Leonard Bernstein discusses his career as a composer along with his thoughts on American culture, musical theater, Black music, classical music, and education; music is played throughout the program including songs from Marc Blitzstein's play "The Cradle Will Rock."
Bill Russo talks about the commedia dell'arte production being staged at the Center for New Music at Columbia College Chicago. The production includes two pieces, "Pedrolino's Revenge" and "Isabella's Fortune".
Presenting music published by Chicago record label Cedille Records including the music of composer and pianist Easley Blackwood along with David Schrader and Ramon Salvatore
Ned Rorem discusses the differences between writing books and writing compositions, his book "The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem", and how he uses poetry in his compositions.
Studs engages the former Chicago Symphony Orchestra conductor, Sir Georg Solti, in a wide-ranging conversation about his life and career. From his early studies in Budapest with Béla Bartók, his string of good-luck opportunities before, during, and after World War II, meeting Toscanini in Lucerne, and starting on top conducting in Frankfurt, London, and finally Chicago. He discusses his many German and European musical influences and contemporaries, and stresses the importance of education, arts funding, and hard work.
Studs interviews Rolf Liebermann, director and composer, at the Hamburische Staatsoper in Hamburg, Germany. Liebermann explains some history of previous directors and performances. Many artists and operas are mentioned, but only a few were focused on in detail. Liebermann explains details about the operation of the opera highlighting the budget and the functions of the opera house. The recording stops short toward the end of the interview.
Studs interview with Virgil Thomson about his career as a music composer. Thomson shares his work with Gertrude Stein in operas "Mother of Us All" and "Four Saints In Three Acts." He discusses his preference for black artists. Thomson describes his work in documentary films such as "Plow That Broke the Plains." He also shares information about the cajun music "Squeeze Box" in the film "Louisiana Story." This edited version does not include the music pieces.
Studs replays his interview with Edith Mason 21 years ago. Madam Mason discusses her childhood as it pertains to her career. She shares her training and study in Paris. Mason recalls the many composers and conductors she has worked with and the various opera companies she worked for. The musical numbers are removed from this edited version of the original recording.
Studs replays his interview with Edith Mason from 21 years ago. They talk about other performers Madam Mason worked with. Edith shares her view on the difference between opera in her day and the current opera. Parts of this version appears to be a duplicate of another, but there are a few parts that are not duplicates. The musical pieces are removed from this edited version of the original recording.
Studs interviews Rita Streich, and they discuss the meaning of some of her operas and lieds. Streich names Erna Berger and Maria Ivogun as her best teachers, and she speaks a little about her family. Studs and Streich read part of the poem, "The Nut Tree" by Robert Schuman. Streich reads a part of "Brahms Lullaby" and "Shepherd On the Rock" by Franz Schubert. She also discusses the difference between opera in her day compared to opera at the time of the interview. The musical pieces are removed from this edited version of the original recording.
Studs interviews Allen Stone, Steven Larson, and Judith Erickson about the opera, "Regina," playing at the Chicago Opera Theater. They describe the variety of music and dances in the opera. Stone, Larson, and Erickson name the cast and their roles and describe the characters. Each share how they came to be in theater. Stone explains how the company started. Larson describes the orchestra and the chorus. Erickson reads some of the lyrics of the aria, "The Best Thing of All," at the end of act one. Stone, Larson, and Erickson read various lines from the opera.
Studs interviews John Eliot Gardiner about his career in baroque music and his background and interests. Studs announces that Gardiner is performing at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Gardiner explains the instruments that his group uses and how they are different and capture the original sounds of pieces. He also describes the history and time period of baroque music. Gardiner explains various pieces that the choir performs such as Handel's "Israel in Egypt" and Henry Purcell's "King Arthur." The musical numbers are removed from this edited version of the original recording.
Studs rebroadcasts an interview he did five years ago with George Flynn, composer and head of the music department at DePaul University. Flynn explains the creative part of his music and how worldly events such as the Vietnam War help him and other musicians like him, write their avant-garde music. Flynn defines some of his compositions that include: "Wound," "American Rest," and "Canal." He shares the people and events in his life from a teenager who have influenced his work.
Studs interviews David Diamond who is in Chicago for a concert at Thorn Hall. Diamond reflects on his family background and his exposure to diverse theater and movies of a variety of cultures that influenced his music. He explains his training and how he uses emotion and then structure to create his work. Studs and David discuss McCarthyism and its affect on performers and the personal affect it had in Diamond's life. The musical pieces are removed from this edited version of the original recording.