Rebecca Clarke

"What We're Listening To:" Rebecca Clarke - Sonata for Viola and Piano

Rebecca ClarkeRebecca Clarke was an English composer born in August 1886. At the age of nine, she began to play the violin, and later, during her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, she switched to the viola. She went on to make a living playing viola, and became one of the first female professional orchestral musicians. She often premiered her own compositions in solo recitals, having to use a pseudonym for some, since women were rarely taken seriously as composers. Most of her music has not even been published, or has only been recently published. As a result, the Rebecca Clarke Society was founded in 2000 to promote awareness of Clarke’s works, and has sponsored numerous world premiere performances, recordings, and publications.
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Edward Elgar

What We're Listening To: Elgar Cello Concerto

Elgar's Cello Concerto:

Sir Edward William Elgar (1857-1934) was an English composer who wrote pieces such as Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Enigma Variations, and The Dream of Gerontius.

One of his more famous pieces is the Cello Concerto in E minor, Op85, which was composed in 1919 near Fittleworth, Sussex.

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Ina Boyle

"What We're Listening To" - Ina Boyle's Violin Concerto

Boyle was born in 1889 in Bushey Park, near Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow Ireland, and spent her entire life in her family home there. Her body of work was quite diverse in that she wrote orchestral scores and chamber music, opera choral music, ballet scores and songs for voice and piano. Boyle's compositions bare resemblance to the lyrical symphonic landscapes created by her composition teacher, and famous composer of the time, Ralph Vaughan Williams. Although she was a prolific composer, she never became widely famous, most likely due to the fact that she was somewhat isolated for most of her life.
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Arcangelo Corelli

"What We're Listening To" - Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Concerto

Arcangelo Corelli was one of the most influential composers of the Baroque period. Born in 1653 in Fusignano, Italy. Corelli was named after his father who died just five weeks before his birth so he was raised by his mother and four older siblings. Corelli first studied in Bologna which at the time was a major center for music. At the age of 17 he was accepted into the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. He traveled to Paris and Germany before establishing himself in Rome in the 1670s where he remained a prominent musical presence for the next 30 years.
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Alexander Borodin

"What We're Listening To" - Alexander Borodin's String Quartet No. 2

Alexander Borodin was a Russian composer during the Romantic era. He was a multifaceted individual: doctor, chemist, women’s rights advocate, and composer. He studied chemistry at the Medical-Surgical Academy in St. Petersburg, and later took a job as a chemistry professor. Later in his career of advocacy, he established medical courses for women and founded the School of Medicine for Women. He began his hobby of composing in his teens, and played the piano and taught himself the cello. Upon starting formal composition studies, he became part of the Mighty Five, a group of five Russian composers consisting of his teacher Mily Balakirev, Cesar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and himself. The Mighty Five sought to create a unique Russian form of classical music, instead of assimilating with the standard Western European style.
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Zoltán Kodály

"What We're Listening To" - Zoltán Kodály's Duo for Violin and Cello

Zoltán Kodály (1882 -1967) was a famous Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and pedagogue who was known internationally for having created the Kodály Method of teaching music.                                                                                                                                                Kodály was born in Kecskemét, Hungary (formely Austria) and learned to play the violin as a child. In 1902 he began studying composition at a university in Budapest and in 1905 he traveled to remote Hungarian villages to collect folk songs and record them on phonograph cylinders. He wrote a thesis titled: “Strophic Construction in Hungarian Folksong. “ A year later he met and befriended Béla Bartók, whom he introduce to his method in collecting folk songs and with him published editions of folk songs between 1906 and 1921.
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Henryk Wieniawski

"What We're Listening To" - Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor

Henryk WieniawskiHenryk Wieniawski was a Polish violinist and composer. He began playing the violin when he was young and was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire at age nine, despite not being French. After graduating from the Conservatoire, he toured extensively and published his first piece of music at the age of twelve. He moved to St. Petersburg in his mid-twenties, where he taught violin and performed as well. A decade later, he took a position as a violin professor in Brussels. Throughout his career as a composer, he wrote many works for violin, including a book of 10 études that has become a standard work of study for aspiring violinists. His legacy lives on in many ways, including a violin competition named for him, the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition.
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