It is time once again for the New Music Marathon “Viva 21st Century”

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2018 Marathon – with composer Robert Moran

It has been already eight years since I wrote the last extensive blog titled Viva 21st Century Music, which explains the beginning of my obsession with this grueling event that lasts between 24-26 hours each year-end. I thought it would be fun to share some marathon numbers.
I must confess that I am a marathon junky and wonder why I devote a large portion of my winter break preparing and presenting this big event. However, when I hear wonderful new work the first thing that comes to my mind is “wow, this would be great for my marathon.” I get a new box and start adding CD’s to the marathon pending file.

Instead of celebrating the holidays I march into the WPRB studio with boxes of CDs, valises of fresh clothing, a container of mixed nuts, a couple gallons of water and green tea. There is a couch in the WPRB studio and I make a point not to look at it for obvious reasons during the event.

I have not kept detailed marathon stats for years before 2018, but here are some figures that were easy to put together.Voila_Capture 2019-12-16_15-05-53_.png

Now, it is easy to figure out why friends call me MarathonO-Maniac. Voila_Capture 2019-12-16_16-21-13_

I am lucky that WPRB has given me the opportunity for almost 23 years to do radio programming I believe in. Classical Discoveries would not be allowed to exist as it is on any corporate run radio station.

 

Here is a break down of some statistics from last year 2018 marathon,  excluding and including January programs plus complete event participating composers (below)

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More exciting new music is coming up!! Here is the Viva 21st Century schedule. Hope you can join me this year. A majority of the works on the marathon will include complete and from the last 10 years works.

More exciting new music is coming up!! ‬Here is the Viva 21st Century schedule:

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A majority of the works on the marathon will include complete and from the last 10 years works.

Hope you can join me this year: on 103.3FM Princeton NJ., and around the world @  http://www.wprb.com

 

 

 

 

 

Musical Tidings for the Holiday

Many things have changed since my last blog devoted to the 15th annual series “In Praise of Woman”– one and a half years ago. Since I have a full time job, some private teaching and radio, I do not have much time left for other things.

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I would like to bring to your attention a number of special annual holiday programs listed on my website and to the Holiday line-up on Facebook.

Already aired part 1 of the Christmas Trilogy Christmas Around the World.

 

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  • This Friday’s special broadcast is titled Christmas in America (6:00-9:00am)
  • Next week 2 broadcasts titled “A Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque Christmas” will be presented. (Wednesday, Dec. 18, 5:00-11:00am and Friday, Dec. 20, 5:00-9:00am)
  • On Friday, December 27, I will air music of black composers in observance of Kwanzaa
  • On Saturday, December 28 at 2:00 pm, the fifteenth 24-hour Marathon & fourteenth titled “Viva 21st Century” will begin. For the second consecutive year, the marathon will be equally divided between men and women composers. (Details are in next blog I am working on, so stay tuned!!!)
  • New Year’s Morning, Wednesday, Jan. 01, the 23rd annual program “Shall We Dance” will be presented.

I have also decided that it is time to give my website a facelift and will begin this project shortly after January 1st. I am looking forward to getting involved with this.

For those who are not familiar with my program here are a couple of things you should know:

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Classical Discoveries began in May of 1997 on WPRB (a member-supported station with students and community volunteers like myself).

The excitement of preparing weekly programs and playing music rarely presented on the radio, while supporting living composers has kept me on the air for the last 23 years.

I maintain my website, and purchase many recordings with my own funds. The only one time I ask for money is during the station fund drives since WPRB is member supported.

I do not need to prove my commitment to presenting women & living composers and music from countries that rarely get exposure on the airwaves.

I have presented many specials, annual programs, like “In Praise of Woman”, Marathons, including a whole Marathon devoted to women composers in 2008 (long before anyone else devoted large blocks of time to the music of women).

If you check my playlists you will see that my programs are always diversified, and almost always include women composers from around the world, even during the early years of this program when women were largely ignored in general.

I almost never include music from the Romantic and Classical periods (with occasional digressions during special programs) for the simple reason. These two periods are featured regularly on other radio stations. I would rather focus on really neglected music written before 1750, and after 1950.

You can check my two first blogs: Finally, I am here and More about me

Last year brought some positive changes in the focus on works of women composers thanks to the incredible project from The Institute for Composer Diversity,  the brainchild of composer Rob Deemer of Fredonia, State University of New York.

This project started with just a database of women composers from all over the world but became much more – an incredible resource for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge of women composers and their works. This project also brought attention to the minimal programming of women composers on concert programs and radio broadcasts.

This shamed some orchestras for excluding women to the point that they adjusted their programs.

We are also seeing more women played on some radio stations. Unfortunately, most stations focus more on 19th century and early 20th century music (same like male counterparts). It seems that many are afraid of new music and often treat new music as a token.

I am very happy that in recent times it is much easier to obtain recordings of music by women composers which was much more difficult during my initial years on the air.

In conclusion, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your many kind words over the years about Classical Discoveries. Your comments keep me going week after week after week.

I wish you all a Happy Holiday Season.

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Stay tuned. More new music is coming up!

 

 

 

“In Praise of Women” – 15 Years on the air

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Painting from Hasht – Behesht palace, Isfahan, Iran, ca. 1669

 

When I began my Classical Discoveries program almost 21 years ago, I made the commitment to include music by women composers on my programs whenever it was possible.

Other than Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schuman and a few other 20th century composers aired often as a token, or during International Women’s Day on March 8th you rarely could hear their works on the airwaves. Fortunately, some Internet venues currently offer a better choice.

I will not get now into the subject of missing women composers from the repertoire of orchestras, since a number of very good articles/blogs have tackled this issue.

This year it is good to hear that many organizations are committing to improve this unfair balance, but will they keep their promise after Women’s History Month passes?
Time will tell.

Since many recordings featuring women composers were available on the market in 2004, I decided to devote my entire programming in March to women, in addition to continue including some examples of their works on each program other than those in March.
It is hard to believe that this year I celebrated my 15th Anniversary of In Praise of Woman on the air and presented a program in 5 parts, totaling 26 hours, which included 127 composers (see the list below).

As always, each special posting included works of women artists whom I would like to take this opportunity to thank for allowing me to use their wonderful images.

It is also hard to believe that this year marked the first time that I was accused of being a sexist. I was harassed every week on the day of each broadcast by one specific Facebook member. I will spare you the other insults directed to me as well as to various women composers and yes, he joined my list of trolls, and obnoxious personalities.

As always, I am exited to be able to present this Classical Discoveries program on WPRB 103.3fm to listeners each week and looking forward to next year.

If you missed broadcast, the MP3 file will be available till 4/18/2018 at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/index_in_praise_of_woman_2018_temporary_file.html

The list of composers included in 2018 In Praise of Woman

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Fire in the Hills by Lesley Mitchell (d. 2017)

Katy Abbott
Raphaella Aleotti **
Beth Anderson
Lera Auerbach
Maya Badian
Sally Beamish
Eve Beglarian
Antonia Bembo **
Lauren Bernofsky
Hildegard von Bingen **
Olga Bochihina
Sylvie Bodorova
Anna Bon **
Alla Borzova
Jennifer Castellano

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Daffodills in Vase by Denise Ann Saldutti Egielski

Blanca de Castilla **
Lubica Cekovska
Nicole Chamberlain
Aleksandra Chmielewski
Anna Clyne
Jane Antonia Cornish
Gloria Coates
Claire Cowan
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani **
Zulema De la Cruz
Rachel Currea
Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre **
Elisabetta De’Mirkovich
Camilla de Rossi **
Claire Delbos
Jeanne Demessieux
Emma Lou Diemer

rest
Rest by Polish artist Iwona Altmayer

Johanna Doderer
Suor Leonora d’Este **
Ewa Fabianska-Jelinska
Carlotta Ferrari
Vivian Fine
Tania Gabrielle French
Vivian Fung
Nancy Galbraith
Alice Gomez
Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee
Ida Gotkovsky
Lee Gowoon
Galina Grigorjeva
Juliana Hall

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In the Nursery by  Dr. Laurie Sucher-Gaster (1942-2009)

Barbara Harbach
Amanda Harberg
Jennifer Higdon
Leonie Holmes
Gao Hong
Katherine Hoover
Anna Maria Huszcza
Juste Janulyte
Eleni Karaindrou
Anna Ignatowicz
Lydia Kakabadse
Gaby Kapps
Dorothy Lawson
Jane Leslie
Isabella Leonarda **
Zara Levina
Clare Loveday
Ljubica Maric

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Waiting by Azerbaijani Artist Sabina Suleymanova at: AZgallery.org

Missy Mazzoli
Sky Macklay
Ann McGinty
Joanne Metcalf
Lisa Miles
Lee Pui Ming
Jocelyn Morlock
Nora Morrow
Jessie Montgomery
Martha Mooke
Beata Moon
Grainne Mulvey
Tamar Muskal
Gabriela Ortiz
Roxanna Panufnik
Victoria Poleva
Florence Price

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Holdenhurst Avenue in the Snow by English Artist: Margaret Erber

Shulamit Ran
Santa Ratniece
Gitty Razaz
Mona Lyn Reese
Andrea L. Reinkemeyer
Justina Repeckaite
Belinda Reynolds
Marga Richter
Betty Roe
Elena Ruehr
Diloram Saidaminova
Alex Shapiro
Caroline Shaw
Jeanne E. Shaffer
Marilyn Shrude

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With White Gloves On Out of the Dream in Which They Are Still Al by Anne Canfield

Arlene Sierra
Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir
Dina Smorgonsky
Cristina Spinei
Sarah E. Stanton
Barbara Strozzi **
Agnieszka Stulginska
Andrea Tarrodi
Ylva Skog
Christine Southworth
Caroline Szeto
Gevheri Sultan
Yoko Suzuki
Dobrinka Tabakova
Andrea Tarrodi
Anna Thorvaldsdottir

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Snowdrops by Afat Akhundzade at: AZgallery.org

Joan Tower
Nancy Van de Vate
Mariliis Valkonen
Anne Vanschothorst
Kate Waring
Kate Whitley
Barbara White
Amy Williams
Shara Worden
Rain Worthington
Sinta Wuller
Susanna K. Wallumrød
Judith Lang Zaimont
Gaziza Zhubanova
Ellen Zwilich
Ming-Hsiu Yen

 

 

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Lyn Lyndall – Collage of wild life and domestic animal miniature 4×4 paintings – http://www.lionfirestudio.com/

 

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To celebrate Women’s History Month, MP3 files from Nov. 27, 2017 broadcast of Treasures of Early Music – Women Composers Edition were available for listening for limited time. The 5.5 hour long program included 39 works by 28 women composers before 1750.

 

Links to some interesting websites
International Alliance for Women in Music
Hildegard Publishing Company – Founded in 1988 by Sylvia Glickman to promote & preserve the music of women composers of the past and present
The Kapralova Society – Dedicated to promoting women in music
New York Women Composers
DIANA AMBACHE on WOMEN COMPOSERS
Wikipedia List of female composers
WOMEN’S HISTORY & IMPACT ON THE WORLD
The Living Composers Project
American Music Center
Women Composers Database – by Rob Deemer
10 Black Women Composers to Discover – by Jordannah Elizabeth

 

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