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Six Podcasts on Classical Music
One unexpected outgrowth of the pandemic has been an increase in podcasts that focus on classical music. Even established ones have evolved; Aria Code, hosted by the cross-genre luminary Rhiannon Giddens, has found new depths of poetry and resonance. A podcast from conductor Joshua Weilerstein, Sticky Notes, is experimenting with approaches to score analysis. Others have joined the field, like the Cleveland Orchestra’s On a Personal Note, which debuted last April with Franz Welser-Möst wistfully reflecting on the ensemble’s final gathering before the pandemic closed its hall. One even breaks new ground; Mission: Commission, presented by the Miller Theater at Columbia University, began on April 13. Rather than take the anthology approach, with each episode focusing on a specific work or recording, it follows three composers over the course of six weeks as they create short pieces. These finished works premiered during the show’s final episode on May 18.
That’s not all. There are six episodes (and more coming) of the A Thousand Pictures podcast from Australian conductor Scott Wilson. The series is lively introduction to classical music through some of the most iconic works in the canon, like Pines of Rome, La Mer, and the Overture to Candide. And finally, don’t forget Trilloquy (co-hosted by past Ensemble editorialist Garrett McQueen). Trilloquy is a weekly podcast that seeks to decolonize classical music by celebrating the “classic” aspects of compositions from all cultures.