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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Unanswered Question | Arts Leadership in the Age of Trump

Arts Leadership in the Age of Trump March 2, 2017 by Joseph Horowitz In 1966 the New York Philharmonic undertook an 18-day Stravinsky festival as a kind of try-out for Lukas Foss, whom Leonard Bernstein favored to take over as music director. The conductors included Foss, Bernstein, Ernest Ansermet (who had conducted for Diaghilev), Kiril […]

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Unanswered Question | Arts in the Age of Trump (Cont.)

Arts in the Age of Trump (Continued) September 8, 2017 by Joe Horowitz The Age of Trump has rapidly changed the American cultural landscape in many ways. In the silo of classical music, there is suddenly a felt need to ask: What’s it for? Why are we doing this? How can the arts affect social or political […]

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Unanswered Question | Copland and the Cold War

Copland and the Cold War September 6, 2017 by Joe Horowitz PostClassical Ensemble’s most recent WWFM “PostClassical” radio show is “Copland and the Cold War” – aired last Friday and now archived. Our two-hour program includes Aaron Copland’s prize-winning New Masses workers’ song “Into the Streets, May First” as well as a re-enactment of Copland’s 1953 grilling by […]

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Unanswered Question | Rethinking “Classical Radio”

Rethinking “Classical Radio” July 3, 2017 by Joe Horowitz   When commercial radio was new, the airwaves were saturated with classical music – not just recordings and live concerts, but highly produced pedagogical programs. You could tune into Abram Chasins for tips on playing Chopin’s E-flat major Nocturne. What today passes for classical music radio […]

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CATHEDRAL RESIDENCY

PostClassical Ensemble is delighted to announce that we have been named ensemble-in-residence at the Washington National Cathedral. Our inaugural season at the Cathedral features three concerts incorporating film and theater, and celebrating music as an instrument for human betterment: • “Music in Wartime: A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration” — Thursday, December 7, 2017 • “Deep River: The Art of […]

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Unanswered Question | The Lou Harrison Centenary

The Lou Harrison Centenary May 2, 2017 by Joe Horowitz If you asked me who composed the best American violin concerto, and who composed the best American piano concerto, I would answer with the same name: Lou Harrison. And yet, except on the West Coast of the United States, Harrison is not a brand name. […]

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PostClassical Ensemble in the New Yorker | Alex Ross reviews The Shostakovich-Weinberg Connection

An excerpt from Alex Ross’ column in the April 17 issue of The New Yorker, titled A Gathering of Orchestras in D.C. …the city [Washington] has long been a paradise for chamber music. I grew up there, and learned the chamber repertory in such intimate, welcoming venues as Dumbarton Oaks, the Library of Congress, and […]

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Unanswered Question | Are Orchestras Better than Ever?

Are Orchestras Better than Ever? Why Riccardo Muti is Wrong February 26, 2017 by Joseph Horowitz Are orchestras better than ever?  Riccardo Muti thinks so. Recently, dedicating a bust of Fritz Reiner at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, he said: “The level of the orchestras in the world – especially in the seventies and eighties — has […]

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