8 episodes

Named after the Mt. Kisco home that Samuel Barber shared with fellow composer Gian Carlo Menotti - a popular gathering place for great composers and musicians of their time - Capricorn Conversations engages with composers who crossed paths with that time and place, and who continue to write and perform music in that "Post-Romantic" style.

Capricorn Conversations H. Paul Moon

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Named after the Mt. Kisco home that Samuel Barber shared with fellow composer Gian Carlo Menotti - a popular gathering place for great composers and musicians of their time - Capricorn Conversations engages with composers who crossed paths with that time and place, and who continue to write and perform music in that "Post-Romantic" style.

    Tobias Picker

    Tobias Picker

    Tobias Picker, whose music has been described as “displaying a distinctively soulful style that is one of the glories of the current musical scene” by BBC Music Magazine and “a genuine creator with a fertile unforced vein of invention” by The New Yorker, has drawn performances and commissions by the world’s leading musicians, orchestras, and opera houses. His extensive discography includes the 2020 Grammy Award-winning “Best Opera Recording” of Fantastic Mr. Fox (BMOP Sound) and a recently released recording of his new work, Opera Without Words, paired with his melodrama, The Encantadas, performed by the Nashville Symphony (Naxos).Mr. Picker’s operas have been commissioned by Santa Fe Opera (Emmeline), LA Opera (Fantastic Mr. Fox), Dallas Opera (Thérèse Raquin), San Francisco Opera (Dolores Claiborne), and the Metropolitan Opera (An American Tragedy). Mr. Picker’s sixth opera, Awakenings, based on the novel by Oliver Sacks, will be premiered by Opera Theater of St. Louis in coming seasons. He has composed numerous symphonic works including three symphonies, concertos for violin, viola, cello, oboe; four piano concertos; and a ballet, Awakenings, commissioned by the Rambert Dance Company. Mr. Picker has received numerous awards and prizes and was elected to lifetime membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012. Mr. Picker served as composer-in-residence of the Houston Symphony (1985-1990) and subsequently for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival. Mr. Picker was born in New York City in 1954. He studied composition with Charles Wuorinen, Elliott Carter, and Milton Babbitt, and received his BM degree from Manhattan School of Music, MM degree from Juilliard, and MFA from Princeton University. He has served as Artistic Director or Tulsa Opera since 2016.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/capricorn/donations

    • 57 min
    Jon Deak

    Jon Deak

    A prominent instrumentalist, Jon Deak was for many years the Associate Principal Bassist of the New York Philharmonic. As a composer, he has written over 300 works, and has had his music played by Orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, the National Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. His Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, “The Headless Horseman,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. His music may also be heard on several TV series and many recordings.

    In 1995 he founded the Very Young Composers, a national award-winning program, having since gone international in scope, whereby Public School children, age 9 – 13 have completely composed and orchestrated their own music for the New York Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, and ensembles across the country and on four continents. Jon Deak is the Young Composer Advocate of the New York Philharmonic.

    Mr. Deak was Composer-In-Residence with the Colorado Symphony from 1994-1997 under the Meet The Composer Residencies Program, which included affiliations with the Colorado Children’s Chorale and Denver Public Schools. Among the programs he inaugurated in connection with his Denver residency are: the “Source Project,” a new music series in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which brought together a stunning display of creativity by Colorado composers; and a restructuring of the pre-concert lecture format into a pre-concert “event” that includes drama and live music. Mr. Deak became a familiar figure around Denver as he moved from school to school teaching composition and creativity to young people of all ages and backgrounds.

    Mr. Deak’s compositions have been performed at music festivals worldwide and by such institutions as the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, National, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Seattle, New Jersey, Atlanta, Colorado, and many other symphony orchestras and chamber groups. His discography includes recent releases on Centaur, CRI, Innova, and Naxos records.

    Mr. Deak regularly participates in fundraising events to aid symphony orchestras, and has been an outspoken environmental and educational advocate.

    An avid wilderness mountaineer, he has led climbing expeditions into the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, and the Himalayas.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/capricorn/donations

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Steven Mercurio

    Steven Mercurio

    Maestro Steven Mercurio is an internationally acclaimed conductor and composer whose musical versatility encompasses the symphonic and operatic worlds. He became the Music Director of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in 2019. Previously, he has held positions as Music Director of the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto Italy and Charleston, South Carolina, and, Principal Conductor of the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Maestro Mercurio is also a sought after collaborator for many award winning recordings, arrangements and film projects. Mercurio received his Masters in Music from the Juilliard School and his Bachelors degree from Boston University.

    As a composer, Maestro Mercurio's compositions include songs, chamber works, and pieces for large orchestra. "For Lost Loved Ones," was given its world premiere by Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. His composition, "Mercurial Overture," was given its world premiere by the Oslo Philharmonic in a concert telecast honoring the Nobel Peace Prize winners with Maestro Mercurio conducting. Maestro Mercurio recently completed his first symphony titled, “A Grateful Tail,” based on American playwright Eugene O’Neill’s “Last Will and Testament of Silverdene Emblem O’Neill.”

    Maestro Mercurio is an acclaimed and sought after arranger. He has created arrangements for a wide array of artists, including Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Fabio Armiliato, Carl Tanner, Ben Heppner, Bryn Terfel, Marcello Giordani, Secret Garden and Sting.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/capricorn/donations

    • 2 hr
    David Del Tredici

    David Del Tredici

    Generally recognized as the father of the Neo-Romantic movement in music, David Del Tredici has received numerous awards and has been commissioned and performed by nearly every major American and European orchestral ensemble. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for In Memory of a Summer Day for soprano and orchestra.

    Much of his early work consisted of elaborate vocal settings of James Joyce and Lewis Carroll. More recently, Del Tredici has set to music a cavalcade of contemporary American poets, often celebrating a gay sensibility.

    Many Del Tredici CDs abound: on Deutsche Grammophon, an all-Del Tredici CD featuring conductor Oliver Knussen, soprano Lucy Shelton and the Netherlands’ ASKO Ensemble; on the Music and Arts label, a pair of recent Del Tredici song cycles featuring soprano Hila Plitmann with the composer at the piano; on Dorian, In Wartime, a spectacular work for concert band; and on Koch, a selection of piano compositions played by Anthony de Mare. Among past recordings were two best-sellers: Final Alice and In Memory of a Summer Day (Part I of Child Alice). In 2012, Naxos released an album of solo piano works, including Ballad in Lavender and Gotham Glory, performed by Marc Peloquin.

    Del Tredici has been on the faculties of Harvard and Boston Universities, and for more than 25 years, Distinguished Professor of Music at The City College of New York. He lives in Manhattan's West Village.

    Biography reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/capricorn/donations

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Howard Pollack

    Howard Pollack

    Howard Pollack is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Music at the University of Houston, where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of seven books, including biographies of Walter Piston, John Alden Carpenter, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Marc Blitzstein, and John Latouche. He has received two Deems Taylor Awards, the Irving Lowens Award, the Nicolas Slonimsky Award, and an ARSC Award for Excellence for his publications as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities among other grants and fellowships. Pollack's articles and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and encyclopedias. He also has lectured at colleges and arts organizations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and across the United States, and has appeared in film documentaries and on such American radio shows as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, the Voice of America, and Fresh Air as well as on British, Australian, New Zealand, and German radio.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/capricorn/donations

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Barbara Heyman

    Barbara Heyman

    Barbara B. Heyman is a musicologist who has written extensively about Samuel Barber. An accomplished pianist and violinist, she was educated at Barnard College, holds an MSSW degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Music History from the City University of New York. She has written numerous articles for scholarly journals and encyclopedias, as well as "Samuel Barber: A Thematic Catalogue of the Complete Works" (OUP, 2012), the first thematic catalogue of an American composer. The second edition of her definitive biography, "Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music," was published in February 2020.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/capricorn/donations

    • 1 hr 18 min

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