American conductor and music director Leonard Slatkin discusses the differences between the classical music worlds of Europe and the United States. He says the fast pace of American concert production and music instruction has its benefits and drawbacks.
New music composer John Harbison was drawn to classical music because the genre leant itself to longer pieces and a deeper exploration of musical ideas. He often writes for his wife, the violinist Rosemary Harbison.
The renowned soloist says the nature of his instrument demands that he be flexible about also playing supportively in ensemble settings. He talks about how the death of his parents, both of whom were musicians, contributed to his artistic development.
Celebrated by critics and opera aficionados, the singer is finally reaching a larger audience with recent recordings, like her CD of Schubert, Hayden, and Mozart lieder. She joins Fresh Air to talk about her technique, and the differences between singing lieder and opera.
Composer David Del Tredici. His works place him at the forefront of the neo-romantic movement. Del Tredici won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1980 for his composition "In Memory of A Summer Day." From 1968 to 1985, his works evolved around themes from Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll's beloved fairy tale. It was his 1976 work, "Final Alice," commissioned by the Chicago Symphony, that first brought Del Tredici international recognition.
Pianist Ran Blake. He heads the Third Stream Music Department at the New England Conservatory of Music. Third Stream music, a term coined by composer Gunther Schuller, integrates classical and jazz traditions. Blake has extended the definition to include other kinds of music. A CD of Blake's 1961 recording with singer Jeanne Lee has just been reissued by RCA.
Fresh Air's classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz. It's part of our continuing series of conversations with Fresh Air's contributors. Schwartz is the classical music editor of the Boston Phoenix and writes for The Atlantic magazine and Vanity Fair. Schwartz was the winner of the 1987 ASCAP Deems Taylor for music criticism.