Fridays at 10:00 pm
A weekly exploration of the most fascinating time in classical music history: right now.
With composers from nearly every country in the world creating music in diverse styles, there has simply never been a more exciting time for classical music. Relevant Tones creator and host Seth Boustead dives into this treasure trove of music accompanied by first-person interviews, in the field segments that take him to festivals and concert halls around the world, with stellar performances by talented ensembles and soloists.
Etudes Project with Jenny Lin- Volume One: ICEBERG Live from (Le) Poisson Rouge
January 25, 2019
Pianist Jenny Lin likes to test her limits. In 2006 she challenged composers to write virtuosic works for her in which they imagined that she had an eleventh finger. Not surprisingly, these pieces are now some of the hardest in the piano repertoire but she hasn't rested on her laurels since then. Her latest labor of love is the Etudes Project in which she is commissioning composers to write new etudes for her and then pairing them with famous etudes from the standard repertoire.
Flora & Fauna
November 11, 2016
Not surprisingly, the natural world is a never-ending source of fascination and inspiration for composers. From the datura plant in southern China to a rare bird in the wilds of Australia to strange animals that exist only in the composer’s imagination, we’ll feature music inspired by the boundless creativity of nature.
Drum Kit: Problem Child
November 4, 2016
It’s essentially just a conveniently placed grouping of popular percussion instruments and yet, the drum kit is often cited as the dividing line between popular music and classical. We’ll examine how composers are using the drum kit today and what impact it’s having on genre boundaries.
In the Field: Warsaw Autumn Part II
October 28, 2016
The second part in our two-part feature of the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music includes interviews with composers, performers and organizers of the event and more audio performances recorded live in the concert halls of Warsaw.
In the Field: Warsaw Autumn Part I
October 21, 2016
Since its beginning in 1956 the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, for many years the only festival of its kind in Eastern Europe, has presented new music by leading Polish composers and composers from around the world. Today it is one of the most prestigious contemporary music festivals in the world and we are honored to have the ...
Composer Spotlight: Zygmunt Krauze
October 14, 2016
Polish composer, concert pianist and educator Zygmunt Krauze is a hugely respected figure on the international contemporary music scene and the recipient of numerous honors including the French National Order of the Legion of Honour among many others. We’ll play selections from his music and talk with him about his storied career.
The Art of Spoken Word
September 30, 2016
It takes fine craftsmanship to achieve a perfect partnership between text and music in which neither element overshadows the other. This week, we’ll listen to a fascinating array of spoken word and music by composers like Aaron Jay Kernis, Joseph Schwantner, David Lang, and more who are striving to achieve this symmetry.
September 23, 2016
Crossover between classical and rock musicians was common in the 1970’s but has taken a bit of a break until recently. Now instead of composers influencing rock musicians like Brian Eno, a rock band is having a huge influence on a diverse array of composers around the globe. The music of Radiohead has been arranged by countless composers and has ...
Extra Tones: Setting Records
September 22, 2016
If you enjoyed our episode “Contemporary Vinyl,” here is something extra! Why is releasing music on vinyl an upward trend currently? Just what is it that makes vinyl so incredible? In this podcast we explore these questions and dive into how exactly vinyl is made. Special thanks to Peter McDowell and Eighth Blackbird, Julia Nicols-Corry from Cedille Records, Bob Weston ...
The Ear Taxi Festival: A Preview
September 2, 2016
Chicago is rapidly becoming known as one of the country’s premiere cities for contemporary music and the Ear Taxi festival aims to showcase this great work. We’ll choose the highlights from the festival’s ambitious lineup of 300 musicians, 75 composers, 25 ensembles, and 53 world premieres
August 26, 2016
Composers like Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Bartók and have sought to musically depict their environs for centuries. How are landscapes, both urban and pastoral, being represented musically today? We’ll hear composer’s portrayals of locations like David Sampson’s Grant Park in Chicago, the surrounding islands of Australia from Peter Sculthorpe, Michael Daughterty’s George Washington from Mount Rushmore and more.
Extra Tones: Computing to Composing
August 22, 2016
Extra Tones is a new podcast series featuring exclusive content that is not featured in our show, Relevant Tones. The podcast is produced by Relevant Tones reporter, Bea Aldrich. In this first episode, we explore how exactly composing software, such as Sibelius and Finale music notation software has changed the way in which composers compose music. This is inspired by ...
Rebroadcast: Robert Lombardo
August 19, 2016
Robert Lombardo’s sixty years of compositions has made an extraordinary mark on the Chicago contemporary classical music scene. Relevant Tones on WFMT is remembering the late Kathleen Lombardo, whose poems inspired and are frequently the texts of many of Robert’s compositions.
Tickling the Ivories
August 12, 2016
All music written for and adapted for piano. Seth features sneak previews upcoming releases from Bridge Records, including the latest Etudes from David Rakowski to new recordings from the acclaimed piano duo Quattro Mani. Hear the exotic sounds of an etude for talking piano to a piece featuring the unusual piano-like instrument, the celesta.
String Quartet Plus…
August 5, 2016
Ever since its creation by Haydn in the 18th century, the string quartet has been one of the preeminent vehicles for more musical innovation. This show features new directions for the string quartet, pairing the quartet with unusual other instruments like frame drum, alto flute and more.
July 29, 2016
Seth talks with composer Stacy Garrop about the new recording of her Mythology Symphony inspired by Greek myths. Starting with the exhilarating piece Becoming Medusa, which tells the story of Medusa, a beautiful woman turned into a hideous monster, to the quiet sounds of Penelope Waits, the touching tale of a wife waiting for her heroic husband, and much, much ...
Remembering Einojuhani Rautavaara
July 28, 2016
The great Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara died on July 27, 2016. He was easily the best-known and widely considered the greatest Finnish composer of his generation and he was the last living link to Jean Sibelius. We were lucky enough to interview him in his home in 2014 for the program In the Field: Finland. In light of his recent passing, we, here ...
Soundward: The Best Through the Ages
July 22, 2016
Back by popular demand! Seth welcomes Phil Kline, host on Q2 Music and composer who makes music in many genres and contexts, into a rousing debate and conversation about newly released music like Abrahamsen’s Let Me Tell You while rediscovering old favorites like Satie’s Portrait De Socrate. Another exciting installment of Soundward! Check out Phil Kline weekdays at 11am – with repeat presentations at 7 ...