The 100 Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century

Tommy Dorsey, whose music made the cut, at WMCA, New York, ca. Oct. 1947(Photo: William P. Gottlieb)
Tommy Dorsey, whose music made the cut, at WMCA, New York, ca. Oct. 1947(Photo: William P. Gottlieb)

Many publications took a retrospective look at the 20th Century leading up to January 1st, 2000.  There were so many, that I’d like to bring one in particular, which is both thought provoking and entertaining, to your attention.

Rob Deemer at New Music Box gets credit for reminding me about NPR’s look at the 1900s in The 100 Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century.

What started as a list of 300 pieces was eventually distilled to 100 by NPR.  While most public radio stations used selections from that series of recordings, the collective set bears a more detailed look.

Read To Shape a Nation (New Music Box)

Children’s Book by Marvin Hamlisch to be Released Nov. 11

At six years of age, composer Marvin Hamlisch was the youngest person ever accepted into the Juilliard School.  His autobiographical children’s book, completed just before his recent passing, tells his story in an entertaining way for all ages.

Marvin Makes Music includes a CD with the song The Music in My Mind, written by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes, who collaborated with Hamlisch on The Nutty Professor.

Hamlisch was a huge believer in music education.  In the video below, he took time out of his non-stop schedule to do an interview with Orange County High School of the Arts student David Ruby.

Read Remembering Marvin Hamlisch (New Music Box)

The Power of Social Media to Make Classical Music Matter

You may think that social media matters little when it comes to music making…at least classical music.  Just don’t say that to Valentina Lisitsa.  If you want to be a classical pianist, you start early, enter competitions, and hope you are one of the few who actually carves out a career of making music.

But what if you’re still looking for that elusive career break at the age of thirty-nine?  Valentina Lisitsa says, “At 39 years old? ‘It’s dead,’ she insists. ‘You have to be 16, because the music competitions are over with by 29. It’s dead, dead!”

It was one thing when she reached 57,000 subscribers and over 46 million hits on her YouTube site. It was quite another when Decca signed her to a recording contract.

Read Pianist Valentina Lisitsa: Interview with the YouTube Star (The Telegraph)

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