Centennial Sounds "Centennial Sounds," hosted by Brad Turner, spotlights contemporary classical music performed in Colorado and features exclusive sessions from the CPR Performance Studio as well as live recordings taken from concert venues and summer festivals around the Centennial State.
Centennial Sounds

Centennial Sounds

From CPR News

"Centennial Sounds," hosted by Brad Turner, spotlights contemporary classical music performed in Colorado and features exclusive sessions from the CPR Performance Studio as well as live recordings taken from concert venues and summer festivals around the Centennial State.

Most Recent Episodes

Looking For A Challenge On The Piano? David Rakowski Wrote 100 Of Them

Composer David Rakowski loves to write piano etudes. He's created 100 of them. Etudes developed in the 19th century as short practice pieces . They help musicians focus on a technique or build strength or dexterity. Many — like the etudes of Frederic Chopin — were also beautiful. David has carried the tradition into the 21st century, writing etudes based on funk riffs and cell phone rings. And one of the pianists who helped him do it is Amy Briggs — a Boulder-based musician who runs extreme distances in the mountains when she's not performing or teaching. Hear Amy play five of David Rakowski's etudes, and get the story behind them, in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Colorado (And Ugly Politics) Inspired Benjamin Park's 'For Purple Mountains'

Composer Benjamin Park felt exhausted during the 2016 election. He remembers the nonstop political coverage and the growing tension within the United States. He decided to write music that embodied the disconnect — and addressed the division. Ben used portions of the melody from "America the Beautiful" to write a piece about the harsh political divide in our country. He also took inspiration from the majestic landscape of Boulder. You'll hear a recording of Benjamin Parks's "For Purple Mountains" in the CPR Performance Studio — played by musicians from the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival — on this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Colorado (And Ugly Politics) Inspired Benjamin Park's 'For Purple Mountains'

Why Daniel Kellogg's String Quartet No. 1 Isn't Actually His First String Quartet

Daniel Kellogg, who teaches composition at the University of Colorado, loves the string quartet. Some of history's greatest composers wrote their most extraordinary music for two violins, a viola and a cello. So Daniel took the job seriously when he set out to write a big statement that he ultimately called String Quartet No. 1. He had worked up to it. He wrote a half-dozen pieces for string quartet before he composed this one. Hear a recording of the world premiere of String Quartet No. 1 — played by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet at the Aspen Music Festival & School — in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Why Daniel Kellogg's String Quartet No. 1 Isn't Actually His First String Quartet

David Ludwig's Lively 'Pangaea' Is A Prehistoric 'Carnival Of The Animals'

Composer David Ludwig wrote his piece "Pangaea" as a "prehistoric 'Carnival of the Animals.'" It's about a time in Earth's history when there was one supercontinent, a vast ocean and a frightening die-off that wiped out most species on the planet. Hear the haunting "Pangaea," performed at the Bravo! Vail music festival by Anne-Marie McDermott, Calder Quartet, Lyris Quartet, Aeolus Quartet and bassist Rachel Calin — and get the story behind David's piece — in the Season 2 premiere of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

David Ludwig's Lively 'Pangaea' Is A Prehistoric 'Carnival Of The Animals'

Season 2 Preview: A Musical Road Trip Through The Rocky Mountains

Centennial Sounds — a podcast about modern classical music, and what inspires some of today's most talented composers — returns soon for its second season. The series, hosted by Brad Turner, features exclusive recordings of music by 21st century composers and stories about what inspires the music. The new season features a twist: It's a musical road trip through the Rocky Mountains, with recordings from outstanding summer music festivals and other venues around Colorado.

In 'Notes From Clyfford Still' Composer Nathan Hall Sets A Painter's Vision To Music

Composer Nathan Hall is fascinated with the huge, vibrant paintings of abstract painter Clyfford Still. Nathan recently set out to compose music about about Still, and combed through the painter's writings to set some of the colorful passages to music. Hear "Notes From Clyfford Still," performed by the Playground Ensemble in the CPR Performance Studio — and hear how Nathan created the piece — in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

In 'Notes From Clyfford Still' Composer Nathan Hall Sets A Painter's Vision To Music

Altius Quartet Unveils Michael Ippolito's New String Quartet No. 4

Composer Michael Ippolito tried an unusual approach when he wrote a piece for the Altius Quartet. He sat down with a cello, instrument he'd barely played since middle school. His experiments with an instrument he'd largely forgotten how to play took his music to surprising places. Hear Michael Ippolito's String Quartet No. 4 performed by the Altius Quartet in the CPR Performance Studio — and the backstory of this new piece — in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Julia Wolfe Witnessed 9/11 Up Close, And Wrote 'Compassion' In Response

Composer Julia Wolfe lives in Lower Manhattan, just blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. She and her family watched 9/11 unfold around them, and dealt with the aftermath. She wrote one of her most stark, concise works as a response. She called it "Compassion." Hear the piece performed in concert by pianist Conrad Tao at the Aspen Music Festival and School — and more of Julia's story — in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Loretta Notareschi's 'String Quartet OCD' Explores Motherhood And Mental Health

Composer Loretta Notareschi remembers early motherhood as one of the hardest moments of her life. She felt completely in love with her infant daughter but she also grappled with a frightening postpartum mood disorder. She decided to use music to tell her story, and start a conversation with others going through the same thing. Hear Loretta's piece, "String Quartet OCD," performed by the Playground Ensemble String Quartet in the CPR Performance Studio, and the story behind the composition, in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Loretta Notareschi's 'String Quartet OCD' Explores Motherhood And Mental Health

Kevin Michael Olson's Jagged 'Dichotomiae', Played By Pianist Hsing-ay Hsu

Composer Kevin Michael Olson used to work in a lab that developed military technology. And he wrote about that experience in his music. It sounded pretty dark. So one day, he wanted to write something that sounded less heavy. The piano music that came out sounded more complicated than he intended. It's filled with stark contrasts. He called it "Dichotomiae." Hear pianist Hsing-ay Hsu play the piece in an exclusive CPR Performance Studio session, and the story behind the composition, in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Kevin Michael Olson's Jagged 'Dichotomiae', Played By Pianist Hsing-ay Hsu

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