When did you first fall in love with music? Most responses are likely associated with experiences we’ve had – listening to the radio as a child with parents and grandparents, seeing our first movie in the theater, singing for the first time in a choir. It’s the reason we’re all singing today with the OSC – we love music.
I read an article recently and it was geared toward the “millennial” generation. The author of the article, a young millennial himself, explains how there is a gap in understanding and appreciation of classical music and he gives recommendations as to the “4 Composers That Will Actually Make You Like Classical Music.” This is what got me thinking about how I came to love music, and specifically classical music.
I’m sure everyone has their favorite pieces or composers, but I thought I’d share with you the composers called out in the article (mainly because I wasn’t familiar with some of them) in hopes of helping to expand your love of classical music. There’s always room for move love, right?
The first composer is Gustav Holst (1874-1934). He was English and his most well-known work is called “The Planets.” He was a lifelong friend of Ralph Vaughn Williams whom he met while studying at the Royal College of Music. Holst was often inspired in his composition by literature and folk song settings. His pieces are said to have inspired Benjamin Britten.
Next in the article is Percy Grainger (1882-1961). Grainger was born in Australia but became an American citizen in 1918. He had a successful career as a concert pianist and served in the American Army during World War I. After the war, he was offered a position as conductor of the St. Louis Symphony but declined the offer to continue his career as a pianist. Grainger’s compositions were mainly either originals or folk song arrangements. Grainger was also said to be an influence of Benjamin Britten. Some of his works to check out are “Colonial Song,” “Irish Tune From County Derry,” “Country Gardens,” and “Molly on the Shore.”
As choral singers, most of us are familiar with Eric Whitacre’s work. Whitacre (born in 1970) mainly writes choral and wind ensemble compositions and blew the industry away with his all-choral CD Cloudburst in 2008. He also created the concept of a virtual choir where individuals from around the world lend their voices online together to sing. OSC has performed Whitacre’s “Cloudburst,” “A Boy and A Girl,” and “Lux Aurumque.”
The fourth composer in the article is George Gershwin (1898-1937). People are most familiar with Gershwin’s works “An American in Paris,” “Rhapsody in Blue, “ and the self-described folk opera “Porgy and Bess.” Gershwin grew up, with his brother Ira, around the Yiddish Theater District in New York. He composed for orchestra, theater, and film throughout his very short but extraordinary life.
Most musicians have certain composers and pieces that they are drawn to – styles of music that evoke emotion and pieces that hold memories. If you have a special favorite, email the newsletter and share with us the piece and/or the composer and why you connect with it. Let’s help each other discover our loves in this musical world that we share.