Conversations with Composers

In these conversations, distinguished composers talk about their music, how they compose, and much more. These musicians love what they do and are most eager to share their art with everybody. Let your family and friends know about these conversations, which they can listen to or download anytime. You can also listen to these conversations on our apps.

Tyson Davis

Rob Kennedy speaks with North Carolina composer Tyson Davis who began composing at the age of eight. In 2019 Tyson graduated from the University North Carolina School of the Arts with a concentration in composition. He will continue his studies at The Julliard School in the fall of 2019. Rob Kennedy and Tyson chat about what inspired him to become a composer and his compositional process. You can listen to Tyson’s music on YouTube.

Photo: Tyson Davis/tysondavis.com

Jennifer Higdon

From her website: “Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. She is a major figure in contemporary Classical music, receiving the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, a 2010 Grammy for her Percussion Concerto and a 2018 Grammy for her Viola Concerto. Rob Kennedy and Jennifer talk about her Harp Concerto, her opera, Cold Mountain, and much more.

Photo: Jennifer Higdon/J. Henry Fair

Ilan Eshkeri

Ilan Eshkeri composed the film score for The White Crow which charts famed ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s defection from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him. The score features violin solos by Lisa Batiashvili and Ilan’s own arrangements of ballet compositions by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Krein and Ludwig Minkus. Rob Kennedy and Ilan Eshkeri discuss his process of composing a film score in the 21st-century. You can listen to the score on Spotify.

Photo: Ilan Eshkeri/ilanEskeri.com

Gernot Wolfgang

Jonathan Woolf in Musicweb-International writes: “These freewheeling pluralistic compositions cleverly weave the past and the present in a way that reflects well on both. Lineage is a strong component of Wolfgang’s writing, an inheritance that is honoured but flourishes in a new soil, or soils. It’s not a question of abandoning Vienna, more a case of Wolfgang returning to it anew, refreshed and thereby refreshing his own musical vocabulary. With excellent performers on board this is a groove disc that appeals to the heart and to the head.” Rob Kennedy speaks with composer Gernot Wolfgang about his recording Vienna And The West which you can listen to on Spotify.

Photo: Gernot Wolfgang/gernotwolfgang.com

Dan Locklair

North Carolina composer Dan Locklair is Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While he is perhaps best known for his sacred choral works, he also has composed several large works for orchestra. Rob Kennedy and Professor Locklair discuss the new recording of his Symphony No.2 “America”. You can listen to a recording of it and his Organ Concerto on Spotify.

Photo: Dan Locklair/Rick Gibbons

Jonathan David Little

As his website notes about the music of Australian-born composer Jonathan David Little “The evocative music of composer/conductor/scholar Jonathan David Little is notable for its mystical beauty, intensity, richness of material, and intricate craftsmanship.” Rob Kennedy and Dr. Little discuss his poly-choral music featured on his CD Woefully Arrayed. You can listen to the recording on Spotify.

Photo: Jonathan David Little/jonathanlittle.org