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Mondays, 5:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; Fridays, 8:30 a.m.

Join VPR Classical host James Stewart on a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition. We'll start at the very beginning and trace the steps of music through history. This music, and its history, is ours.

Latest Episodes
  • The music of Nigerian composer Fela Sowande provided a voice for Nigerian people entering a Western world. Sowande is an internationally recognized African composer and was called the father of Nigerian art music.
  • Innovation and transformation are impossible without experimentation. That’s something that 20th Century Columbian composer, Jacqueline Nova, truly understood. Nova pioneered electroacoustic music and smashed limitations, including form, sound, discipline and even gender.
  • Austria has the Viennese waltz; Kiev has the hopak; Spain the flamenco and Argentina the tango. This rhythmic dance came from Buenos Aires and Montevideo in the late 19th century. In the hands of 20th century composer Astor Piazzolla the tango evolved into an expressive, experimental musical form.
  • In this episode we will explore the life, music and legacy of Venezuelan composer and guitarist Antonio Lauro.
  • Just as Bela Bartok gave a voice to the folk music of Hungary in the 20th century, Alberto Ginastera did the same for the music of Argentina. Many call Ginastera one of the most important South American composers of the past century.
  • Originally aired February 6, 2017Aaron Copland, Jean Franciax, Elliot Carter, Philipp Glass and Quincy Jones; what do all of these musicians have in common? They were all students of Nadia Boulanger. Nadia was a composer, conductor and teacher. For seven decades, out of her family’s flat in Paris, she taught some of the most influential composers of the 20th century.
  • Sometimes you run across the name of a composer you’ve never heard of before and when you read about their life and their work, you start to wonder, why?…
  • Originally aired - August 29, 2016In the 19th century, composition was a man’s world. The stigma of being a female composer made it difficult for a…
  • Jaime Laredo is a world-renowned violinist and conductor. I had a chance to speak with him via Zoom recently, as we are celebrating his 80th birthday and…
  • Originally aired May 16, 201619th century Germany was not a hospitable environment for female composers. Nevertheless, Clara Weick-Schumann left an…