Fourteen years already, where did the time go?

The  Classical Discoveries  home page motto is:

“Host and producer Marvin Rosen celebrates new music and living composers all year-long, on the air since May 1997”

The months of May and June are always memorable for me at the time when WPRB shifts into the summer schedule.  This is when, in 1997, I presented my first Classical Discoveries broadcasts.  The Avant-Garde Edition became a regular weekly program in the summer of 2008.

The best way to celebrate this is with music of course – especially with new music  composed from the time Classical Discoveries went on the air.  I am going celebrate my 14th radio anniversary with a trio of programs with music I love – New Music, Music by American Composers as well as music from the Baltic Region.

  • Monday, June 27, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – LATVIA – FROM RIGA WITH LOVE – 2nd  show from Classical  Discoveries Around the World  Summer Travels Series, with special Latvian guest at 8:30.

Riga. View from St Peters Church

View of Riga

Ēriks Ešenvalds - photo by Aivars Krastiņš

I am very excited about this special that will be crowned by the visit of the very talented, young (born in 1977) Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds, who is known mainly for his choral works but  has written other works including the opera “Joseph Is a Fruitful Bough” (2007).  He is in the USA for a world première of his music by the Philadelphia Chamber Choir “The Crossing.”  Despite his young age, he has received many awards and has had his music performed in many countries around the world.

I am proud to say that his works were broadcast for the first time in the USA on Classical Discoveries.

The other composers that you can expect to hear on the first part of Monday’s program are: Rihards Dubra, Maija Einfelde, Janis Ivanovs, Imants Kalniņš, Juris Karlsons, Arturs Maskats, Georgs Pelecis, Pēteris Vasks, Jāzeps Vītols and Imants Zemzaris plus others.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 5:30am till 1:00pm

7½ Hours Around the World.

Last year, on June 02, 2010 on a combined edition of both programs, I celebrated the 13th Anniversary of “Classical Discoveries” with a special: 11½ Hours Around the World. 

This year again,  7½ Hours Around the World.

I will present only music written in the last 14 years – the length of time “Classical Discoveries” has been on the air.

And here again, I am trying to prove that we do not have to be scared of new music and that there is so much exciting and wonderful music being written today. There will be some known names for listeners of my show and some totally unknown ones as well.  Included will be music by Robert Aldridge, Eric Biddington, Sylvia Bodorova, Ross Edwards, Gareth Farr, Giya Kancheli, Victoria Poleva, Somei Satoh, Valentin Silvestrov and many more.



  • Monday, July 04, 2011 – 5:30  – 11:00 AMUSAAMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL 15th July Fourth Special.

For the last 14 years I have presented one of 2 programs: Viva America – devoted to all American Composers or America the Beautiful – devoted to music describing USA landmarks.

Many composers have been inspired by the wonders and beauty of our country and that will be our theme this year when we travel this time just around the USA.

What can you expect from this special? You will definitely not hear Antonin Dvorak’s America inspired works and  will leave these for other stations.

You will instead hear works by, for example, Nancy Bloomer Deussen, Carson Cooman, Michael Daugherty, Don Gillis, Alan Hovhaness, Michael Mauldin, just to name some.

I hope that you can listen to at least some of these specials. Please check my website for more information closer to the broadcasts as well as Facebook.  It should be a very exciting trilogy. This is definitely a great way to celebrate the beginning of my fifteenth year on the air.


Musical Travel to Poland with Classical Discoveries


On WPRB 103.3FM and Internet at:

Part 1 – Monday,  June 13, 2011  –  5:30 – 11:00am

Part 2 – Wednesday,  June 15, 2011  –  5:30 – 11:00am

and Avant-Garde Edition –  11:00am – 1:00pm


I always had a weakness for music from Eastern Europe especially Poland, long before I met my Polish born wife. A few trips to Poland help me to beef up my already substantial CD and LP collection and my radio program became a good forum to share these findings with listeners.

I will never forget the first time I heard Penderecki’s Threnody on the radio and how overwhelmed and scared I was. That was my first exposure to Avant-Garde music and opened my eyes (and ears of course!) to a totally different world. Next was Stockhausen’s Momente and Pithoprakta of Xenakis.

During my 14 years on WPRB I suspect that I have played more Polish composers than possibly any one else in this country and have devoted at least 7 full programs to Polish music.  In addition I have presented Moniuszko’s operas Halka and Straszny Dwór, Ptaszyńska’s Pan Miramba and Penderecki’s Ubu Rex.

I keep playlists going back to 2001 and you are welcome to check them out. Some links are below.

08-06-2008FROM THE BALTIC SEA TO THE TATRA MOUNTAINS – Millennium of Polish Music

I do not play Chopin (except unusual arrangements) even though I love and perform his music.  He along with others few are well-known here in USA and do not need my support.

Poland is sometimes a misunderstood country, with the preconceived notion that it is just an agricultural country with little culture. Poland actually has one of the oldest Universities in Europe, and the Polish Court was always closer to the West than the East.

Wawel - Royal Castle in Krakow

Some months ago my wife got angry after reading a CD review with music from the Court of Polish Kings. The reviewer was disappointed not to hear any folk and nationalistic tunes in the music. I do understand my wife’s reaction to this comment, after hearing many times snappy remarks that only ham grows in Poland.

This reviewer would not expect to hear traditional tunes in the music from the court of Louis the XIV, and the title of the recording was not “Music from Polish villages and country sides.” It takes only a few minutes on Google to find that Polish Kings employed the best architects, painters, musicians and composers from all over the Europe and some Polish composers were educated abroad. This leads to the following question. Why should the music for Polish Kings sound much different from music in Italy or Germany?

The tradition of Polish music goes back to the Medieval and Renaissance. Unfortunately though, much Polish music has been lost forever during multiple wars and political uprisings.

The political changes after the World War II caused some composers to leave the country. After a few political uprisings, composers were allowed some freedom and this is how the Polish Avant-Garde was born. I call it Music of Defiance.

Electing a Pole to the position as head of the Catholic Church led to more tonal and spiritual music often inspired by religion. His election eventually led to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

With the fall of the communist government, Polish composers and artists lost support and subsidy, and began facing same financial problems that plague Americans. The Poles are learning how to survive in the capitalistic world where the arts tend go first under the butcher’s knife.

Despite the problems, much great music is  created in Poland, and I am very happy to always share the treasures of Polish music with others.

Whose music will you expect to hear?

Here are a few names, some of which might be more known to regular Classical Discoveries listeners.

Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Baird, Miłosz Bembinow, Wojciech Kilar, Piotr Klimek. Zygmunt Krauze, Paweł Łukaszewski, Krzysztof Meyer, Stanisław Moryto, Andrzej Panufnik, Weronika Ratusińska, Marian Sawa and Romuald Twardowski.

There will also be some sampling of early music as well.

These programs will barely scratch the surface, but better these than nothing.

The summer on Classical Discoveries

It has been quite awhile since I wrote my last blog. I had big plans to write a few more, but the end of the school year has been quite crazy. I also had a piano recital last Sunday, which kept me busy.

The summer schedule was announced a bit late. I hope you did not miss last Monday’s early music special.

So this is how the schedule goes.

Classical Discoveries will air each Wednesday from 5:30 till 11:00am, followed by the Avant-Garde Edition until 1:00pm.

On five Mondays during June and July I will present 5 special musical travelogues.

These programs, as presented in earlier years, will focus on different countries and regions of the globe.

Each show will start at 5:30am and end at 11:00am

Schedule for:


  • Monday, June 13, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – POLAND  – FROM THE BALTIC SEA TO THE TATRA MOUNTAINS
  • Monday, June 27, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – LATVIA – FROM RIGA WITH LOVE – with special guest, young Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds, who is visiting the USA for the première of his music with Philadelphia Crossing. His works were broadcast for the first time in USA on Classical Discoveries
  • Monday, July 04, 2011 – 5:30  – 11:00 AM – USA – AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL – July 4th Special  – annual American music show
  • Monday, July 11, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM –  CANADA – “UP NORTH” – CANADA REVISITED
  • Monday, July 25, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – UKRAINE – FRESCOES OF KIEV

Details about each program will be announced closer to the broadcast date and I might blog some extra information if time allows me.

For Early Music Lovers

TREASURES OF EARLY MUSIC  –  Program devoted to little known repertoire before 1750 is back for 3 summer specials.

Unfortunately the first was already aired last Monday, but you can check the playlist to find out what you missed

  • Monday, June 06, 2011 – 8:30 – 11:00 AM  – Playlist for 06-06-2011
  • Monday, June 20, 2011 – 8:30 – 11:00 AM
  • Monday, July  18, 2011 – 8:30 – 11:00 AM

Highlights will be posted on the Classical Discoveries website as well as on Facebook a couple of days before each program.

The last special at the end of the summer at WPRB will be:


Starting SATURDAY, September 10, 2011 – 7:00 PM through SUNDAY, September 11, 2011 – 7:00 PM

At the 10th anniversary of September 11, Classical Discoveries will present a 24-hour live radio marathon, totally devoted to music written by composers from many countries as a reaction to the unforgettable events of that day.

I will write more about the Marathon shortly. You can check Sequenza 21 – May 21, 2011 – Call for recorded music written to commemorate 9/11 tragedy
Posted by Steve Layton

I am planning to have some composer guests as I do each summer. Since I do not have confirmation with the exception of  Ēriks Ešenvalds, these will be announced later.


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