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Documentary

A Life in Music: Elliott Carter 116 min 20th Century Classical
Chamber Music
This program provides an overview of Elliott Carter's compositions from 1942 to 1978. It includes excerpts from several of his works, including the “Symphony No. 1” (1942), “Piano Sonata” (1945-6), “Cello Sonata” (1948), and...
A Tribute to Leo Ornstein 79 min 20th Century Classical
New Music
Charles Amirkhanian narrates this tribute to the amazing but neglected Leo Ornstein, who was perhaps America's most radical composer and pianist during the early 20th century. Ornstein never recorded any of his own works, but continued...
B. B. King: Number 1 Bluesman 55 min Popular Music
Jazz
A documentary on B. B. King, the great blues singer and guitarist. It includes examples of his music as well as excerpts from an interview with Dan McClosky and Bill Newell, in which he discusses his early career, musical influences, and...
George Antheil: Bad Boy of Music: An Intermission Feature (1980) 29 min New Music
20th Century Classical
Charles Amirkhanian introduces the amazing music of Trenton-born George Antheil (1900-1959). Antheil (pronounced "ANT-hile") was the first avant-garde American composer to be recognized in Europe, and composed the “Ballet Mécanique”...
Harry Partch Memorial 53 min Unconventional Instruments
Microtonal Music
Charles Amirkhanian discusses the music and philosophy of Harry Partch, just days after his death in early September, 1974. Part eccentric and part genius, Harry Partch was famous for his 43-note microtonal scale, typically played on...
Henry Cowell’s Musical Autobiography 80 min New Music
In this fascinating program, first broadcast in 1961, Henry Cowell talks about his life and plays examples of his music culled from his entire career as a composer. He recalls a number of significant incidents from his childhood...
History of New Music in Los Angeles 41 min New Music
Motion Picture Music
Highlights of contemporary music in the City of Angels from the New Music Society of 1925 to New Music America, 1985 … a 60 year heritage of profound significance! Henry Cowell, born in California, was the "catalyst for all that was new...
Holy, Holy, Holy: Antheil's Magic Lacunae 56 min New Music
20th Century Classical
On April 10, 1927, George Antheil's Ballet Mécanique, scored for multiple pianos and percussion (including airplane propellers and electric doorbells) was given its American premiere at Carnegie Hall. An exciting discovery by Mrs. George...
John Cage Obituary 7 min New Music
John Cage's obituary on KFPA Radio by Charles Amirkhanian, August 12, 1992. The sudden death of John Cage as he approached his 80th birthday came as a shock to many. The day the message came to KPFA from Laura Kuhn, Cage's assistant, the...
Music Makes the World Go Round: A Tribute to Eddie Jefferson 54 min Jazz
A retrospective tribute to jazz singer Eddie Jefferson (1918-1979). Jefferson was an innovator in the field of vocalese, in which words or a story line are written to replace the notes of famous instrumental solos from previous recordings...
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