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Category: Composers

Modern Classics: Michael Trotta’s Seven Last Words

Modern Classics: Michael Trotta’s Seven Last Words

Michael John Trotta is an award-winning composer of choral music whose latest work, Seven Last Words, will be given its NY premiere in Carnegie Hall on May 27, 2017 as part of MidAmerica Productions’ 34th concert season. This will be the first time that Trotta will conduct his own composition in a MidAmerica Productions Carnegie Hall concert. We spoke with him to learn more about the piece and how he approaches his compositions. Trotta was interviewed by MidAmerica Productions’ Social…

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5 Classical Works Perfect for Mother’s Day

5 Classical Works Perfect for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is the time of year when we celebrate the women who gave each of us the gift of life. For most of us, that means picking up her favorite flowers or another thoughtful gift; however, composers can do one better. That’s why we’ve gathered five works of classical music written for or inspired by the composers’ mothers: 1. Dvořák – “Songs My Mother Taught Me” Written in 1880, “Songs My Mother Taught Me” is the fourth of seven…

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How Orff’s Carmina Burana Became Classical Music’s Greatest Hit

How Orff’s Carmina Burana Became Classical Music’s Greatest Hit

Even if you don’t know it by name, you’ve probably heard Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at least once in your life. Although it achieved significant renown as a concert work during the composer’s lifetime, the piece gained a second life through its use in film, television, and advertisements. Despite its continuing popularity, Orff’s seminal work had humble beginnings. Orff’s Carmina Burana is a cantata based on a collection of medieval poems by the same name dating back to the 11th…

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Quiz: Which Beethoven Symphony is Your Favorite?

Quiz: Which Beethoven Symphony is Your Favorite?

His compositions are some of the most famous works in the classical canon. All nine of Beethoven’s symphonies have stood the test of time, and continue to receive regular performances. Some are more well-known than others, but each musician has their personal favorite — which is yours?

The Music of Spring

The Music of Spring

The changing of the seasons is a constant in our lives, it is a common human experience marked by celebrations or rituals which date back thousands of years. Generations of composers and musicians have looked to the start of spring for inspiration, and have commemorated the onset of new life in songs, sonatas, and symphonies. One of the most well-known springtime works is Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Paris’ Pagan Ballet In 1913, Paris’ Ballet Russes performed Stravinsky’s seminal work…

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Modern Classics: The Next Generation of Classical Composers

Modern Classics: The Next Generation of Classical Composers

In the classical music world, we often neglect the modern in favor of the past, not because of any inherent prejudice, it’s just human nature. For example, most people can recognize Beethoven or Mozart, but the nearer to the present, the lesser known the composer. In order for the art form to survive it’s in the best interests of the classical music community to listen to and support contemporary composers. That’s why we’re showcasing two major new works which have…

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Modern Classics: John Rutter’s Requiem

Modern Classics: John Rutter’s Requiem

John Rutter’s Requiem, composed in 1985, has become a fixture of choral repertoire all over the world. Often compared to Fauré’s Requiem, it subtly walks the line between modern style and a romantic affinity for melody that is characteristic of Rutter’s music. Like Faure’s, Rutter’s Requiem is more poignant than morose, yet still profoundly moving. Although there are many similarities between the two works, Rutter drew on his personal heritage to make the Requiem his own. John Rutter was born…

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10 Facts about Academy Award Winning Music

10 Facts about Academy Award Winning Music

1. Dmitri Shostakovich and Duke Ellington were both nominated the same year but lost to the arrangers of West Side Story. Both musicians were nominated for Best Score of a Musical Picture in 1961, at the height of their careers, but their scores were beaten out by the enormously popular hit musical West Side Story.   2. John Williams has more Oscar nominations than just about anyone. So far Williams has won five Oscars, but, more impressively, he’s been nominated…

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Music and the Presidents

Music and the Presidents

On Presidents Day, we celebrate the birthdays of two of the most significant American presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. What many people don’t know is that music, especially the music of their day, was a central passion of their lives. General Washington’s Army Band   Before serving our nation as its first president, George Washington, one of the great revolutionary generals, had already developed a keen interest in music. During the Revolution, he sent orders to his troops…

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Sing Handel’s Messiah in Carnegie Hall this Thanksgiving

Sing Handel’s Messiah in Carnegie Hall this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may be months away, but it’s never too early to plan a trip to New York City where you can see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and sing the world’s most famous choral piece in Carnegie Hall. This November 28, 2017, conductor Jonathan Willcocks will be leading the first Carnegie Hall performance of Handel’s Messiah of the 2017 Christmas season. Open to all choirs throughout the United States and Canada, this concert is an opportunity to perform in the…

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