Past Shows

Past Shows

A list of our most recent past shows:

Sort List by Date | Sort List by Composer

To see more, visit our complete list of composers or subscribe to our podcast.

Spanish and Latin American Composers: The Spanish Sound

When composers use their country's folk songs, dances, and rhythms to paint musical pictures of local places and legends, it's called musical nationalism. Hear how composers like Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla and others defined the Spanish sound with spirit, fire, and romance.

Giacomo Puccini: A Brief History of Italian Opera

Around the year 1600, Italian composers started writing theater pieces that use music all the way through them. Instead of speaking, characters in operas sing their lines. From Claudio Monteverdi, who wrote the earliest opera that is still performed, through Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, Italy has produced some of the world's finest opera composers.

Spanish and Latin American Composers: Classical Music In Spain

¡Bienvenidos! Listen and explore the music of some of Spain's most influential composers and players, from King Alfonso X (a.k.a. "Alfonso El Sabio"/Alfonso the Wise) to Francisco Tárrega, known as "the father of classical guitar." You'll also learn how the guitarra came to Spain in the first place.

Giacomo Puccini: About Giacomo Puccini

By the time Italian composer Giacomo Puccini was born in 1858, there had already been four generations of musicians in his hometown of Lucca. Most were church musicians, but Giacomo had other ideas. When he was a teenager, he went to hear a performance of Verdi's Aida. From that moment on he knew that what he wanted to do was write operas. He did, and became one of Italy's most beloved operatic composers.

Zoltán Kodály: The Kodály Method

Zoltan Kodály developed a method for teaching music. It is still used by teachers around the world today. Jill Trinka, who teaches the Kodály Method, talks with Naomi Lewin.

Zoltán Kodály: Classical Composers who Used Folk Music

Zoltán Kodály was not the only composer to use folk tunes in the music he wrote. Here are some others.

Zoltán Kodály: The Story of Hary Janos

Kodály's opera Háry János is about a real person who told real whoppers - big, fat lies. If you listened to him, you'd think he defeated Napoleon's army all by himself.

Zoltán Kodály: About Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály was born in a small town in Hungary. His father worked for the Hungarian railroad, so the family moved around a lot. This meant that as a kid, Zoltán heard folk music from many different parts of the country. When he grew up, Hungarian folk music became his passion. Kodály spent a large part of his life collecting his native music, and teaching his countrymen about it.

Franz Liszt: What is a Rhapsody?

"Rhapsody" is an ancient word that means "songs stitched together". The Greeks used to write long poems in praise of their heroes, and then take bits and pieces of those poems and string them together for performance. In music, a rhapsody is a free-form piece that takes different tunes and strings them together.

Franz Liszt: Famous Pianist - Composers

In his day Franz Liszt was most famous as a pianist. So, were Mozart, Beethoven and a lot of other composers.

Franz Liszt: Romani, or Gypsy Music

Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies were greatly influenced by gypsy, or Romani music. Brahms, Telemann and Verdi are among the many composers were attracted to this distinctive music.

Franz Liszt: Classical Music Superstars

Inspired by violinist Niccolo Paganini, Franz Liszt became a piano superstar. Many classical music superstars followed, including Jan Paderewski, Jenny Lind, Van Cliburn, Enrico Caruso, Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang.

Franz Liszt: About Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt was a pianist, composer, conductor and teacher who came up with musical innovations in all those fields. He was the first of the virtuoso performers and invented the solo recital. As one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known, Liszt was a 19th century superstar.

John Philip Sousa: The Golden Age of American Bands

From the late 1800's to the early 1900's, professional bands toured all over the United States, and many towns in this country had their own amateur bands.

John Philip Sousa: American Military Bands

The United States Marine Band is this country's oldest military band. Each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has its own band, and song. Captain Don Schofield, associate conductor of the United States Air Force Band of Flight, talks with Naomi Lewin about all the U.S. military bands.

John Philip Sousa: About "Stars & Stripes"

John Philip Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever is the official march of the United States of America. Sousa composed his most famous march in his head when he was on a ship coming back from a trip to Europe with his band. When the ship docked, he put the march down on paper and named it after the American flag he was so glad to see when he got home.

John Philip Sousa: About John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa -- the most American of composers -- was the son of immigrants to the United States. Because of his love for bands and band music, John Philip Sousa wrote many wonderful marches. As a result, he is known as the "March King."

Felix Mendelssohn: Women Composers

Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn's older sister, was a talented pianist and composer. So was Clara Schumann, wife of composer Robert Schumann. Also featured: music of Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Cecile Chaminade, Germaine Tailleferre, Hildegard von Bingen, Amy Beach, and Thea Musgrave.

Felix Mendelssohn: Child Prodigy Composers

A child prodigy, Felix Mendelssohn began composing when he was 10. This week on Classics for Kids hear about other composers who started just as early -- or even earlier.

Felix Mendelssohn: Music Based on Shakespeare

Probably no playwright has had more music based on his work than William Shakespeare. Felix Mendelssohn, Henry Purcell, Hector Berlioz, Giuseppe Verdi are just a few of the composers who've been inspired by Shakespeare's plays.

Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream

When Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn put on Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream to entertain their family, the two of them played all the characters! Mendelssohn's music for A Midsummer Night's Dream illustrates many of the characters and situations in the play.

Felix Mendelssohn: About Felix Mendelssohn

By the time he was a teenager, Felix Mendelssohn was already an excellent pianist and composer. And Mendelssohn was very talented in other areas. In addition to German (his native language), Mendelssohn spoke French, English, and Italian. He was also a very good painter. And he became quite famous as a conductor.

William Grant Still: Historic Black Composers

William Grant Still was a 20th century African-American composer. But hundreds of years before he lived, there were other black composers.

William Grant Still: Paul Laurence Dunbar's Poetry

After William Grant Still wrote his Afro-American Symphony, he found bits of poetry that he thought went with each movement. The poetry was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African-American to become a famous writer.

William Grant Still: The Afro-American Symphony

William Grant Still wanted to put the sound of the blues into a symphony. His Afro-American Symphony is centered on a bluesy theme. Still took that theme and did something entirely different with it in each of the Symphony's four movements.

Past Shows

Past Shows

A list of our most recent past shows:

Sort List by Date | Sort List by Composer

To see more, visit our complete list of composers or subscribe to our podcast.

Spanish and Latin American Composers: The Spanish Sound

When composers use their country's folk songs, dances, and rhythms to paint musical pictures of local places and legends, it's called musical nationalism. Hear how composers like Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla and others defined the Spanish sound with spirit, fire, and romance.

Giacomo Puccini: A Brief History of Italian Opera

Around the year 1600, Italian composers started writing theater pieces that use music all the way through them. Instead of speaking, characters in operas sing their lines. From Claudio Monteverdi, who wrote the earliest opera that is still performed, through Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, Italy has produced some of the world's finest opera composers.

Spanish and Latin American Composers: Classical Music In Spain

¡Bienvenidos! Listen and explore the music of some of Spain's most influential composers and players, from King Alfonso X (a.k.a. "Alfonso El Sabio"/Alfonso the Wise) to Francisco Tárrega, known as "the father of classical guitar." You'll also learn how the guitarra came to Spain in the first place.

Giacomo Puccini: About Giacomo Puccini

By the time Italian composer Giacomo Puccini was born in 1858, there had already been four generations of musicians in his hometown of Lucca. Most were church musicians, but Giacomo had other ideas. When he was a teenager, he went to hear a performance of Verdi's Aida. From that moment on he knew that what he wanted to do was write operas. He did, and became one of Italy's most beloved operatic composers.

Zoltán Kodály: The Kodály Method

Zoltan Kodály developed a method for teaching music. It is still used by teachers around the world today. Jill Trinka, who teaches the Kodály Method, talks with Naomi Lewin.

Zoltán Kodály: Classical Composers who Used Folk Music

Zoltán Kodály was not the only composer to use folk tunes in the music he wrote. Here are some others.

Zoltán Kodály: The Story of Hary Janos

Kodály's opera Háry János is about a real person who told real whoppers - big, fat lies. If you listened to him, you'd think he defeated Napoleon's army all by himself.

Zoltán Kodály: About Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály was born in a small town in Hungary. His father worked for the Hungarian railroad, so the family moved around a lot. This meant that as a kid, Zoltán heard folk music from many different parts of the country. When he grew up, Hungarian folk music became his passion. Kodály spent a large part of his life collecting his native music, and teaching his countrymen about it.

Franz Liszt: What is a Rhapsody?

"Rhapsody" is an ancient word that means "songs stitched together". The Greeks used to write long poems in praise of their heroes, and then take bits and pieces of those poems and string them together for performance. In music, a rhapsody is a free-form piece that takes different tunes and strings them together.

Franz Liszt: Famous Pianist - Composers

In his day Franz Liszt was most famous as a pianist. So, were Mozart, Beethoven and a lot of other composers.

Franz Liszt: Romani, or Gypsy Music

Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies were greatly influenced by gypsy, or Romani music. Brahms, Telemann and Verdi are among the many composers were attracted to this distinctive music.

Franz Liszt: Classical Music Superstars

Inspired by violinist Niccolo Paganini, Franz Liszt became a piano superstar. Many classical music superstars followed, including Jan Paderewski, Jenny Lind, Van Cliburn, Enrico Caruso, Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang.

Franz Liszt: About Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt was a pianist, composer, conductor and teacher who came up with musical innovations in all those fields. He was the first of the virtuoso performers and invented the solo recital. As one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known, Liszt was a 19th century superstar.

John Philip Sousa: The Golden Age of American Bands

From the late 1800's to the early 1900's, professional bands toured all over the United States, and many towns in this country had their own amateur bands.

John Philip Sousa: American Military Bands

The United States Marine Band is this country's oldest military band. Each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has its own band, and song. Captain Don Schofield, associate conductor of the United States Air Force Band of Flight, talks with Naomi Lewin about all the U.S. military bands.

John Philip Sousa: About "Stars & Stripes"

John Philip Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever is the official march of the United States of America. Sousa composed his most famous march in his head when he was on a ship coming back from a trip to Europe with his band. When the ship docked, he put the march down on paper and named it after the American flag he was so glad to see when he got home.

John Philip Sousa: About John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa -- the most American of composers -- was the son of immigrants to the United States. Because of his love for bands and band music, John Philip Sousa wrote many wonderful marches. As a result, he is known as the "March King."

Felix Mendelssohn: Women Composers

Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn's older sister, was a talented pianist and composer. So was Clara Schumann, wife of composer Robert Schumann. Also featured: music of Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Cecile Chaminade, Germaine Tailleferre, Hildegard von Bingen, Amy Beach, and Thea Musgrave.

Felix Mendelssohn: Child Prodigy Composers

A child prodigy, Felix Mendelssohn began composing when he was 10. This week on Classics for Kids hear about other composers who started just as early -- or even earlier.

Felix Mendelssohn: Music Based on Shakespeare

Probably no playwright has had more music based on his work than William Shakespeare. Felix Mendelssohn, Henry Purcell, Hector Berlioz, Giuseppe Verdi are just a few of the composers who've been inspired by Shakespeare's plays.

Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream

When Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn put on Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream to entertain their family, the two of them played all the characters! Mendelssohn's music for A Midsummer Night's Dream illustrates many of the characters and situations in the play.

Felix Mendelssohn: About Felix Mendelssohn

By the time he was a teenager, Felix Mendelssohn was already an excellent pianist and composer. And Mendelssohn was very talented in other areas. In addition to German (his native language), Mendelssohn spoke French, English, and Italian. He was also a very good painter. And he became quite famous as a conductor.

William Grant Still: Historic Black Composers

William Grant Still was a 20th century African-American composer. But hundreds of years before he lived, there were other black composers.

William Grant Still: Paul Laurence Dunbar's Poetry

After William Grant Still wrote his Afro-American Symphony, he found bits of poetry that he thought went with each movement. The poetry was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African-American to become a famous writer.

William Grant Still: The Afro-American Symphony

William Grant Still wanted to put the sound of the blues into a symphony. His Afro-American Symphony is centered on a bluesy theme. Still took that theme and did something entirely different with it in each of the Symphony's four movements.