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Exploring Music highlights American Masters, Week of June 13-17 @ 7pm


Host Bill McGlaughlin wraps up the American Masters week with an hour devoted to Rochester composer David Diamond.

Week of June 6, 2022 - Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) Benjamin Britten’s works can be edgy, or they can be warm and accessible. On Monday we learn about Britten’s childhood, and the deep bond between him and his teacher, Frank Bridge. As the week continues, Bill introduces us to the influential people in his life, including Britten’s lifelong partner, tenor Peter Pears. We will hear Pears sing with virtuoso horn player Dennis Brain in the Serenade for Tenor. On Friday, two slain soldiers from opposite sides meet in the underworld to sing “Libera Me” from the War Requiem. Then we sample some folksongs, and end on a bright note: Britten’s how-to guide for young classical music listeners, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

Week of June 13, 2022 - American Masters, Part II The second in a multi-week series celebrating American composers from the first half of the 20th century. Bill starts with an American Impressionist, Charles T. Griffes, who admired Ravel, Scriabin, and other fin de siècle composers. Bill ends this week with an entire hour devoted to the works of David Diamond. In the 1930s Diamond was a student of Nadia Boulanger in Paris and was introduced to Maurice Ravel and James Joyce. Composing for over 70 years, Diamond influenced many generations of American musicians.

Week of June 20, 2022 - Clash of the Titans, Part II This week Exploring Music profiles three “divine" beings— Maestros Pierre Monteux (1874-1964), Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), and Serge Koussevitzky (1874-1951): three world-renowned conductors who seemed to have descended from the Greek gods. After World War I, these conductors settled in America and took on the responsibility of nurturing the artistry of American composers and American orchestras: the native Frenchman Monteux in Boston and then San Francisco; the Hungarian Reiner in Pittsburgh and Chicago; and the Russian Koussevitzky in Boston. The stories of their boundless energy and colorful natures are as legendary as their support of musicians and orchestras. We will listen to music by Stravinsky, Bartok, and Debussy in works that these conductors commissioned and premiered, plus many other compositions all played by "their bands."

Week of June 27, 2022 - Dvorák, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin String Quartets Our multiple-part series tracing the evolution of the string quartet continues with magnificent works from Antonin Dvořák, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Alexander Borodin. During the 1870s and 1880s, well into the Romantic period, string quartets were falling by the wayside for a lot of composers, but a few managed to slip through the fabric of time and tell stories just as wondrous as the Romantic tone poems that were popular at the time. Many of these unique quartets have become calling cards for these three composers.