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Hybrid Highbrow podcast #3: Classical tango!

  For my third Hybrid Highbrow podcast I have assembled a collection of tango pieces written by late-19th and early 20th-century classical composers. They include Albéniz, Shostakovich, Milhaud, Mompou, Stravinsky, Satie, and Poulenc. Listening to these wonderful compositions, and reading up on the history of tango, I am struck by the explosive impact that this […]

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Classical Moonlighters Competition

WQXR unveils “classical moonlighter” semi-finalists (and they’re really good)

My favorite classical radio station has released thirty Vimeos of the semi-finalists for its “classical moonlighters” competition. I wrote about this when WQXR in New York City first announced the contest last year. These folks have posted vids of themselves playing various masterpieces and they’ve made it to first cut. The final finalists in this event will […]

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Hybrid Highbrow: the history of a forgotten radio format

Many years ago I invented a phrase for a peculiar kind of radio format: “Hybrid Highbrow.” I cooked up the term to describe listener supported KPFA in Berkeley, California, which in the 1950s broadcast classical music, opera, jazz, and folk music in the spirit with which Matthew Arnold understood “culture” in his book Culture and […]

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