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Oscar-winning composer André Previn’s last piece featured a dream team of collaborators, including playwright Tom Stoppard and soprano Renee Fleming. But the commission was unfinished when Previn died earlier this year. WBUR’s Andrea Shea (@asheaarts) looks at how Previn’s last composition made it from the page to the stage.

Game Mode: Composer Inon Zur

Jul 16, 2019

“Fallout.” “Dragon Age.” “Prince of Persia.”

Behind these otherworldly games are intricate, otherwordly soundtracks. And behind those soundtracks is Emmy Award-winning composer Inon Zur.

Zur has been composing video game music for over 20 years.

He told Laced Records about the intent behind his work:

On this edition of All Songs Considered, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood joins us to talk about two of his classical compositions we've just premiered on our Tiny Desk series.

John Zorn, the prolific and brilliantly iconoclastic composer, realized a dream of sorts last year when he released The Book Beriah — a box set of 11 new albums, featuring as many different groups interpreting music he had written for that purpose.

Caroline Shaw's new album, Orange, is a love letter to the string quartet. The North Carolina native burst onto the music scene in 2013, when she was the youngest composer to win a Pulitzer Prize. She's still in her 30s and now, for the first time, there's a recording devoted entirely to her work.

Nathan Cone / Texas Public Radio

The way Mikael Baisch tells it, he was already a performer and then, “I kind of just woke up one morning and said I’m going to write music.”

Baisch was honored along with Connie Weir and Melissa Wang at the tenth annual Jack Stone Award for New Music competition and concert. His piece, “ClockWork,” was awarded second runner up in the nationwide competition. Connor Weir took the first runner up position for “The Square,” and Melissa Wang was awarded first place for “Downright Up and Left.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento died on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minn., after a short illness; his death was announced by his family He was 91. Argento was best known for his lyrical and astringent music for the human voice – he wrote 13 operas, as well as song cycles and choral works. As he told the late Mary Ann Feldman in a 2002 interview, "My interest is people. I am committed to working with characters, feelings and emotions."

From the cello-laden soundtrack of If Beale Street Could Talk to the symphony of "wrong notes" he created for Vice, composer Nicholas Britell seeks out sounds that capture each film's essence. His process involves many discussions with a film's director before the film has even been shot — and a lot of experimenting.

In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 by a then little-known composer named Florence Price. The performance marked the first time a major orchestra played music by an African-American woman.

Price's First Symphony, along with her Fourth, has just been released on an album featuring the Fort Smith Symphony, conducted by John Jeter.

Growing up in Chicago, Rachel Barton Pine took it for granted that there was a great body of classical music by black composers. She heard it on the radio. She played it in local orchestras as a student. The Center for Black Music Research is in Chicago. So, when the violinist recorded her first concerto album in 1997, she naturally included music by Afro-Caribbean and Afro-European composers.

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