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Composing plays a larger role for Jessie Montgomery

A lot has happened in the last few years for Jessie Montgomery. Her composing profile has soared, and the demands…

John Harbison sounds a call for music of late 20th century

Classical ensembles continue, as they long have, to emphasize bedrock works by composers like Beethoven and Brahms, and many carve…

The desert blooms in Missy Mazzoli’s ‘Death Valley Junction’

Death Valley Junction offers what Missy Mazzoli calls a “sonic depiction” of an isolated outpost in one of the most…

Joan Tower, then and now, on the cutting edge for composers

In a field dominated by men, Joan Tower is among the women who have built significant careers in classical music…

Joan Tower reflects on legacy of her ‘Uncommon Woman’

Make no mistake. The title of Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman is hardly a coincidence. The composer intended…

Chicago actor moves into a new realm for ‘The Soldier’s Tale’

When the Chicago Symphony Orchestra artistic staff asked James Earl Jones II about performing in Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat…

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson on the cusp of a rediscovery

For much of the history of classical music, European men dominated the compositional world. And the few women or people…

Composer Paola Prestini believes in ‘connecting through music’

Some composers hold full-time teaching posts. Others, like Thomas Adès or Esa-Pekka Salonen, maintain major conducting careers. But Paola Prestini…

The works of Ingolf Dahl, 50 years after his death, see a revival

Composers Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky. Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and comedian Gracie Fields. Bandleader Tommy Dorsey and humorist Victor Borge….

Caroline Shaw turns a musical line into ‘a kind of a traffic pattern’

When Caroline Shaw — then a 30-year-old virtual unknown — became the youngest winner ever of the Pulitzer Prize for…

A composer whose life seemed torn from an adventure novel

Long before composers spent their non-composing hours in university classrooms or chasing down commissions and grants, many carried on lives…