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 and outrageous" in new music in Los Angeles in the 1920s. His October 22, 1925 concert at the Biltmore Hotel there, underwritten by Aileen Barnsdall, is considered the birth of "new music" in Southern California. Music premiered there was critically acclaimed at the time, and has become "revered" today. Cowell founded the “New Music Quarterly”, publishing music others would not consider at the time. He was "constantly burning with something new," reports Dane Rudhyar in this program.
George Antheil started scoring films in New York City, later moving to Hollywood. First assignment: "The Plainsman" for Cecil B. DeMille. He enjoyed the freedom of being paid to compose a couple of film scores annually, then having the rest of the year free. He went to great lengths to assure East Coast friends that he hoped to "corrupt Hollywood, in a good way," rather than being corrupted. His 1937 Seigel-Antheil Gallery concerts led to the "Evenings on the Roof," concerts devoted to performances by a single, often unknown, composer: Charles Ives was one of the first.
This program also includes a rare voice recording of Arnold Schoenberg teaching his USC music students
This program produced at KUSC as an intermission feature for the 1985 New Music America Festival, was carried live over the NPR satellite to every corner of the U.S.