Living American Composers: New Music from Bowling Green

"Magnetic North for new music lovers points to Bowling Green, Ohio."
  – David Lang, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music.

For the last 35 years, hundreds of composers, performers, and lovers of contemporary music have descended annually on a small college town in Northwest Ohio for a singular event: the New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Home to the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, BGSU also sponsors a multi-venue concert series called Music at the Forefront, which shines a spotlight on new and exciting young performers.

Produced by WGTE Public Media and hosted by Brad Cresswell, New Music from Bowling Green features live concert recordings from the New Music Festival and Music at the Forefront, alongside the commercial discography of related composers, alumni, and BGSU faculty. Designed with the mainstream classical listener in mind, the program features audience-friendly works that are introduced by their respective composers and performers.

This season we focus on BGSU residencies with composers David Lang and Jennifer Higdon; composer Paul Dresher and his Double Duo, and contemporary music groups Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). We also visit our “neighbors to the north” with two programs from University of Michigan composers, and we explore the professional and personal dynamics between some high-profile classical couples—including veteran composer Sam Adler and his wife, conductor Emily Freeman-Brown.

About Brad Cresswell

Award-winning producer; programmer, and music host Brad Cresswell is Radio Program Manager and Music Director for WGTE Public Media in Toledo, Ohio. Previously, Brad was a host and producer for WNYC Radio in New York, where he oversaw the creation of that station's 24/7 contemporary music service on the Internet and HD Radio, WNYC2 (precursor to WQXR's popular Q2 channel). Brad has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Metropolitan Opera Radio, both behind the scenes as a writer and in front of the microphone as host of the popular Metropolitan Opera Quiz. Before entering the Public Radio arena, Brad enjoyed a successful 16 year career as an opera singer, with leading roles at the New York City Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; San Francisco Opera; Washington Opera, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires to his credit, among others. His singing voice can be heard on commercial classical recordings issued by the London, Philips, New World, Innova, and Carlton Classics record labels.

About the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM)

The MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music is an award-winning national center devoted to the study, performance, creative work and promotion of new music within the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. The mission of the center is to bring the local, state, national, and international musical communities together through research, performances, compositions and outreach programs. At the heart of the Center’s activities are the annual Bowling Green New Music Festival and the Music at the Forefront concert series. In addition, the Center administers a grant program in support of contemporary music projects and research at the College of Musical Arts, and organizes New Music from Bowling Green concerts featuring faculty and student performers at acclaimed venues around the country.

Audio content for NEW MUSIC FROM BOWLING GREEN is provided in part by our digital partner, WQXR's Q2 Music. You can discover a world of new sounds with Q2 Music's 24/7 stream of vibrant, innovative music from living composers.

LIVING AMERICAN COMPOSERS: NEW MUSIC FROM BOWLING GREEN is distributed world-wide by The WFMT Radio Network, the world's leading distributor of syndicated classical music programming and is made available through PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.

Contact us by email: newmusic@wgte.org
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/newmusicbg
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/newmusicbg

  • MBG-16-06: Classical Couples

    We explore the professional and personal dynamics behind three musical marriages: composer Marilyn Shrude and her husband, saxophonist John Sampen; conductor Emily Freeman-Brown and her husband, composer Samuel Adler; and composer Christopher Dietz and his wife, horn player Emily Price Dietz.

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  • MBG-16-05: In Residence: Alarm Will Sound

    A program inspired by the 2012 BGSU residency of new music group Alarm Will Sound, with commentary from conductor/founder Alan Pierson; keyboardist/composer John Orfe, and composers Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, and Caleb Burhans.

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  • MBG-16-04: Festival Remix

    We survey the last four New Music Festivals at Bowling Green, with contributions from Jennifer Higdon, Sebastian Currier and Martin Rokeach, plus John Luther Adams' musical depiction of one of nature's most beautiful light displays.

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  • MBG-16-03: Neighbors to the North, Part I

    We "Go Blue" with the first of two programs dedicated to composers on faculty at the University of Michigan.

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  • MBG-16-02: Faculty Roll Call

    We sample commercial recordings from distinguished members of the BGSU faculty, which feature music by living American composers.

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  • MBG 16-01: In Residence: David Lang

    We spend an hour with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, featured guest at the 2011 BGSU New Music Festival.

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  • MBG 15-13: Festival 2013: Lewis; Blake; Puckett

    We hear live performances from the 2013 New Music Festival held at Bowling Green State University.

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  • MBG 15-12: Rosenkranz and Fulkerson: Beyond Minimalism

    Pianist Thomas Rosenkranz and violinist Gregory Fulkerson present a program of new works written expressly for them, including Philip Glass' Violin Music from Einstein on the Beach.

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  • MBG 15-11: New Composers from Bowling Green: Taylor; Dangerfield; Sampson; Rice

    We sample music from the younger generation of composers, all graduates of Bowling Green State University.

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  • MBG 15-10: Recordings from the Philharmonia: Bryant; Lustig; Dorman

    We explore the recorded legacy of BGSU's longstanding cultural jewel, the Bowling Green Philharmonia.

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  • MBG 15-09: Women Making Music III: Shrude; Higdon

    More music written by women, performed by women.

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  • MBG 15-08: BG Potpourri: Bryant; Link; Smith; Newman

    A musical potpourri from the archives of Bowling Green State University's annual New Music Festival.

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  • MBG 15-07: Women Making Music II: Chen; Feery; Krauss; Higdon

    More works composed by women, performed by women.

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  • MBG 15-06: Live at Constellation: Andriessen; Hartke; Dietz; Mellits

    A program of modern music from the BG New Music Ensemble, recorded live at Chicago's Constellation theatre.

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  • MBG 15-05: Women Making Music I: Webb; Ran; McTee; Higdon

    Works composed by women, performed by women.

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  • MBG 15-04: Satterlee plays Rzewski: Alone at Last

    Pianist Robert Satterlee performs music by American expatriate composer Frederic Rzewski, including a work he commissioned for left hand, called "Alone at Last."

    Frederic Rzewski: "Second Hand, or Alone at Last" (Robert Satterlee, piano)

    Frederic Rzewski: "De Profundis" (Robert Satterlee, piano/speaker)

  • MBG 15-03: Music of Dedication: Blake; Adler; Husa

    Modern works that were dedicated to or inspired by specific people and events.

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  • MBG 15-02: Poetry in Music: Crockett; Freund; Rands

    We hear orchestral works inspired by three different poets: Theodore Roethke, A.R. Ammons, and Samuel Beckett.

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  • MBG 15-01: Music at the Forefront - Nadia Sirota

    Violist and new music maven Nadia Sirota comes to the Clazell Theatre in Bowling Green, Ohio, for a program of live viola with pre-recorded electronics.

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  • MBG 13-13: Heuser; Ryan; Ran; Gann

    In this episode of NMFBG, we explore a wide emotional landscape in music: from a stirring depiction of holocaust survivors perilously making their way to the Promised Land by Shulamit Ran (pictured), to Jeffrey Ryan's haunting setting of a gothic poem which centers around Ophelia, the lovesick young girl who meets a tragic fate in Shakespeare's Hamlet. We'll also hear a hypnotic meditation for chamber ensemble by Kyle Gann, which expands on one of the most mystical and unsettling songs of American iconoclast Charles Ives.

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  • MBG 13-12: Stucky; Burhans; Johanson

    In this episode of NMFBG, Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Stucky introduces us to his orchestral song-cycle American Muse, which sets the words of four very different American poets. Also, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Caleb Burhans (pictured) sits in with the JACK Quartet to perform his hypnotic string quartet Contritus, which explores the Catholic Prayer of Contrition.

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  • MBG 13-11: Student Composers

    In this episode of NMFBG, we sample the works of young composers at the beginning of their careers — all of whom are recent graduates of Bowling Green State University. We hear music inspired by ancient Chinese art from Timothy Stulman, alongside Cory Keating's As the Night Blooms, inspired by the nocturnal adventures of his vegetable garden. Also, Evan Williams (pictured) transforms a single note into a rich and exotic sound world in his string quartet "GRIME," which filters the avant-garde through a pop music lens.

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  • MBG 13-10: Live at (Le) Poisson Rouge

    In this episode of NMFBG, we take the show on the road to New York City and the celebrated avant-garde cabaret known as (Le) Poisson Rouge. We hear excerpts from a concert given there in April of 2013, by members of the Bowling Green New Music Ensemble (pictured), including Scarlatti-inspired pieces by Sebastian Courrier. Also, a piano tour-de-force by Christopher Dietz that documents the raucous rehearsal period leading up to the premiere of Stravinsky's infamous Rite of Spring.

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  • MBG 13-09: Samuel Adler

    In this episode of NMFBG, we focus our energies entirely on the music of American composer, author, conductor and teacher Samuel Adler, whose remarkable career has spanned well over half a century. We sample some commercial recordings of his music, alongside a collection of live concert recordings from the New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University.

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  • MBG 13-08: Osborne; Prangcharoen; Rindfleisch; Meridian Arts

    In this episode of NMFBG, Thomas Osborne takes the poetry of Philip Larkin as a point of departure in his evocative work for prepared piano, And the waves sing because they are moving. Also, we hear a Southeast Asian blend of mystical harmonies which casts the soprano sax in the role of shaman, from Thailand's leading classical composer Narong Prangcharoen. Later on, we visit with the New York-based Meridian Arts Ensemble (pictured), as they put a new spin on some well-known South American tunes.

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  • MBG 13-07: Godfrey; Shrude; Williams

    In this episode of NMFBG, Tuba virtuoso Velvet Brown (pictured) introduces us to the concert hall music of famed film composer John Williams. Also, Bowling Green faculty member Marilyn Shrude fashions her own virtual reality out of an ever-changing palate of orchestral colors, and we hear from Syracuse-based composer Daniel Strong Godfrey, who uses the colors of the orchestra to trace the light of day from sunrise to dusk.

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  • MBG 13-06: Jennifer Higdon, part three

    In this episode of NMFBG, we conclude our three-part survey of music by Pulitzer prize winner (and BGSU alumna) Jennifer Higdon. We hear two more high-powered concertos, and learn more about her early years at Bowling Green — not just from Jennifer herself, but from acclaimed conductor Robert Spano, who was on faculty at the time.

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  • MBG 13-05: Jennifer Higdon, part two

    In this episode of NMFBG, we continue our three-part survey of music by BGSU alumna Jennifer Higdon, who gives us the backstory on two of her most popular concertos. We hear Jennifer's Soprano Saxophone Concerto, alongside her classical/bluegrass hybrid Concerto 4-3, written for the crossover string trio Time for Three.

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  • MBG 13-04: Jennifer Higdon, part one

    In this episode of NMFBG, we begin our three-episode tour of BGSU alumna Jennifer Higdon's Grammy-winning discography, curated by the composer herself. Jennifer tells us about her early years as a flute major at Bowling Green; how she got her start in composition, and how painting and colors figure prominently in her work.

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  • MBG 13-03: Ross; Marshall; Huang

    In this episode of NMFBG, Chinese-born composer Huang Ruo (pictured) offers a haunting elegy to his Grandmother, who died in 2004. Also, Ingram Marshall reinvents a popular hymn tune and John Ross sets the intimate, subtle imagery of Iowa's first poet laureate, Marvin Bell.

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  • MBG 13-02: Carter; Luther Adams; Daugherty; Theofanidis

    In this episode of NMFBG, we "Raise the Roof" with Michael Daugherty (pictured) and his tour-de-force of a Timpani Concerto. We also hear an early work by modern music icon Elliott Carter, plus John Luther Adams' hypnotic vision of a deep, dark, sea. Finally, Christopher Theofanidis packs seven hundred years of history into a 12-minute violin concerto.

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  • MBG 13-01: Adler; Higdon; Puts; Lang

    In this inaugural episode of NMFBG, we take a roller coaster ride through the mind of Ludwig van Beethoven, courtesy of 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts (pictured). Also, we hear more music inspired by the past, from veteran composer Samuel Adler. Later on, we visit with two other Pulitzer Prize winners, David Lang and Jennifer Higdon — who evokes a luminous, out-of-body experience with her tone poem blue cathedral.

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