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Gabriela Ortiz's Yanga had its world premiere late last month at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Ortiz is one of Mexico's most sought-after classical composers and her work has been performed by musicians all over the world, from soprano Dawn Upshaw to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to Kronos Quartet.

Argentinean born composer Osvaldo Golijov recently premiered his new song cycle, “Falling Out of Time,” at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, where he’s also a professor of music.

The poignant work is based on David Grossman’s soul-piercing book about a couple grieving the death of their child.

Albany Records

In 1993, composer and violinist Mark O’Connor  wrote “The Fiddle Concerto.” O’Connor, an award-winning fiddle, mandolin, and guitar virtuoso, successfully integrated country fiddling into a symphonic work that, with the help of Warner Bros. Records and classical radio stations hungry for new American sounds, became a crossover hit.

The new movie Joker is a psychological character study of a lonely, disturbed man who turns violent. Dark, chaotic, unconventional — all descriptions that would make sense for a movie about one of the most infamous and unpredictable villains in comic book history. But in fact, director Todd Phillips wanted this Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, to inspire empathy. To give this comic book character human depth, director Todd Phillips brought in a composer who could transform darkness into sensitive musicality.

One of the most prominent composers of the late 20th century has died. Giya Kancheli was from Georgia — and the music he wrote, whether for films or for the concert hall, was full of light, shade and an incandescent longing. He died Wednesday at age 84 in his home city, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Kancheli's death was announced by his longtime record label, ECM; his son, Sandro Kancheli, told NPR that his father had suffered from heart failure for a long time.

Composer Christopher Rouse, who once called himself a writer of "fast and furious" music and who taught courses in the history of rock, died Saturday of complications of renal cancer at age 70.

Courtesy photo

Composer John Lunn didn’t start writing music for films and television programs until he was 32. Two decades after he began that journey, American audiences fell in love with the Crawleys – and Lunn’s memorable themes – from “Downton Abbey,” the ITV/PBS program that follows an aristocratic family through the first decades of the 20th century.

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.

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