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Kathy Chapman

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Abduction from the Seraglio Overture  (Sarah Hicks, conductor)
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15  (Peter Serkin, piano; Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Listen Wednesday June 23 at 8 p.m.

Through all her years of teaching, Cacilda Barbosa considered herself a composer first and an educator second.
U.S. Public Domain

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? Why have I never heard of this person? That was certainly my experience when I started researching the life and work of Brazilian composer Cacilda Borges Barbosa.

Timeline: Amy Beach

Jun 14, 2021
U.S. Public Domain

 Originally aired - August 29, 2016

In the 19th century, composition was a man’s world. The stigma of being a female composer made it difficult for a woman’s work to be read or heard.  One woman helped to break through this glass ceiling and pave the way for a generation of female composers, her name was Amy Beach.

Sing-alonSing-along with some the masterworks of choral music on the VPR Choral Hour.g with Handel's "Messiah" on the VPR Choral Hour this week.
mattabbe / ISTOCK

Download the score for this week's sing-along here...

Lord Nelson Mass - Franz Joseph Haydn

Jaime Laredo has served as the music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years.

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 over 70 years of public performance. Jaime’s also served as the music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra since the year 2000. It was announced in 2019 that he would be stepping down from that position and I asked Jaime what his feelings were about this change. 

Todd Rosenberg / Colbert Artists

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Michael Stern, conductor

Griffes: The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan
Bernstein: Fancy Free
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Gershwin: An American in Paris

Listen Monday May 31 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

Originally aired May 16, 2016

19th century Germany was not a hospitable environment for female composers. Nevertheless, Clara Weick-Schumann left an indelible mark with her compositions, her soulful musicianship, her inspired instruction and her influence on many major composers of her generation.

Moritz Nahr

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Andres Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano; CSO Chorus Women; Anima Young Singers

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

Listen Saturday May 29 at 8 p.m.

Mozart Guarnieri was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1907. His father was a huge opera fan, naming all of his sons after famous opera composers.
U.S. Public Domain

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Camargo Guarnieri spent most of his career under the shadow of his name and of fellow Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos. Like Villa-Lobos, Guarnieri brought the music of Brazil to the concert stage through symphonies, operas, dance music and song. After all, with a name like Mozart what else could you be but a composer?

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Handel: Harp Concerto in B-flat  (Heidi Soons, harp; Anthony Princiotti, conductor)
Sibelius: Violin Concerto  (Soovin Kim, violin; Jaime Laredo, conductor)
Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Listen Wednesday May 19 at 8 p.m.

Carlos Chavez grew up surrounded by the culture of indigenous Mexican people and this greatly influenced his music, his intellectual pursuits and his politics.
U.S. Public Domain

You’re hearing the opening movement of Mexican composer Carlos Chavez’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. This performance features the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, an ensemble that Chavez founded and championed. Besides being a composer/conductor, Carlos Chavez was also a journalist, historian and educator, guiding the course of Mexican orchestral music in the 20th century.


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Juraj Valcuha, conductor
Stefan Jackiw, violin

Debussy: La Mer
Ravel: La Valse
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Christopher Rouse: Supplica (world premiere)

Listen Monday May 17 at 8 p.m.

Moritz Nahr

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Till Fellner, piano

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K. 503
Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Listen Saturday May 15 at 8 p.m.

Heitor Villa-Lobos brought the folk music of Brazil to the concert stage. He is one of the most celebrated South-American composers of the 20th century.
U.S. Public Domain

Heitor Villa-Lobos was a Brazilian guitarist, cellist, composer and conductor. He’s not just one of the most celebrated South-American composers of all time, but also one of the most prolific. Villa-Lobos composed over 2000 works, and his music is the soundtrack for a period of great upheaval and change for Brazil in the 20th century.


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
William Steinberg, conductor
Ella Lee, soprano; Joanna Simon, mezzo-soprano; Richard Kness, tenor; Thomas Paul, bass; Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Listen Monday May 10 at 8 p.m.

 Maddalena Casulana has the distinction of being the first female composer to have her music printed and published.
U.S. Public Domain

First aired on July 27.2015  

The Renaissance was a time of re-birth as science and the arts changed the face of culture. However, some old ideas persisted in the midst of this change; especially beliefs about the roles and intellectual capacity of the genders. Even though the Renaissance saw many female heads of state, it was still held as common knowledge that women were inferior to men, physically, mentally and artistically. As a result, we have very few examples of female composers during this period of music history. There is an exception though, the work of Maddalena Casulana.


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Donald Runnicles, conductor
Stephen Hough, piano

Nancy Galbraith: Euphonic Blues
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1
Wagner: Orchestral selections from The Ring
Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude to Act 3

Listen Monday May 3 at 8 p.m.

Maria Grever's biggest hit was the 1934 song "What A Difference A Day Makes" made popular by singer Dinah Washington.
U.S. Public Domain

Maria Grever was the first Mexican, woman composer to earn international attention. You’ve probably heard her melodies and lyrics sung and performed by so many popular musicians from the United States and Latin America. We know her tunes, but very few of us know her name.

Engraving by W. Marshall from "Fuller's Holy State", published 1648.

Originally aired on June 1, 2015

Hildegard of Bingen was a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, abbess, polymath and a literal visionary of the 12th Century.


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Konig, conductor
Hila Plitmann, soprano

Haydn: Symphony No. 22 The Philosopher
R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra
Danielpour: Darkness in the Ancient Valley

Listen Monday April 19 at 8 p.m.