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A Birth of Classical 7

A YouTube History of Music

Modern: Composers Born 1900 to 1950

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Composers are listed chronologically. Tracks are listed alphabetically.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Claudio Abbado    John Adams    Alejandro Núñez Allauca
Milton Babbitt     Luciano Berio    Elmer Bernstein    Leonard Bernstein    Victor Borge    Pierre Boulez    Benjamin Britten    Earle Brown    Gavin Bryars
John Cage    Van Cliburn    Aaron Copland    George Crumb
Luigi Dallapiccola
Péter Eötvös
Brian Ferneyhough   Elena Firsova
Vittorio Giannini   Philip Glass    Glenn Gould
John Harbison    Hans Werner Henze    Vladimir Horowitz
Aram Khachaturian    Tikhon Khrennikov    Ernst Krenek     Otomar Kvech
René Leibowitz    Valentino Liberace    György Ligeti    Theo Loevendie
Bruno Maderna    Tomás Marco    Olivier Messiaen
Luigi Nono    Michael Nyman
Arvo Pärt    Stephen Paulus    George Perle    Henri Pousseur
Steve Reich    Terry Riley    Joaquin Rodrigo    Christopher Rouse
Alfred Schnittke    Gunther Schuller    William Schuman    Joseph Schwantner    Humphrey Searle    Ravi Shankar    Vissarion Shebalin    Dmitri Shostakovich    Alan Silvestri    Isaac Stern    Karlheinz Stockhausen    Steven Stucky
Third Stream    David Tudor
Claude Vivier
William Walton    Kurt Weill    John Towner Williams   Stefan Wolpe
La Monte Young
Bernd Alois Zimmermann    Ellen Taaffe Zwilich



Featured on this page in order of the composer's birth date.

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


1900 Aaron Copland    Ernst Krenek    Kurt Weill
1901 Joaquin Rodrigo
1902 Vissarion Shebalin    William Walton    Stefan Wolpe
1903 Vittorio Giannini   Vladimir Horowitz    Aram Khachaturian
1904 Luigi Dallapiccola
1906 Dmitri Shostakovich
1908 Olivier Messiaen
1909 Victor Borge
1910 William Schuman
1912 John Cage
1913 Benjamin Britten   Tikhon Khrennikov    René Leibowitz
1915 George Perle    Humphrey Searle
1916 Milton Babbitt
1918 Leonard Bernstein    Bernd Alois Zimmermann
1919 Valentino Liberace
1920 Bruno Maderna    Ravi Shankar    Isaac Stern
1922 Elmer Bernstein
1923 György Ligeti
1924 Luigi Nono
1925 Luciano Berio    Pierre Boulez    Gunther Schuller
1926 Earle Brown    Hans Werner Henze    David Tudor
1928 Karlheinz Stockhausen
1929 George Crumb    Henri Pousseur
1930 Theo Loevendie
1932 Glenn Gould   John Towner Williams
1933 Claudio Abbado
1934 Van Cliburn    Alfred Schnittke
1935 Arvo Pärt    Terry Riley    La Monte Young
1936 Steve Reich
1937 Philip Glass
1938 John Harbison
1939 Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
1942 Tomás Marco
1943 Alejandro Núñez Allauca    Gavin Bryars    Brian Ferneyhough    Joseph Schwantner
1944 Péter Eötvös    Michael Nyman
1947 John Adams
1948 Claude Vivier
1949 Stephen Paulus    Christopher Rouse    Steven Stucky
1950 Elena Firsova     Otomar Kvech    Libby Larsen    Jay Reise    Michael Schelle    Alan Silvestri


  This page concerns modern classical composers born after 1900 to 1940. If the composer you're seeking isn't on this page s/he may be in Modern 1. Composers on this page who were at one time or another described as minimalist are Arvo Pärt, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Steve Reich and Philip Glass. The classical pages are structured differently from the other YouTube histories. Due that specific dates are largely impossible with early classical music we keep the convention of indexing works on this page by alphabetical order only. That is, they are not in chronological order. Dates are noted by appendage and refer to the year of copyright, publication or premier if not composition. (Exceptions occur, such as Ravi Shankar listed chronologically by record release.) Years at list headings are broadly figured as those during which the musician was possibly actively composing beyond a juvenile level (generally in the teens). They attempt to account for early vanished works such as studies (including collegiate), also assuming most composers were yet working at the time of their deaths unless noted otherwise. Brackets (: [Part 1]) indicate sections made by YouTube channels. (A note on opus numbers: Opus numbers are those given by composers themselves, the practice beginning about the time of Joseph Haydn. Publishers also assigned opus numbers. But opus numbers were generally so disorganized that various cataloguing systems developed to gain some clarity as to sequence.) Be as may, this page witnesses the beginning of the decline of classical music around the mid twentieth century. Though far from disappearing, between 1982 and 2015 the audience for classical dropped by 30 percent. But its decline was marked much earlier per the emergence of rock n roll. Some believe the demise of classical to have arrived with its merge with popular music per the film and television industries, no way an evening at the opera or symphony was going to compete with those mediums either. The emergence of those mediums also witnessed a gradual decline in the number of youth who played instruments at all, much less classically oriented. Maybe a few joined rock n roll bands, but in general the hour of piano practice in the American home gradually got replaced by viewing television. Later in the century (orchestrated) video games would further lessen audience (for television as well). What a difference a screen makes, all the more so with information technology. Yet others cite the decline in classical to be in the classical community itself, partially due to the relatively small demands made upon classical orchestra members. Nice job if you can get it and no touring, but playing a few notes a few times during a symphony didn't require the drive that jazz did, the bar for talent set increasingly high only to call oneself a jazz musician, much less accompany its luminaries and virtuosos. That is, the comfort zone of steady work in orchestras less produced musicians with opportunity to drill ahead than musicians who liked things fine just as they were. (Such is nevertheless disputed per some of the virtuosic performances by contemporary classical musicians to which this page points, a conspicuous lot of them being Japanese.) Yet another source cites the gradual increasing age of the classical audience, much less the nigh complete loss of youth as an audience. There has also been a reactionary element in the stagnation of creativity, the world now a very different scene than was Ravel's as Wagner gets iterated time and again. All very good to have orchestras to interpret Mozart or Beethoven. They composed, however, a few hundred years ago, and if the number of pianists good for Rachmaninoff (especially difficult) were in meager number a hundred years ago, they are even fewer today. Not to alarm, as classical music isn't done yet, but in the meanwhile, not a few of the composers latterly cited on this page are, even as they approach the contemporary, nigh as obscure outside their genre as are one-hit doo wop groups.

  Born in 1900 in Brooklyn, Aaron Copland's father had been a Jewish immigrant from the Lithuanian region of Russia, becoming a shop owner in the States. Copland decided to become a composer at age fifteen, first by correspondence course, then with a number of formal teachers. He published his first piece in 1920, 'The Cat and the Mouse', before traveling to France to study at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau in Paris in 1921. His conducting debut was the same year. He next studied under Nadia Boulanger. Publishing his first critique in 1924, he returned to New York in 1925, dedicating himself to composition with the assistance of a couple Guggenheim Fellowships that year and the next. His composing during the twenties was decidedly modernist, he forming the Young Composer's Group something modeled after Les Six. During the thirties Copland changed direction from composing modernist pieces for a select few musical connoisseurs to a more democratic music for everyman. Relevantly, he began emphasizing incidental music for dramatic works. Nevertheless, he made it through the Great Depression due largely to wealthy patrons. Copland also began composing ballets, publishing lectures and toured Europe, Africa and Mexico during the thirties. It was during the forties that Copland attained to the status that would see him a multi-millionaire before he died, producing popular works, film scores and his 'Clarinet Concerto', commissioned by Benny Goodman in 1948. (Copland had long since produced jazz-influenced work, such as his 'Piano Concerto' of 1926.) He studied in Rome in 1951 as the result of a Fulbright scholarship won the previous year. It came his turn to testify before Congress that he wasn't a Communist in 1953 (though he had voted Communist during the Presidential election of 1936). April 1954 saw the premier of his opera, 'The Tender Land'. Copland more focused on conducting than composing in the sixties, also frequently recording. Making his home Cortlandt Manor, New York, in the sixties, he there lived until his death in 1990. The leftist views of his younger years aside, Copland had come to be described as representative of American nationality. Among his more important musical associations was Leonard Bernstein, who conducted a number of Copland's works. Copland often lectured and left behind an impressive list of students. He'd written three books as well: 'What to Listen for in Music' (1939), 'Our New Music' (1941) and 'Music and Imagination' (1952). An agnostic, Copland was also homosexual, taking his lovers on tour with him. His own favorite composer had been Igor Stravinsky.

Aaron Copland   1921 - 1990

 Appalachian Spring

   1944   Chamber ballet

   Sydney Camerata Chamber Orchestra

   Luke Gilmour

 Billy the Kid (Orchestral Suite)

   1938   From Copland's ballet same title/year

   Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel

 Clarinet Concerto


   Columbia Symphony Orchestra

   Conductor: Aaron Copland

 Lincoln Portrait


   Los Angeles Philharmonic

   Narration: Gregory Peck


   1942   Ballet

   Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati

 Quiet City

   1940   Premier 1941   Incidental music

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

   Conductor: Aaron Copland

 El Salon Mexico


   New York Philharmonic Orchestra/

   Leonard Bernstein

Birth of Classical Music: Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland

Photo: Micki Adair

Source: Quotation Of
Birth of Classical Music: Ernst Krenek

Ernst Krenek

Source: Bruce Duffie
Born in 1900 in Vienna, Ernst Krenek was the son of a soldier. He was composing by age age six. He studied in Berlin with Franz Schreker at age 16, his Op 1 occurring the next year. Krenek began his career as a conductor in various opera houses. Stationed in Vienna in the Austrian Army during World War I, he was able to continue studying there. His jazz-inspired opera, 'Jonny spielt auf', premiering in 1927, later made him the poster boy of degenerate music in Nazi Germany. Finding it difficult to work there, he immigrated to the United States in 1938 where he taught at various universities. He became a U.S. citizen in 1945. Krenek eventually moved to Palm Springs, California, in 1966 where he died in 1991. He had composed above 20 operas, ballets, works for chamber, orchestra, piano and voice, and electronic music.

Ernst Krenek   1916 - 1991

 Dream Sequence

   1975-76   Op 224

   Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin

   Roger Epple

 String Quartet 1

1921   Op 6   Sonare Quartett

 String Quartet 2

1921   Op 8   Sonare Quartett

 String Quartet 3

1923   Op 20   Sonare Quartett

 String Quartet 4

1923   Op 24   Sonare Quartett

 String Quartet 6

1936   Op 78   Sonare Quartett

 String Quartet 7

1943-44   Op 96   Sonare Quartett

 String Quartet 8

   1980   Op 233   Sonare Quartett

 Symphony 1

   1921   Op 7

   Radio Philharmonie Hannover/Takao Ukigaya

  Born in 1900 in Dessau, Germany, Kurt Weill began piano lessons and first endeavored to compose at age twelve. His earliest surviving piece is 'Mi Addir', a Jewish wedding song written the next year. He first performed in public in 1915. The Berliner Hochschule für Musik received him in 1918 to study composition, conducting, counterpoint and philosophy. He wrote his first string quartet that year as well. Employed as a répétiteur at the Friedrich-Theater in Dessau in 1919, he became Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater in Lüdenscheid later that year. Weill studied beneath Ferruccio Busoni from 1920 to 1923, after which he himself began to take students. From 1924 to 1929 he wrote reviews for 'Der deutsche Rundfunk', a radio program guide. His 'Threepenny Opera' (containing 'Mack the Knife', probably his most famous piece) premiered in Berlin in 1928. Being Jewish, Weill fled Germany for Paris in March 1933 upon Nazi interference with his work. His ballet, 'Seven Deadly Sins', there premiered the same year. 1935 found him in London, later that year in the United States. His move to to America would see a major shift in his style, moving away from European influence toward a greater concern with American popular music. His opera, 'The Eternal Road', was a great success at the Manhattan Opera House in 1937. During World War II Weill worked as an air raid warden in New York. He died in New York City in April 1950 upon a heart attack. He had written largely cantatas, lieder, orchestral and stage works.

Kurt Weill
   1917 - 1950

  4 Walt Whitman Songs



    Düsseldorfer Symphoniker

    Marc-Andreas Schlingensiepen

    Baritone: Wolfgang Holzmair

 Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny

   'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny'

   Premier 1930 Leipzig   Opera   3 acts

   Librettist: Berthold Brecht

   North German Radio Chorus & Orchestra

   Wilhelm Bruckner-Ruggeberg

 Die Dreigroschenoper

   'The Threepenny Opera'   Premier 1928 Berlin

   Librettist: Berthold Brecht

   RIAS Kammerchor

   RIAS Berlin Sinfonietta/John Mauceri

 Die sieben Todsünden

   'The Seven Deadly Sins'   Ballet chanté

   Premier 1933 Paris

   Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Leipzig

   Herbert Kegel

 Symphony 1

   1921   1 movement

   Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Edo De Waart

 Symphony 2

    1934   3 movements

    Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Edo De Waart

 Violin Concerto

   Op 12?   Gardner Chamber Orchestra

   Violin: Corey Cerovsek

Birth of Classical Music: Kurt Weill

Kurt Weill

Source: All Music
Birth of Classical Music: Joaquin Rodrigo

Joaquin Rodrigo

Photo: Carlos Miralles/El Mundo

Source: Espana Es Cultura
Born in 1901 Sagunto, Valencia, Spain, Joaquin Rodrigo lost his eyesight at age three from diphtheria. At eight he began to study piano and violin, composition at age 16. Though famous for his guitar compositions he himself didn't play the instrument. He studied at the École Normale de Musique in Paris before publishing his first works in 1940. Though his career had taken off with his 1939 composition, 'Concierto de Aranjuez', he became a professor of music history at Complutense University of Madrid in 1947. He repeated his earlier success in 1954 with 'Fantasía para un gentilhombre'. He died in 1999, having received various awards, such as the hereditary title of Marques from King Juan Carlos in 1991. Rodrigo had written largely concertantes, orchestral works and pieces for guitar, piano and voice.

Joaquin Rodrigo
   1917 - 1999

  Cántico de San Francisco de Asís


     Exeter Philharmonic Choir

     Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

     Raymond Calcraft

 Cinco Piezas Infantiles

1928   For 2 pianos

   Piano: Tatyana Dudochkin

   Piano: Sergey Schepkin

 Concierto de Aranjuez

   1939   For guitar

   Danmark Radio SymfoniOrkestret

   Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

   Guitar: Pepe Romero

  Concierto de estío

   1944   For violin

   O de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire

   Conductor: George Enescu

   Violin: Christian Ferras

  Concierto en modo galante

   1949   For cello

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Conducting: Enrique Bátiz

   1: Allegro grazioso

   2: Adagietto

   3: Rondo giocoso (Allegro deciso)

  Cuatro canciones sefardies


   Piano: Albert Guinovart

   Soprano: Ana María Martinez

 Por los campos de España

   1938-73   Guitar: Jérémy Jouve

  Born in 1902 near the northern border of present-day Kazakhstan in Omsk, Russia, Vissarion Shebalin (Виссарион Шебалин) graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1928. His graduate work was his first symphony. He then taught at the Conservatory, also becoming a professor at the Gnessin State Musical College in 1935. He won the Stalin Prize in 1951. Shebalin's last symphony was his fifth, completed a few months before dying in May of 1963 from his third stroke since 1953.

Vissarion Shebalin
   1922 - 1963

 Concertino for horn and orchestra

   1930? Revised 1958   Op 14:2

   USSR Radio & TV SO/Nikolai Anosov

 String Quartet 5 in F minor

   1942   'Slavonic'   Op 33   Krasni Quartet

 String Quartet 6 in B minor

   1943   Op 34   Krasni Quartet

 String Quartet 7 in A flat major

   1948   Op 41   Krasni Quartet

 String Quartet 8 in C major

   1960   Op 53   Krasni Quartet

 String Quartet 9 in B minor

   1963   Op 58   Krasni Quartet

 Violin Concerto

   1930?   Op 14:1

   USSR Academic SO Ensemble

   Gennady Provatorov

Birth of Classical Music: Vissarion Shebalin

Vissarion Shebalin

Source: Belcanto
Birth of Classical Music: William Walton

Sir William Walton

Source: NPG
Born in 1902 in Oldham, Lancashire, Sir William Turner Walton was sent at age ten to become a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral School in Oxford. He began his studies at Christ Church at age sixteen. Among his early atonal works is 'String Quartet, composed 1919–22. He discovered boarding and patronage in 1920 with art and music critic, Sacheverell Sitwell. Walton's initial big success, due largely to controversy, was his orchestral poem series, 'Facade', in 1923. His first work for full orchestra appeared in 1925: 'Portsmouth Point'. Walton began recording in 1929 for Decca, the first eleven movements of 'Facade' (moving to EMI in the forties). By the thirties Walton's compositions, a few notably incorporating jazz, had earned him recognition as one of England's greatest composers of the period, his ten-section cantata, 'Belshazzar's Feast', premiering in 1931. He completed his first symphony in 1935. During World War II Walton was exempted from military service to work for the British Army Film Unit, writing film scores. Film scores would be a financial pump for Walton during his career, though he owned little enthusiasm for it. His house in London was destroyed by German bombing in 1941. Walton's most remarkable work during the forties was 'String Quartet in A minor', premiering in 1947. He married in 1948 and was knighted in 1951. Having worked on his first opera, 'Troilus and Cressida', since 1947, Walton premiered it in December 1954 at Covent Garden. In 1956 he took his wife to live on the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples. After his second and last opera, 'The Bear', premiered in 1966, Walter was awarded the United Kingdom's Order of Merit in 1967 (preceded by three other composers: Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten.) He died in La Mortella on the island of Ischia in 1983. Along with film scores, Walton had composed works for brass ensemble, chamber, orchestra, keyboard and voice.

William Walton  
1916 - 1983

  The Bear

   1967   Opera

   Northern Sinfonia/Richard Hickox

 Belshazzar's Feast

   1931   Cantata

   London Brass

   BBC Symphony Chorus

   BBC National Chorus of Wales

   BBC National Orchestra of Wales

   Tadaaki Otaka

 Cello Concerto

   1956   Concertante   Released 2002

   Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

   Andrew Litton

   Cello: Robert Cohen

 Façade: An Entertainment

   1921–26   For voice

   Radio Kamer Filharmonie/Alejo Perez


   1961   Choral

   Bach Choir e Philharmonia Orchestra

   Sir David Willcocks

 Symphony 1 in B flat minor

   1947 Revised 1963 1991 2005

   City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

   Michael Seal

 Symphony 2 in C major


   London Philharmonic Orchestra

   Bryden Thomson

 The Twelve

   1964–65   Choral

   Finzi Singers/Paul Spicer

   Organ: Andrew Lumsden

 Violin Concerto


BBC National Orchestra of Wales

   Thomas Søndergård

  Born in 1902 in Berlin, Stefan Wolpe studied at Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory, the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and the Bauhaus. His first opera premiered in Berlin 1928, 'Zeus und Elida'. Wolpe early composed music using Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone chromatic system. Upon the rise of the Nazi regime Wolpe, a communist and Jew, fled to Austria, then Palestine in 1934, there to teach at the Palestine Conservatory. Wolpe arrived in the United States in 1938. He was director of music at Black Mountain College in Ashville, North Carolina, from 1952 to '56, then taught at the C.W. Post College of Long Island University. He  taught during summers in Darmstadt, Germany. Wolpe developed Parkinson's disease in 1964, dying in 1972 in NYC. He had written largely for chamber, piano and voice.

Stefan Wolpe   1920 - 1972

 Chamber Piece 1


   Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

   Arthur Weisberg


   1950-53   For 3 pianos


      Anne Chamberlain

      Joel Sachs

      Cheryl Seltzer

 Piano Sonata 1

   1925   Op 1   'Stehende Musik'

   Piano: David Holzmann


   1950 Revised 1954

   Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

   Arthur Weisberg

 Sonata for Violin and Piano


   Piano: Garrick Ohlsson   Violin: Jorja Fleezanis


   1941   Piano: Peter Serkin

 Trio in 2 parts


   Flauto: Harvey Sollberg

   Pianoforte: Charles Wuorinen

   Violincello: Fred Sherry

Birth of Classical Music: Stefan Wolpe

Stefan Wolpe   1963

Photo: Paul Sacher Foundation

Source: NEOS
  Born in Philadelphia in 1903, neoromantic, Vittorio Giannini began training on violin at age five, his mother his teacher as she prepared him for a scholarship at age nine to study composition at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan. Upon leaving Verdi four years later, he studied privately, during which period his first compositions began to appear. The 'Catalog of Copyright Entries 1920' has him listing the song, 'April, Gowned In Green', that year. Whether it was published in any way is unknown. 1922 found him composing another vocal piece, this time for the SATB Choir and Orchestra, so a premier for 'Stabat Mater is assumed that year. Giannini entered Juilliard in 1925, then composed the song, 'Tell Me, Oh Blue, Blue Sky', in 1927. 'Resurrection', another vocal piece, appeared in 1929 before Giannini began composing chamber music, an instrumental for string quartet appearing in 1930. A suite for orchestra surfaced in 1931, then the opera, 'Lucedia', in 1934. More operas followed throughout the thirties for radio. Giannini's first of seven symphonies, ‘In Memoriam Theodore Roosevelt’, came around in 1935. His second, 'IBM Symphony', arrived in 1937 to be performed in 1939 at the New York World's Fair for International Business Machines (founded in 1911 as CTR: the Computing Tabulating Recording Company). Gianinni's most successful opera, 'Taming of the Shrew', was published in 1950. He became the founding director of the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1965, the year before his death in New York City in 1966.

Vittorio Giannini   1920 - 1966

  Beauty and the Beast

    1938   NKU Opera Workshop

  Come, Sweet Kate

    1950   NKU Opera Workshop

    Opera: 'The Taming of the Shrew'

  Concerto Grosso


  Fantasia for Band




  Piano Concerto


    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Daniel Spalding

    Piano: Gabriela Imreh

  Piano Quintet


  Prelude and Fugue


  Psalm 130


    Orchestra of America

    Conducting: Gary Karr

  Symphony No 3


    Eastman Wind Ensemble

    Director: Archibald Clyde Roller

  Symphony No 5


  Tell Me, Oh Blue, Blue Sky

    1927   Vocal: Genevieve Marino

  Trio for Piano and Strings


     Piano: Adam Neiman

     Violin: Stefan Milenkovich

     Violoncello: Ani Asnavoorian

Birth of Classical Music: Vittorio Giannini

Vittorio Giannini

Source: UNC School of Arts
Birth of Classical Music: Vladimir Horowitz

Vladimir Horowitz

Source: WQXR
A Jew born in Kiev in 1903, Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz wasn't a composer (though he arranged, doing transcriptions). But he belongs in this history of modern classical music due to his impact as a pianist during the modern period. He entered the Kiev Conservatory in 1912. He gave his first public recital in 1920. Experiencing no career struggles at all, he rapidly became successful. His first performance beyond Russia was in Berlin in 1925. In 1926 he recorded some piano rolls for Welte-Mignon in Freiburg, Germany. After visiting Paris and London, Horowitz made his debut in New York City at Carnegie Hall in 1928, making gramophone recordings for Victor the same year. Horowitz returned to the Soviet Union for the first time in 1986, visiting Moscow and Leningrad, followed by tour dates in Europe and Tokyo. His final tour of Europe was in 1987 when he gave his last public recitals. He died in 1989 of heart attack in New York City. Horowitz's repertoire was largely Romantic, he perhaps best known for his performances of Rachmaninoff (a very difficult composer to play).

Vladimir Horowitz

 Ballade 1 in G Minor

   Composer: Chopin   1835-1836   Op 23   Solo

   Live performance at Carnegie Hall

 Fantasy in F minor

   Composer: Chopin   1841   Op 49   Solo

   Recorded live at Carnegie Hall 1948

 Live at Carnegie Hall


 Piano Concerto 1

   Composer: Tchaikovsky   Op 23

   3 versions: 1874–75   1876–79   1888-90?

   NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini

   Recorded live at Carnegie Hall 1943

 Piano Concerto 3 in D minor

Composer: Rachmaninoff   1909

   Op 30   3 movements

   RCA Victor SO/Fritz Reiner   Recorded 1951

  Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1903, Aram Khachaturian moved to Moscow in 1921. He there studied both music at the Gnessin Musical Institute and biology at Moscow University. He enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory in 1929, composing his first symphony as a graduation piece in 1935. His professional work, 'Piano Concerto in D flat major' in 1936 brought immediate success which works to follow would make him a major composer early in his career. In 1939 he traveled in Armenia to study folk music there. His ballet, 'Gayane', premiered in Leningrad under siege in 1942. His Second Sympony' appeared in 1943, his incidental poem, 'Masquerade', the next year. His symphonic poem of 1947 ('Symphony 3') earned him the denunciation of the Communist Party the next year, whence he was exiled to Armenia. He was back in Moscow to teach in 1950, the year he began composing his third and last ballet, 'Spartacus'. He toured internationally during his other tasks as a musician such as conducting and teaching. He was a deputy in the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union from 1958 to '62. Khachaturian died in Moscow in 1978. He had composed largely orchestral works, including incidental music, as well as film scores, instrumentals, pieces for piano and brass band. Khachaturian does his own conducting in a couple pieces below.

Aram Khachaturian   1925 - 1978

 Cello Concerto in E minor


   Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra

   Vladimir Fedoseyev

   Cello: Denis Shapovalov


   1939–41   Ballet

   USSR Radio & TV Large Symphony Orchestra

   Djansug Kakhidze

 Suite from Masquerade

   1944   Incidental music

   Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

 Suite from Spartacus 2

   1955   Ballet

   Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

 Symphony 2 in E minor

   1943   'Bell symphony'   Recorded 1977

   USSR State Symphony Orchestra

   Conductor: Aram Khachaturian

 Symphony 3

   1947   Symphonic poem

   The Japan Gustav Mahler Orchestra

   Hisayoshi Inoue

   Organ: Arthur Adamian

 Triumphal Poem

   1950   BBC Philharmonic/Fedor Glushchenko

 Violin Concerto in D minor

   1940   Recorded 1965

   Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra

   Conductor: Aram Khachaturian

   Violin: David Oistrakh

Birth of Classical Music: Aram Khachaturian

Aram Khachaturian   1964

Photo: Dutch National Archives/The Hague

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Luigi Dallapiccola

Luigi Dallapiccola

Source: Il Sussidiario
Born in 1904 in what is now Pazin, Croatia, Luigi Dallapiccola graduated in piano in the twenties from the Florence Conservatory (matriculation 1922). Becoming a professor there in 1931, he there remained until 1967. He initially supported Mussolini's rise to power in 1922, but during the thirties he turned decidedly antifascist, especially upon Mussolini's cooperation with Adolf Hitler, as Dallapiccola's wife, Laura, was Jewish. Though forced into hiding a couple times during World War II he largely carried on as before, with the exception of refraining from recitals in Nazi-occupied countries. In 1951 and '52 he made appearances at Tanglewood (musical venue in Massachusetts, home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937). He began teaching at Queens College in New York in 1956. Dallapiccola completed his last opera, 'Ulisse', in 1968, having worked on it for eight years. His last finished composition in 1972, he that year completed his 'Commiato' for soprano and orchestra. He was working on another vocal piece but hours before his death in 1975 in Florence of lung edema. Dallapiccola had composed using diatonic scales until 'Linche Greche', his first serial twelve-tone work completed in 1945. He had also written a number of antifascist political works, such as 'Canti di prigionia' and 'Il Prigioniero' below.

Luigi Dallapiccola   1924 - 1975

 Canti di prigionia


    New London Chamber Choir/James Wood

    Ensemble InterContemporain/Hans Zender


    1972   For soprano & orchestra

    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Lucas Vis

    Sopran: Dorothy Dorow

 Il Prigioniero

    1944-48   Opera

    O & C del Teatro Comunale di Bologna

    Michele Mariotti

    La Madre: Valentina Corradetti

    Il Prigioniero: Chad Armstrong


    1951   For violin & orchestra

    BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda

 Tartiniana seconda

    1955-56   For piano & violin

    Piano: Duccio Beverini   Violin: Simone Ferrari

 Tempus destruendi - Tempus aedificandi

    1970-71   For choir

    New London Chamber Choir/James Wood

 Three Questions with Two Answers


    BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda

 Variations for Orchestra

    1954   Recorded 1994

    Orchestra Filarmonica di Leningrado

    Mario Ruffini

Born in 1906 in St. Petersburg, Dmitri Shostakovich thought it not enough that Russian composition nigh owned the Romantic period but for a Chopin or Wagner now and then: it might as well claim the modern as well. Shostakovich began piano at age nine. He was composing at age twelve, one piece a funeral march for Kadets murdered by Bolsheviks, not your everyday twelve year-old theme. He enrolled at the Petrograd Conservatory the next year, where over the years he showed little interest in politics. His Op 1, 'Scherzo in F sharp minor', appeared in 1919. His first symphony appeared in 1926, his second in 1927, the premier of his first in the United States (Philadelphia) in 1928. His opera, 'The Nose', premiered in 1929 to poor result, the same year of his debut film score for the silent, 'The New Babylon'. In 1936 his opera, 'Lady Macbeth' and his ballet, 'The Limpid Stream', were condemned by Stalin, the Politburo and 'Pravda' (the leading Communist newspaper). Such was a big deal not only because his income began a huge plunge, but because Stalin's Great Purge started in 1936, during which artists, musicians, intellectuals, scientists and the like with unacceptable views were being imprisoned or shot. Shostakovich was working on his fourth symphony at the time, which he then withdrew (it not premiering until 1961, eight years after Stalin's death). Presented with the problem of needing both money and a safer low profile, he focused on film scores. In 1937 he composed his fifth symphony in form more pleasing to powers that be, which success made him a bit braver with his chamber works. In 1939 Shostakovich composed 'Suite on Finnish Themes'. It was intended to be a triumphal entry to Helsinki, complete with parade. The Winter War between Finland and Russia, however, left too little to celebrate. The Soviets thought the Fins would be an easy mark, Finland vastly overpowered in military might. But Stalin's Terror had by then imprisoned or executed some 30,000 experienced officers: Stalin had a lot of big guns but few who knew how to use them. The result of the Winter War for the Fins were some huge concessions (: 11 percent territory, 30 percent economy), but for the Soviets the war had been a great strain and Helsinki remained independent. 'Suite on Finnish Themes', a work of imagination in more ways than one, therefore saw no premier until 2001, Shostakovich himself having no interest in it. During World War II Shostakovich wrote his seventh symphony, concerning the siege of Leningrad, to international Allied acclaim (Great Britain, the United States). He premiered his eighth symphony in Moscow in 1943. A tragic rather than triumphal work, it was unofficially banned until 1956. His ninth symphony appeared in 1945, deemed by one critic as too "childish" to be expressive of Nazi defeat. Shostakovich found his works banned again in 1948 via the Zhdanov Doctrine, which intent was to sterilize Russia of foreign influences, including in musical composition. Summoned to apologize before the Central Committee for writing unacceptable (anti-proletarian) works, Shostakovich then watched his income fall away. Russia wasn't making it easy for one of the greatest composers it ever produced. Facing a compromising situation, in 1949  Shostakovich was given opportunity to redeem himself as a representative of Soviet Russia at the Cultural and Scientific Congress for World Peace in New York City. Publicly asked by Russian composer, Nicolas Nabokov (a United States citizen since 1939), if he agreed with Soviet denunciation of Stravinsky, Shostakovich had no choice but confirm, though Stravinsky was among his favorite composers. Nabokov then published that Shostakovich was a tool of the Soviet government. Shostakovich was then compelled to write the cantata, 'Song of Forests' (1949), in which Stalin is praised as a great gardener. In 1951 he found himself a deputy in the Supreme Soviet of Russia. His tenth symphony premiered in December of 1953, Stalin having died the previous March. He recorded a couple piano concertos for EMI in 1958 with André Cluytens conducting. In 1960 Shostakovich became a member of the Communist Party under Khrushchev, less than apparently by blackmail, making that one of the saddest periods of his life. Articles appeared in 'Pravda' that he didn't write denouncing individualism in music. Twisted one way and the other like one's appendages caught in a Chinese finger trap, he then dedicated his twelfth symphony (titled, 'The Year 1917', concerning the Bolshevik Revolution) to Vladimir Lenin by previous commitment. His thirteenth symphony, premiering in 1962, concerned the slaughter of Ukrainian Jews during World War II. Atheist Shostakovich died in 1975 of lung cancer, his funeral march with a political setting at age twelve something of a naive prophecy, and the apolitical stance of his younger years naive with forward reasons why, coming to be embroiled in such as he really didn't give two whits about, in order to continue composing in Russia, and perhaps improve matters in a wee way. Shostakovich never fought on a battlefield, but his mind was continuously at war, knowing full well that music, like air, has no national boundaries, whilst at once placed by his talent at the fore of Russian culture, which he also knew full well, attempting to bear it whilst at once discouraged by political behemoth. Shostakovich was gegan Russia (next to: both with and [up] against). Some may think he wanted courage; others think he was a lone and misunderstood hero (: romantic). What do but some vodka (one of Shostakovich's comforts together with cigarettes) when imagining and thinking get confused all day, every day, everywhere? Shostakovich had been a prolific composer, producing a strong number works in each category common to the repertoire of classical composers, including film scores as of the Modern period. Shostakovich completed fifteen symphonies. Unfortunately, listing only the first ten greatly stretches the limits we need impose. More Shostakovich is interpreted by conductor, Eugene Ormandy, above.

Dmitri Shostakovich
   1919 - 1975

  Cello Concerto 1 in E flat major

     1959   Op 107

     French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Conducting: Lionel Bringuier

  String Quartet 8 in C minor

     Dedicated to victims of fascism and war

     1960   Op 110

     Fitzwilliam String Quartet

  String Quintet 11 in G minor

     1940   Op 57   Beethoven Quartet

Piano: Dmitri Shostakovich

  Symphony 1 in F minor

  1924–25   Op 10

     Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

     Kirill Kondrashin

  Symphony 2 in B major

     1927   'To October'   Op 14

     Oratorio Choir/John Sutton

     Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra

     Christopher Russell

  Symphony 3 in E flat major

     1929   'The First of May'   Op 20

     Russian State Academic Choir Cappella

     Orchestra of the USSR Ministry of Culture

     Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

  Symphony 4 in C minor

     1935-36   Op 43

     Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

     Kirill Kondrashin

  Symphony 5 in D minor

     1937   Op 47

     Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

     Kirill Kondrashin

     Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

  Symphony 6 in B minor

     1939   Op 54

     Wiener Philarmoniker/Leonard Bernstein

  Symphony 7 in C major

     1941   'Leningrad'   Op 60

     Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

     Vasily Petrenko

  Symphony 8 in C minor

     1943   Op 65

     WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Rudolf Barshai

  Symphony 9 in E flat major

     1945   Op 70

     Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

     Kirill Kondrashin

  Symphony 10 in E minor

     1953   Op 93

     Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

     Kirill Kondrashin

Birth of Classical Music: Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen

Source: Cleveland Com
Born in Avignon in southern France in 1908, organist Olivier Messiaen was a Roman Catholic who entered the Paris Conservatoire at age eleven. He was appointed organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité in 1931, which position he maintained until his death. World War II found Messiaen drafted into the French Army working as a medical auxiliary. Becoming a POW in 1940, while captured he composed an early version of 'Quartet for the End of Time' and premiered it at Stalag VIII-A in January 1941 with a frozen piano. Upon release from prison camp in May of 1941 he became a teacher of harmony at the Paris Conservatoire. He there remained until retirement in 1978. In 1944 Messiaen published 'Technique of my musical language'. Messiaen was an ornathologist who much concerned himself with birdsong. His 'Le merle noir' of 1952 is among his earliest compositions incorporating birdsong, in that case blackbird for flute. He began orchestrating birdsong in 1953. The Birdman of Alcatraz, meanwhile, didn't have a bird to call on, because he had actually been the Birdman of Leavenworth, canaries his specialty for a few decades, before getting transferred to Alcatraz in 1942 where he had no access to birds but visited with Burt Lancaster. Messiaen's 1962 visit to Japan inspired his 'Japanese sketches'. His hugely orchestrated work, 'La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ', premiered in Lisbon in 1969. A 1972 visit to Utah's Bryce Canyon inspired his 'Des canyons aux étoiles' ('Canyons to the Stars'). Among his last compositions was 'Éclairs sur l'au-delà...' ('Flashes of Lightning...' or 'Illuminations of the Beyond...'), completed in 1991 to premier posthumously. Messiaen died in Paris in April 1992, a highly sophisticated composer among the more highly regarded by professional peers. With Messiaen music had developed a long way beyond comparatively simple Mozart.

Olivier Messiaen   1924 - 1992


   1932-33   4 meditations for orchestra

   C & OS de RTVE/Carlos Kalmar

 Catalogue d'oiseaux

   1956-58   'Bird catalogue'   7 books

   Piano: Yvonne Loriod

 Éclairs sur l'au-delà...

   1988–91   'Illuminations on the Beyond'

   SWR SO Baden-Baden & Freiburg

   Sylvain Cambreling


   Organ: Olivier Messiaen   Recorded 1991

 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux

   1985   'Small sketches of birds'

   Piano: Håkan Austbø

 Quartet for the end of time

   1940–41   Cameo Trio with Janis Laurs

 Visions de l'Amen

   1943   For 2 pianos

   Pianos: Elizabeth & Marcel Bergmann

  Born in 1909 in Denmark, Victor Borge (Børge Rosenbaum) was among the more important composers of the modern period without ever having produced an Op 1. Borge gave his first piano concert in 1926 in Denmark. He began joking about during performances a few years later, a comedian for a decade before arriving to America. He was in Sweden during the Nazi occupation of Denmark and fled to Finland, then America, arriving in 1940 with twenty dollars. Borge began his career in the States in radio in 1941, changing his name. Though barely able to speak English he quickly became popular. Having already appeared in films in the thirties, Borge began recording and making television appearances in the mid forties which over the decades would made him a very financially comfortable man. His initial 'Phonetic Punctuation' was released by Columbia in 1945. The first segment of 'The Victor Borge Show' aired for NBC in 1946. Borge was an able pianist who gave himself disabilities on stage. He also conducted a number of orchestras during his career. Borge died in his sleep in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2000. The date below reflects when he began giving comical musical criticisms (so-called "reviews"), Borge performing until his death.

Victor Borge   1933 - 2000

 Autumn Leaves

   With baritone Robert Merrill

 Dance of the Comedians

   1986   Boston Pops Orchestra

 Hands Off

With sopran Marilyn Mulvey

 Happy Birthday

 Hungarian Rhapsody 2

Piano 4 hands with pianist Leonid Hambro

 Live at the White House

(Eisenhower Inauguration)

 A Night at the Opera

1980   'The Don Lane Show'

 Page Turner

 What Does a Conductor Do?

Birth of Classical Music: Victor Borge

Victor Borge

Source: Victor Borge
Birth of Classical Music: William Schuman

William Schuman

Source: Bruce Duffie
Born in 1910 in Manhattan, William Howard Schuman first trained at violin and banjo as a child, also attending the Temple Shaaray Tefila (being Jewish). Upon graduating from high school in 1928 he pursued a business degree at New York University, working his way through at an advertising agency. He there met lyricist and music publisher, Edward Marks, for whom he began writing popular melodies in 1928. Those would have typically been sold as sheet music in Tin Pan Alley. The Library of Congress has Schuman on record in a collection spanning 1928 to 1990 but doesn't list all titles, they remaining a dig too deep to presently uncover. Schuman was also performing in nightclubs when he decided to become a classical composer in 1930 upon attending a concert by the the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. He exchanged New York University for the Malkin Conservatory, though about that period he was yet writing popular tunes, composing his first melody for lyricist, Frank Loesser, in 1931, 'In Love With the Memory of You', some forty more with Loesser to follow. Schuman studied under Roy Harris from '33 to 38. Upon acquiring his bachelor's  degree in 1935 from Columbia University NYC he began teaching composition at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York. He composed 'Symphony No 1' and 'String Quartet No 1' in 1935, since withdrawn, however, from publication. Schuman also withdrew 'Symphony No 2' per 1937, but decided 'String Quartet No 1' to be suitable for public digestion. Schuman wrote largely for orchestra, ten numbered symphonies alone. He also ventured much with stage works such as ballet, concertantes, pieces for voice, chamber ensembles and bands. Schuman owns the distinction of being the first Pulitzer Prize winner for Music in 1943 for 'Secular Cantata No 2: A Free Song'. Pulitzer had previously awarded a scholarship for music, that category becoming a Prize in '43. He formed the Juilliard String Quartet after becoming President of the Juilliard School in 1945. He became first President of Lincoln Center in 1961, to retain that role until 1969. In 1985 he won a Pulitzer Special Citation for contributions to composition and education. The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) bestowed to him the National Medal of Arts in 1987. Schuman died in New York City in 1992.

William Schuman   1930 - 1992


   1968   Overture for band

   Keystone Wind Ensemble

 A Free Song

   1943   'Secular Cantata No 2'

 George Washington Bridge


   President's Own US Marine Band

 Newsreel In Five Shots


   Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

   Director: Lukas Foss

 Night Journey

   1947   Ballet

 Symphony No 2

   1947   Conducting: Howard Barlow

   CBS Symphony Orchestra

 Symphony No 3

   1941   2 movement

   Conducting: Leonard Bernstein

   New York Philharmonic

  Symphony No 5

   1945   3 movements

   Conducting: Leonard Bernstein

   New York Philharmonic

 Symphony No 6

   1953   Conducting: Eugene Ormandy

   Philadelphia Orchestra

 Symphony No 7

   1960   Movements 1 & 2

    Director: Lorin Maazel

    New York Philharmonic

 Symphony No 7

   1960   Movements 3 & 4

    Director: Lorin Maazel

    New York Philharmonic

 Symphony No 8

   1962   Director: Gerard Schwarz

   Seattle Symphony Orchestra


   1945   Ballet

 Violin Concerto

   1945   1947 Revised '54 '57–8

   Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

   Conducting: José Serebrier

   Violin: Philippe Quint

Birth of Classical Music: John Cage

John Cage

Source: WikiArt
Born in 1912 in Los Angeles, John Milton Cage Jr. had an inventor and journalist for a father. He began piano lessons in the fourth grade. Matriculating into Pamona College in 1928 with intent to be a writer, he dropped out in 1930 to travel in Europe. He there experimented with composition using math equations which would lead to a fascination with random chance and "indeterminate music". Heading back to California in 1931 (Santa Monica), Cage pursued art and music independently until going to NYC to study with Henry Cowell, Adolph Weiss and Arnold Schoenberg. He then taught at Mills College in San Francisco before heading to Seattle to work with choreographer, Bonnie Bird. His composition, 'Bacchanale', of 1940 was his first prepared piano piece. (Prepared piano is the manipulation of the guts [strings] of a piano to produce various sounds, such as clamping, taping or placing objects on the strings.) He began teaching art at the Chicago School of Design (IIT Institute of Design). He also worked at the University of Chicago in a musical capacity and composed 'The City Wears a Slouch Hat' for CBS radio. In 1942 Cage left for NYC where he and wife as of 1935, Xenia, lived with painter, Max Ernst and art collector, Peggy Guggenheim. Cage was intended to supply the music for the opening of Guggenheim's gallery. But he had secured another commission at the Museum of Modern Art, so Guggenheim dropped him. He then began working with prepared piano and various choreographers. Cage composed his 'Imaginary Landscape 1' in 1939, using two turntables, frequency recordings, a cymbal and a muted piano for instruments. Cage would compose future pieces using all variety of method and objects from electric buzzers to audio frequency oscillators to tin cans. Cage began teaching at Black mountain College in Ashville, North Carolina, in 1948. He performed at Carnegie Hall in 1949, then acquired a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation to study with Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaen in Europe. His first "chance" work was 'Sixteen Dances' completed in 1951. Cage began using the 'I Ching' to compose in 1951, resulting in his 'Imaginary Landscape 4' incorporating his piano piece, 'Music of Changes', with 12 radios manned by 24 performers. In 1952 he "composed" '4'33"', consisting of performers not performing, ostensibly to reveal the music (coughing and such) being played in the atmosphere to which no one listens at a concert. '4'33"' nigh ruined Cage's career upon its premier, few finding any music in it. ('4'33"' isn't indexed below as it consists of nothing musicians sitting at their instruments.) In 1953 he completed his 'Williams Mix' consisting of tape music. (Tape music is the recording of sounds, then splicing and gluing them into shape.) He required the assistance of Earle Brown for that project, sound editing not an easy task. Touring Europe in 1954, Cage then began teaching at the New School in Greenwich Village as of 1956. His first "happening" for theatre was 'Sounds of Venice' at Black Mountain College in 1959, requiring one performer and a television set. (Cage had actually wrought his first happening in 1952 for multimedia with 'Black Mountain Piece'.  Happenings were theatrical events nigh entirely spontaneous and often involving the audience.) He took a residency at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, teaching experimental music, in the sixties, publishing a book of lectures, 'Silence', in 1961. Having lived with little material success up to that point, his scores then began getting published and his name gaining huge fame. In 1962 he completed 'Atlas Eclipticalis', a piece composed from star charts. His first performance of '0′00″' (also called '4′33″ 2') consisted of nothing but him writing a sentence. In 1965 he received a lifelong grant of living expenses from philanthropist, Betty Freeman. His multimedia work, 'HPSCHD', appeared in 1969. He also composed 'Cheap Imitation' in 1969, which he would record in 1976. Cage ceased performing in the seventies due to arthritis. The largest portion of Cage's art was produced in the seventies, he also publishing 'M' in 1973. His 1975 'Child of Tree' required performers to play various plants. 'Branches' of 1976 required them to play tree branches. The next year 'Inlets' required conch shells filled with water. His book, 'Empty Words', was published in 1979. He began writing his number pieces in 1987 with 'Two'. His number pieces were so titled according to the number of performers required. ('Two' required one flautist and one pianist.) From '87 to '91 he composed five operas, all titled 'Europera'. 1992 saw his only film collaboration with 'One', he dying the same year that August. From his earlier pieces for dance and percussion through his later works by chance, happenings and number pieces, Cage has been among the most controversial of modern classical musicians.

John Cage   1932 - 1992

 Atlas Eclipticalis

   1961-62   Star chart piece for 86 instruments

   Westminster Chamber Orchestra

   Brandon Derfler

 A Book of Music

   1944   For two prepared pianos

   Josef Christof & Steffen Schleiermacher


   1943   For percussion & prepared piano

   Ensemble Percussion Ricerca/Eddy De Fanti

   Prepared piano: Carlo Rabeschin

 Bird Cage

   'I Ching' chance tape music for 12 tapes

   Recorded 1972


   1976   'I Ching' chance piece

   For performance with branches

  Robyn Schulkowsky

 Child of Tree

   1975   'I Ching' chance piece

   For perfomance with plants

   Greg Beyer

 Europera 5

   1991   Opera

   Piano: Amaral Vieira

   Sopran: Catherine Gayer


   1977   For conch shells, fire and 4 performers

   Simone Beneventi

 Music for Amplified Toy Pianos

   1960   For toy pianos

   Pascal Meyer & Xenia Pestova


1979   Tape music


   1990   Number piece for seven performers

   Ives Ensemble

 Sixteen Dances

   1950-51   Chance pieces

   Mills Performing Group/Steed Cowart


   1992   For orchestra

   Radio Sinfonie Orchester Frankfurt/Lucas Vis

 String Quartet in Four Parts

   1949–50   LaSalle Quartet

 Water Walk

   1960   Object music

   Television performance: 'I've Got A Secret'

Birth of Classical Music: Painting by John Cage

Variations III 14   1992

Painting by John Cage

Source: Wikipedia
  Born in 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on the east coast of England, Benjamin Britten was composing before age ten. He enrolled at the Royal College of Musi in London in 1930. His first professional projects were for the BBC in the thirties, one such the documentary film score, 'The King's Stamp', in 1935. Successful performances of 'Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge' in North America preceded his arrival there in 1939. One reason cited was his pacifism amidst a Great Britain looking at war with Germany. He returned to Great Britain in 1942 where he obtained exemption from military service. Britten first recorded during World War II, for Decca in 1943. He composed 'Peter Grimes' at his home in Snape, Suffolk, the opera premiering in June 1945. Britten gave recitals after the War to concentration camp survivors. He concentrated on dramatic works in the fifties. His 'War Requiem' premiered in 1962, 'Owen Wingrave' for BBC in 1967. Among Britten's last works was the cantata, 'Phaedra', in 1975, premiering the next year. He died of congestive heart failure on December 1976. He had been offered burial at Westminster Abbey, but he preferred to be buried next to his lover since 1937, tenor Peter Pears, who followed Britten to the grave in 1986. He had written largely works for stage, chamber, orchestra and voice, as well as concertantes and instrumentals.

Benjamin Britten   1928 - 1976

  Ballad of Heroes

   1939   Op 14   3 movements

   London SO & C/Richard Hickox

 A Boy Was Born

   1933   Revised 1955   Op 3

   English Opera Group   Purcell Singers

   Choristers of All Saints   Margaret Street

 Cantata misericordium

   1963   Orchester Camerata Musica Luzern

 The Company of Heaven


   Central City Chorus

   Adelphi Chamber Orchestra

   Phillip Cheah

 Death in Venice

   1973   Op 88   Opera for film

   Robert Gard

 The Prince of the Pagodas

   1956   Ballet   Op 57

   London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen

  Violin Concerto

   1939 Revised   1958   Op 15   Concertante

   Orchestre de Paris/Paavo Järvi

   Janine Jansen

 War Requiem

   1961-62   Op 66

   The Bach Choir   Highgate School Choir

   London SO Chorus   Melos Ensemble

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Sopran: Galina Vishnevskaya

Birth of Classical Music: Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten

Source: Britannica
Birth of Classical Music: Tikhon Khrennikov

Tikhon Khrennikov

Source: Mariinsky Theatre
Born in 1913 in Yelets, Russia, to a family of horse traders, Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov took up guitar and mandolin as a child, also singing in a choir. He played in an orchestra, then studied piano. Khrennikov enrolled at the Gnessin State Musical College in 1929. He was being recognized as a leading composer, especially Soviet composer, before entering the Moscow Conservatory in 1932. His graduation piece was his 'Symphony 1' in 1936. Khrennikov was a highly political composer, his a sweet antifascist and anti-zionist marriage with the Stalin regime, necessarily conservative and anti-modernist as well. Khrennikov's career much consisted of policing the avant-garde in Soviet music. His big burst to renown was upon winning the Stalin Prize in 1941. As a result he became musical director at the Central Theatre of the Red Army that year. He both joined the Communist Party and became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet in 1947. The following year he was appointed Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers by Stalin. During the fifties Khrennikov became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a representative in the Supreme Soviet in 1962. Khrennikov died in 2007 yet a firm Stalinist.

Tikhon Khrennikov   1929 - 2007

 Love for Love   [Part 1]

   1976   Ballet   Direction: Pavel Sorokin

 Love for Love   [Part 2]

   1976   Ballet   Direction: Pavel Sorokin

 Symphony 2   [Part 1]

   1942   Allegro con fuoco

   Direction: Evgueni Svetlanov

 Symphony 2   [Part 2]

   1942   Allegro con fuoco

   Direction: Evgueni Svetlanov

 Symphony 2   [Part 3]

   1942   Allegro molto   Allegro marchialo

   Direction: Evgueni Svetlanov

 Symphony 3   [Part 1]

   1974   Fugue   Intermezzo

 Symphony 3   [Part 2]

   1974   Finale

   Direction: Evgueni Svetlanov

 Violin Concerto 1

   1959   Direction: Evgeny Svetlanov ?

   Violin: Vadim Repin

 Violin Concerto 2

   1975   Direction: Vladimir Fedoseyev

   Violin: Maxim Vengerov

  Born in Warsaw in 1913, René Leibowitz studied beneath Maurice Ravel, as well as Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone system with Erich Itor Kahn and Anton Webern. Leibowitz made his conducting debut in 1937 with the Chamber Orchestra of the French Radio in Europe, then in America. His 1947 book first published in Paris, 'Schoenberg et son école', was among the earliest treatises addressing Schoenberg's serialism, a term Leibowitz helped to coin. Leibowitz died in 1972.

René Leibowitz
   1930 - 1972

 Sonate pour flûte et piano

   1944   Op 12a

   Flauto: Severino Gazzelloni   Piano: Else Stock

 Tre Intermezzi per pianoforte

1970   Op 87

   Piano: J Marc Reichow

 Variations non sérieuses

1960   Op 54   'Marijuana'

   Ensemble Aisthesis/Walter Nußbaum



   Ensemble Aisthesis/Walter Nußbau

   Narration: Jean-Michel Fournereau

Birth of Classical Music: Rene Leibowitz

Rene Leibowitz

Source: Bach Cantatas
Birth of Classical Music: Rene Leibowitz

George Perle

Source: George Perle
Born in 1815 in Bayonne, New Jersey, George Perle studied at DePaul University in Chicago. Among Perle's claims to fame was his development of twelve-tone tonality, similar to Schoenberg's dodecaphonic system (replacing the major and minor keys of seven notes each with a twelve-note chromatic scale to better accommodate atonality) but more liberal. Perle taught at Queens College in NYC. In 1986 he won both a Pulitzer ('Fourth Wind Quintet') and a MacArthur Fellowship. Perle published several books before his death in January 2009.

George Perle   1935 - 2009

  Classic Suite

    1938   Piano: Michael Brown

  Molto Adagio

1938   Daedalus Quartet

    London SO & C/Richard Hickox

  Short Sonata

    1964   Piano: Michael Boriskin

  Six New Etudes

    1984   Piano: Michael Boriskin

  Suite in C

1970   Piano: Michael Boriskin

  Transcendental Modulations

1993   The American SO/Leon Botstein


    1969   Piano: Michael Brown


    2002   Piano: Brent Funderburk

    Violin: Francesca Anderegg

Birth of Classical Music: Humphrey Searle

Humphrey Searle

Photo: Don Smith/BBC

Source: Music Web
Born in 1915 in Oxford, Humphrey Searle studied at the Royal College of Music in London, then with Anton Webern in Vienna. From 1946 to 1948 he worked as a producer for the BBC promoting the twelve-tone chromatic scale of Schoenberg's serialism, helping to coin the term. Searle wrote largely for stage, chamber, orchestra and voice. He died in London in 1982.

Humphrey Searle   1940 - 1982

  Symphony 1

    1953   Op 23

    London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult

 Symphony 2

    1956-58   Op 33

    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

    Alun Francis

 Symphony 3

    1960   Op 36

    BBC Symphony Orchestra/John Pritchard

 Symphony 4

    1962   Op 38

    City of Birmingham SO/Humphrey Searle

 Symphony 5

    1964   Op 43

    Halle Orchestra/Lawrence Leonard

 Three Ages

    1982   Op 77

    Royal College of Music Sinfonia

    Christopher Adey

 Woodland Harvest

    1977   Film score

  Born in 1916 in Philadelphia, Milton Babbitt didn't have a lot in common with the everyday Babbitt in Sinclair Lewis' novel. He had intended to study math before he switched from the University of Pennsylvania to New York University in 1931 to add music to his curriculum. Graduating in 1942 in fine arts, he first worked in math research in Washington DC, then taught math at Princeton from '43' to '45'. In 1948 he joined Princeton's music department. His 'Composition for Synthesizer' appeared in 1961. Babbitt became a member of the faculty at Juilliard in 1973. He died in 2011.

Milton Babbitt   1935 - 2011

  Arie da capo


    Group for Contemporary Music

    Harvey Sollberger

  Canonical Form

1983   Piano: Robert Taub

  Clarinet Quintet

1996   Phoenix Ensemble

  Composition for Synthesizer


    Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center

  Concerto for Piano & Orchestra


    American Composers Orchestra

    Charles Wuorinen   Piano: Alan Feinberg

  Ensembles for Synthesizer


    Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center

  Four Play

    1984   Composers Ensemble/Paul Zukofsky


1985 Piano: Robert Taub

  None But the Lonely

    1991   Flute: Rachel Rudich

  Septet But Equal

    1992   Composers Ensemble/Paul Zukofsky


1973   Piano: Robert Taub

Birth of Classical Music: Milton Babbitt

Milton Babbitt

Source: Princeton University
Birth of Classical Music: Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Source: Leonard Bernstein
This history of classical music is dotted with the conducting of Leonard Bernstein. Born in 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Bernstein was of Ukrainian Jewish heritage. His father owned a downtown bookstore. Graduating from Harvard as a music major in 1939, he then studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Upon leaving Curtis he began his professional life as and arranger and transcriptionist for a music publisher. He composed his 'Symphony 1' ('Jeremiah') in 1942. His career took off in 1943 when composer and conductor, Bruno Walter, fell of flu and required quick replacement at a New York Philharmonic performance at Carnegie Hall, which Bernstein did without rehearsal. He became Music Director of the New York City Symphony Orchestra in 1945. Making his first rip to Europe in 1946 with the Philharmonia Orchestra, he conducted in Tel Aviv the next year. He began lecturing for the CBS television show, 'Omnibus', in 1954. In 1959 he took the New York Philharmonic on a tour of Europe and the Soviet Union. Though he vacated his position as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1969, he continued conducting the orchestra on international tours. He became a professor of poetry at Harvard in 1973 which led to his televised lecture series, 'The Unanswered Question'. Having begun recording in the forties, in 1985 he conducted a recording of the musical, 'West Side Story'. His last composition was in 1989, the brief 'Dance Suite'. In 1990 Bernstein received the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Arts Association, which $100,000 prize he used to found Bernstein Education Through the Arts (BETA). 1990 was also the year of his last performance as a conductor, in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, with the Boston SO. He died two months later of heart attack. Bernstein was far better known as a conductor, especially as a champion of Mahler. Even if Bernstein hadn't composed he'd have to be included this history as a conductor. One reason, among others, is that he also conducted at piano. Bernstein left behind a strong number of compositions for chamber, orchestra, piano and voice in addition to dramatic works. Modernists and whatnot aside, the modern period of classical music without Leonard Bernstein would be a gap like folk music without Bob Dylan for its impact. Bernstein conducts a number of his own pieces below. He also plays piano.

Leonard Bernstein   1937 - 1989

  Chichester Psalms

    1965   For boy soprano

    Poznan Philharmonic Choir

    Conductor: Leonard Bernstein

  Dance Suite

    1989   Last composition

    Staatsopernballett Wien

  On the Town

    1944   Ballet

    RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Leonard Bernstein

    Recorded 1945

  Piano Concerto in G

    Composer: Maurice Ravel   1931

    Orchestre National de France

    Piano: Leonard Bernstein

    Performance: 1975

  Piano Concerto 1 in C major

Composer: Beethoven   1796

    Vienna Philharmonic

    Piano: Leonard Bernstein

    Performance: 1970

  Piano Concerto 17 in G major 1


    Composer: Mozart   1784   K 453

    Piano: Leonard Bernstein

    Wiener Philharmoniker

  Piano Concerto 17 in G major 2


    Composer: Mozart   1784   K 453

    Piano: Leonard Bernstein

    Wiener Philharmoniker

  Piano Concerto 17 in G major 3

Allegrretto - Finale - Presto

    Composer: Mozart   1784   K 453

    Piano: Leonard Bernstei

    Wiener Philharmoniker

  Piano Trio

    1937   The Australian Piano Trio

  Rhapsody in Blue   [Part 1]

    Composer: George Gershwin   1924

    New York Philharmonic

    Piano: Leonard Bernstein

    Performance: 1976

  Rhapsody in Blue   [Part 2]

Composer: George Gershwin   1924

    New York Philharmonic

    Piano: Leonard Bernstein

    Performance: 1976

  Symphony 2

1949 Revised in 1965   'The Age of Anxiety'

    London Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Leonard Bernstein

    Performance: 1986

  Three Meditations from 'Mass'


    Cello: Daniel Gaisford

Birth of Classical Music: Bernd Zimmerman

Bernd Zimmerman

Source: Biografias y Vidas
Born in 1918 in Bliesheim, Rhine Province of Germany, Bernd Alois Zimmermann was the son of a farmer and railway worker. He was raised Catholic, matriculating into the University for Music in Cologne in 1938. Drafted into the Wehrmacht (Army) in 1938, he served a couple years then returned to his studies, his graduation delayed until 1947 due to wartime conditions in Germany. He'd nevertheless given his first public performances in 1946. His second version of 'Concerto for Orchestra' premiered in Darmstadt in 1948. He kept alive in the fifties by arranging for films and composing for radio. Zimmermann won a scholarship to the German Academy in Rome in 1957, also becoming Professor of Composition, as well as Film and Broadcast Music, at the Cologne Music University. 1960 brought 'Sonata for cello solo', which examples his development of pluralistic tonal composition. 1963 brought another scholarship, this time to the Villa Massimo, as well as a fellowship in the Berlin Academy of the Arts. In 1965 'Dialogues for 2 pianos and orchestra' emerged, more good example of pluralistic tonal composition. Zimmermann committed suicide at his home in Königsdorf, near Cologne, in August 1970. His last composition is thought to have been 'Ich wandte mich und sah an alles Unrecht das geschah unter der Sonne' (I turned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun), also referred to as 'Ecclesiastical Action for two speakers, solo bass and orchestra' or, yet more easily, 'Ecclesiastical Action'. An avant-garde composer, Zimmerman composed for orchestra, ballet, chamber, voice, solo instruments and tape music.

Bernd Zimmermann   1945 - 1970



Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

    Director: Karl-Heinz Steffens

  Die Befristeten

   1967   For jazz quartet

   Manfred Schoof Quintet



    Konzert für 2 Klaviere und Orchester

London Philharmonic Orchestra

    Royal Albert Hall London

Conducting: Vladimir Jurowski

    Piano: Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Piano: Tamara Stefanovich

  Ekklesiastische Aktion

    1970   Radio Symfonie Orkest

     Director: Richard Dufallo

 Bass: Wout Oosterkamp

     Speaker: Bernard Kruysen

     Speaker: Lieuwe Visser

Performance: Amsterdam 1986

  Musique pour les soupers du Roi Ubu



    1968   Prélude für großes Orchester

     Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

 Direction: Ingo Metzmacher


    1968   Prélude für großes Orchester

     Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken

 Direction: Hans Zender

 Sinfonia in un movimento

    1951   Revised 1953

     North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

 Conductor: Gunter Wand

 Stille und Umkehr

    1970   Orchestral sketch

     Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester

 Directing: Hans Zender

 Nobody Knows the Trouble I see

    1954   Trumpet concerto

     Radio Sinfonie Orchester Frankfurt

 Conducting: Dmitrij Kitajenko

     Trumpet: Reinhold Friedrich

  Born in 1919 in West Allis, Wisconsin, Władziu Valentino Liberace was neither a composer nor a virtuoso pianist, but he is of the period and should be mentioned for one reason: stage. Liberace was himself a whole opera, the performer in essence who happened, by the way, to play piano. Albeit he used classical piano more to promote showmanship than showmanship to promote classical piano, Liberace popularized classical music to the degree that his name became a household word: no one has not heard of Liberace, therefore making him something requisite to this history. He began playing piano at age four. By 1934 he was playing popular music in cabarets and theatres. By 1950 he had played in major cities throughout the States, having added classical pieces to his repertoire in the early forties. He began perfecting his act as an entertainer in 1944 in Las Vegas, adopted 'Liberace' as his stage name in 1945, also adding his trademark candelabrum. He performed for President Truman in 1950. Liberace broke the record in 1954 for the highest paid single classical performance, earning $138,000 at Madison Square Garden. The next year saw him earning $50,000 a week at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Television appearances began making him a multi-millionaire. 'The Liberace Show' premiered in 1952. Liberace became the first glitter rock star, so to speak: it wasn't so much the music; it was the show, which he and everybody recognized, making it largely irrelevant to address his performances as a music critic. More germane criticism would have pertained to his exhibitions of the lavish, to which classical music was something of his coattail in the breeze. A Roman Catholic, Liberace obtained audience with another glamorous figure, Pope Pius XII, in 1960. The "one-man Disneyland," as Liberace called himself, also owned antique stores, a restaurant and published cookbooks. A money magnet, his shows in Las Vegas would be earning him $300,000 a week. His appearance in films was limited, but his recordings only added multi-millions to his multi-millions. Liberace died of pneumonia complicated with AIDS in 1987, he at his home in Palm Springs, California. He had understandably obscured the fact that he was homosexual, though was eventually unsuccessful in that. Liberace plays a typically abbreviated version of a classical work in the first movement of 'Concerto 1' below, which is actually 18 minutes long.

Valentino Liberace  


    1952   'The Liberace Show'

 Concerto 1 in B flat minor

    Movement 1   Allegro

    Composer: Tchaikovsky   1874-75

    'The Liberace Show'

  Live in Copenhagen


  Live in London


  Live in Monte Carlo


  Tip Toe Through the Tulips

    1954   'The Liberace Show'   With Nick Lucas

 Warsaw Concerto

    Composer: Addinsell   1941

    Released 1954

Birth of Classical Music: Valentino Liberace

Valentino Liberace

Source: Obits In Orbit
Birth of Classical Music: Bruno Modernae

Bruno Moderna

Source: The Guardian
Born in 1920 in Venice, Bruno Maderna played violin as a child before formal studies in Milan, Venice, Rome, Sienna, then with composer, Gian Malipiero, until 1943. He was drafted into the Austrian Army during World War II, but is said to have later joined the antifascist Partisan Resistance. After the War he became a professor at the Venice Conservatory. His career as a conductor got a jumpstart in 1951, conducting at the annual Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. Maderna taught in various capacities during the sixties. He died in Darmstadt in 1973, best known for his electro-acoustic works in addition to conducting.

Bruno Maderna   1935 - 1973



   NDR Symphonieorchester Hamburg

   Bruno Maderna

   Recorded live in Hamburg 1973

 Composizione 1

1948-49   Frankfurt Radio SO/Arturo Tamayo

 Composizione 2

   1950   Frankfurt Radio SO/Arturo Tamayo


   1958   Tape music

 Dimension III

   1962-63   Frankfurt Radio SO/Arturo Tamayo

 Grande Aulodia


   Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks

   Bernhard Klee



   C & O della RAI di Roma/Bruno Maderna

   Recorded live in Rome 1966



   C & O del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia

   Andrea Molino

 Serenata 2

   1954 Revised 1956

   English Chamber Orchestra/Bruno Maderna

 Serenata per un Satellite

   1969   Ex Novo Ensemble/Carlo Ambrosio

  Born in 1920 in Varanasi, India, sitar player Ravi Shankar began his music career in his youth as a dancer, touring both Europe and India. Shankar was a classical Indian musician, peripherally associated with jazz and rock. It was 1938 when he gave up dancing to study sitar, giving his first public performances the next year. He began composing for the Indian People's Theatre Association in 1945. Shankar first recorded in 1949 for HMV Records in India (not found). He toured the Soviet Union in 1954, after which he began playing concerts in Europe and the United States in 1956, the year he released his first album, 'Three Ragas'. He published the autobiography, 'My Music, My Life', in 1968. Shankar became associated with Beatles member, George Harrison, in London in 1966, and played at Woodstock in 1969. But with the exception of Harrison, Shankar distanced himself from rock, disliking the venue while preferring classical directions. (Go figure David Lee Roth fans, just jumping, at a Shankar concert.) Between 1986 and 1992 Shankar served in the upper chamber of the Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha). In 1990 he released an album with Philip Glass, 'Passages'. Shankar published his second memoir, 'Raga Mala', with Harrison as editor, in 1997. His last tour dates in Europe were in the United Kingdom in 2011. He gave his last concert at Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California in November of 2012, he dying the next month. Shankar was a Hindu and vegetarian. Per below, Shankar is the single composer on this page listed chronologically per release date rather than alphabetically by title. 

Ravi Shankar    1956

  Raga Ahir Bhairav

   Raga Jog

  Raga Simhendra Madhyamam

Ravi Shankar  1960

  Sanwre Sanwre

      Vocal: Lata Mangeshkar Anuradha

Ravi Shankar  1964

  Raga Hamsdhwani

Ravi Shankar  1969

  Evening Raga

    Filmed live at Woodstock

Ravi Shankar  1972

  In Concert 1972

    Album with Ali Akbar Khan

Ravi Shankar  1977


     Filmed live with John Mclaughlin

Ravi Shankar  1979

  The Spirit of India


Ravi Shankar  1980



Ravi Shankar  1990


      Album with Philip Glass

Ravi Shankar  1997

  Chants of India



Birth of Modern Jazz: Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar

Source: Vintage Guitar

  Born in 1920 in Isaac Stern wasn't a composer, but as a violin virtuoso there is no avoiding him in a history of modern classical music. Though born in Soviet Ukraine his parents took him to San Francisco at fourteen months old. He enrolled at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1928. His public debut as a violinist was in 1936 with the San Francisco Symphony. He met pianist, Alexander Zakin, in 1940, with whom he would collaborate until 1977. Stern first performed in Israel in 1949. His first tour of the Soviet Union arrived in 1951. In 1979 he visited China with pianist, David Golub. His autobiography, 'My First 79 Years', was published in 1999, written with Chaim Potok. He died in 2001. His favorite violin had been the Ysaÿe Guarnerius made by the luthier, Giuseppe Guarneri. Stern had also conducted. He plays with famed, though much later, cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, in a couple pieces below.

Isaac Stern

 Double Concerto in A minor

    Composer: Brahms   1887   Op 102

    NHK Symphony Orchestra/Kazuyoshi Akiyama

    Cello: Yo-Yo Ma   Performance date: 1986

 Quintet in C Major

    Composer: Schubert   1828   Op 163   D 956

    With Pau Casals   Performance: 1952

 Symphonie espagnole

    Composer: Lalo   1875   Op 21

   5 movements

    Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

    Performance: 1956

 Triple Concerto

    Composer: Beethoven   1804   Op 56

    London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Stern

    Cello: Yo-Yo Ma   Piano: Emanuel Ax

    Performance: 1992

 Violin Concerto

    Composer: Mendelssohn  Op 64

    1838 Revised 1844 1845   3 movements

    Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra/Gary Bertini

    Performance: 1986

 Violin Concerto in D minor

    Composer: Sibelius   Op 47

    1903-04 Revised 1905

    Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

    Performance: 1969

 Violin Partita 2 in D minor

    Composer: Bach   1720

    BWV 1004   Solo  5 movements

Birth of Classical Music: Isaac Stern

Isaac Stern

Source: Lois Siegel
Birth of Classical Music: Elmer Bernstein<

Elmer Bernstein

Source: Film Music Society
The significance of Hollywood as classical music moved onward through the 20th century was little less than opera had been 300 years earlier. Representing that wedding well is Elmer Bernstein (no relation to Leonard though they were friends), born in New York City in 1922. Bernstein was a professional child actor and dancer. He studied piano at Juilliard at age twelve on a scholarship. Bernstein began focusing on composition in 1936 at the Chatham Square Music School. He would write scores and such to more than two hundred films and television shows. From 1939 to 1950 Bernstein performed as a classical pianist. He also wrote a number of classical compositions. Bernstein died of cancer in his sleep at his home in Ojai, California, in 2004.

Elmer Bernstein   1936 - 2004

 The Comancheros

   1961   Soundtrack suite

 The Great Escape

1963   Soundtrack suite

   Conductor: Elmer Bernstein


   1963   Film theme

 The Magnificent Seven

   1960   Performance date unknown

   Conductor: Elmer Bernstein

 Ten Commandments

   1956   Soundtrack suite

   Conductor: Elmer Bernstein

 To Kill a Mockingbird

   1962   Album

 Zulu Dawn

   1979   Soundtrack suite

   Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

   Conductor: Elmer Bernstein

  György Ligeti was an Hungarian Jew born in 1923 in what is now Târnăveni, Romania. He studied music in Cluj and Budapest. Upon Hungary becoming an Axis Power his education was interrupted to spend World War II in a labor brigade for the Horthy regime. Returning to his studies after the War, he graduated in 1949 from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Researching folk music in Transylvania for a year, he then returned to the Academy as a teacher. Two months after the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 Ligeti fled to Vienna, then Germany where he worked with the Cologne Electronic Music Studio. He became an Austrian citizen in 1968. In 1973 Ligeti began teaching composition at the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater, retiring in 1989. He died in Vienna in 2006. He'd written largely for chamber, orchestra, keyboard and voice. Ligeti is best known for his compositions used in Stanley Kubricks' 1968 film, 'A Space Odyssey'. Three of those below: 'Atmosphères', 'Lux Aeterna' and 'Requiem'. (Kubrick also used pieces of Ligeti's compositions in his 1980 film, 'The Shining'.)

Gyorgy Ligeti   1940 - 2006


   East Carolina University Orchestra

   Virginia Governor's School

   Stephen Coxe

 Cello Concert

   1966   Ensemble C Barré/Sébastien Boin

   Cello: Alexis Descharmes

 Études pour piano Book 3

   1995–2001   4 etudes   Piano: Simon Smith

 Le Grand Macabre

   1974–77 Revised 1996   Opera

   Gran Teatre del Liceu

   English National Opera

   Opera di Roma

   Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie


   1967   Stony Brook SO/Eduardo Leandro

 Lux Aeterna

   1966 A Cappella Amsterdam



   C & O of Sveriges Radio/Michael Gielen

 Violin Concerto


   New England Conservatory Contemporary Ensemble

   Director: John Heiss

   Conducting: Eric Hewitt

   Violin: Gabriela Diaz

Birth of Classical Music: Gyorgy Ligeti<

Gyorgy Ligeti

Source: BBC
  Born in 1924 in Venice, Luigi Nono began his musical education at the Venice Conservatory in 1941. He later graduated  from Padua University with a degree in law. His career got a jumpstart in 1950 from conductor, Hermann Scherchen, who performed Nono's twelve-tone 'Variazioni canoniche sulla serie dell'op' in Darmstadt. As his career began to progress he became a member of the Italian Communist Party in 1952. Nono was an especially political composer, not a few of his works specifically anti-fascist in message. Nono held much in common with the originator of twelve-tone chromatic composition (serialism), Arnold Schoenberg, but had no use for the aleatoric methods (composition by chance) of John Cage. He passed away in 1990. His 'Liebeslied', below, was composed for his wife-to-be, Nuria Schoenberg, daughter of Arnold Schoenberg.

Luigi Nono   1941 - 1990

 Composizione per orchestra 1


    Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

    Peter Hirsch

 Guai ai gelidi mostri

    1983   Ensemble Diagonal


    1960   Opera   1 act 2 parts

    Chor der Staatsoper Stuttgart

    Staatsorchester Stuttgart

 Risonanze erranti a Massimo Cacciaris

    1986-87   Ensemble Experimental

 ...Sofferte onde serene...

    1976 Tape collage with piano

    Maurizio Pollini

Birth of Classical Music: Luigi Nono

Luigi Nono

Photo: Grazia Lissi

Source: Luigi Nono Archive
Birth of Classical Music: Luciano Berio

Luciano Berio

Source: Bach Cantatas
Born in 1925 in Oneglia, Italy, experimental composer Luciano Berio was taught piano by his father who was an organist. He was conscripted into the Italian Army during World War II, then entered Milan Conservatory in 1945. War injuries (Hand) prevented him becoming a pianist so he focused on composition. It was upon his visit to the United States in 1952 that he became interested in serialism. In 1955 Berio helped found the electronic music studio, Studio di Fonologia, in Milan, also publishing the electronic music periodical, 'Incontri Musicali', in the latter fifties. In 1960 Berio became Composer in residence at Tanglewood (summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937) in Massachusetts, also teaching at the Dartington International Summer School. He began instructing at Mills College in Oakland, California in 1962. Berio became a professor at Juilliard in 1965, where he founded the Juilliard Ensemble to address contemporary music. From 1974 to 1980 Berio directed the electro-acoustic division of IRCAM in Paris. He established Tempo Reale in 1987 in Florence to research electronic music. Becoming Composer in Residence at Harvard in 1994, he followed that as president of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in 2000. Berio died in 2003, an atheist. He had been a prolific composer during his very active life. Along with electronic music he composed for orchestra and stage. Sometimes symphonies are a revealing way to follow a composer's career. With Berio one hasn't that option (but for 'Sinfonia' composed in 1961 for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). His Sequenzas I through XIV below, however, were composed from 1958 to 2002 for various solo instruments, being rather a journey through his career of half a century.

Luciano Berio   1944 - 2003


   1960   For voice, harp and 2 percussion

   Ensemble Itinéraire


   1959   Juilliard Ensemble


   1961 Revised 1965   For voice & orchestra

   Orchestra della RAI di Roma/Luciano Berio

   Voice: Cathy Berberian


   1961   Tape music with voice

   Voice: Cathy Berberian

 Sequenza I

   1958   For flute

   Flute: Sophie Cherrier

 Sequenza II

   1963   For harp

   Harp: Yinuo Mu

 Sequenza III

   1965   For voice

   Voice: Cathy Berberian

 Sequenza IV

   1966   For piano

   Piano: Florent Boffard

 Sequenza V

   1966   For trombone

   Trombone: Dave Day

 Sequenza VI

   1967   For viola

   Viola: Christophe Desjardins

 Sequenza VII

   1969   For oboe

   Oboe: Heinz Holliger

 Sequenza VIII

   1977   For violin

   Violin: Jeanne-Marie Conquer

 Sequenza IXa

   1980   For clarinet

   Clarinet: Gleb Kanasevich

 Sequenza X

   1984   For trumpet & piano resonance

   Trumpet: Håkan Hardenberger

 Sequenza XI

   1988   For guitar

   Guitar: Andrea Monarda

 Sequenza XII

   1995   For fagotto (bassoon)

   Fagotto: Pascal Gallois

 Sequenza XIII

   1995   For accordian

   Accordian: Domenico Sciajno

 Sequenza XIV

   2002   For cello

   Cello: Benjamin Glorieux


   1968   Recorded live 1997

   Swingle Singers

   Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

   Direction: Luciano Berio


2003   Baritone: Dietrich Henschel

   Orchestre de Parisdiretta

   Christoph Eschenbach

 String Quartets

   1: Notturno 1993   2: Sincronie 1964

   3: Glosse 1997   4: Quatuor No 1

   Arditti String Quartet

   Recorded February 2002

  Born in 1925 in Montbrison, France, Pierre Boulez played piano as achild and studied at the Paris Conservatoire. He also studied privately with composer, René Leibowitz. Boulez began examining twelve-tone serialism early in his career (rather than composing in major or minor keys). During the fifties he experimented with aleatoric music (the use of chance in composing and/or performance). He began composing electronic pieces in the sixties, which would lead to his work with IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in the seventies. From 1976 to 1995 Boulez taught at the College de France. When not composing Boulez' career was full with the conducting of various orchestras. As of this writing (April 2015) Boulez is active.

Pierre Boulez   1945 -


   1970 Unfinished   Ensemble Intercontemporain

 2 Notations pour piano

1945   Piano: Pierre Laurent-Aimard

 Le Marteau sans maître

1953–55 Revised 1957

   Ensemble intercontemporain


   1976   For 7 cellos   D'Addario Orchestral


   1980 Revised: '82 '84

   Ensemble Intercontemporain

 Le soleil des eaux

   1948 Revised: '50 '58 '65

   BBC Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez

   Sopran: Elizabeth Atherton

 Structures I & II

   I: 1951–52   II: 1961   Both for 2 pianos

   Pianos: Alfons & Aloys Kontarsky

Birth of Classical Music: Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez

Source: AFO
  Born in 1925 in New York City, Gunther Alexander Schuller had studied at the St. Thomas Choir School, first picking up flugelhorn and flute. At fifteen ('43) he was playing professionally with the American Ballet Theatre, followed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from '43 to '45. Among his earliest compositions is 'First Horn Concerto', which he premiered in 1945 in Cincinnati. He next joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra with which he kept until 1959. While with that organization Gunther married pianist, Marjorie Black, in 1948 with whom he remained through two children until her death in 1992. Gunther made his first recordings with Miles Davis in March 1950, appearing on 'The Birth of the Cool' in 1957 ('Rocker', 'Deception', 'Darn That Dream', 'Moon Dreams'). In 1955 Schuller formed the ensemble, the Modern Jazz Society, with pianist, John Lewis, releasing 'The Modern Jazz Society Presents a Concert of Contemporary Music' the next year. Addressing the fusion of classical music with jazz, Schuller coined the term "Third Stream" in 1957 during a lecture at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Works which example what Schuller meant by Third Stream are such as 'Transformation' ('57), 'Concertino' ('59), 'Abstraction' ('59) and 'Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk' ('60). It was 1959 when Schuller ceased performing to focus on composition, teaching and writing, albeit he continued conducting. During the sixties Schuller became president of the New England Conservatory. He began serving as a director for the Tanglewood Music Center in 1965 (summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts). 1968 saw the publication of his tome, 'Early Jazz'. He was Artistic Director from 1970 to 1984, creating the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. An orchestration of Scott Joplin's opera, 'Treemonisha', premiered in 1975 in Houston. In 1991 Schuller published his book, 'The Swing Era'. He was also recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius award (grant) that year, making him a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. In 1993 he became Artistic Director for the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane Washington, holding that position until his death. In 1994 he drew a Pulitzer Prize for 'Of Reminiscences and Reflections'. The Boston Symphony premiered his 'Where the Word Ends' in 2009. His memoir, 'A Life in Pursuit of Music and Beauty', got inked in 2011. Schuller died in 2015 in Boston of leukemia. In 'Variants on a Theme by Thelonious Monk' below, Schuller references Monk's 'Criss Cross', thought to have been first recorded in 1951.

Gunther Schuller   1945 - 2015


    Composed 1959   This release 1961

    Album: 'Jazz Abstractions'

    Alto sax: Ornette Coleman

 An Arc Ascending

Composed 1996   This release 1998

    Radio Philharmonic of Hannover

    Director: Gunther Schuller

 Concerto No 1 for Horn & Orchestra


    Composed 1945   This release 1994

    Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra

Director: Richard Todd

 Darn That Dream

Recorded 1950   Released 1957

    Album: 'Birth of the Cool'

    Miles Davis Nonet

Schuller: French horn

    Vocal: Kenny Hagood

    Composition: Jimmy Van Heusen

     Lyrics: Eddie DeLange

Arrangement: Gerry Mulligan


Recorded 1955   Released 1956

    Album: 'The Modern Jazz Society Presents'

    Schuller: Arrangement/French horn

    Composition/Piano: John Lewis

  Little David's Fugue

Recorded 1955   Released 1956

    Album: 'The Modern Jazz Society Presents'

    Schuller: French horn

    Composition/Piano: John Lewis

 Moon Dreams

Recorded 1950   Released 1957

    Album: 'Birth of the Cool'

    Miles Davis Nonet

    Schuller: French horn

    Composition: MacGregor/Mercer

     Arrangement: Gil Evans

 Symphony for Brass & Percussion

Op 16 Composed 1950

    Summit Brass

    Conducting: Gunther Schuller


Composed 1957: Russell/Schuller

    Piano: George Russell

    Conducting: Gunther Schuller

  Variants . . . Thelonious Monk

Variants I & II   Composed 1960

    With Ornette Coleman & Eric Dolphy

    1961 album: 'Jazz Abstractions'

 Variants . . . Thelonious Monk

Variants III & IV   Composed 1960

    With Ornette Coleman & Eric Dolphy

    1961 album: 'Jazz Abstractions'

 Where the Word Ends

Variants III & IV   Composed 2007

    WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne

    Conductor: Semyon Bychkov

Birth of Classical Music: Pierre Boulez

Gunther Schuller

Photo: Murdo MacLeod

Source: Jazz Wax
Birth of Classical Music: Notation by Earle Brown

Notation sample 1953

Source: Marina Buj

Birth of Classical Music: Notation by Earle Brown

Notation sample 1980

Source: Canisius College
Born in 1926 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, Earle Brown had initially been inclined to jazz. He studied engineering and mathematics at Northeastern University before enlisting in the Air Force to be a pilot in 1945. The war ended, however, while Brown was in basic, making a trumpeter of him in the Army Air Force Band instead. He served in that capacity alongside saxophonist Stan Getz. From 1946 to '50 Brown studied at what is now the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He was soon assisting John Cage with tape music in New York, worked as an editor and recording engineer for Columbia from '55 to '60, then as a producer for Mainstream-Time Records from 1960 to '73. He died of cancer in Rye, New York, in 2002. Among Brown's claims to fame were his examinations of graphic notation, such as via horizontal and vertical bars of varying width. Also using calligraphy, his compositions were early examples of such as art. His score for '4 Systems', 1954, is to the right. Excellent locations to view graphic notation are the guardian, NEW MUSIC BOX, SEE THIS SOUND, The Smithsonian, Tumblr, WFMU Radio, and Wikipedia.

Earle Brown   1946 - 2002

 4 Systems


   Flute: Eberhard Blum

   Piano: Steffen Schleiermacher

 25 Pages

   1953   For 1-25 pianos

   Interpreted for 4 pianos

   Steffen Schleiermacher

 Available Forms I

   1961   Callithumpian Consort


   1952   Cello: Frances-Marie Uitti

   Flute: Eberhard Blum   Piano: Nils Vigeland


   1952   Director: Earle Brown

 String Quartet

   1965   Callithumpian Consort

 Syntagm III

   1970   Ensemble Proton Bern/Matthias Kuhn

 Times Five

   1963   Callithumpian Consort

Birth of Classical Music: Earle Brown

Earle Brown

Source: Sequenza 21

Birth of Classical Music: Notation by Earle Brown

Notation for 4 Systems   1954

Source: Graphic Notation
Birth of Classical Music: Hans Henze

Hans Henze

Source: Arts Journal
Born in Gütersloh, Westphalia, 1826, Hans Werner Henze had been enrolled in the Hitler Youth as a child. He began formal training in music in 1941 in Braunschweig. His father, a World War I vet, died at the Eastern Front in World War II before Henze was himself conscripted in 1944, only to be captured by the British. In 1946 he enrolled into Heidelburg Univerisity, beginning to publish his work that year. He began twelve-tone serial composing the next year, his 'First Symphony' (below) is a good example of such. Henze started conducting for ballet in 1950 at the Hessisches Staatstheater in Westbaden. Henze works were largely atonal until leaving Germany for Italy in 1953, eventually moving to the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples. In 1958 he completed 'Kammermusik' in Greece. Henze taught composition at the Mozarteum in Salzburg from '62 to '67. He began teaching in the U.S. in 1967 at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire. He founded the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Montepulciano in 1976. During the eighties Henz taught in Cologne and Austria. His 'Elogium Musicum' of 2008 was dedicated to his queer partner of about forty years, Fausto Moroni, who died of cancer the previous year. Henze himself died in 2012 in Dresden, leaving behind a prolific oeuvre of works for ballet, opera, chamber and symphony, as well as instrumentals and pieces for voice.

Hans Werner Henze   1946 - 2012

 Symphony 1   [Part 1]

    1947 Revised 1963 1991 2005

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken

    Conductor: Hans Werner Henz

    Recorded live 1976

 Symphony 1   [Part 2]

    1947 Revised 1963 1991 2005

    Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken

    Conductor: Hans Werner Henze

    Recorded live 1976

  Symphony 4

    1955   Recorded 1966

    Berlin Philharmonic/Hans Werner Henze

 Symphony 7


    Berliner Philharmoniker/Gianluigi Gelmetti

 Symphony 10


    Orchestre National de Montpellier

    Friedemann Layer

 Variationen für Klavier

    1948   Op 13   Piano: Jan Philip Schulze

  Violin Concerto 2

    1971 Revised 1991   Recorded 1971

    London Sinfonietta/Hans Werner Henze

Birth of Classical Music: David Tudor

David Tudor


Source: Chicago Reader
Born in 1926 in Philadelphia, David Eugene Tudor studied composition with avant-garde musician Stefan Wolpe. Though a pianist, Tudor's first professional employment was as an organist. Tudor first worked with the indeterminate composer, John Cage, as a pianist in 1951. Arriving in Europe in 1954, he taught at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse from 1956 to 1961, after which he concentrated more on composing than performing, particularly electronic works. In 1969 he designed the electronic music studio at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. Upon the death of John Cage in 1992 he became music director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Tudor died in Tomkins Cove, New York in 1996.

David Tudor   1950 - 1996

  Klavierstück VI

    1954-55   For piano

    Piano: David Tudor   Recorded 1960

  Rainforest Version 1

Versions 1-4: 1968-73   Electronic piece

  Microphone Mix A

1973   Electronic piece

    First recorded 1973   This release 1978

  Neural Synthesis 2

    Neural Syntheses
1-9: 1992-1994

    For neural network synthesizer

    Recorded 1993


1970   Electronic piece   Recorded 1976

Born in 1928 at the castle of the village of Mödrath near Cologne, Germany, Karlheinz Stockhausen was the son of wealthy farmer. His first formal piano lessons were at the cathedral in Altenberg. His mother was gassed as a "useless eater" in 1941. In 1944 he was drafted into the German Army as a stretcher bearer. By the end of the War his father had come up missing in action. After the War Stockhausen studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Köln until 1951, the year he began forming his own system of serial composing. He began studying under Olivier Messiaen in Paris in 1952. 1954 found him at the University of Bonn. His first professional employment was at the electronic music studio of the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (a German public broadcasting system). He was an editor for the music journal, 'Die Reihe' from '55 to '62. Having first lectured in 1953, he toured Europe giving concerts and lectures before founding Cologne Courses for New Music in 1963. Stockhausen taught at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, then at the University of California, Davis, in 1966-67. Among the highlights of his life was his participation for West Germany at the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, also beginning his formula composing in 1970. Stockhausen joined the faculty at the Hochschule für Musik in Köln in 1971. He composed the first of his seven operas titled 'Licht: The Seven Days of the Week' in 1977. He began his Hours of 'Sound: The 24 Hours of the Day' in 2004, but lived only long enough to complete 21 of them. He died in 2007, having taught an impressive list of notable musicians whilst among the more highly regarded music theorists. 'Donnerstag aus Licht', below, is an opera composed between 1977 and 1980. It was recorded in 1982 with the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln and sopran, Annette Merriweather with Stockhausen conducting.

Karlheinz Stockhausen   1950 - 2007

 Donnerstag aus Licht   [Part I]

 Donnerstag aus Licht   [Part 2]

 Donnerstag aus Licht   [Part 3]

 Donnerstag aus Licht   [Part 4]

 Gesang der Jünglige

   1955-56   Electronic music

   Live performance by Stockhausen 2001

 Klang  Hour 9 (Hope)

   'Klang': 2004-07   Hour 9: 2007

   London Contemporary Orchestra



   Electronics: Gottfried Michael Koenig

                   Karlheinz Stockhausen

   Percussion: Christoph Caskel

   Percussion & piano: David Tudor

   Released 1992

 Licht: Luzifer's Tanz (Lucifer's Dance)

   1981-83   Scene 3 of Saturday   Opera

   Recording unknown

 Licht: Luzifer's Traum (Lucifer's Dream)

   1981-83   Scene 1 of Saturday   Opera

   Recording unknown

 Mikrophonie 1

   1964   Film by Francois Béranger 1966


   1975–77   Opera

   Soprano: Annette Meriweather

 Strahlen (Rays)

   2002   Electronic music

   Vibraphone: László Hudacsek

 Unsichtbare Chöre

   1979   Electronic music/opera

   Chor des Westdeuschen Rundfunks

   Karlheinz Stockhausen

Birth of Classical Music: Karlheinz Stockhausen

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Source: Logos Foundation
  Born in 1929 in Charleston, West Virginia, avant-garde composer, George Crumb, received his bachelor's in 1950 from the Mason College of Music in Charleston. His master's followed from the University of Illinois, his Doctor of Musical Arts in 1959 from the University of Michigan. Crumb's earliest pieces, however, may date from 1944: 'Two Duos for flute and clarinet'. In '45 he had written 'Piano Sonata' and 'Four Pieces' for violin and piano. His first orchestral piece, 'Gethsemane', had emerged in 1947. Crumb studied a little in Berlin and taught a bit in Virginia before moving to Boulder to teach at the University of Colorado in 1958, apparently the year before receiving his doctorate. He exchanged his post in Boulder for the University of Pennsylvania in 1965 where he would remain for decades, becoming Professor of Humanities in 1983 until his retirement in '97. In 2002 he took up a residency at Arizona State University. Among Crumb's more cited works are his 'Madrigals' on which he worked from '65 to '68, 'Echoes of Time and the River' for which he drew a Pulitzer in 1968, and 'Star-Child' ('77/'79) for which he won a Grammy twenty years later in 2000 for Best Contemporary Composition. During the new millennium Crumb has worked on his 'American Songbook' since 2003, its seventh volume appearing in 2010. Crumb composed largely for chamber, piano and voice, many of his works utilizing the poetry of Federico Garca Lorca. Crumb is the father of composer, David Crumb.

George Crumb   1947 -

 American Songbook III

    2001   'Unto the Hills'

    Director: Paolo Bortolameolli

 Black Angels

    1970   Filmed with Abraxas Quartet

 Echoes II

    'Echoes of Time and the River'

    Louisville Orchestra

Director: Jorge Mester

 Five Pieces for Piano

    1962   With score

 A Haunted Landscape

1984   For orchestra

     Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

 Lux Aeterna


    Penn Contemporary Players

    Mezzosoprano: Jan DeGaetani

 Madrigals Book II


     Flute: Chloe Schnell

     Percussion: Dori Raphael

     Soprano: Xing Xing

 Makrokosmos I

1972   Piano: Alfonso Gómez

     Filmed performance

 Makrokosmos III

1974   Director: Pablo Izquierdo

 Sonata for Solo Cello

1955   Cello: Ketevan Roinishvili


1977   Revised '79

    Warsaw Philharmonic C & O

    Conducting: Thomas Conlin

    Soprano: Susan Narucki

 Three Early Songs

1947   This filmed performance: 2015

    Seully Hall   Boston Conservatory

    Piano: Michael Strauss

    Soprano: Samantha Schmid

 Vox Balaenae

    'Voice of the Whale'

    1971   This filmed performance: 2012

    Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern

    Atlanta Chamber Players:

    Cello: Brad Ritchie

    Flute: Christina Smith

    Piano: Paula Peace

Birth of Classical Music: George Crumb

George Crumb

Source: Michigan Live
Birth of Classical Music: Henri Pousseur

Henri Pousseur

Source: David Byers
Born in 1929 in Malmedy, Belgium, Henri Pousseur received training at academies in Liege and Brussels between 1947 and '52. Pousseur composed largely experimental works. He composed in both serial (twelve-tone) and aleatory (by chance) forms as well as electronic and tape music (edited tapes). Pousser taught at Cologne, Basel, SUNY Buffalo and in Belgium, also publishing ten books on music theory. He died of bronchial pneumonia in 2009, having composed more than a hundred works.

Henri Pousseur   1947 - 2009


    1961   Piano: Steffen Schleiermacher

  Jeu de Miroirs de Votre Faust

1960   Electro-acoustic tape music

    Piano: Marcelle Mercenier

    Sopran: Basia Retchitska

 Petit Mausolée


    Cello: Yvonne Timoianu

    Piano: Alexander Preda

 Quintette à la memoire d'Anton Webern

    1955   Direction: Hans Rosbaud

 Rhymes for Different Sound Sources

    1958   Electro-acoustic tape music

    Rome Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Maderna

    Performed 1967

 Seize Paysages planétaires

    2000   Tape music

 Trois Visages de Liege

    1961   Tape music

Birth of Classical Music: Theo Loevendie

Theo Loevendie

Photo: Teo Krijgsman

Source: Bimhuis
Theo Loevendie began his career as a jazz musician touring European jazz festivals. He's among the more obscure musicians and composers on this page, having begun his classical career in the latter fifties, about the time classical music began its decline, factors such as film, television, popular music and rock n roll contributing to that. Another reason for his obscurity was his professorship at various conservatories, education the major portion of his career. Yet another cause that he isn't well-known in the United States was his birth in 1930 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lovendie studied composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory, but would also play clarinet and saxophone (alto/soprano) as a jazz musician. In 1958 he entered the studio to perform alto sax with the Jacobs Brothers on 'Four' and 'You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To', those appearing on the album, 'In Jazz', that year. In 1959 he is found leading his orchestra behind vocalist, Rita Reys. As a classical composer Loevendie emphasized chamber and orchestra. His website lists no earlier published composition than 'String Quartet' in 1961, followed in '64 by 'Three Pieces' for youth ensemble. 1966 found him composing 'Confluxus' for both jazz and symphony orchestra. Either way, Loevendie is likely the best known for his jazz album, 'Stairs!', in 1967 with the Loevendie Three consisting of Maarten Altena (bass) and John Engels Jr (drums). The next decade would see the issue of further jazz LPs with small formations: 'Mandela' ('69), 'Chess!' ('72), 'Theo Loevendie 4tet' ('74) and 'Orlando' ('77). He meanwhile published classical works such as the fairy tale, 'The Nightingale', in 1974. He had begun teaching composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory in 1970, which he exchanged for the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague in 1988. Two years prior he had issued the jazz LP, 'Theo Loevendie Quintet' ('86), that after publishing the opera, 'Naima' ('85). Loevendie began teaching at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam in 1995. He composed a few concerti from 1996 to 2001 for piano, violin and clarinet. Among Loevendie's most recent works was the opera, 'Rise of Spinoza', premiering in 2014 in Amsterdam. Loevendie is yet active touring in both Europe and the United States, continuing his mixture of classical and jazz.

Theo Loevendie   1960 -




     1972   LP: 'Chess'


     1998   Opera



     Hague Philharmonic Orchestra

     Conductor: Peter Eötvös

 Lady Penelope II

    1967   LP: 'Stairs!'

 Music for Bass Clarinet and Piano




    1986   Orchestral suite

 The Nearness of You

     1959   With Rita Reys

  Piano Concerto


  Rise of Spinoza

     2014   Opera


     1974   For percussion


  These histories little address composers whose chief occupation was creating music for film or television, that a genre all to itself. Though film could said to be an extension of classical alike opera, they weren't classical composers in especial who created for those new mediums. Henry Mancini, for instance, was of a jazz background. John Towner Williams (not to be confused with the classical guitarist) was one exception, having also produced a strong number of concertos and works for chamber as well as orchestra. Born in 1932 in Floral Park, New York, Williams studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as privately with Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He was drafted into the Air Force in 1952, arranging and conducting the Air Force Band. Entering Juilliard in 1955, he studied piano while working as a jazz pianist in New York clubs. He also first worked with Henry Mancini during that period. Williams attended the Eastman School of Music before returning to Los Angeles where he began working for film studios as a pianist. His first film score followed in 1958 with 'Daddy-O', his first screen credit in 1960 with 'Because They're Young'. His first Academy Award nomination was for 'Valley of the Dolls' in 1967, his first Academy Award, of five, for 'Fiddler On the Roof' in 1971. William's first score for director, Steven Spielberg, was in 1974, 'The Sugarland Express'. His first for George Lucas was 'Star Wars' in 1977. He then composed the score to Richard Donner's 1978 'Superman'. In 1980 Williams succeeded Arthur Fiedler as principal conductor of the Boston Pops, which capacity he held until 1993. (As of this writing Williams is Laureate Conductor of the Pops, yet conducting that orchestra on occasion.) After the turn of the century William's scores appeared in the fourth through eighth 'Harry Potter' films as well as the first two 'X-Men'. Having conducted a number of orchestras in addition to his work in film, Williams is yet quite active as of this writing (April 2015). He has been the recipient of innumerable film and television awards, both in Great Britain and the United States, producing above 100 cinematic works and more than 200 for television.

John Williams   1955 -

 Concerto for Bassoon

   1993   'The Five Sacred Trees'

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Bassoon: Judith LeClair

 Concerto for Flute


   London Symphony Orchestra

   Flute: Peter Lloyd

 Concerto for Harp

   2009   'On Willows and Birches'

   Boston Symphony Orchestra/Shi-Yeon Sung

   Harp: Ann Hobson-Pilot

 Concerto for Trumpet


   London Symphony Orchestra/Ronald Feldman

   Trumpet: Arturo Sandoval


   1975   Main theme to the film 'Jaws'

   Boston Pops Orchestra

 Jurassic Park

   1993   Soundtrack


   2012   Soundtrack

   Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

 The Raiders March

   1981   From the film 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'

 Schindler's List

   1993   Main theme

New World Philharmonic/Iain Sutherland

   Violin: Tasmin Littl

 Star Wars

   1977   Soundtrack theme

   Boston Pops

   Conducting: John Williams

 The Witches of Eastwick

   1987   1: Ballroom Scene   2: Devil's Dance

   Piano: Jonathan Feldman

   Violin : Gil Shaham

Birth of Classical Music: John Williams

John Williams

Source: WMAC
Birth of Classical Music: Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado

Source: Flo'n the Go
Claudio Abbado was a conductor rather than composer. But he was a major figure of the modern period whose work was too significant to not be in this history. Born in Milan in 1933, Abbado's father was a violinist who taught at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory. He thus learned piano as a child at home, his mother a pianist. His father's position at the Conservatory early lubricated his Abbado's entry into the musical culture of Milan. He attended performances at La Scala and orchestral rehearsals., meeting Leonard Bernstein at age fifteen. Abaddo studied piano, composition and conducting at the Milan Conservatory, graduating in 1955 in piano. He spent time at a couple other academies in Vienna and Siena before his conducting debut in 1958 in Trieste. He first conducted at La Scala in 1960. Abbado first went to America as an assistant to Leonard Bernstein, his American debut occurring in April 1963, conducting the New York Philharmonic. His first performance with the London Symphony Orchestra followed in 1966, the same year he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. He debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1968 with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's 'Don Carlo'. Abaddo became principal conductor at La Scala in 1969, its director in 1972. Abaddo became musical director for the city of Vienna, as well as the Vienna State Opera, in 1986, founding the Wien Modern music festival in 1988. He died in January of 2014 in Bologna and was buried in Switzerland. Like Bernstein, Abbado was a champion of Beethoven and Mahler, also interpreting largely Romantic works.

Claudio Abbado

 Il Barbiere Di Siviglia

   Rossini: Premier 1818   Opera buffa   2 acts

   La Scala Orchestra and Chorus

   Direction: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

 La Cenerentola (Cinderella)

Rossini: Premier 1817   Opera   2 acts

   Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

 L'Europa della Musica

   1: Beethoven: Overture to 'Prometheus'

       1800-01   Op 43

: Beethoven: 'Concerto 4'   1805-06   Op  58

   3: Schoenberg: 'A Survivor from Warsaw'   1947

   4: Stravinsky: Suite from 'The Firebird'

       1910   Ballet

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Piano: Maurizio Pollini  

   Live in Rome 1978

 Hearing the Silence

   'Sketches for a Portrait'

   Film by Paul Smaczny 2005

 Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien

   Debussy: 1911   Incidental music

   Schweizer Kammerchor/Fritz Näf

   Lucerne Festival Orchestra

   Recorded live 2003

 La Mer

   Debussy: 1903-05 Revised 1908   L 109

   Lucerne Festival Orchestra

   Recorded live 2003

 Piano Concerto 1 in D minor

Brahms: 1854–59   3 movements

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Live performance 1986

 Requiem Mass in D minor

   Mozart: 1791   K 626   Unfinished

   Berliner Philharmoniker

   Live performance

 A Russian Night

   1: Tchaikovsky: 'The Tempest'   1873   Op 18

       Symphonic poem

   2: Rachmaninoff: 'Piano Concerto 2 in C minor'

       1900-01   Op 18

   3: Stravinsky: 'L'Oiseau de feu' ('The Firebird')

       1910   Ballet
   Lucerne Festival Orchestra
   Piano: Hélène Grimaud   Recorded 2008

 Symphony 4 in E flat major

    Bruckner: 1874 Final revision 1888

    Wiener Philharmoniker

 Symphony 7 in E major

   Bruckner: 1883 Revised 1885   WAB 107

   Lucerne Festival Orchestra

 Symphony 8 in B minor

   Schubert: 1822   'Unfinished Symphony'   D 759

   Chamber Orchestra of Europe

  Born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1934, Harvey Lavan Van Cliburn Jr. was neither a composer nor a modernist. But he was of the period and a pianist of major renown during the Cold War, serving as a cultural envoy to the Soviet Union as an American musician. Playing piano at age three, Cliburn's father was in the oil industry, taking him with his family at age six to Kilgore, Texas. Making his piano debut in 1946 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Cliburn entered Juilliard at age seventeen. His debut upon graduation was at Carnegie Hall, followed by a trip to Moscow in 1958 that raised him to international acclaim, winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. (That prize is held in cello, piano, violin and voice, 1st place worth 20,000 euros now, or nearly $22,000.) Cliburn's return to the States was to another performance at Carnegie Hall before an appearance on the 'Steve Allen Show' and the recording of an LP with RCA Victor, the first in the classical genre to go platinum (1,000,000 sales). Cliburn returned to the Soviet Union several times before he performed for President Reagan and General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev, in 1987. He played the hundredth anniversary of Carnegie Hall before his 1994 tour of the States. Cliburn was one of those people who actually preferred the graveyard shift, his general routine to work until four or five in the morning, the next day not beginning until after noon. He died in February 2013, having largely championed composers of the Romantic period.

Van Cliburn

 Fantasy in F minor

   Composer: Chopin   1841   Op 49

   Live performance in Moscow 1962

 Piano Concerto 1 in B flat minor

   Composer: Tchaikovsky   1874-75   Op 23

   Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

   Kiril Kondrashin

   Live performance in Moscow 1962

 Piano Concerto 1 in E minor

   Composer: Chopin   1830   Op 11

   Budapest Symphony Orchestra

   Istvan Szekely   Released 1988

 Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor

   Composer: Rachmaninoff   1900-01   Op 18

   Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

   Kirill Kondrashin

   Live performance in Moscow 1972

 Piano Concerto 3 in D minor

   Composer: Rachmaninoff   1909   Op 30

   Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

   Kirill Kondrashin

   Live performance in Moscow 1958

 Piano Concerto 5 in E flat major

   Composer: Beethoven   1809-10   Op 73

   Moscow Philarmonic Orchestra

   Kiril Kondrashin

   Live performance in Moscow 1962

 Sonata in B minor

   Composer: Franz Liszt   1852-53   S 178

   Live performance in Moscow 1960

Birth of Classical Music: Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn

Photo: CSU Archives/Everett/REX

Source: Classical Review
Birth of Classical Music: Alfred Schnittke

Alfred Schnittke

Source: Radio Me la Sudas
Born a Jew in 1834 in Engels, Russia, polystylistic composer, Alfred Schnittke began his musical training in Vienna in 1946, taken there on a trip with his father, a journalist and German translator. His family moving to Moscow in 1948, he there attended the Moscow Conservatory in 1953, graduating in 1961 and starting to teach there the next year, also beginning to compose film scores. Among the things with which Schnittke had to deal was the Composer's Union in Russia, which banned his first symphony (1969-74). Schnittke was permitted to leave Russia for Hamburg in 1990, dying there in 1998. Along with ballets, operas and soundtracks, Schnittke had also composed chamber, choral, instrumental and orchestral works, including nine symphonies. His ninth was scored with considerable difficulty, left-handed, after a stroke left him partially paralyzed.

Alfred Schnittke   1953 - 1998

 Clowns und Kinder

   1976   Soundtrack

   Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

   Frank Strobel

 Concerto Grosso 1


   Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Heinrich Schiff


   1971   Ballet

Bolshoi Orchestra/Alexander Lazarev

   Plastic Drama Theatre Moscow


1958   Oratorio

   London SO & C/Valery Gergiev

 String Quartet 2

   1981   Kronos Quartet

 The Story of an Unknown Actor

   1977   Soundtrack

 Symphony 1

   1969-72   4 movements

   State S & O/USSR Ministry of Culture

   Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky

 Symphony 3


   Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Eri Klas

 Symphony 4


   Russian State Symphony Orchestra

   Valéry Polyansky

 Symphony 9

   1997   3 movements

   Dresden Philharmonic

   Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies

  Born in 1935 in Paide, Estonia, Arvo Pärt began his formal music education at the Tallinn Music Middle School, followed less than a year later by a brief period in the military during which he played oboe and percussion in the Army band. In '57 or '58 he worked as a sound producer for Estonian radio. He there remained for ten years, meanwhile graduating from the Talinin Conservatory in 1963. During the seventies he moved from Lutheranism to Russian Orthodox. He was allowed by the Soviet administration to move to Vienna in 1980, where he came an Austrian citizen before settling in Berlin the next year. About the turn of the millennium he lived alternately between Berlin and Talinin, presently (yet living as of this writing) a German citizen. Part's career was rather paradoxical, he an avant-garde composer in the Soviet Union where modernist experiments weren't welcome. He early composed in a neo-classical style. But he began examining serialism at the Talinin Conservatory, his 'Nekrolog' in 1960 an example of such. He was also described as a minimalist, more specifically, a spiritual minimalist. But he disagreed with that label of what he called tintinnabulation, vocal works such as 'Für Alina' in 1976 and 'Spiegel im Spiegel' in 1978 examples of such. Of note are Part's twenty some instrumental Fatres (Brothers) composed between 1976 and 2008. Part is a prolific composer and has recorded extensively.

Arvo Pärt   1958 -


   Version unknown

   Piano: Yoko Misumi   Violin: Lana Trotovsek

 Für Alina

   1976   Piano: Haskell Small


   1989   Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

 Passio (St. John Passion)

   1989   Cantata

   Mogens Dahl Kammerkor

   Direction: Mogens Dahl

 Sarah Was Ninety Years Old

   1977/89   For 3 voices, percussion & organ

   Hilliard Ensemble

 Spiegel im Spiegel


   Piano: Sergej Bezrodny

   Violin: Vladimir Spivakov

 Symphony 3


   Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neemi Jarvi

 Te Deum

   1984–85/92   For chorus & string orchestra

   Akademisk Orkester/Nenia Zenana


   1992/94   For string orchestra

   Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

   Paavo Järvi

Birth of Classical Music: Arvo Part

Arvo Part

Source: Classic FM
Birth of Classical Music: Terry Riley

Terry Riley

Source: Vinyl World
Born in 1935 in Colfax, California, Terrence Mitchell Riley studied at several colleges and had experimented with tape loops in the fifties before taking his master's in composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked afterward at the San Francisco Tape Music Center. A minimalist composer, Riley came to prominent note in 1964 with his tonal (versus atonal) composition, 'In C'. Riley's initial trip to India to study with pandit and singer, Pran Nath, was in 1970. He then taught Indian classical music at Mills College in Oakland in 1971. His first commission for a string quartet from the Kronos Quartet was 'G-Song' in 1980. He would produce 13 of them. Riley began composing for orchestra in 1991 with 'Jade Palace'. He is yet active as of this writing, performing as a pianist and raga vocalist. He has composed for chamber, orchestra, string ensemble, theatre, song, saxophone, organ and piano. 'Cusp of Magic', below, is an album released in 2008 by the Kronos Quartet featuring pipa player, Wu Man.

Terry Riley   1960 -

 Cadenza On the Night Plain

   1983   Recorded 1984   Kronos String Quartet

 Cusp of Magic   [Part 1]

   Released 2008   'The Cusp of Magic'

 Cusp of Magic   [Part 2]

   Released 2008   'Buddha's Bedroom'

 Cusp of Magic   [Part 3]

   Released 2008   'The Nursery'

 Cusp of Magic   [Part 4]

   Released 2008   'Royal Wedding'

 Cusp of Magic   [Part 5]

   Released 2008   'Emily and Alice'

 Cusp of Magic   [Part 6]

   Released 2008   'Prayer Circle'

 The Discovery

   Released 1986   The New Albion Chorale


   1983   Album: 'Songs for the Ten Voices'


   1973 saxophone melody

   Transcribed for viola 1980

   Kronos String Quartet

 In C



 Persian Surgery Dervishes

   Performed 1971/72   Album

 Rainbow in Curved Air/Poppy Nogood

   2003   Album

Phantom Band La Repubblica

 Shri Camel

   1978   Album

  Born in 1935 in Bern, Idaho, La Monte Thornton Young was raised a Mormon. While attending Los Angeles City College he played piano in jazz clubs. His earlier compositions from that period were in twelve-tone a la Arnold Schoenberg. Graduating from the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in 1958, he studied in Darmstadt, Germany in '59. Young began making his name as an avant-garde composer with performance art in New York City, 'Compositions 1960' representative of such. He formed the group, Theatre of Eternal Music in 1962, which group performed on the 1974 album, 'Dream House 78' 17"'. "Dream House' is an example of drone music, a minimalist subgenre. Generally recognized as the original minimalist composer, Young's 'The Well-Tuned Piano', is an another example of such, the first piece of such approached in 1964. Albeit Young studied classical music at UCLA, other influences were jazz (early onward), Indian and Japanese composition, and psychedelics. (It was a point for he and the Theatre of Eternal Music to perform high on cannabis). As of this writing (2015) Young is yet active. Per the 'Black Album' below, Young was a minimalist in all but titles, its actual title being '31 VII 69 10:26 - 10:49 PM / 23 VIII 64 2:50:45 - 3:11 AM The Volga Delta'.

La Monte Young   1953 -

 Black Album

   Issued 1969

   With Marian Zazeela

 Compositions 1960 #7

   1960   Any instrument

   Ensemble for Experimental Music & Theater

 Dorian Blues in B flat 19 X 63

   1960/61?   Recorded 1963

   Theatre of Eternal Music

 13 I 73 5:35 - 6:14:03 PM NYC

   1974   Theatre of Eternal Music

   Album: 'Dream House 78' 17"'

 The Second Dream

   1962   From 'The Four Dreams of China'

 The Well Tuned Piano


Birth of Classical Music: La Monte Young

La Monte Young

Source: Onda Rock
Birth of Classical Music: Steve Reich

Steve Reich

Photo: Alice Arnold

Source:  Jewish Journal
Born in 1936 in New York City, Steve Reich played piano as a youth and studied jazz drumming before graduating in philosophy in 1957 from Cornell in New York (his thesis on Wittgenstein). That same year he began studying composition privately with Hall Overton, then entered Juilliard. He earned his master's in composition at Mills College in Oakland, California in 1963. He composed 'Melodica' for melodica and tape during that period. He began composing soundtracks afterward, also becoming employed at the San Francisco Tape Center. Reich had early been a twelve-tone composer before experimenting with tape music, such as 'Come Out' (1966) and 'Piano Phase' (1967) examples of such. Reich studied percussion in Ghana in 1971, then gamelan (Indonesian percussion) in Seattle. Reich addressed his Jewish heritage in 1981 with 'Tehillim'. More tape music followed in 1988 with 'Different Trains', now with string quartet. Among Reich's most important works were his operas: In 1993 he collaborated with his wife, video artist, Beryl Korot, on the religious multi-media opera, 'The Cave'. In 2002 their video opera, 'Three Tales', premiered at the Vienna Festival, addressing the advance of science. Reich was a minimalist composer, his 'Music for 18 Musicians' and 'Drumming', below, are examples of such. As of this writing Reich is yet active. 'The Cave', below, was composed in 1993 and recorded live in 2011.

Steve Reich   1957 -

  The Cave   [Part 1]

     Musica Strasbourg

  The Cave   [Part 2]

     Musica Strasbourg

  The Cave   [Part 3]

     Musica Strasbourg

  The Cave   [Part 4]

     Musica Strasbourg



     First recorded 1971   This recording: 1987

  Music for 18 Musicians

     1978   Recorded 1978


     1995   This performance 2014

     Text: Wittgenstein

     Conductor: Joel Chapman

  Three Tales   Act I   Hindenburg

     2002   Performance 2011

     Festival INTERRA Novosibirsk

  Three Tales   Act III   Dolly


  Born of Jewish immigrants in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1937, Philip Glass had a father with a record shop. He played flute before entering the University of Chicago at age fifteen to study math and philosophy. He there began composing in twelve-tone a la Anton Webern. Keyboard later became his preferred instrument at Juilliard, he graduating from there in 1962 to move to Pittsburgh and compose for the public school system. A 1964 Fulbright Scholarship found him in Paris studying with Nadia Boulanger. Via journey to India in 1966, Glass returned to the States in 1967, working at performance art largely in lofts and art galleries in SoHo (lower Manhattan). His first record label, Chatham Square Productions, was founded in 1970 with partner and owner of the Bykert Gallery, Klaus Kertess. Glass wasn't yet able to support himself on music alone during the seventies, also working as a mover, plumber and cab driver. He was composing minimalist music (from which tag he later distanced himself, calling it "music with repetitive structures"), his 'Music With Changing Parts' in 1970 and 'Music in Twelve Parts', 1971-74, are representative of such. (A fundamental challenge of minimalism is the production of much with little.) Glass formed the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1971. 'Einstein on the Beach' was composed in 1975 in collaboration with director and playwright, Robert Wislon. 'Einstein' was Glass' first of his operatic Portrait Trilogy. He was finally able to leave day jobs in 1978 with a commission from Netherlands Opera for 'Satyagraha', the second of his Portrait Trilogy. The third part, 'Akhnaten', premiered in 1984. Having worked heavily in theatre (also completing a number of film scores in the last couple decades), Glass began writing for string chamber and string orchestra in the eighties, producing quartets and concertos. He published his memoir, 'Music by Philip Glass', in 1987. His first of ten symphonies premiered and was recorded in 1993, the same year he founded the Point Music record label. His label, 'Orange Mountain Music' has released more than sixty Glass' albums since 2002. Beyond the classical genre, Glass also collaborated with such as Paul Simon, Mick Jagger and David Byrne of the Talking Heads. One isn't able to simplistically categorize Glass' spirituality, though he was well-known to have embraced Buddhism and has long been a supporter of Tibetan independence from China. He is also a vegetarian. A prolific composer, Glass composed pieces for piano and solo instruments in addition to works for theatre, chamber, orchestra and soundtracks. As of this writing he is yet active. Per below, all tracks for the opera, 'Akhnaten' (1983), are performed by the Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra. All Knee Plays are taken from the opera, 'Einstein on the Beach' (1975) and recorded in 1979 by the Philip Glass Ensemble, except Knee Play 4, which was performed at Greene Space for New York Public Radio in 2012 .

Philip Glass
   1952 -

 Akhnaten   Act 1

 Akhnaten   Act 2

 Akhnaten   Act 3

 The Illusionist

   2006   Soundtrack suite

 Knee Play 1

 Knee Play 2

 Knee Play 3

 Knee Play 4

 Knee Play 5


   1982   Soundtrack

 The Light

   1987   Symphony

   Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

   Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies

 Music in Twelve Parts


 Music With Changing Parts

   1970    Album    1994 issue

 Violin Concerto 1

   1987   3 movements

   Hague Residentie Orchestra/Brad Lubman

   Violin: Karen Gomyo

Birth of Classical Music: Philip Glass

Philip Glass

Source:  TAIS Awards
Birth of Classical Music: John Harbison

John Harbison

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio
Born in Orange, New Jersey, 1938, John Harbison was born to the historians, Elmore and Janet Harbison. He was composing as a teenager and graduated from Harvard University with a degree in music in 1960. He later taught at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). His 'The Flight Into Egypt' on 1987 won him the Pulitzer Prize, followed in 1989 with a grant from the MacArthur Fellowship (worth $305,000). Harbison received the Heinz award in 1998. In 2004 he was commissioned by the Pontifical Council to write a work for the Papal Concert of Reconciliation. Also a conductor in addition to composing, Harbison is yet active as of this writing, having been Acting Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music in Boston since 2007. Harbison was a prolific composer, creating largely works for chamber, orchestra, chorus, voice and solo instrumentals in addition to works for theatre.

John Harbison   1954 -


   Premiere 2004 for Pope John Paul II

   Papal Concert of Reconciliation

   Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

   Sir Gilbert Levine

 Abu Ghraib

   2006   For cello & piano

   Cello: Julia Yang   Piano: Patricia Au



   Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

   Arthur Weisberg


   2004   'Overture for an Imagined Opera'

   Albany Symphony/David Alan Miller

 Remembering Gatsby


   GSU Symphony Orchestra/Andrea Botelho

 Symphony 2


   San Francisco Symphony/Herbert Blomstedt

 Twilight Music


   Horn: Robert Ward

   Piano: Ian Scarfe

   Violin: Jorja Fleezanis

Birth of Classical Music: Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Source:  Florida State University
Born in Miami in 1939, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich studied piano, violin and trumpet as a youth. She had begun composing as a youth as well. Zwilish received her bachelor's in music from Florida State University in 1960, her master's in '62. She taught music a bit in South Carolina before heading to New York in 1964, there to be employed by the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. Zwilich earned her doctorate in music from Juilliard in 1975. (She holds six honorary doctorates.) The first public performance of her work was that year by the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra: 'Symposium for Orchestra'. In 1983 she won the Pulitzer Prize for 'Three Movements for Orchestra' ('Symphony No 1'). Zwilich composed largely for symphony, chamber, chorus, song and concertos for solo instruments. Her fifth and last symphony was premiered in 2008 at Carnegie Hall by the Juilliard Orchestra. Zwilich currently teaches at Florida State University and works with the BMI Foundation. Per 'Concerto Grosso' below, all tracks are performed by the New York Philharmonic. Per 'Symphony No 1' below, its three movements are performed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with John Nelson directing.

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich   1955 -

 Concerto Grosso   Movement 1

1985   Maestoso

 Concerto Grosso   Movement 2

1985   Presto

 Concerto Grosso   Movement 3

   1985   Largo

 Concerto Grosso   Movement 4

   1985   Presto

 Concerto Grosso   Movement 5

   1985   Maestoso

 Concerto per Violino e Orchestra


Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra

    Direzione: Michael Stern

    Violino: Pamela Frank

 Flute Concerto No 1


    London Symphony Orchestra

    Conducting: James Sedares


    1988   New York Philharmonic

 Symphony No 1   Movement 1

    Premier 1975   This release 1986

 Symphony No 1   Movement 2

    Premier 1975   This release 1986

 Symphony No 1   Movement 3

    Premier 1975   This release 1986

 Symphony No 3

    1993   New York Philharmonic

    Directing: Jahja Ling

  Born in Madrid in 1942, Tomás Marco Aragon studied violin, composition and law. Having begun to compose in 1958, he also studied psychology, sociology and German culture in France and Germany. Psychology and dialogue would be large concerns in his compositions. Marco is thought to have composed 'Trivum' in 1962, the year before he received his license to practice law in 1963, the same year he composed 'Vox'. 1965 saw the arrival of his text for 'Selene', 'Car in effet' for three clarinets and three saxophones, 'Albayalde' for guitar and 'Pirana' for piano. Among Marco's earlier important associates were Zaj, a neoDada association of composers, and John Cage. Just so, he was early examining electronic music in 1966, the same year he began working for Spanish Radio. Marco's relative obscurity in the United States belies his rank as one of Spain's finest composers, Spanish culture a major theme in his compositions. Add that classical music itself began its decline about midway through the 20th century and Marco comes to be less than well-known. In 1967 he contributed a flute composition to Karlheinz Stockhausen's 'Ensemble', issued in 1972 (flute performed by Ladislav Šoka). The same year he became assistant to Stockhausen he began writing in depth for newspapers and journals, also founding the journal, 'Sonda', in 1967. Marco has published several books as well, among them, 'Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century', per 1993. He has composed prolifically, largely works for chamber and orchestra (including nine symphonies), but a good number for voice, theatre (including six operas and a ballet) and various instruments as well, particularly guitar and keyboards such as piano. Having lectured at various institutions in Europe and the US, also extended numerous awards, Marco currently spends his time composing and writing.

Tomás Marco   1958 -


1990   Guitar: Marcello Fantoni

    From 'Sonata de Fuego'


1975   Camarata Musica Nova

 El Caballero de la Triste Figura

2004   Chamber opera

 Concierto del Agua

1993   For guitar & orchestra

 Diwanes y Qasidas

1987   Grupo Círculo


1967   Piano: Luis Aracama

 Sonata de Madrid

Premier 2007

 Symphony No 7

1999   For Choir & orchestra


1991   Guitar: Jose Jaimes

Birth of Classical Music: Tomas Marco

Tomas Marco
  Born in Moquegua, Peru, in 1943, Alejandro Núñez Allauca joins those latter composers who arrived to classical music during its decline about midway through the 20th century due the advent of film and television (scores for the screen another genre), then the arrival of rock n roll which put classical music in a position regarded as reactionary, a state the classical community has largely maintained, keeping the past alive while little forging ahead in comparison to its golden old masters. Allauca is thus largely unknown not only because he was Peruvian, but because classical music itself, though hardly unknown, was nevertheless heading that direction. Allauca began training on accordion in 1956. He studied music theory at the Cathedral of Lima under organist, Manuel Cabrera Guerra, violoncello at the National Conservatory of Lima, then electronic music at CLAEM (Latin American Center for Advanced Musical Studies at the Torcuato di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina.). No earlier composition by Allauca is found than 'El alba para coro' ('Dawn for Choir') for mixed choir in 1965. His first work for orchestra, 'Koribeni', appeared in 1967. His debut ornamental work arrived in 1970 for piano: 'Moto Ornamentale and Perpetual'. Ornamentation would be an emphasized examination for Allauca, he to write the treatise, 'La Composición Musical Ornamental', in 1978. (Ornamentation is such as is decorative to a basic melody, such as grace notes, trills, etc..) He began teaching composition the next year at the National Conservatory of Lima. Moving to Milan, Italy, in 1987, his 'Sonrisa de Jesus' ('Smile of Jesus') premiered at the Vatican in 1995. Among Allauca's latest works was 'Missa Populus Dei', premiering in 2012 in Bern, Switzerland, with mezzosoprano, Jimena Llanos, and pianist, Alicia Arce. Per 'Wiesbaden Concert' below, that premiered in 1994 in Chisinau, Moldova. It is performed in 1997 below with Michele Fedrigotti at piano.

Tomás Marco   1965 -

 Gravitación Humana

1970   For magnetic tape

 Koribeni No 2


 Llora Llora Corazón/Evocación


     Accordion: Allauca



 Sonrisa de Jesus

Song composed 1995

    Pianoforte: Simonetta Tancred

    Soprano: Olatz Gorrotzategui


Song composed 1991

    Pianoforte: Simonetta Tancred

    Soprano: Olatz Gorrotzategui

Birth of Classical Music: Alejandro Núñez Allauca

Alejandro Núñez Allauca

Source Vice/Noisey
Birth of Classical Music: Gavin Bryars

Gavin Bryars

Source:  Henry Moore Foundation
Born in Yorkshire, England, in 1943, minimalist composer, Gavin Bryars, took up the double bass while studying philosophy at Sheffield University. He was yet a student when he joined the Joseph Holbrooke Trio (named after the early 20th century English composer) with Tony Oxley (drums) and Derek Bailey (guitar). That group recorded a number of rehearsals in 1965, released in 2006 as 'The Moat Recordings'. Another rehearsal in '65, of John Coltrane's 'Miles' Mode', was issued in 1999 as 'Rehearsal Extract 10' 26'. Joseph Holbrooke reunited in 1998 for a live recording released in 2000 as 'Joseph Holbrooke '98'. The trio separated in '66, after which Bryars journeyed to the United States to work with John Cage. He was back in England in '69 to assume positions instructing in fine arts at Portsmouth and Leicester. Just so, he was a founding member of the Portsmouth Sinfonia in 1970. Though Bryars had composed for classical prior to '68, his first major piece was 'The Sinking of the Titanic' in 1969 for an art exhibition. He revised it in 1972 for musical performance. 1970 saw Bryar's examination of magnetic tape, composing 'A Must For All Sibelians'. His best-known work was completed in 1971: 'Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet'. He hooked up with the Parisian society, Collège de 'Pataphysique (founded 1948), in 1974, and has been a member ever since. An apt example of Byars' chamber music is the 1981 LP, 'Hommages'. Bryars composed largely chamber and choral pieces, also producing works for film, theatre, opera and dance. Undefined by genre, he's worked with jazz musicians such as John Surman, and with others as various as Tom Waits and the British a cappella trio, Juice. Among Bryars' latest works is the album, '1:3', issued in 2015. Certainly among the more interesting composers of the latter 20th century and beyond, Bryars is currently active dividing his time between Canada and England. Per 'Sinking of the Titanic' below, as commented, that was first composed in '1969, with revisions in '72, '75, '90 and '94. The revision of '75 was for its debut appearance on vinyl.

Gavin Bryars   1965 -

 1, 2, 1-2-3-4


    With John Adams & Christopher Hobbs

 After the Requiem


 After the Underworlds

Premier 2012

    National Youth Brass Band

    Conducting: Bramwell Tovey

 The Black River

    1991   For soprano & organ

 Farewell to Philosophy

    1995   Cello concerto

 Farewell to St. Petersburg

    2002   Filmed live

      Double bass: Božo Paradžik

 Four Elements

    1994   LP: 'Vita Nova'

 Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet


 Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

    1993   Album with Tom Waits

 Miles Mode

    Joseph Holbrooke Trio

    Improvisational rehearsal taped 1965

    Not issued until issued 1999

 My First Homage

    1981   LP: 'Hommages'

 The North Shore

    1993 For viola and strings

 On Photography

    1984   Latvian Radio Choir

 Sinking of the Titanic

    1969   This revision 1975

 Sinking of the Titanic

    1969   This filmed live 2012

    Vancouver Aquatic Centre

    Aventa Ensemble

  Born in Coventry, England, in 1943, new complexity composer, Brian Ferneyhough, began his musical education in 1966 at the Birmingham School of Music (now the Birmingham Conservatoire), the same year his first composition, 'Coloratura', appeared. ("New complexity" refers less to a type of music than to complicated notation, often demanding to performers. Illustrations of Ferneyhough's scores are presented with music as noted in the list below this paragraph built to withstand sway to ten feet in all directions during high winds. Quite the ride dodging furniture.) Moving onward to the Royal Academy of Music (University of London), Ferneyhough won a Mendelssohn scholarship in 1968, after which he studied in Europe with Ton de Leeuw in Amsterdam and Klaus Huber in Basel. 1967 saw the completion of 'Prometheus' for wind sextet and 'Sonatas for String Quartet'. Though Ferneyhough completed 'Firecycle Beta' in 1971 it didn't premier until 1976 in Royan, France (other sources name Venice, Italy). He by that time had been teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Germany since 1973, where he would keep until 1986. Ferneyhough also completed 'Cassandra's Dream Song' in 1971. Its premier in 1974 in Royan, France, with 'Missa Brevis' and 'Sieben Sterne', mark the year Ferneyhough began selling mustard, his 'Time and Motion Study III' that year also notable, gaining Ferneyhough his second prize from the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). His first had been for 'Firecycle Beta', preceding its premier. Ferneyhough left England for the United States in 1987 to instruct at the University of California at San Diego. He there remained until 1999, moving onward to Stanford University in California in 2000 where he teaches composition to this day. He also instructs at the Darmstadt School in Germany during summers. Later works per the new millennium include the opera, 'Shadowtime', in 2004, libretto by Charles Bernstein. 'Renvoi/Shards' for guitar and vibraphone arrived in 2008.

Brian Ferneyhough   1966 -

 Brian Ferneyhough

LP suite   Issued 2000

    Nieuw Ensemble/Ed Spanjaard

 Cassandra's Dream Song

1971   With score

    Flute: Denizcan Eren

 Chronos Aion

2007-08   This performance 2011

    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

    Ensemble Linea

    Conducting: Jean-Philippe Wurtz



Firecycle Beta

    1971   Premier 1976




    2014   Ensemble Modern Frankfurt

 Lemma Icon Epigram

    1982   With score

 Liber Scintillarum



    2008   This filmed performance 2013

    The Living Earth Show

    Tribeca New Music Festival

    Filmed at Cell Theatre Manhattan


    2008   With score

 Sonatas for String Quartet


 String Quartet No 3


 String Quartet No 5


 String Quartet No 6


    Filmed with the Arditti Quartet

La Terre est Un Homme

    1979   This performance: 2011

    Barbicon Centre London

 Time and Motion Study I

    1971–77   This performance 2013

    Bass clarinet: Vincent Hering

 Time and Motion Study II

1973-76   For cello   With score

Birth of Classical Music: Brian Ferneyhough

Brian Ferneyhough

Source: Twitter/Ferneyhough
  Born in Chicago in 1943, Joseph Schwantner, studied classical guitar as a youth, tuba in high school as well. Schwanter was at first drawn to jazz, known to have composed 'Offbeats' in 1959 after earlier notable guitar compositions. So we begin the year that he was seriously composing as 1958 or about the time he entered high school. He graduated with a degree in composition from American Conservatory in Chicago in 1964. WorldCat Identities has Schwanter publishing 293 works beginning in 1966, which would apply to 'Diaphonia Intervallum'. Schwantner earned a master's degree that year from Northwestern University (Chicago). Two years later Schwantner acquired his doctorate from the same institution, also publishing again that year, titles in a buried file somewhere as well. Beginning his career as a university professor in '68, he would instruct at several institutions including Juilliard and Yale, he remaining at the latter since 1999. Schwantner's completed the orchestral composition, 'Modus Caelestis', in 1972. Works for various keyboards began in 1974 with 'In Aeternum II' for organ. Several NEA consecutive grants commenced that year as well, helping him through the seventies. As emphasized as orchestral pieces would be Schwantner's works for chamber, publishing 'In Aeternum' in 1975. Works for wind instruments was another discipline of Schwantner's, '...and the mountains rising nowhere' appearing in 1977. His first work for voice is thought to have been 'Sparrows' for soprano in 1978. He snagged a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his orchestral work, 'Aftertones of Infinity'. His one and only ballet, 'Through Interior Worlds', was completed in 1991. Among Schwantner's latest album releases was 'Chasing Light...' in 2011, a concerto for percussion.

Joseph Schwantner   1958 -

 Aftertones of Infinity


 ... and the mountains rising nowhere


    Colorado State University Wind Symphony

 Concerto for Percussion


    Nashville Symphony Orchestra

    Director: Giancarlo Guerrero

 Diaphonia Intervallum


 From a Dark Millennium




 New Morning for the World






    Ensemble: New Music Delaware

    Soprano: Shari Feldman


1990   Revised 2007

    Marimba: Doug Perry

Birth of Classical Music: Joseph Schwantner

Joseph Schwantner

Source: Alabama Media Group
Birth of Classical Music: Peter Eotvos

Peter Eotvos

Source:  Orlando Records
Born in 1944 in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Transylvania (then Hungary, now Romania), Péter Eötvös, is among the most toasted of contemporary classical composers. At age twelve ('56) he composed the vocal work for choir, 'Solitude / Egyedül', revised in 2006. He began training at the Music Academy in Budapest at age 14. The next year he began composing for piano, five pieces from '59 to '61 cited at his website. Those were 'Adagio' ('59), 'Hommage à Haydn' ('59), 'Scherzo' ('60), 'Improvisation' ('61) and 'Rondo' ('61). He started composing and conducting for theatre and film in Hungary in 1961 upon being hired at the Vígszinház (Gaiety Theatre). His initial compositions for theatre in '61 were for 'Leonce and Lena' and 'The Silver Tassie'. His was the score for István Szabó's film, 'Age of Illusions', released in 1965. He also composed a couple of vocal works during that period: 'Hochzeitsmadrigal' ('63) and 'Moro Lasso' ('63). His first of several explorations into the early seventies with electronic tape was 'Mese' per 1968. Eotvos was a member of the Stockhausen Ensemble from 1968 to 1976, during which period he also worked as a sound engineer in Cologne, Germany. Eotvos composed the first of several operas, 'Harakir', in 1973, followed in 1975 by 'Radames'. He was director of the Ensemble InterContemporain (EIC) from 1979 to '91, and later worked as a guest conductor for several orchestras, including the BBC and, in the 21st century, the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna. The dam broke about the cusp of the  new millennium, Eotvos composing a flood of orchestral, chamber and vocal works in recent years, among them 'zeroPoints' for orchestra in '99, 'IMA' for choir and orchestra composed 2001-02, and 'Encore' for string quartet per 2005. His violin concerto, 'Seven', premiered in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 2007. Eotvos' latest opera, 'Senza Sangue', premiered in 2015. Recipient of numerous awards, among his latest works were those composed in 2015: 'Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum', and 'The Sirens Cycle' for soprano and string quartet, both premiering in 2016 Per below, the full title for Eotvos' piano piece of 2005 is 'Un taxi l'attend, mais Tchékhov préfère aller à pied' ('There's a taxi waiting, but Chekhov would rather go on foot').

Péter Eötvös   1959 -

 Angels in America

2004   Opera for film

 Chinese Opera Part 1


 Chinese Opera Part 2




    For choir & orchestra


   For magnetic tape

 Jet Stream


    Trumpet: Markus Stockhausen


    1992   For string quartet


    1961   Revised '99

    For two pianos

 Love & Other Demons   Part 1


 Love & Other Demons   Part 2



    2006   Ensemble Linea

    Soprano: Allison Bell



 Seven   Part 1


    Violin: Patricia Kopatchinskaja

 Seven   Part 2


    Violin: Patricia Kopatchinskaja

 Un taxi . . . à pied

    2005   For piano


    1975   Revised 1987

  Born in 1944 in London to Jewish furriers, Michael Nyman entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1961 where he studied piano and 17th century baroque. Among his four compositions there were 'Introduction and Allegro Concertato for Wind QUartet', first performed in January 1963, and 'Divertimento for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet', performed in June and December of '63. Nyman won the Howard Carr Memorial Prize for composition in 1964, the year he commenced his career as a music critic, writing for such as newspapers and weekly magazines. He secured a residency from the British government to study folk song in Romania from '65 to '66. Together with music criticism during the early years of his career film would be an important medium to Nyman as a composer, he writing the score to Peter Greenaway's '5 Postcards From Capital Cities' in 1967. He is generally thought to have coined the term "minimalism' as applied to music in 1968 in an article for 'The Spectator'. As Nyman pursued his literary career, writing above 100 articles between '68 and '78, he also performed with other operations such as the Scratch Orchestra. Per the Nyman website, June of 1971 saw the completion of 'Bell Set No 1' for percussion premiering at the Cockpit Theatre in London in 1973. That was either not published until '74 or revised that year. 1974 also saw the publication of Nyman's book, 'Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond'. Nyman composed the score to Greenaway's '1 - 100' in December of '75. Both 'Bell Set No 1' and '1 - 100' were issued on the LP, 'Decay Music', in 1976, the year he composed 'Waltz in F'. Nyman also formed the Michael Nyman Band in '76, various formations with which he would tour internationally during his career. ('Drowning By Numbers' below utilizes three accordions.) 'In Re Don Giovanni' for large ensemble was completed in 1977. Nyman began the eighties with 'A Neat Slice of Saraband' ('80), began coming to recognition in 1982 for his score for yet another Greenaway film, 'The Draughtsman's Contract', and composed his first work for dance, 'Basic Black', in 1984. About that time Nyman put a wrench to the hydrant, now beginning to compose en force, six film and classical works (: 'Zoo Caprices' for violin) appearing in 1985. The initial of several operas arrived in 1986: 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat'. Though scores for film would figure large in Nyman's career, he mostly wrote for orchestra, band (brass and wind), large ensembles, keyboards and pieces for two to four players. Composing prolifically throughout a highly active career, Music Sales Classical has him publishing 360 works. Nyman has also issued well above seventy name albums, among his latest, 'Symphony 8: Water Dances', in 2015, also premiering that year in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Among other awards such as an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick Coventry in 2007, Nyman was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2008. Per below, the majority of samples were composed for film. 'Decay Music' was an album released in 1976 containing the compositions, '1 - 100' and 'Bell Set No 1'. Per 'An Eye for Optical Theory' and 'Nyman/Greenaway Revisited', those are concert versions of pieces originally composed for the 1982 film, 'The Draughtsman's Contract'. Per '' ('Drowning by Numbers Knowing the Ropes'), 'Drowning By Numbers' was a soundtrack released in 1988 containing 'Drowning By Number 2' and 'Drowning By Number 3'. It also contained the erroneously titled 'Knowing the Ropes' which was supposed to have been 'Not Knowing the Ropes' (also called '2M6'). The wrong title nevertheless stuck until it finally got rendered correctly in 2008 on the album, 'Mozart 252'. As for 'Memorial', that was a soundtrack for the 1989 film, 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover'. Per 'Stroking Synchronising', the original composition was for the 1984 film, 'Making a Splash', which score itself was titled 'Water Dances'. 'Stroking Synchronising' appears as the 11th track on the 1992 LP, 'The Essential Michael Nyman Band'. 'Water Dances' was issued in 1985 per 'The Kiss and Other Movements'. Its concert version below is an abbreviated arrangement.

Michael Nyman   1961 -

 A La Folie

1998   'To Madness'

    Film: 'Six Days Seven Nights'

 Cine Opera


    Cinematography: Michael Nyman

 Decay Music

    1976   Album

    '1 - 100' & 'Bell Set No 1'

 The Departure

    1997   Film: 'Gattaca'

 An Eye for Optical Theory


    This performance 2010

    Filmed in Halle, Germany

 Drowning . . . Ropes

    2009   Accordions: Motion Trio

 Love Doesn't End


    Film: 'The End of the Affair'


    1989   Soundtrack

 Nyman/Greenaway Revisited


    Soundtracks revised for orchestra:

Chasing Sheep . . . Shepherds


 Time Lapse

 The Piano

1993   Soundtrack

 Prospero's Magic

1991   Film: 'Prospero's Books'

 A Sixth Part of the World

2009   Soundtrack

 Stroking Synchronising

    1984   Soundtrack

Water Dances

1984   Film score

This filmed concert: 2010


    1999   Soundtrack

Birth of Classical Music: Michael Nyman

Michael Nyman

Source: Oxonian Review
Birth of Classical Music: John Adams

John Adams

Photo: Deborah O'Grady

Source: All Music
Born in 1947 in Worcester, Massachusetts, though John Coolidge Adams began composing at age ten we date his serious composing from 1965 when he entered Harvard to study composition. He walked from there in '69 with a bachelor's, in '72 with a master's. Works composed during Adams' Harvard period include 'Study (Dolls and Dreams)' for piano and violin ('66), 'Er Kommt' for piano ('67), 'Moment' for piano ('67), 'Seven Canons' for clarinet and bass clarinet ('68), 'Electric Wake' for soprano ('69), 'Genesis' for chorus and orchestra ('70), 'Sonata' for piano ('70), 'For Tomorrow' for chamber ('71) and 'Three Pieces' for piano ('71: 'Prelude', 'Reflections I' and 'Refections II'). Adams began teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1972 until 1983, it during that period his approach became minimalistic. In '78 he assumed the post of composer-in-residence for the San Francisco Symphony until 1985. The major portion of Adams' works were for orchestra, also composing electronic works and operas. His reputation was longsince well-established by the time he won a Grammy in 1989 for his opera, 'Nixon In China', completed in '87. Adams' opera of 1991, 'The Death of Klinghoffer', generated controversy that continues to this day. Charged by some to be anti-Semitic, various venues yet refuse to stage the work. Nevertheless, Adams had some funk going and picked up another Grammy in 1998 for his orchestral work, 'El Dorado', also completed in '91. 2002 saw the finish of Adams' choral work, 'On the Transmigration of Souls', until it won a Pulitzer prize the next year, then grabbed three Gammy awards in 2005. Having received nigh as many awards as works he's composed, five include honorary doctorates from Northwestern University, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music in London, among Adams' most recent works per the new millennium were the opera-oratorio, 'The Gospel According to the Other Mary' ('13), the orchestral work, 'Scheherazade 2' ('14) and 'Second Quartet' ('14).

John Adams   1965 -

 American Standard


 China Gates

1977   For piano   Piano: Olivier Lattiono

 City Noir

2009   For orchestra

 Grand Pianola Music


 Hallelujah Junction

1996   For two pianos


1980   For chorus


1995   For orchestra

 Naive and Sentimental Music

1998   For orchestra

 Nixon In China

    1987   Opera

  On the Transmigration of Souls

    2002   For chorus & orchestra

Atlanta Symphony C & O

Directing: Robert Spano

  Phrygian Gates

    1977–78   For piano

  Son of Chamber Symphony


     Asko/Schönberg Ensemble   Netherlands

     Conducting: Reinbert de Leeuw

  Tromba Lontana

    1986   Fanfare

San Francisco Symphony

Conducting: Edo de Waart

  Born in 1948 in Montreal, Quebec, Claude Vivier had been adopted at age three. Ten years later he was studying for the priesthood in Marist Brothers boarding schools. It's said he was asked to leave the novitiate at age eighteen, Wikipedia suggesting that he was unsuitable for being gay. Thought to have begun composing by then, he began to study under Gilles Tremblay in 66/67 for the next few years at the Conservatoire de Musique in Montréal. His first known compositions arrived in 1968: 'Ojikawa' for soprano, clarinet and percussion, and 'Quatuor a Cordes' for string quartet. 'Proliferation' for percussion and piano followed in '69, 'Musik für das Ende' for chorus and percussion in 1971. Obtaining a government grant to study abroad in 1972, he traveled to Utrecht, Netherlands, and enrolled into the Institute for Sonology to explore electroacoustic composition. His piece for electronic tape, 'Hommage a un Vieux Corse Triste', ensued the same year. But it was 'Chants' per 1973 by which Vivier thought he was arriving to his own. His Utrecht period was followed by some weeks under Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne, Germany, before returning to Quebec in 1974. He there composed such as 'Lettura di Dante' while teaching at the University of Ottawa. Several commissions later the urge to venture the foreign, the unknown beyond, found him traveling in Japan, Bali and Iran in '76 and '77. His brief Bali experience produced 'Pulau Dewata' ('The Island of the Gods') in 1977. His short visit to Iran wrought 'Shiraz' the same year. He completed his opera, 'Kopernikus', in 1979 but wouldn't live to see its premier. Vivier was working on an opera in Paris concerning the death of Tchaikovsky when he brought home a nineteen-year old serial killer from a pub, some brain of twisted barbwire who had previously stabbed to death a couple of people. A number of coincidences attend Vivier's death in March of 1983 (which topic, death, was of major concern and a repeated theme for him), such as may suggest the naiveté of expressions made by those limited to linear time concerning such as may not be (not to speak of a greater conscious reality not incapable of responding "Oh, really!?" to who may be listening in ways more subtle, personal, complex or capable than CETI). Be as may, the most obvious coincidences were apparent upon the discovery of Vivier's corpse five days after his murder via 45 stab wounds, to the side of especially ugly. Vivier's unfinished opera, 'Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele?' ('Do you believe in the immortality of the soul?'), was also discovered, its score composed as far as its last line (by "Claude" the narrator): "Then, without any further introduction, he took a dagger out of his deep black jacket (probably bought in Paris) and stabbed it right into my heart." Vivier left behind 49 works during his seventeen years as a composer. At the age of 34, he was peaking at his prime when "Surprise!" came knocking, whether known without knowing, somehow drawn or driven, simply bad luck or otherwise. His last finished work was 'Trois airs pour un opera imaginaire', composed in Paris in 1982.

Claude Vivier   1966 - 1983



 Et je reverrai cette ville étrange

 'And I will see this strange city'
       1981   Filmed performance

 Glaubst . . . der Seele?

1983   Opera   Incomplete upon death

     Filmed performance

 Greeting Music

1978   Filmed performance


1977   Filmed performance

      Psapphe Ensemble

      Conducting: Nicholas Kok


    'Rituel de la Mort'

    1979   Opera   2 acts

    Filmed performance

 Lettura di Dante


    Society of Contemporary Music Québec

    Directing: Serge Garant

    Soprano: Pauline Vaillancourt

 Lonely Child

    1980   Filmed performance

    Asko & Schonberg Ensembles

    Conducting: Reinbert de Leeuw

    Soprano: Susan Narucki

 Musik für das Ende


 O! Kosmos

    For soprano & choir


    For orchestra




    1975   Piano: Kristi Becker


1969   For piano & percussion

 Prologue pour un 'Marco Polo'


 Pulau Dewata

1977   Filmed performance


1977   For piano

Filmed with Alessandro Soccorsi




    1980   Filmed performance

    Asko & Schonberg Ensembles

    Conducting: Reinbert de Leeuw

Birth of Classical Music: Claude Vivier

Claude Vivier

Source: Claude Vivier
Birth of Classical Music: Stephen Paulus

Stephen Paulus

Photo: MPR/Tim Post

Source: Classical MPR
Born in 1949 in Summit, NJ, Stephen Paulus was raised in Minnesota, perhaps with reindeer. He began training on piano at age ten, experimenting with composition as an adolescent. Wrapping up his bachelor's in music at the University of Minnesota in 1971, his master's in music theory ensued in '74, then a doctorate in composition in '78. Paulus' initial published pieces, titles unknown, arrived in '72/'73 upon composing for the Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. It was also 1973 that Paulus helped found the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composers Forum, the largest of its kind connecting composers and performers with community orchestras. Paulus' first significant publications arrived while he was working on his PhD. Paulus completed 'Lunar Maria' for orchestra in 1976. 1977 witnessed the arrival of both 'Canticles: Songs and Rituals for the Easter and the May' for the United Methodist Church, and 'North Shore' for the Minnesota State Arts Board. Paulus has published several hundred works, the majority for chorus, though operas (12), symphonic pieces and works for various instruments also figure large. Paulus became Composer-in-Residence with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1983. He filled the same post in 1988 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Paulus served as a board member of ASCAP from 1990 to 2014. (ASCAP [American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers] was founded in 1914 in New York City to protect the copyrights of songwriters in association with Tin Pan Alley, long since the hub of sheet music publication and sales by that time. Just so, today ASCAP handles licenses and royalties, and monitors performances. BMI is a similar organization, SESAC in Europe.) Paulus died in October of 2014. Among his latest compositions were 'Prayers and Remembrances' for chorus and orchestra, and 'TimePiece' for jazz soloists and orchestra, both per 2011.

Stephen Paulus   1973 - 2014

  Age of American Passions

    1999   For orchestra



      Festival Singers of Florida


       1989   For orchestra

  Concerto for Two Trumpets

        2004   Director: Osmo Vänskä


    Doc Severinsen & Manny Laureano

  Grand Concerto for Organ

       2004   Organ: Nathan Laube

       Nashville Symphony Orchestra

  Violin Concerto No 3

       2012    Violin: William Preucil

       Directing: Giancarlo Guerrero


  Neoromantic composer, Christopher Rouse, was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1949. Though he'd begun composing at age seven we give his initial composing date as 1967, the year he enrolled into the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, graduating in 1971. He then studied privately with George Crumb before earning his graduate degree at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1977. Rouse's first significant work appeared in 1975 for cello, 'Morpheus', though it didn't premier until 1983 in NYC. The next year he addressed Haitian mythology with percussion in 'Ogoun Badagris'. He completed 'Quattro Madrigali' for choir the same year. 1978 saw 'Ku-Ka-Ilimoku', concerning Polynesian mythology, again for percussion. Rouse' first orchestral work was completed in 1981, revised in '85, 'Phantasmata', containing the movements, 'The Evestrum of Juan de la Cruz in the Sagrada Familia at 3 A.M.', 'The Infernal Machine' and 'Bump'. He completed his 'Symphony No 1' in 1986. What's called Rouse's death cycle, in honor of various deceased, commenced in 1991 with 'Trombone Concerto' addressing Leonard Bernstein, which won a Pulitzer in '93. 'Violin Concerto' of '92 addressed William Schuman. 'Flute Concerto' of '93 concerned the murder of young James Bulger by two ten-year old boys, followed by 'Symphony No 2', addressing composer, Stephen Albert. 'Envoi', concerning the death of his mother, arrived in 1995. Rouse composed 'Requiem' in 2001-02, which he himself regards to be his finest work. He walked off with a Grammy in 2002 for his 1999 concerto, 'Concert de Gaudí'. 2013 witnessed his three symphonies: 'Symphony No 4', 'Supplica' and 'Thunderstruck'. Rouse is yet as active as ever, his 'Symphony No 5' appearing in 2016.

Christopher Rouse   1967 -


    Movement 3 of 'Phantasmata'

    1981   Revised 1985

 Concerto for Orchestra


    Cabrillo Festival Orchestra

    Director: Marin Alsop

  The Evestrum of Juan

    Movement 1 of 'Phantasmata'

    1981   Revised 1985

 Flute Concerto

    1993   Filmed performance

    Texas Festival Orchestra

    Conducting: JoAnn Falletta


    1984   Symphony

    Colorado Symphony Orchestra

     Director: Marin Alsop

  The Infernal Machine

    Movement 2 of 'Phantasmata'

    1981   Revised 1985


    1978   This filmed performance 2015

    Daidalos Percussion Quartet

 Der gerettete Alberich

    'The Rescued Alberich'

    1997   This filmed performance 2015

    Bob Cole Conservatory Symphony

    Conducting: Johannes Müller-Stosch

 Ogoun Badagris

    1976   Berklee Percussion Ensemble



    Houston Symphony Orchestra

    Director: Christoph Eschenbach

 Symphony No 2


     Houston Symphony Orchestra

Director: Christoph Eschenbach

 Trombone Concerto


    Colorado Symphony Orchestra

Director: Marin Alsop


1998   For piano

 Violin Concerto

1991   Violin: Cho-Liang Lin

    Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra

Conducting: Larry Rachleff

 Wolf Rounds

2006   For wind ensemble

Birth of Classical Music: Christopher Rouse

Christopher Rouse

Photo: Boosey & Hawkes/Jeffrey Herman

Source:  New Music Box
Birth of Classical Music: Steven Stucky

Steven Stucky

Source: Ithaca
Though Steven Stucky was born in 1949 in Hutchinson, Kansas, he grew up in Abilene, Texas. He studied music in public schools as well as viola, conducting and composition privately. He attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, prior to earning his doctorate in composition from Cornell in 1978, the year he won a fellowship from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts). Stucky composed largely for orchestra, chamber and choir. What's thought his first published work had arrived eight years earlier in 1970: 'Movements, 4 Cellos'. Kenningar (Symphony No. 4). His last two years at Cornell saw 'Kenningar' ('Symphony No 4') published in '78. That was followed by the motet for chorus, 'Drop, Drop, Slow Tears', and 'Refrains'  for percussion in '79. Stucky also won a fellowship from the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) that year. His book, 'Lutoslawski and His Music', trailed in 1981. A fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation was acquired in 1986. Stucky's 'Concerto for Orchestra No 1' was a finalist for the Pulitzer in 1989, but it was his 'Second Concerto for Orchestra' that gained the Prize in 2005. He had directed Ensemble X at Cornell from '97 to 2006. Positions during Stucky's latter years included composer-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival and School ('13), Professor Emeritus at Cornell University ('14) and professor of composition at Juilliard ('14). Stucky was only 66 when he died at his home in Ithica, New York, of brain cancer in February 2016.

Steven Stucky   1970 - 2016

 Meditation and Dance


    Clarinet: Jessica Blaza

 Piano Quartet


 Radical Light

    2006–07   For orchestra

      Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Director: Xian Zhang     


    1979   For percussion

    Conducting: Tyler Bragg

 Silent Spring

    2011   Symphonic Poem

 Sonata for Piano

    2014   Piano: Gloria Cheng

    Filmed performance

 Sonata for Violin and Piano

    2013   Violin: Cho-Liang Lin

Filmed performance


     2012   Director: Gustavo Dudame

    Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra


    1988   Director: Mark Scatterday

    Eastman Wind Ensemble

Birth of Classical Music: Elena Firsova

Elena Firsova

Source: Repertorio Compositoras Piano
As classical music becomes contemporary composers from America, Europe (France, Germany, Great Britain) and Russia would dominate. Relative newcomers to classical music, the Japanese, would to hog the show as well. Elena Firsova, however, was born where the heavyweights of classical music had made it nigh synonymous with the nation itself, being Russia. With Russia coming to fairly own classical music during the twentieth century, Firsova had some tough acts to follow (Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, et al) when she was born in Leningrad in 1950, then raised in Moscow since 1956. She began experimenting with composition at age eleven, trained at a music school from '63 to '66, a music college from '66 to '70, then studied at the Moscow Conservatory until 1975. Firsova's website lists the first compositions in her catalogue per 1966-67 while attending college: 'Invention à Two' for piano, 'Two Polyphonic Pieces' for piano, and 'Two Romances' for piano and voice per poems by Boris Pasternak. By Firsova's time most composers had dispensed with the use of opus numbers, but Firsova continued the practice, her Op 1 being 'Scherzo' in 1967. Her Op 2 was 'Suite' for viola the same year. Several titles without number until her Op 3 in 1970, 'Three Poems', her last work before entering the Moscow Conservatory. 'String Quartet No 1' (Op 4) in 1970 was her first piece at the conservatory. Her final was 'Stanzas' for orchestra (Op 13) in 1975. She had married composer, Dmitri Smirnov, in 1972. Who are ancient will recall the publishing of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 'The Gulag Archipelago' in 1974. The Cold War was yet too cool for wind chill during the first decades of Firsova's career. She herself, however, worked extensively in Europe, Great Britain and the United States. Her penchant for destinations without Soviet Russia got her blacklisted in 1979 by the Sixth Congress of the Union of Soviet Composers for an unauthorized performance in Cologne, Germany. Furthermore, she was one of seven composers identified by the Union who composed "pointless" music, so much "noisy mud" not representative of Soviet music. Their work was thus banned from Russian radio and television, nor their scores permitted publishing. In that climate she composed six titles in 1976, her first upon graduation from the Conservatory: 'Concerto' for violin (Op 14), 'Capriccio' for flute and saxophone quartet (Op 15), 'Sonata for Clarinet' (Op 16), 'Petrarcha’s Sonnets' for voice and ensemble (Op 17), and 'The Bell' for choir. Ten years later Firsova gave birth to composer, Alissa Firsova. The family moved to England in 1990. Firsova's more emphasized works are 'Seven Haiku' for voice and lyre/guitar (Op 47 '91), 'Evening Music' (Op 77 '96), 'Requiem' for soprano (Op 100 '01), 'For Alissa' for piano (Op 102 '02) and 'Euphonisms' for euphonium and piano (Op 108 '03). Having written well above a hundred works, Firsova yet resides with Smirnov in Great Britain. Her 'For Slava' (Op 120) surfaced in 2007.

Elena Firsova   1966 -


   'String Quartet No 4'1989   Op 40

   Chilingirian Quartet


   'Cello Concerto No 4'

  Earthly Life

   1984   Op 31   Cantata for soprano


   2003   Op 108   4 movements:

   1: Moderato

   2: Vivo

   3: Andante Cantabile

   4: Moderato

   Piano: Kirstin Ihde

   Tuba: Stephanie Frye

  In the World of Beauty

   1998    Revised 2007    Op 89


   1998   Op 86   For strings 

 Music for Twelve

   1986   Op 34

 Sonata for Cello & Piano

   1971   Op 5

   Movement 1

   Movements 2 & 3

   Cello: Alatole Liebermann

   Piano: Elena Firsova


   1979   Op 22   Cantata for soprano

   Moscow Conservatory Orchestra

   Conducting: Eduard Serov

   Soprano: Irina Muratova

  As classical music entered into its contemporary decades classical composers of strong regional note had appeared as far south as Bulgaria. Music in the Balkans, however, was largely sacred, distant by culture from the avant-garde and remaining quite obscure to audiences of such as John Cage, or huge names like conductor, Leonard Bernstein. Across the border to Turkey music becomes distinctly other than Western classical, entering the Ottoman regions which neither Church (Eastern Orthodox) organs in the Balkans nor these histories address. Israel and Japan (most notably the latter) are the only nations in the Middle East and Asia where classical music of the Western variety has been strongly cultivated. It does exist, though barely, in India, but forget Africa altogether, with the exception of South Africa where its presence has been too exclusive atop already meager to be enculturing to the populace. Down African way it was jazz rather than classical that crossed borders. Across the ocean toward the Americas the influence of classical largely ceased at Mexico on down. Though Brazil has produced some classically oriented composers, again, it is jazz (bossa nova) rather than classical that has merged cultures. As for Otomar Kvech, he composed neither avant-garde graphic scores nor music for the Church, partly by choice, partly because he was born in 1950 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. That is, he was born in Communist Czechoslovakia where Church music was less than encouraged, and was himself concerned to keep the traditional masters, from JS Bach to Shostakovich, safe from the avant-garde, that is, to create a music good for all time rather than seeking out the novel at history's ever changing current edge wanting terms such as post-modernism, post-this and post-that. Such wasn't a reactionary crusade against contemporary influences, Kvech well aware of them and recognizing their place along history's timeline. But for himself, such just wasn't his bag. These histories of classical music thus approach their end, not with such as electronic tape music or "compositions" of an audience coughing before a silent orchestra (Cage), but a composer who drew from various traditional sources from throughout the centuries, and composed toward, not the new, but the beautiful. Per these histories Kvech offers, in a way, a summation of classical music moving onward minus the progressive concerns which some found important, maintaining interest for the few in the know, but which contributed to the shrinking of the classical audience in general. (: Not a lot of people can read, much less purchase graphic notations, compared to the standard five-line stanza.) One might draw the analogy of a jazz musician foregoing the free form that arose in the sixties. Had free form been the only jazz around (no bossa nova, for example, or jazz fusion to come) the general audience for jazz would have much disappeared. Thus with Kvech one has a composer keeping classical aflourish via the conservative, he among latter of the good old boys. Kvech began training at piano in 1955, entered the State School of Music at age nine ('59). He studied composition at the Prague Conservatory from 1965 to '69, then organ at the Prague Academy of Music until 1973. As often, there appears no better source for information than Wikipedia itself, Kvech's earliest composition, presumably published, there and everywhere listed as 'Pocta Bachovi', an homage to Bach per 1971, though surely it wasn't since it postdates his late teen years at the Prague Conservatory. Kcech's earliest professional employment was at the Prague National Theatre, an opera house, as an accompanist. He became musical director for Czechoslovak Radio in 1976, secretary to the Composer's Union in 1980. Upon the disunion of the Soviet Bloc in 1989 Kvech found himself back at Czechoslovak Radio the next year, also instructing at the Prague Conservatory. He presently yet teaches there, as well as at the Prague Academy of Music.

Otomar Kvech   1965 -

 Carnival of the World

   1983    'Karneval Sveta'

    Czech Radio SO

    Director: Elli Jaffe


    1976   'Promena'   Sinfonietta


    1997   For woodwinds

    Prague Conservatory Orchestra

    Director: Jaroslav Vodnanský

 RUR: Passacaglia


    Czech Radio SO

    Director: Stanislav Bogunia

 Piano Trio

    1976   New Prague Trio


    2004   'Themes of Czech Carols'

    Director: Miriam Nemcová

    Filmed performance

 Sonata No 2

    1980   3 movements:

    1: Allegro Moderato

    2: Presto

    3: Grave

 Storm and Calm

    2009   'Boure a Klid'   Melodrama

 String Quartet No 2

     1973   Pražák Quartet

 String Quartet No 6

    2006   'Mozart's Nostalgia'

    Apollon Quartet

 String Quartet No 7

     2002   Herold Quartet

Birth of Classical Music: Otomar Kvech

Otomar Kvech

Source: Vyznamne Osobnosti
  Like his counterpart, Henry Mancini, Alan Silvestri was a composer less of the classical than the popular genre insofar as he composed for film and television, genres which these histories don't pursue, albeit the absence of such leaves as considerable a gap in a history like this as having no pages which address opera or Broadway in themselves either, all categorized under Drama. Also alike Mancini, whose early days were jazz oriented, there was little of the classical persuasion during Silvestri's early career. He populates this page, however, by virtue that the classical orchestra would became the major vehicle of his soundtracks. His grandparents immigrants from Italy, Silvestri played drums and woodwinds as a youth in New York City before beginning guitar at age fifteen. Following high school, Silvestri attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1970 to study composition. He later dropped out, however, and headed for Las Vegas where he joined Wayne Cochran's outfit for a brief time as a guitarist, largely at the Flamingo. (Wayne Cochran was a soul shouter received less than seriously as the white James Brown. Blue-eyed and conspicuously blonde, Cochran was billed as the White Knight of Soul.) Moving to Los Angeles with false expectations of work as an arranger, serendipity nevertheless found Silvestri composing his first film score, 'The Doberman Gang', released in 1972. Silvestri's education in composing for film at that time consisted of an overnight reading of Earle Hagen's (: 'Andy Griffith Show') 'How to Write a Film Score'. A few more films followed that decade, though consistent work in television began in 1978, Silvestri composing episodes for the series, 'CHIPs'. That program presented 139 episodes into 1983, Silvestri composing for 109 of them. After 'CHIPs' was cancelled he fell in with producer, Robert Zemeckis, with whom he would work to the present day on major films, beginning with 1984's 'Romancing the Stone'. Among the sixteen movies on which Silvestri and Zemeckis collaborated were 'Back to the Future ('85'), 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' ('88), 'Forrest Gump' ('94), 'Contact' ('97), 'What Lies Beneath' ('00), 'The Polar Express' ('04) and 'Beowulf' ('07). Collaborations with director, James Cameron, saw compositions for such as 'Predator' ('87) and 'The Abyss' ('89). Silvestri's collaborations with director, Stephen Sommers, began with 'The Mummy Returns' per 2001, followed by several more to this day, including 'Van Helsing' ('04) and 'The Avengers' in 2012. Other of Silvestri's soundtracks include such as 'Ricochet' ('91) and 'Eraser' ('96). Also working in television, Silvestri's compositions include several episodes of 'Starsky and Hutch' in '78-79, several episodes of 'Tales from the Crypt' in the early nineties, and the science documantary, 'Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey', per 2014 which won a couple of Emmy Awards that year. The huge success that has been Silvestri's career has long since made him a wealthy man, he owner of Silvestri Vineyards in Carmel, California, where he lives with his wife, Sandra, mother of three children. Silvestri is yet quite active as of this writing, composing for sequels to 'The Avengers'.

Alan Silvestri   1970 -

  The A-Team

    2010   Score

 Back to the Future

    2011   Live performance   Film: 1985

    ORF Radio-Symphony Orchestra Vienna

    Conducting: Alan Silvestri

 Cast Away

    2000   Theme


    'Supercycle'   1978


    2014    Soundtrack

 Delta Force

    1986   Theme

  The Doberman Gang

    'Dog Honest Man Suite'   1972


    1996   Suite

  Father of the Bride

    1991   Theme

 Flight of the Navigator 

   1986   Soundtrack

 Forrest Gump

  1994   Theme


    1991   Soundtrack

 Van Helsing

    2004   Soundtrack

  The Walk

    2015   Live performance   Film: 2015

    Brussels Philharmonic/Flemish Radio Choir

    Conducting: Alan Silvestri

Birth of Classical Music: Alan Silvestri

Alan Silvestri

Source:  Berklee College of Music

We temporarily suspend this section of the history of modern classical with compaser, Otomar Kvech.





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