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Music in the Making

Music In The Making: October Birthday Extravaganza

Celebrating the birthdays of Zemlinsky, Rorem, and Vaughan Williams


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On this week’s episode of Music in the Making, we celebrate the birthdays of a number of Classical Composers, including Zemlinsky, Rorem, and Vaughan Williams.

Portrait of Zemlinsky
Public Domain
Portrait of Zemlinsky

Zemlinsky: Sonata in A Minor for Cello and Piano
Fischer Duo
Duncan Recital Hall

The music of Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky is seldom performed today. Many of his colleagues and mentors, though, are well known: Zemlinsky studied composition with Anton Bruckner, was encouraged by Johannes Brahms, was both brother-in-law and teacher to Arnold Schoenberg, and had compositions conducted by Gustav Mahler.

Rorem: Selections from Day Music
Steve McMillan (violin), Meryl Ettelson (piano)
Dudley Recital Hall

Ned Rorem celebrated his 94th birthday on October 23rd. An active part of the American music scene, Rorem is particularly esteemed for his songs, of which there are nearly 400. However, it was his 1974 orchestral suite Air Music which earned the Pultizer Prize. This chamber work was composed slightly earlier, in 1971.

Vaughan Williams: Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra
Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra and David Kirk, tuba
Stude Concert Hall

Vaughan Williams is perhaps best known for his traditionalism, as many of his works were inspired by older music. This retrospective view, however, was balanced by his interest in composing pieces for unusual combinations of instruments, such as the Romance for Harmonica, Strings and Piano. Another example is his Tuba Concerto in F minor, the first major solo work written for the instrument.

This episode originally aired Sunday, October 22nd, 2017. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical.