Hearing The Pulitzers-logo

Hearing The Pulitzers

Music Podcasts

Hearing the Pulitzers: A piece-by-piece, episode-by-episode exploration of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Music with hosts Andrew Granade and David Thurmaier.

Hearing the Pulitzers: A piece-by-piece, episode-by-episode exploration of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Music with hosts Andrew Granade and David Thurmaier.

Location:

United States

Description:

Hearing the Pulitzers: A piece-by-piece, episode-by-episode exploration of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Music with hosts Andrew Granade and David Thurmaier.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 33 - 1975: Dominick Argento, From the Diary of Virginia Woolf

8/1/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first song cycle to ever win the Pulitzer Prize, Dominick Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. Argento always remarked that his music balanced between his desire for fantasy and his need for control. Do Dave and Andrew think this work has that balance? If you'd like more information about Dominick Argento, we recommend: Jacquelyn Matava's dissertationNew Yorker article Please write a review of us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you...

Duration:00:25:13

Episode 32 - 1974: Donald Martino, Notturno

7/16/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss a composer who is usually considered a 12-tone composer, but who also rejected labels. He famously told the New York Times in 1997 that "If anyone writes program notes and says I am a Serial or a 12-tone composer, I am infuriated." How do Dave and Andrew label Martino's music? How does Notturno fit into the style of other winners in the early 1970s? If you'd like more information about Donald Martino and Notturno, we recommend: Dreaming of...

Duration:00:32:31

Episode 31 - 1973: Elliott Carter, String Quartet No. 3

6/27/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew revisit Elliott Carter, who won his first Pulitzer in 1960. They awarded his String Quartet No. 2 two big thumbs up. Will they be as enthusiastic about Carter's String Quartet No. 3? If you'd like more information about Elliott Carter and his String Quartet No. 3, we recommend: This performancePitch Structure in Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 3Compositional Process in Elliott Carter's String Quartets: A Study in Sketches

Duration:00:29:51

Episode 30 - 1972: Jacob Druckman, Windows

6/5/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew look through Windows at Jacob Druckman's compositional style and legacy in American music. Druckman taught at Yale and the Aspen Music Festival for years, shaping generations of young composers, and coined the term "New Romanticism" when he curated the Horizons Festivals at the NY Philharmonic in the mid-1980s. Yet today, his attempts to merge modernist techniques with audience-friendly sounds are largely forgotten. Should they be? If you'd like to know...

Duration:00:25:30

Episode 29 - 1971: Mario Davidovsky, Synchronisms No. 6

5/10/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the first episode they have a personal connection to as Andrew has performed Mario Davidovsky's Synchronisms No. 6. How does Dave react to the third music winner to incorporate electronic sounds, and how do those sounds hold up 50 years later? If you'd like more information about Davidovsky, we recommend: Mario Davidovsky, An IntroductionEdition Peters

Duration:00:28:55

Episode 28 - 1970: Charles Wuorinen, Time’s Encomium

4/16/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the first fully electronic work to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, even though it was the only electronic work its composer ever wrote. Did Charles Wuorinen set a new standard for Pulitzer-winning music or was electronic music a flash in the pan? If you're interested in learning more about Wuorinen, we recommend: extensive websiteCharles Wuorinen: A Celebration at 80,

Duration:00:29:05

Episode 27 - 1969: Karel Husa, String Quartet No. 3

3/28/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore a composer renowned today for his works for wind band, but celebrated during his lifetime for music that was, in Nicolas Slonimsky's famous phrase, "oxygenated by humanistic romanticism." Join us as we try and tease out exactly what Slonimsky meant by exploring Husa's String Quartet No. 3. If you'd like more information about Husa, we recommend: Karel Husa: The Man and the MusicKarel Husa: A...

Duration:00:28:06

Episode 26 - 1968: George Crumb, Echoes of Time and the River

3/14/2022
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore an early work by a composer who transformed American music with his singular vision. But how did a composer who concocted a personal aesthetic reflecting a fascination with "life, death, love, the smell of the earth, the sounds of the wind and the sea" impact artists like David Bowie and directors like William Friedkin (who used Crumb's music in The Exorcist)? If you'd like more information about George Crumb, we recommend: New York Times...

Duration:00:26:58

Episode 25 - 1967: Leon Kirchner, Third String Quartet

3/1/2022
We're back with Season 2 of "Hearing The Pulitzers!" In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first music winner to incorporate electronics, Leon Kirchner. Kirchner wanted to expand human capabilities by combining live performance with recorded electronic sounds. Although he did not focus his music on electronics after the 3rd Quartet, Kirchner's award ultimately set a trend for the Pulitzer the next few years, as the jury became more and more accepting of new sounds and...

Duration:00:28:10

Episode 24 - 1966: Leslie Bassett, Variations for Orchestra

11/1/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first music winner in three years, Leslie Bassett. After two decades of honoring fairly conservative, European-derived pieces and two years of not honoring any pieces of music, what direction will the Pulitzer go in the late 1960s? If you'd like more information about Leslie Bassett, we recommend: homepageStephanie Brunelli's dissertation, The use of the piano in the twentieth-century orchestra: A study of Pulitzer Prize compositions by...

Duration:00:26:40

Episode 23 - 1965: No Prize (the Pulitzer Hat Trick)

9/18/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew cover the third year the Pulitzer Board decided not to award a music prize. The 1964 decision not to award a prize might have been shocking, but nothing could have prepared the Pulitzer Board from the fallout of their decision in 1965. Music jury members resigned, the press had a field day, and the trajectory of music winners changed dramatically. We'll chart all the intrigue, including what Duke Ellington had to do with this scandal.

Duration:00:27:18

Episode 22 - 1964: No Prize (again)

8/28/2021
In this episode, Andrew and Dave discuss the second time the Pulitzer Board decided not to award a music prize. In fact, in 1964, they did not give awards in the categories of drama, music, and fiction. It was the first time since the Pulitzer Prizes began in 1917 that three separate categories did not have an awardee. To deepen the intrigue, the music board was split, and at least one member wanted to give a music award (and wasn't happy with the other members). We discuss all the...

Duration:00:14:20

Episode 21 - 1963: Samuel Barber, Piano Concerto No. 1

8/13/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the third person to win two Pulitzers, Samuel Barber. Barber's prize-winning opera Vanessa was a qualified hit in Episode 16, but how does his Piano Concerto stack up? (Photo of Pianist John Browning, 1966) If you'd like more information about Samuel Barber or his Piano Concerto No. 1, we recommend: Rethinking the Repertoire #13 – Samuel Barber’s Piano ConcertoSamuel Barber Remembered

Duration:00:25:12

Episode 20 - 1962: Robert Ward, The Crucible

6/19/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew turn to the fifth opera to win a Pulitzer Prize, Robert Ward's The Crucible. The opera is based on Arthur Miller's award-winning play that even today is considered an American classic. Does the opera hold up as well? If you're interested in more information about Robert Ward or The Crucible, we recommend: Robert Ward's The Crucible: Creating an American Musical Nationalism"The Devil Made Me Do It! History to Play to Opera: Media Transformation in Arthur...

Duration:00:29:19

Episode 19 - 1961: Walter Piston, Symphony No. 7

5/24/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew return to Walter Piston, who first won the Pulitzer in 1948 for his Third Symphony. In 1961, not even a year into his retirement, Piston won again for his Seventh Symphony. Although Piston's music isn't performed much today, Carol Oja has argued that "From the perspective of the early 21st century, the music of Walter Piston sounds mighty appealing." Will Dave and Andrew agree? If you're interested in more information about Walter Piston's teaching, we...

Duration:00:29:15

Episode 18 - 1960: Elliott Carter, Second String Quartet

4/26/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the first Pulitzer winner of the 1960s, Elliott Carter for his Second String Quartet. Carter's work has been frequently performed, widely celebrated, and heavily analyzed, but will it be a hit or a miss for our hosts? If you're interested in learning more about Carter or his Second String Quartet, we recommend: "'A Disturbing Lack of Musical and Stylistic Continuity'? Elliott Carter, Charles Ives, and Musical Borrowing" "Multilayered Rhythms,...

Duration:00:35:25

Episode 17 - 1959: John La Montaine, Piano Concerto No. 1

3/27/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss John La Montaine's first piano concerto, a work that made a splash in the late 1950s only to disappear from the repertoire. Similarly, La Montaine has faded from view, so what made this work catch the Pulitzer committee's attention? If you'd like to learn more about John La Montaine, we recommend: Rediscovering John La Montaine1989 interview with John La MontaineErica Beth Weintraub's article “John La Montaine: Life on the Edge” in Music Educators...

Duration:00:29:03

Episode 16 - 1958: Samuel Barber, Vanessa

3/12/2021
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the fourth opera to win the Pulitzer Prize in the 1950s, Samuel Barber's Vanessa. In the mid-20th century United States, Samuel Barber was one of the most performed American composers, known especially for his beautiful vocal music that closely mirrored European models. But with the Pulitzer traditionally awarding works that are more "American" in sound, does Vanessa represent a departure from convention for Barber or the Pulitzer board? If you'd...

Duration:00:34:58

Episode 15 - 1957: Norman Dello Joio, Meditations on Ecclesiastes

2/26/2021
Norman Dello Joio is one of those composers you might know depending on your background. Sing choral music? You might know him from A Jubilant Song. Play in band? You might have performed his Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn. He was accomplished and prolific composer, but we did not know his Pulitzer winning Meditations on Ecclesiastes before this episode. Join Dave and Andrew as they explore if it fits into the list of winners in the 1950s or is an outlier. If you want to know more about...

Duration:00:25:42

Episode 14 - 1956: Ernst Toch, Symphony No. 3

2/13/2021
Like Gian Carlo Menotti before him, Ernst Toch was a European composer who won an American prize. Unlike Menotti, Toch did not have the same success in the United States that he had in Europe and never fully identified as an "American" composer. Join us as we find out how his third symphony, inspired by his experience as a Jew fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s, might tell us something about Toch's place in American musical history. If you'd like to learn more about Ernst Toch, we...

Duration:00:29:46