VPR Classical

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His life embodied the American dream. Starting from nothing, he used his talents and musical intuition to build a fortune and an international reputation. George Gershwin’s music touched a diverse array of audiences and forms, from popular song to concerti to opera. In his short life he helped shape the future of American music.

VPR Classical Now Available In Stowe
Photo: blackred, iStock; Illustration: VPR

VPR Classical, Vermont’s 24-hour classical music network, is now available in Waterbury, Stowe, Morrisville and Hyde Park at 96.5 FM.

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The modern American musical is usually associated with the “triple threat”, singing, dancing and acting. It is also the culmination of costume and set design utilizing resources and technology that would make Wagner jealous. The line that connects operas to musicals is a complicated one, influenced by shifting cultural tastes, commercial enterprise and a wide ocean.

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It's easy to get backlogged on your resolutions, even this early in the year. Cellist Ben Kulp is getting his out of the way early, with a concert of works for solo cello that he has "meant to play for a long time." Ben shared what was behind programming each of these works, and his tips for getting your musical resolutions taken care of.

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Emily Sinnott is a senior at Harwood Union High School, and is this month's pick for the Student Composer Showcase.

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Aaron Copland, Jean Franciax, Elliot Carter, Philipp Glass and Quincy Jones; what do all of these musicians have in common? They were all students of Nadia Boulanger. Nadia was a composer, conductor and teacher. For seven decades, out of her family’s flat in Paris, she taught some of the most influential composers of the 20th century.

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Ralph Vaughan Williams spent 60 years in the public eye as a composer, conductor, professor and writer. His work set off a renaissance of English music in the 20th century.

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Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich saw himself a Soviet man first and a composer second. He felt that it was his duty to compose music for his countrymen that reflected the heart of the Soviet ideal. He left behind 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets that stand as some of the most influential works of the 20th century.

Simone Dinnerstein
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

World-renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs on the new VPR Steinway concert grand piano, recorded live in VPR’s Studio One in Colchester.

VPR Classical's Student Composer Showcase highlights the work of talented young composers throughout the region. This month, we're going behind the music, to learn about the mentoring relationships that help this music come to life.

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As World War II began to rage across Europe and the Pacific, communication technology had spread to most of the world. Radio and recording allowed a unified soundtrack of the conflict shared across continents and oceans. Both sides of the war began to practice the art of propaganda in an effort to inspire their people or demoralize their enemies. Music played an important role in this effort to control the hearts of the populace as each country strove to find their musical voice during the war.

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When he heard harmony, he saw color. Olivier Messiaen was not just a visionary composer; he was an organist, an ornithologist and a professor of world-wide acclaim. He was influenced by Ancient Greek theory, Hindu and Japanese culture, his own Roman Catholic faith and the songs of his feathered friends. His music stands as a pillar of the avant-garde in the 20th century.

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Today, music is everywhere. Invisible signals fly through the air carrying every possible genre and style that a person could ever want. We can access them from our homes, cars and phones enjoying content from around the world. In the 19th century this type of technology was just a dream in the minds of scientists and inventors, but the 20th century saw an explosion of communication and the rise of a device we call the radio.

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German composer, Paul Hindemith was a central figure in music and music theory in the 20th century, especially in the period between the wars. His music, teaching methods and theoretical treatises influenced a generation of composers.

2016 Holiday Programs On VPR And VPR Classical

Dec 22, 2016
Amanda Shepard

This holiday season, make VPR and VPR Classical part of your celebrations and enjoy a variety of special programs, ranging from traditional to new.

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In previous centuries there were prevailing styles and forms of music. The Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras have their own set of conventions that composers followed. But the 20th century saw fragmentation as composers reacted and counter-reacted to the artistic expressions around them. Neoclassism is an example of such a reaction.

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'Tis the season for Handel's Messiah! Nearly 275 years after it was first performed, Messiah has become a holiday season staple. Check out our list of performances and sing-alongs planned for the next few weeks and share with us any we might have missed.

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Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is an excellent example of the Russian composer’s style; modernist harmonic expression with accessible melodies and familiar forms. His life though, was far from a fairytale and chronicles the volatile changes in Russia and the world in the first half of the 20th century.

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The Student Composer Showcase for December is Izzy Serebrov.

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June 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav nationalist. This incident quickly escalated into one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. The Great War, or World War I, saw the rise of revolutions and the death of 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians. The philosophy, technology and geography of the world were forever altered. The world of music was also affected as composers served in battle and sought to express their patriotism and also the true human cost of the conflict.

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