107. Made in America: Florence Price, Symphony No.1

Individual, passionate, soulful music rooted in the southern states, Florence Price’s Symphony No.1 was the first by a black woman composer to be played by a major US orchestra back in the 1930s. A Moment of History, but those ‘twin handicaps’ [her words] meant that her music has hardly been played since and we’ve been missing out on great music from a distinctive voice – it’s time to put that right! (Listening time 47 mins: podcast 8′, music 39′)… Listen

94. Olympic magic and the best of the human spirit: Williams – Olympic Fanfare

The intensity, joy, heartbreak and thrills of great sporting moments are almost unmatchable… except by those in great music. The magic of the Olympics is transformed by the alchemist John Williams into four minutes of musical, life-affirming perfection. Olympic Fanfare and Theme is one of my favourite Williams pieces, and that’s really saying something! (Listening time 11′)… Listen

75. Four go to the Beach Club! Amy Beach – String Quartet

American composer Amy Beach was so popular that her followers held ‘Beach Clubs’ to play and listen to her music!
Her Quartet for strings is lean and powerful, as well as being a great jump-off to the world of string quartets: a place fraught with danger for the players, where composers go to bare their souls. Take a listen and join the Beach Club! (21 mins)… Listen