Unanswered Question | Harry Burleigh and Cultural Appropriation – Take Two

Harry Burleigh and Cultural Appropriation – Take Two August 26, 2019 by Joseph Horowitz   The annals of the Harlem Renaissance include heated debate over the practice of turning African-American spirituals into concert songs. Zora Neale Hurston Hurston heard concert spirituals “squeezing all of the rich black juice out of the songs,” a “flight from blackness,” a […]

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Unanswered Question | Ferruccio Busoni: “A Fresh Gust of Air”

Ferruccio Busoni: “A Fresh Gust of Air” July 28, 2019 by Joseph Horowitz Preparing an August 15 Busoni/Schoenberg/Kandinsky program for The Phillips Collection in DC, I discovered myself newly entranced by one of the most magical figures in the history of Western music. Around the same time, Kirill Gerstein’s revelatory new CD of the Busoni Piano Concerto […]

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#GivingTuesday 2018

For fifteen years, we’ve pursued our Wildly Ambitious programming – first nomadically, and now as Ensemble-in-Residence at the Washington National Cathedral. Since our first concert in 2003, PCE has grown to include our Cathedral series, Immersion Experiences, a film series at the National Gallery of Art, our radio podcast on WWFM, and AMERICAN ROOTS our educational series. On Tuesday, [...]

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Bernstein at 100

In 2018, the classical music community celebrates the centenary of Leonard Bernstein. PCE’s Joe Horowitz has been writing on Bernstein’s life and legacy in his blog The Unanswered Question. LEONARD BERNSTEIN AT 100: An American Archetype Leonard Bernstein prophesied an American classical music; his disillusionment and disappointments mirrored the nation’s. In 1980, at the age of […]

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PCE CELEBRATES THE WALT WHITMAN BICENTENNIAL

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is America’s most iconic poet, a beacon of American democracy both at home and abroad. His years as a Civil War nurse were spent in DC, where he worked at the Patent Office Building. PostClassical Ensemble celebrates the Whitman Bicentennial with three programs of music, readings, film – and a classic 1944 [...]

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The Gershwin Moment

As I’ve had occasion to observe in my various George Gershwin blogs, Gershwin and J. S. Bach are the two composers most malleable in performance. There is no Gershwin style. And if there is, there’s full license to ignore it. The most recent “PostClassical” broadcast on WWFM includes two little-known but essential Gershwin performances that break the mold. […]

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A Wunderkind at 100

Leonard Bernstein prophesied an American classical music; his disillusionment and disappointments mirrored the nation’s. In 1980, at the age of 62, Leonard Bernstein undertook the composition of a formidable full-scale opera, commissioned jointly by La Scala, the Kennedy Center, and Houston Grand Opera. He called it A Quiet Place. It’s the story of an unquiet […]

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