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What's New Class of 38 Preview

Noah Sheldon

A new program airs Sunday nights on WBAA Classical: What's New. Host John Clare features new music, new releases, and interesting guests. Hear a special preview of this week's What's New, and let us know what you think.

There is an amazing year, 1938, when several world class composers were born: Joan Tower, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Charles Wuorinen, and John Harbison! (and our guest last week, Jose Serebrier!) We'll feature their music, and speak with several of them about their compositions.

When I spoke to Joan Tower, I asked her about these different worlds – are there sometimes different voices that – someone like Shostakovich who can, wrote for the victims of war and then at the same time had orchestrated Tea for Two, these different pallets and these different moods. How does that – are there ever moods that we get into or that you feel you want to express in a certain piece or are there different voices that seem to come out to you?

Tower replied, "Music is curiously pure, on a certain level. So whatever connections you make, you better make them very clearly. Made in America is an interesting example of that problem for me. When they – they asked me to write this piece, the project was called Made in America, and I started thinking about the America side. And I grew up in South America where the was a lot of poverty, in Bolivia, where I grew up – and no class mobility whatsoever. And I started thinking about how lucky and proud I was, at that time, to have been an American, because I had all these things that they didn't have. And it was because of the country I came from. And so that all started to enter my thinking. And then America the Beautiful started to come up in my brain. And so the piece is basically built on America the Beautiful. Everything in the piece comes from America the Beautiful. Sometimes it's very obvious that that tune is there, and sometimes it's not there, I mean not recognizably there. So the piece is the fabric of going in and out of this familiar sacrilegious ground – so I started thinking oh my god, people are going to be up in arms about how I've destroyed this tune or whatever, but you know what? That never happened. That has not happened. At all. In fact, I've been on a lot of talk back sessions with these performances, and not one – not one person has talked about politics to me."

John Nasukaluk Clare is comfortable behind a microphone, streaming video or playing violin. A former broadcaster for NPR, John has previously worked with Voice of America, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and stations in Texas, Kansas, Nevada, California, and Pennsylvania. In 2005, Clare earned the Deems Taylor Award from ASCAP for radio broadcasting, citing his work on 20/20 Hearing. Having performed with famed tenors Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, John has worked with the Mozart Festival Texas, Mid Texas Symphony, Nevada Chamber Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic and Wichita Symphony Orchestra.
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