Contrary to the misguided and musty reputation often bestowed upon classical music, this art form is very much alive — and in the hands of many talented and creative musicians ushering it forward. That’s why WQXR is kicking off 2019 by introducing “19 for 19,” a group of artists we love that includes long-time heroes, established favorites and newcomers set for stardom.
After the success of 2016’s Yeethoven composer and arranger Johan and conductor Yuga Cohler have returned for Yeethoven II, a concert focused on the similarities between the artistry of Kanye West and Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides just having a great name — who wouldn’t want to explore the limits of that wondrous portmanteau — the creators of the project see it as a way to explore the ways in which artists at the top of their game can have a deep impact on the culture beyond their musical influence.
Bruce Levingston, no stranger to the music of Philip Glass, has finally issued an in-depth, two-disc survey of Glass's piano music, and the result is a surprisingly passionate and spontaneous portrait of the composer. Dreaming Awake (Sono Luminus) is a boldly individual approach to the keyboard works of an American master.
What would you do with 15 seconds? For composer Ray Lustig, it's the perfect amount of time to set up a low-stakes creative lab and ongoing audio-visual experiment. He explains below the inspiration behind his 15-second Instagram compositions, dubbed "composagrams," and how they feed his artistic growth.