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The Listeners’ Club is Moving!

In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, take a moment and listen to African-American contralto Marian Anderson’s legendary 1939 performance at the Lincoln Memorial.

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David Bejanyan’s colorful and controversial statue of composer Arno Babajanyan (1921-1983) in Yerevan, Armenia.

A Rare Gem: Arno Babajanian’s Piano Trio

  We started the week with the Armenian folk-inspired sounds of the Khachaturian Violin Concerto. Now, let’s hear music of another, less well known twentieth century Armenian composer, Arno Babajanyan (1921-1983). Babajanyan was one of the Soviet Union’s premier pianists. His compositions range from a Cello Concerto written for Mstislav Rostropovich to popular songs and film scores. His […]

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Philip Glass and David Bowie

David Bowie Meets Philip Glass

The groundbreaking work of David Bowie, who passed away earlier this week, left a profound mark on the world of rock music. But Bowie also influenced some of the twentieth century’s most important minimalist and experimental composers, and in some cases he was influenced by their work. In 1976, Bowie attended the European premiere of […]

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Oistrakh and Khachaturian: Beyond the Sabre Dance

When you think of twentieth century Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978), what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably, the frenetic Sabre Dance, once called “one of the catchiest, most familiar—perhaps most maddening—tunes to come out of the 20th century.” Khachaturian wrote the Sabre Dance for the final act of the 1942 ballet, Gayane. It quickly, perhaps surprisingly, made the […]

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Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)

Remembering Pierre Boulez

  The groundbreaking French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez passed away on Tuesday at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was 90. Coming of age in post-war Europe, Boulez embraced a modernist zeitgeist which turned its back on the past to imagine new sounds and musical structures. Obsessed with controlled, rational order, Boulez pushed the twelve-tone techniques […]

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Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda has been named Music Director of the National Symphony.

Mr. Noseda Goes to Washington

  The National Symphony Orchestra has announced that Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda will succeed Christoph Eschenbach as its seventh music director. Noseda has developed a reputation as one of the world’s finest opera conductors. Early in his career, he was the first foreign-born principal guest conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre. Currently, he serves as principal guest conductor […]

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Gilbert Kaplan (1941-2016)

The Scariest Chord in Mahler’s Second

  Remembering Gilbert Kaplan Gilbert Kaplan, the American millionaire business man, publisher, amateur conductor, and Mahler scholar passed away on New Year’s Day following a battle with cancer. He was 74. In 1967, at the age of 26, Kaplan founded the inside Wall Street magazine, Institutional Investor. Around the same time, he became obsessed with the music […]

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Bing Crosby, Virginia Dale, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds in the 1942 film, Holiday Inn.

Let’s Start the New Year Right

  Happy New Year! The first day of January may be a time to sweep up the confetti and put away the party hats, but take a moment and listen to Irving Berlin’s Let’s Start the New Year Right. This suave melody, sung  by the golden-toned Bing Crosby, was written for the 1942 Paramount Pictures classic, Holiday Inn. (White Christmas became […]

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