhibition that will be on display and FREE to view through Nov. 2 in the Lilly Auditorium at the Eiteljorg Museum. Read below to learn more about Día de los Muertos and the events that happened this past Saturday. 2017 Update: The event is being held Oct 28 from 11am-5pm, learn more here.
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we talked with cellist Maya Nojiri Sutherland who regularly performs with Classical Music Indy. She moved to the US to continue her music education and is currently pursuing her PhD at Indiana University Bloomington. Read Maya’s thoughts on music, life, and community below.
This week we look at musical innovation and hear from Kate Nordstrum, the Executive Producer of Special Projects for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Through her desire to offer a wider stage for experimental musical expression, she and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra have created a program called Liquid Music.
In honor of Classical Music Month, Classical Music Indy stepped up our efforts to connect the community to Classical Music. We brought 27 performances to Indy – that’s nearly one performance a day! Read more about our activities in September in our blog post!
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we spoke with Marianne Chalmers-Talkovski, a licensed acupuncturist, about the importance of music in her life and in her work.
Orchestra musicians are often stuck in a rut when it comes to style of performances and venue. We spoke with James Ross, Director of Orchestral Activities and Professor of Conducting at the University of Maryland, about how his university is trying to change their approach to performing. Read below to learn about some of the innovations they are implementing at the University of Maryland.
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage month, we spoke with Camille Zamora, opera singer and founder of Sing for Hope. Music, like life, is better when we embrace more than just the familiar. You can read about Camille’s story in English or Spanish!
Concert etiquette has always been a mystery to classical newcomers. People wonder when they are allowed to clap, how much noise they should or shouldn’t make, and whether or not they are allowed to get out of their seat during the performance. There is an ongoing debate about concert etiquette–to shush or not to shush. This week, we looked at a few examples of performers shushing from the stage.
For musicians, dealing with a chronic illness can mean the end of their career. This is the story of singer Margaret Felice, a Boston vocalist whose illness caused her to lose her breath mid-performance. After major surgery and a painful healing process, Margaret was able to overcome her difficulties and come out on the other side.
This week we are featuring a wonderful local venue that was the brainchild of Mark and Carrie Ortwein, the Grove Haus. This local eclectic event space is located in Fountain Square and is the location of an upcoming event hosted by CMI, stay tuned for more info in the near future!
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. We spoke with 19 year-old, jazz saxophonist Bryan Thompson, who grew up on Indianapolis’ west side, attended Broad Ripple Magnet High School for Performing Arts and is currently attending Indiana University.
Continuing our look at education and the importance of diversity and the arts, we spoke with Bob Guffin who was responsible for taking H.L. Harshman Magnet Middle School from a failing school to a model program for student achievement. He shares with us the key tenants to culturally inclusive learning environments and why it matters.
“A Culture of Caring is not just an educational philosophy but a means of fostering an open, accepting, and inclusive environment.” Nancy Lindhjem from Children’s Resource Group Indianapolis shows us how a community member can be engaged in developing positive school culture.
On June 25, 2016, Kevin Lamont Randolph passed away. Randolph was a musician, educator, and lover of life. Kevin was involved with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO) from its inception in 1995—first as a student, and later as the Program Coordinator. We met with Krystle Ford, Associate Director of the MYO, to learn more and share Kevin’s story.
With the warm weather comes the urge to get outside and get together. Nothing beats a warm-weather soiree with food and music, and getting your guests involved in the food preparations can add an element of fun to the mix. Elise Shrock, from Indy Food Maven, shares a few ways to keep your guests happy, fed, and included in the fun.
Our country is a melting pot of diverse people and cultures that define the breadth of music we know and enjoy in our daily lives. For this reason, CMI asked our contributor Patrick Hanley, Texas-based teacher and writer to share his thoughts about how new immigration laws are impacting music and musicians, and the ways in which our country embraces and disrupts diversity.
Summertime in Indiana is filled with outdoor concerts! Jennifer Malins, one of our contributing authors to NOTE, gives the run down on how to make healthier choices for bringing food to your favorite outdoor concert. Yum!
In recognition of Father’s Day, we spoke with members of the Indianapolis-based Urban Initiative High-5 Rally, a movement that provides positive male role models and male-run high-five rallies to encourage school success for urban students across the city.
My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s new initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. In this excerpt from “I Walked Naked Through My House Today…..and So Should You,” our friends at Speak Your Story spoke with Trish Crowe about how music saved her life.
Enjoy this Classical Conversation with Paul Page, the Voice of the Indy 500, hosted by Jill Ditmire! We talked to Paul about his life and what led him from classical music radio to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a broadcasting career spanning more than 46 years!