Tuesday, January 28, 8 p.m.
A program which airs the classical music composed in the 20th and 21st centuries, 20♪21 first came on the air in February 2012. although as a host I had been a regular substitute for its predecessor Aeolian Impromptu since 2010.
The premise of 20♪21 has been to introduce listeners to the multiple spokes which make up the wheel of contemporary classical music and to continue to broadcast music introduced in the 20th century which may or may not be a regular feature of mainstream classical music radio formats. This also includes works whose creative breadth goes far beyond the allotted time restrictions of these other stations, such as Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony or the twelve and half hours (5 shows) devoted to the music of Benjamin Britten in honor of his 100th birthday.
Another particularly special goal of 20♪21 is the devotion of air time to works whose compositional ink is still wet. Composers, especially those actively working at universities, are welcome to send me pieces in broadcast ready formats to put on the air. Featured composers included thus far are Allen Shawn at Bennington College, Donald Crockett at the University of Southern California, and Paul Paccione at Western Illinois University. In addition, labels such as New World Records, Bridge, Naxos, and others are welcome to share new releases.
A special thank you to artists such as Marc Peloquin, Dmitry Yablonsky, Carlos Prieto, Paul Polivnick, Garrick Ohlsson, the Palisades Virtuosi, and others who have devoted a significant portion of their careers to promote contemporary music.
To celebrate our second anniversary, I have reviewed the more than a 1000 works presented thus far and identified several major omissions, which I’ll include interspersed within the next four programs.
Anniversary Program #1 — Abbreviated due to the State of the Union address on NPR
English composer Gustav Holst’s Suite for Large Orchestra, “The Planets,” remains one of the best introductions to classical music for college students and smart adults.
Also on the program are Korngold’s concert piece constructed from the music he wrote for the film “The Sea Hawk,” Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Stele” performed by the late Claudio Abbado, and a choral piece composed by Thomas Ades called “January Writ,” finishes the program.