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

daffodils_in_a_vase

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

21-in-the-nursery
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

Holdenhurst_Avenue_in_the_Snow

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

 

Return of Marathonmaniac

Final moments at Viva 21t Century Marathon.  left: composers Daniel Dorf, back: Robert Moran, Susan T.Nelson and  Amanda Harberg

Final moments at 2014 – Viva 21st Century Marathon. left: composers Daniel Dorff, back: Robert Moran, Susan T. Nelson and Amanda Harberg

I am embarrassed to look at my blog and to see how long it has been since I wrote anything. Some might think that I disappeared which is of course not the case. Here I am!! I am back!!!

Between teaching, administrative duties at my school, and of course radio I really do not have much time left. Once again, I am promising that even if I do not have much time, I will post some pictures or music videos to keep the blog going.

I never will catch-up with all the blogs that I could have written during the last few years. Despite this, I will try to summarize things I still remember in a few sentences.

  • I became more active (at least during broadcasts of Classical Discoveries) on Twitter. If you want to follow me you can do so @MarvinRosen. You will find out during my radio broadcasts what music is coming next.
  • The Piano Duo “Venti Dita” CD became available on CD Baby in April 2013 and sold pretty well, meaning that we at least recouped most of our expenses.
  • Have done a few performances, concerts and some lectures about new music. Have been the subjects of a few newspaper stories.
  • In 2013 I received theDistinguished Musician Alumni Award from TCNJ.
  • Have finally meet one of my favorite, Slovak composers Vladimir Godár in New York.
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Composers: Peter Breiner and Vladimír Godár with Publisher & Editor of Music & Literature Magazine: Taylor Davis-Van Atta – guest on Classical Discoveries

So what did I miss with regard to my radio program?

  • Presented three more annual Viva 21st Century Marathons (two of three were actually 25 hour-long) – I hosted my 10th new music marathon this past December. *

With 10* to my credit (1 devoted to American composers and one to women), all live and hosted, some of my friends started call me a Marathonmaniac. Yes, I must be crazy to be on the air for 242 hours during 10 sittings. One of those days I will summarize how many new, 21st century compositions I have presented during all of my New Music Marathons combined.

* Actually 11th -24 hour but was devoted just to the music of Alan Hovhaness on his 100th hundred birthday year

I must say that being live on the air for 24-25 hours straight and playing that all wonderful music gets me so excited that I do not feel tired until about the 23rd hour. This is why I love it each year when my annual guests – composer friends like Daniel Dorff and Robert Moran (plus many that I have endless gratitude to but not mentioned here) visit me, especially close to the end and join me on the air talking about their recent, just written works.

Nothing can replace a live, unedited, spontaneous DJ trying to speak, after being on the air for many, many hours. This is one of the special, unique moments of live radio.  Someone told me that I was the first who dared to present a 24 hour live marathon devoted to compositions just written after 2000 when I did this back in 2007 (of course in addition to playing new music on Classical Discoveries each week for almost 18 years)

I am sorry to say this but many people have forgotten this already or have maybe chosen to ignore it, have simply very short memories, or are maybe playing politics. I do not know, but I am OK with this and very happy that there are others doing 24 hour Marathons featuring new music. We need these more often since we already have plenty of new music to present on many marathons.

In 2007 it was much harder to organize 24 hours of good, diverse new music but now it is a totally different story.

Maybe one day I will try to do 30 straight hours. Should I do it? Should I announce a challenge “The Game of XXI-Marathons”? Hmmmm?.

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Talking about new music news: Last Wednesday I presented the World Premiere Broadcast of the just premiered (February, 2015) Viper Concerto for Viper electric violin and orchestra by Serbian composer, Ana Milosavljevic composed in 2014!

  • Now I am working on my 3 specials:  “Sacred Bridges” (Wednesday, April 1, 5:30-11:00am), “Little Known Treasures of Early Music for Easter” (Sunday, April 5, 10:00am-1:00pm) and “Music for Orthodox Easter” (Sunday, April 12, 1:00-3:00pm).

So get ready. More blogs are coming (I hope)!

Those Magnificent Philadelphians!

You might think that the above title is referring to the famous Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Samuel Barber, or even Vincent Persichetti, but anyone who knows me would know that would not be totally the case. I am not trying to be disrespectful to them of course, but I’d rather focus on what is happening in Philadelphia now. We have many great musicians, composers and artists living and associated with the City of Brotherly Love.

Over the years some of them have visited the WPRB studio including Andrea Clearfield, George Crumb, Daniel Dorff, James Freeman, Jennifer Higdon and of course Alan Harler and Robert Moran, who are returning for a visit together this Wednesday, October 3  from 10:00am till 1:00pm for what promises to be an exciting 3 hours of programming!!  

Robert Moran at WPRB Studio during his 2011 interview

On the venue will be a discussion of the October 21, 2012 world premiere performance of Robert Moran’s Angus Dei and the commissioned, full-chorus version of the ethereal Trinity Requiem, with the Philadelphia Boys Choir and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, as well as of course other subjects related to music.

 

Alan Harler has been artistic director of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia from 1988 and is only the 12th person to hold that position since the chorus’s founding in 1874.


He is an exceptional conductor with a global reach and is a strong supporter of new American music. During his tenure with the Mendelssohn Club, he has commissioned 48 new compositions. Yes, a man close to my heart.  I have attended many of their concerts for the last 15 years and was never disappointed. This will be Alan’s second visit to the WPRB studio.


Robert Moran is an American composer of operas and ballets as well as many orchestral, vocal, chamber and dance works.  He has been a “Classical Discoveries” guest several times over the years.

The Trinity Requiem issued on the Innova Label received the world premiere broadcast on Classical Discoveries in August, 2011 with a repeat broadcast during the 24-hour 9/11 Marathon.

This wonderful CD together with Moran’s 3 others issued on the Innova label as well as the Mendelssohn Club CD with music of Higdon, Clearfield and Primosh (also on Innova) will be offered as special premiums only on Wednesday, October 10 between 5:00am and 1:00pm during the special Fund Drive Edition of my program.

In a few days I will post more details about the Fund Drive and will also provide a  link to the list of special premiums offered only during the program.

Classical Discoveries airs each Wednesday on WPRB at 103.3 FM Princeton or on-line at www.wprb.com

If you cannot listen that day you have the option to record program via DAR.fm   (custom link:DAR.fm/classicaldiscoveries(wprb), or listen to the archives for over two weeks after each show at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/index_music.html

Robert Moran (*1937): Requiem: Chant du Cygne, for 4 Choruses and 4 Chamber Ensembles (1990).

Artistic Director Alan Harler Describes Andrea Clearfield’s World Premiere

The Kitten, Venti Dita and the Music!

It is  hard to imagine that there will be no more occasional sitting in front of the TV or enjoying the sounds of the garden in the evening with Beata and a glass of wine. Yes, I am going back to teaching this Monday.  I am sad about the passing of summer but am also exited about the new school year, especially that this year I will be teaching four classes of my favorite subject – music history. I am also looking forward to my upcoming recital and new CD of piano duos.

I did not do much of what I planned at all. I had no time for blogs, catching up with Facebook friends or extra trips to New York and the Amish County. My summer was devoted though to plenty of piano music and cats, two of my favorite subjects.

The Kitten!

On my last day of school we become  parents to a little, scroungy looking black kitten with white spots, who if would not be found by students in a Princeton University dumpster, would be crushed to death.

Pix day one

Now, after 3 months and dozens of sleepless nights, many broken flowerpots, chewed up hibiscus, 2 planters that became kitty litter boxes and dozens more emergency cleanups, our little kitten Pix, is taller and heavier than our biggest cat, Puszek. He provides us with joy and constant entertainment as well as a means for exercise for our other three other kitties that were sleeping over 20 hours a day.

Venti Dita!

Finally, after working for almost two years together with Jennifer, we came up with the name for our piano duo: Venti Dita. I think that this is a really cool, simple musical name – 20 fingers in Italian.

The biggest achievement and time-consuming activity this summer was the recording of our first duo CD devoted to contemporary music for piano 4 hands, at Purchase College, Purchase, NY.

When my wife commuted to work in Willow Grove in Pa. I always teased her that she picked the very early starting time of 5:30am to get good parking and to avoid traffic on the PA turnpike. The karma caught with me this summer when after my first trip to Purchase, I was almost late to our first recording session, despite the fact I left more than enough time.

Now it was her time for her to get back at me and remind me of the old times. After that first week I would leave home at 5am to pass the George Washington Bridge before it turned into a parking lot. My extra time would spent in a Diner having a hearty breakfast with Jennifer and yes, sipping good tea, especially since we would take only a short break for lunch that Beata packed for us in a small cooler so we would not waste time driving to another diner. Coming back home was also tied up to traffic patterns. Having dinner before leaving Westchester solved this problem and most times I had a smooth trip home.

I feel sorry for drivers that must put up with this kind of aggravation on the road every day. For last 15 years I take a train instead of drive to New York.

I am very lucky to live very close to my school as well as to WPRB, since the traffic around Princeton is not much better, especially now when NJDOT closed a few local roads, creating havoc for local drivers.

We had 3 recording sessions plus 3 sessions with our wonderful engineer, Andy Cardenas.  One recording session was extremely exhausting since we could  not use the air conditioner and the temperature outside soared to  98 degrees.

Yea!!!! We have a gold master and it sounds really great, but we still have many steps to take care before the CD can be released. Hopefully the recording will be out before the end of the year.  Cannot wait!!!

The Music!

Each year I devote much time in the summer to listen to music, but this summer I spent more time at the piano.

Besides hosting my both radio programs at WPRB, and yes, celebrating at the end of May the beginning of my 16th year on the air, I spent my summer preparing for the recording sessions as well as my upcoming piano recital devoted to contemporary music.

On the radio I presented a few special Early Music Editions, hosted a jazz program with music by classical composers inspired by jazz, and had a few guests such as the young Serbian composer-violinist Ana Milosavljević, Australian composer and conductor Sean O’Boye, Elliott Carter expert Joe Barron, and pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass who recently released a CD featuring the Concord, Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass.  by Charles Ives. Finally, I celebrated John Cage’s 100th Birthday with an unexpected 6-hour edition of “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.

My piano recital titled “Contemporary Piano Miniatures”, will be Sunday afternoon, September 23 at 3:00pm in Bristol Chapel at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and will include music from many countries. I will be joined in several works by my piano duo partner Jennifer Castellano, and will perform selections included on our upcoming CD.

And yes, this concert is FREE!!!!  So if you are around, please join me and if you are afraid of new music, here is your opportunity to try without risk. Princeton is a charming town in  early autumn.

If you listen to “Classical Discoveries” you will recognize the names of many composers. In addition, you will hear a complete performance of the work by my duo partner Jennifer I use as my opening theme.

I feel very lucky that I am in position as an educator, performer and radio host to expose new and unknown music to many.

Before I conclude, I would just like to remind you all that we must support our living composers today as they were supported by their contemporaries in earlier centuries.

If you want directions or more information please email me at Marvinarosen@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook and attend please sign the guest list at: https://www.facebook.com/events/438945242823380/

What is new?

Yes, I am still here!

I just came back from my student piano recitals feeling really proud, but also happy that one more project is behind me.

My crazy April Odyssey continues without leaving much time for blogging, and my next blog will most likely be just before the fifteenth anniversary of my program, which was broadcast for the first time on May 29 1997.

Wow, I cannot believe how fast the time goes. I was thinking about recreating my first show since I finally did find my book of old playlists, but it would make the program too traditional, so maybe I will play only a few selections from my first show. I do not know yet.

So, what is happening on Classical Discoveries and the Avant-Garde Edition?

This Wednesday, May 02, 2012 from 9:00am till 11:00am

American composer, organist and Messaian scholar Frank Ferko, known for his choral music inspired by Hildegard von Bingen will visit WPRB.

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Next Wednesday, May 09, 2012 from 11:00am till 1:00pm on the Avant-Garde Edition,

American composer and Co-Director of New Amsterdam Records, Sara Kirkland Snider and whose work “Disquiet” will be premiering on May 13, 2012 by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, will be my guest.

As always, you can listen on 103.3 FM or on the Internet at: www.wprb.com

and if you cannot listen those days you can go to archived programs on my website or you can go to one more option: DAR.fm – a Digital Audio Recorder {a custom link: DAR.fm/classicaldiscoveries(wprb)} which has been tested by a number of people, is very convenient and works very well. You can stream the program later on your smart phone, PC or other audio devices.

Laus Trinitati from Frank Ferko’s Hildegard Motets

He Looks Out to Sea from Penelope work composed by Sarah Kirkland Snider

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