Angela and Joshua reflect on the inspiring life and work of the brilliant composer Undine Smith Moore. As a woman living through the time of the Jim Crow South, Moore’s body of work mirrors the deliberate and intentional evolution of her personal worldview.
“Love, Let the Wind Cry,” by Undine Smith Moore, performed by Aundi Marie Moore
“Allegro,” from the Afro-American Suite by Undine Smith Moore, performed by Kate Steinbeck, Tim Holley, and Dewitt Tipton
“Watch and Pray,” by Undine Smith Moore, performed by Angela Brown
Joshua Thompson (00:00): Before we get started with this episode, we wanted to thank everyone for your amazing support of this podcast. As our podcast community grows, we have added resources for each episode. So just visit our website to access blog posts and transcripts for each episode or follow us on social media and email us anytime with your podcast suggestions to [email protected]. Music Plays (00:42): [MMCM Theme] Angela Brown (00:43): Welcome back to Melanated Moments in Classical Music. I’m Angela Brown… Joshua Thompson (00:49): And I’m Joshua Thompson. Angela, this has been a killer season, right? We have had some incredible artists to expose or re-expose, if you will, to our listening public. You always come ready with a heavy hitter. So, who’s on the docket today, boo? Angela Brown (01:09): Well today, Mr. Joshua, we have, none other than, the Dean of Black women, composers Undine Smith Moore. I have had the distinct pleasure of performing a few of her pieces throughout my singing career and concerts all over the world. And I tell you, they are always a showstopper. Joshua Thompson (01:31): Now I know you never come to play, but you always show up in slay. You be comin’ correct Auntie, you really do. Angela Brown (01:39): Oh baby. Thank you so much. And I’ll be sure to get your check in the mail! Joshua Thompson (01:43): Hey now! But you and I both know what’s the truth, and it ain’t nothing but the truth. So now! Angela Brown (01:52): [Laughter] Boy, you a mess! Before we get carried away– or should I say before I get carried away– let’s get back to the podcast. Undine Eliza Anna Smith Moore was born August 25th, 1904, in Jared, Virginia. She was an American composer and professor of music in the 20th century and considered, during her lifetime, as the Dean of Black women composers. Moore was originally trained as a classical pianist, but developed a compositional output of mostly vocal music, her preferred genre. Much of her work was inspired by Black spirituals and folk music. Now, Undine Smith Moore was a renowned teacher and once stated that she experienced teaching as an art form in itself. She received many awards for her accomplishments as a music educator. At age seven, Undine Smith Moore began taking piano lessons, and later she was encouraged to attend Fisk University, where she studied piano and organ. Now in 1924, The Julliard School granted Moore their first ever scholarship to a student at Fisk, allowing her to continue her undergraduate studies. Now, you know, we know what that says. That was the first time they gave some money to a Black student of excellence– Joshua Thompson (03:24): And a Black woman at that. That’s huge! Angela Brown (03:25): Hello! And Moore graduated cum laude in 1926. Baby, I was graduating– thank you, Lordy, for real! Joshua Thompson (03:35): [Laughter]. Angela Brown (03:35): In 1927, Moore was hired as piano instructor and organist at Virginia State College– which is now Virginia State University in Petersburg– where she also taught classes in counterpoint and theory, for which she was particularly well known. Okay! Because I tell you theory was not my strong suit, child! Joshua Thompson (04:02): It wasn’t mine either. And it still ain’t. So… Angela Brown (04:03): [Laughter] Well, I can count to four! I can count four! Joshua Thompson (04:03): There you go! Angela Brown (04:03): [Laughter] The college appointed Moore director of the D. Webster Davis Laboratory High School Chorus, and due to the school’s low budget, Moore would write her own music to cater towards the needs of the students. Now, you know– if that, ain’t what you learn in Black home, Black church– if you don’t have it, you make it. Joshua Thompson (04:31): Yes. Each one, teach one. And like you said earlier, teaching is an art form. Angela Brown (04:37): Exactly, exactly. And, uh, in 1969, Undine Smith Moore and Altona Trent Johns became, uh, co-founders of The Black Music Center at Virginia State College, which aimed to educate members about the contributions of Black people to the music of the United States and the world. Now, aside from teaching, Moore considered the center to be her most significant accomplishment… Isn’t that something? Now this is a little something before we bring on a piece of music: Undine Smith Moore described her early compositions, especially her piano music, as not including an African American element. I guess it didn’t have any sauce, it didn’t have much juice, you know? Joshua Thompson (05:32): [Laughter] Angela Brown (05:32): But it wasn’t until 1953, when a marked change took place in her compositional style; after she started studying with Howard Murphy. I think this is a good time for us to listen to the Allegro from her Afro American Suite. Joshua Thompson (05:49): Yes, let’s do that. Music Plays (05:57): [Afro American Suite, Allegro- Undine Smith Moore] Joshua Thompson (07:40): Love that it’s so bright and colorful. And it’s fun to get wrapped up in that, but as an instrumentalist, this ain’t easy. She is throwing a lot in there! Angela Brown (07:51): Oh yeah. And did you recognize the melody that she used? She used [Sings] ‘good news, the J is comin’. Good news!’ Joshua Thompson (07:58): Is that what that is? Angela Brown (08:02): Yeah! I mean, I love how she just wove that theme throughout everything she wrote. And, you know, she was very inspired by the use of the African American spiritual in her music. Of these melodies and her adaptations of them to her music, Moore said “the songs my mother sang while cooking dinner, the melodies my father hummed after work, moved me very deeply in making these arrangements. My aim was not to make something better than what was sung, I thought them so beautiful that I wanted to have them experienced in a variety of ways, by concert choirs, soloist, and by instrumental groups.” Joshua Thompson (08:50): I love that. ‘Cause that’s the, again, the art of teaching. That’s the– the gift of being an artist is to be able to create, recreate and share for others. That’s just– I love that, I really do. Angela Brown (09:04): Oh yes! The works of Undine Smith Moore range from arrangements of spirituals to solo art songs, instrumental chamber music, and multi-movement works for chorus, soloists and instruments. In 1981, Moore’s Pulitzer Prize- nominated oratorio ‘Scenes from the Life of a Martyr’ was premiered at Carnegie Hall. The 16-part oratorio is based on the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. and written for chorus, orchestra, solo voice, and narrator. Moore had planned the piece for at least five years and considered it her most significant work. I’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing that, uh, in person, but Ooh, can you just see and hear– Joshua Thompson (09:56): I’m eager for it! If we consider where we were, at a point a year ago, nationally and globally; what’s been going on. To all of those orchestras and symphonic choirs out there: if you want a timely piece to remind us, definitely start programming ’cause we want to hear it. We definitely wanna hear it. Angela Brown (10:15): Yeah, definitely. And the next piece we want to listen to is one of her art songs, that was actually written for a wedding, if you can believe it! But it is so beautiful. And you’ll understand, once you hear Undine Marie Moore saying, ‘Love, let the wind cry!’ Music Plays (11:53): [Love, let the Wind Cry- Undine Smith Moore] Angela Brown (13:00): Yes– whew! Joshua Thompson (13:00): You right, you right! It’s this dramatic and sweeping– Angela Brown (13:08): Sweeping into the room! Joshua Thompson (13:08): It reminded me of a, uh, ‘the hills are alive’ moments, and instead of Julie Andrews on the pastures in the Hills, it’s Undine Smith Moore. Angela Brown (13:18): Honey, tearing it up. And I can just feel the passion of a young bride running into the room right after they’ve got married. And she’s just throwin’ up her truth; says, ‘love let the wind cry. C’mon baby, on the dark mountain– I got plenty of dark mountain for ya’– anyway…this is a children’s show. Joshua Thompson (13:42): [laughter] But it does inspire that! And um, I wish people would write more wedding songs in this fashion, right? The vowels that you could have before it– Anyway, I think this was really nice. Angela Brown (13:54): Oh, it was! Well now, Undine Smith Moore was outspoken on her thoughts surrounding The Civil Rights Movement and the impact it had on her music. In her youth, Moore experienced the full effect of the Jim Crow era. She later stated ‘One of the most evil effects of racism in my time was the limits it placed upon the aspiration of Blacks. So that, though I have been making up and creating music all my life– in my childhood, or even in college– I would not have thought of calling myself a composer or aspiring to be one. All liberation is connected. As long as any segment of the society is oppressed. The whole society must suffer.’ Can you believe that? I mean, when I think of, not even– even in doing, creating, embodying, becoming the music that she was writing, she dare not even think that she could be anything other than just the little girl or the teacher sitting in the classroom and only the students in front of me are gonna sing my music. She couldn’t even think that she could aspire to be a composer, or call herself that. Joshua Thompson (15:23): Okay, so we talk about this all the time. This is why it is important for you to see yourself in what you want to do, because there’s a whole vocabulary, and it is important– not just what you call yourself, but also what you answer to. And, um, it’s that self-determination piece that’s huge. Angela Brown (15:40): Yes. And in her opinion, art could be used as a powerful agent for social change. That’s exactly what we’re talking about. Moore was careful to point out that: because of the social issues surrounding African Americans, their music and art could be stereotyped. Now, check this out. I use the term ‘Black music’ to describe music created mainly by people who call themselves Black and whose compositions, in their large or complete body, show a frequent, if not preponderant, use of significant elements derived from the Afro American heritage. Black music is in its simplest and broadest terms: simply, music written by a Black person. Okay? Joshua Thompson (16:32): I’m here for that definition. It works. It works. Angela Brown (16:35): It does… On February 6th, 1989 at the age of 84 Undine Smith Moore suffered a stroke. At her funeral, several of her spiritual arrangements were performed. Adolphus Hailstork wrote a composition in her honor, entitled ‘I Lift Up Mine Eyes’. Moore was named one of the Virginia Women in History for 2017. Joshua Thompson (17:06): Wow. Angela Brown (17:06): You know, she has left such a beautiful and vast body of work, from instrumental compositions to art songs, to spirituals. We have so many pieces that we can look back on and remember her prowess, her grandeur, her talent– Joshua Thompson (17:30): And her intentionality. What I really love, even just learning from the beginning of this episode to now is: her evolution, right? There was that transformative moment when she was speaking that said, hey, there’s a whole culture that I exist within. And it truly elevated her, her music, and her broader purpose. That is– oh man, that gives me chills. Angela Brown (17:53): Well, as I said earlier, I’ve had the opportunity to sing a lot of her music in concert. And one of my favorite pieces, uh, is a spiritual that she penned called ‘Watch and Pray’. Joshua Thompson (18:08): Now I’m sure tons of people have sung it before. I’m hopin’– and I’m gonna cross my fingers, I’m hoping– Can we hear you do it? Angela Brown (18:17): Well, yes… Joshua Thompson (18:19): [Laughter] Angela Brown (18:21): I decided I would just throw this on into the fryin’ pan. Joshua Thompson (18:27): Just- c’mon girl!– Angela Brown (18:27): Well, now!– And it’s a spiritual that speaks of a mother and a daughter, and the young daughter is questioning her mother about whether they will be sold down to Georgia. It’s very sad, but it’s one that paints– that does a lot of word painting, and you can hear the mother and the daughter clearly. And the mother’s always saying “watch and pray”, but in the end, the daughter turns and says, “mama, don’t worry about me. Watch and pray”. Music Plays (20:15): [Watch and Pray- Undine Smith Moore] Angela Brown (22:54): You know, the first time I heard this song was at Oakwood University and a friend of mine, uh, Janice Chandler, had come back to Oakwood and given a concert, and she sang this piece. And she went to Indiana University, and this was a piece, I believe, that was shared with her by Camilla Williams, who we have covered on, um, Melanated Moments. And, uh, it was actually written for Camilla Williams by Undine Smith Moore, because Camilla was from the same part of Virginia– Petersburg, I believe, Virginia– as well, if I’m not mistaken. But it just lets me know that it’s good to program these important pieces on recitals. Young people, I’m definitely talking to you now: definitely program these pieces because you never know when someone is going to hear a new piece of music, even if it’s someone that has passed on. Going into the archives of their music and bringing them to life and breathing life into them on the stage, it helps to broaden all of us, and Undine Smith Moore I thank you. I thank you so much. I honor you and your memory by keeping your music alive in my vocal cords as well as introducing your pieces to some of my students, so I thank you. Joshua Thompson (24:24): And she is very much, again, you know, writing with this very deliberate intent on, you know, talking about Civil Rights. Just another example of how she is writing for/from her culture, speaking on history, Civil Rights and– a heavy piece, but the composition, the music itself is gorgeous. And I gotta give it to you, girl. You show up to slay, every time! The upper register was just so serene. And then as it meanders down in there, you feel this piece as much, if not more so than you hear it. And because of that, you can hear what the lyrics are and it takes you back to a time where– we all just have to be honest and acknowledge– that existed. And what are we doing to prevent it from happening again?– I could go on forever. Just, both of you, Dr. Undine Smith Moore, your representation and interpretation of this is a wonderful way to end discussing a wonderful composer, luminary and artistic ancestor. Angela, brava, yet again for comin’ with it! Angela Brown (25:38): Thank you all so much for joining us. I’m Angela Brown… Joshua Thompson (25:41): And I’m Joshua Thompson. In Unison (25:43): And this has been Melanated Moments in Classical Music. Angela Brown (25:54): Melanated Moments in Classical Music is a production of Classical Music Indy. Our producer is Ezra Bakker Trupiano. Season Three production assistants are Okara Imani and Samantha Hoyer. Our theme music was composed by Laura Karpman. Joshua Thompson (26:13): Season Three of Melanated Moments in Classical Music was made possible in part by Jim and Sarah Lootens. We thank them for their generous support. Angela Brown (26:23): As a fan of this award-winning podcast, we need your help today to create future episodes. You can make Season Four a reality by texting ‘MMCM’ to 202-858-1233. Your support includes exclusive content, playlists, and other perks to thank you for helping us share the stories of even more exceptional Black artists on the podcast. Our podcast’s educational partner is Morning Brown Incorporated. Joshua Thompson (26:58): And finally, if you’d like to join us in the celebration of the Black experience in the world of podcasting, check out our friends at The Black Podcasting Awards website.
As we continue celebrating Black Music Month, this week’s playlist will feature music and artists discussed during the latest season of Melanated Moments in Classical Music. All of season six was recently released and featured vibrant discussions about artists such as Scott Joplin, Hazel Scott, Joseph Bologne, and Kenneth Overton, among others.
In this week’s playlist, we feature the works of Eleanor Alberga. Born in 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica, Alberga decided at the age of five to be a concert pianist. Five years later, she was composing works for the piano. She is a highly-regarded mainstream British composer with commissions from the BBC Proms and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
In this week’s playlist, we feature works by Filipino-American composer, Nilo Alcala. His works have been performed in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. He is the first Philippine-born composer to receive the COPLAND HOUSE Residency Award. We’ll hear choral music from Alcala’s album, Onomatopoeia, in this playlist and much more.
In this week’s playlist, we are featuring conductor, composer, arranger, producer, and songwriter, Steve Hackman. On March 16, 2022, the ISO debuted its new Uncharted Series with the world premiere of The Resurrection Mixtape in front of a crowd of over 1,100! This night will be another to remember as Steve once again guides us through connections between hip-hop and classical music.
In her early career, Sally Beamish performed regularly with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the London Sinfonietta and was principal viola in the London Mozart Players and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 1990, she moved from London to Scotland to develop her career as a composer.
Zae is Professor of Music at Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana where she teaches theory, composition, digital media in music, and orchestration/arranging. Born in 1953, Munn’s early musical training was as a cellist, with additional studies in piano, voice, and conducting.
In this week’s playlist, we feature the music of Bloomington-based composer, Kian Ravaei. Whether he is composing piano preludes inspired by mythical creatures, flute melodies that mimic the songs of endangered birds, or a string quartet that draws from the Iranian music of his ancestral heritage, he takes listeners on a spellbinding tour of humanity’s most deeply felt emotions.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you works by GRAMMY-nominated composer, Carlos Simon. With activism and social justice at the heart of his writing, composer Carlos Simon is known for his symphonic, concert and film compositions. Simon’s latest album, Requiem for the Enslaved, is a multi-genre musical tribute to commemorate the stories of the 272 enslaved men, women, and children sold in 1838 by Georgetown University, and was nominated for a 2023 GRAMMY award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
In this week’s playlist, we feature the music of Grammy-nominated performer and composer, Nathalie Joachim! She is a Brooklyn-born Haitian American artist who is hailed for being “a fresh and invigorating cross-cultural voice” (The Nation) and who engages her creative practice to advocate for music, social change, and cultural awareness. We’ll hear music composed and performed by Nathalie Joachim throughout this playlist and much more.
In this week’s playlist, we feature GRAMMY-nominated violist and composer, Jessica Meyer. Meyer’s first composer/performer portrait album in 2019 debuted at #1 on the Billboard traditional classical chart, where “knife-edge anticipation opens on to unexpected, often ecstatic musical realms, always with a personal touch and imaginatively written for the instruments” (Gramophone Magazine). We’ll hear performances by Jessica Meyer as well as her compositions from her first album, Ring Out, throughout this playlist.
In this week’s playlist, we feature composer and multimedia artist, Ryan Olivier. Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Music at Indiana University South Bend, where he directs the electronic ensemble, the Audio-Visual Collective, and teaches courses in music composition, music theory, and music technology.
Expertise Exceeding Exoticism: …
I Fits, I Sits: Jared Thompson …
In this week’s playlist, we highlight Raven Chacon in honor of Native American Indian Heritage Month. Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. He is a recent winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his work, Voiceless Mass. This made him the first Native American to win this prize. We’ll hear music by Chacon and more Native American composers in this playlist.
This week we highlight the Rhythm! Discovery Center here in Indianapolis with the help of guest curator, Rob Funkhouser! He is a composer, performer, instrument builder, and Operations and Education Manager at the Rhythm! Discovery Center. He’ll guide us through all the great things happening within the museum in this playlist.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you performances by a group dedicated to championing the works of living composers. Latitude 49 is a dynamic mixed-chamber group blending the finesse of a classical ensemble with the drive and precision of a finely tuned rock band. More than sixty works have been written for L49 so far by a multitude of composers ranging from aspiring students to Pulitzer prize-winning masters. With commissioning and supporting living composers at the heart of its mission, L49 strives to engage diverse audiences with new sounds and specially curated programs that reflect the world in which we find ourselves, with all its beauty and curiosities.
This month we feature music conducted by the late Venezuelan-American artist Carmen-Helena Téllez in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Known as a conductor, composer, producer, scholar and interdisciplinary artist, her contributions and advocacy for new classical music were unmatched. Carmen-Helena Téllez was responsible for the commission and world premiere of many works that have garnered the highest critical praise.
Anna’s “detailed and powerful” (Guardian) orchestral writing has garnered her awards from the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, the Nordic Council, and the UK’s Ivors Academy, as well as commissions by many of the world’s top orchestras. Her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material – it is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow.
In this week’s playlist, we bring you performances by cellist, Inbal Segev. Celebrated for her fresh insights into music’s great masterworks, the Israeli American cellist is equally committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, and has commissioned and premiered major new works from an international who’s who of today’s foremost contemporary composers. A prodigy who first played for the Israeli president at just eight years old, Segev came to international attention ten years later when she made concerto debuts with both the Berlin Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta.
This week’s playlist brings you great performances by Time For Three. On June 10th they released their new album, Letters for the Future, with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Xian Zhang on Deutsche Grammophon. The album comprises world premiere recordings of two technically demanding and musically virtuosic concerti for trio and orchestra by two Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, written fifteen years apart but both commissioned for the group: Jennifer Higdon’s 2007 Concerto 4-3 and Kevin Puts’s brand-new Contact.
As we enter Pride Month, we’ll be hearing the works of a composer who has been overlooked. His name is Julius Eastman. Eastman was born in 1940 and grew up in Ithaca, New York. He was an artist who, as a gay, black man, aspired to live those roles to the fullest. He was not only a prominent member of New York’s downtown scene as a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer, but also performed at Lincoln Center with Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic, and recorded experimental disco with producer Arthur Russell.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
This week, we kick off Women’s History Month by putting two fantastic musicians in the spotlight: Teresa Carreño, “Valkyrie of the Piano,” and Ethel Smyth, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. These amazing women composed, conducted, and performed all around the globe and made dynamic contributions to the classical music world. Read below about their unique voices and careers.
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.
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.
It’s National Mentoring Month! What better time to take a look at one of the most influential music mentors in recent history? Nadia Boulanger was an incredible educator and taught the likes of Stravinsky, Copland, and Quincy Jones out of her apartment in Paris. Read about her life and lasting impact on some of the most recognized composers of the 20th century.
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.
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. For December read about Handel fighting his best friend in a duel, an atonal composer thought to be a Nazi sympathizer, and one of Indiana’s own Jazz legends.
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.
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.
November is National Native American Heritage Month, and Classical Music Indy is always looking to highlight unique projects that impact our music world. This year, we were thrilled to discover the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project, a part of the Grand Canyon Music Festival. We spoke with Clare Hoffman, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the festival, about how their program trains Native American students from rural Arizona to compose music.
In recognition of Free Speech Week read below about composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the restrictions he faced under Stalin’s Soviet Union. He created an incredible piece of music under great threat from the government, and today his Fifth Symphony is regarded as a masterwork of subtle communication to the Russian people who were suffering under “The Great Purge.”
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.