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!

 

 

 

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:

CLASSICAL DISCOVERIES AROUND THE WORLD SUMMER TRAVELS

  • 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:

24-HOUR LIVE WPRB RADIO BROADCAST – MARATHON  – WE REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11

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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