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Exploring Music kicks off Beethoven's 250th year in January 2020


2020 Marks the beginning of Beethoven's 250th birth anniversary year, and Exploring Music kicks off the year with a look at Beethoven and the Piano (week of 1/6).

Week of January 6, 2020 - Beethoven and the Piano - Beethoven and the Piano – 200 years after the composition of Beethoven’s five Piano Concertos, they’re still the giants of the piano world.  Join us for a concerto a day, plus some of his more intimate works for the instrument. Leon Fleisher, Murray Perahia, and Martha Argerich are a few of the prominent pianist that we will hear from this week.

Week of January 13, 2020 - André Previn: German born American composer, conductor, and pianist (1929-2019) -  By age 20, Andre Previn was successfully composing for Hollywood and playing the piano in Jazz clubs. Soon after winning one of his many Academy Awards, for “My Fair Lady”, Previn released a highly acclaimed jazz album based on the popular songs from this Oscar winning movie. In the 1960s, at the top of his jazz and film composing career, he transformed his profession to include classical music. Previn is known for his open approach to blending the musical worlds of classical, pop, film, theater, and jazz. This week we will listen to recordings from his long career with the London Symphony, hear his brilliant piano playing, his film scores, and sample an aria or two from one of his operas.

Week of January 20, 2020 - Claude Debussy - Claude Debussy, who once said he learned more from poets and painters than from the music conservatory, is considered the figurehead of Impressionist music (though he would vehemently argue against it).  Influenced by Bach's arabesques and the romantic Chopin, the Frenchman made his mark in music with his otherworldly compositions, beginning with "Danse Bohemienne". While we listen to his compositions Bill reflects on Debussy's peculiar upbringing, studies in the Paris conservatory, and his Prix de Rome win. 

Week of January 27, 2020 - Haydn and Mozart Quartets - Mozart's six "Haydn" Quartets were dedicated and lovingly handed to Joseph Haydn, like a father entrusting his sons to a friend to protect and guide them.  When Haydn first started composing for the string quartet, the first violinist was the star, actually standing in front of the other three players. Ninety-nine Haydn string quartets later, the form had evolved into four equal voices.  Bill will share with us the brief time in history when Mozart and Haydn enjoyed each other’s company, playing and composing string quartets together.