James Stewart

VPR Classical Host

James Stewart is VPR Classical's afternoon classical host. As a composer, he is interested in many different genres of music; writing for rock bands, symphony orchestras and everything in between.

James received a Bachelor of Science in Music with an emphasis in Composition from Toccoa Falls College in Northeast Georgia in 2001. In 2007, James earned his Master's of Music in Composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There he also made connections with the Open Dream Ensemble, an outreach arm of UNCSA and the Kenan Institute for the Arts.

James wrote original music for five children's shows and spent three years as music director, tour manager, and company member. In 2014, James received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. James is currently living in Burlington, Vermont with his wife, Meredith and two sons, Jeremiah and Isaac.

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This week, we’ll discuss the music of the 15th century French composer Guillaume Dufay and how the lines that defined secular and sacred music began to blur in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

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There are moments in music history, like all history, that stand as dividing lines. Once they happened, nothing could ever be the same.

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Though the church was instrumental in the development of musical notation, it was not the sole arbiter of music in medieval times.  The high middle ages were also the time of the troubadours or trouveres; French composers and performers of secular lyric poetry and song beginning in the late 11th Century.

Engraving by W. Marshall from "Fuller's Holy State", published 1648.

Hildegard of Bingen was a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, abbess, polymath and a literal visionary of the 12th Century.

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Have you ever been to a restaurant and heard an off-brand version of the popular “Happy Birthday To You” song? The reason why a restaurant would choose to use that version, rather than the traditional “Happy Birthday To You,” is because, until recently, that song was protected under copyright.

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Guido de Arezzo was one of the first music theorists in our western musical tradition.

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It’s easy to take for granted this ability to take a piece of music and understand it instantly, but this wasn’t always the case. Let’s explore the birth of modern musical notation and the history of this elegant practice.

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There is a long history of connection between the world of music and the world of mathematics.

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The art of writing down melodies, preserving sound in time, was not something that was first invented just 1,000 years ago. Humans have made music for most of our history, let's explore some of the earliest examples of musical notation. The first comes to us from a culture that’s nearly 3,400 years old.

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