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The Music Show

ABC (Australia)

The Music Show is two hours of conversation and music, broadcast live. Gregorian chant or hip hop, k.d. lang or a rookie conductor, all get the attention they deserve. Composer Andrew Ford entertains and informs a wide audience each week.

The Music Show is two hours of conversation and music, broadcast live. Gregorian chant or hip hop, k.d. lang or a rookie conductor, all get the attention they deserve. Composer Andrew Ford entertains and informs a wide audience each week.


Sydney, NSW


The Music Show is two hours of conversation and music, broadcast live. Gregorian chant or hip hop, k.d. lang or a rookie conductor, all get the attention they deserve. Composer Andrew Ford entertains and informs a wide audience each week.




Music Show ABC Radio National GPO Box 9994 Sydney 2001 (02) 8333 1352


What were David Bowie's favourite books? Plus, The Narlis share the sounds of the Kimberley

What do Finnish birdsong and ancient rain dances have in common? They've both inspired new music written in (and about) Western Australia's Kimberley region. The Narli Ensemble are an all-star band bringing the sounds of remote WA to the rest of Australia and the world. And, three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the 100 books that had fuelled his creative life - from ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ to ‘A Clockwork Orange’, from Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ to John...


The legacy of U2's The Joshua Tree, and ambassador of the Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein, performs live

With U2 in Australia on the fifth leg of their Joshua Tree Tour, we explore the legacy of their 1987 classic album ‘The Joshua Tree’, and take the temperature of the group once regarded as ’the biggest rock band in the world’. It’s been twelve years since we last caught up with singer, pianist and custodian of The Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein. In that time he's had his conducting debut, written scores for musicals, formed a foundation to preserve the Songbook and much more....


Robyn Archer's alternative American Songbook, and why Leonard Cohen is Deborah Conway's hero

Robyn Archer’s The (Other) Great American Songbook offers a different portrait of America, covering everything from the Civil War and the Great Depression, poverty, politics, drunkenness and desire. Robyn’s setlist includes Tom Lehrer, Pink and Joni Mitchell, and she performs Stephen Foster’s Hard Times live in the studio for us. And in the final instalment of our Heroes series, Deborah Conway talks about the poetry, beliefs and changing voice of Leonard Cohen.


Archie Roach, the Armenian roots of Zela Margossian's jazz, and remembering John Curro

With a new double-album produced by Paul Grabowsky, and a memoir - both titled Tell Me Why - Archie Roach reflects on how the songs have changed (and changed him) over time. We meet the Beirut-born pianist of Armenian heritage Zela Margossian whose music combines classical virtuosity, jazz improvisation and Armenian folk traditions. And we remember the late conductor and founder of the Queensland Youth Orchestras, John Curro.


The Music Show's podcast is changing

The Music Show's podcast is changing. Presenter, Andrew Ford, explains how. Music: Otro Nivel (Instrumental) by Orquesta Akokán


Michael Tippett – a child of his time

Oliver Soden discusses his biography of the English composer, Michael Tippett.


Poppy Holden on Border Ballads

Singer Poppy Holden explains the sad and mysterious Border Ballads.


Nigel Simeone on Janácek

The romantic passion and late masterpieces of Leoš Janáček.


The Punk Professor Vivien Goldman gives a personal history

The Punk Professor Vivien Goldman gives a very personal history of women in punk from London to Indonesia.


Heroes: Jon Cleary on Dr John

Mac Rebennack had many stage personae; the Night Tripper, Snake but most famously Dr John. Dr John comes straight out of the great piano tradition of New Orleans that goes back to Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair and more recently Allen Toussaint. Jon Cleary has channelled these legends from an early age and is in to show how their successor Dr John put funk and a taste of voodoo into New Orleans piano.


The itinerant violin from Szolnok

Daniel Weltlinger’s violin travelled from Szolnok in Hungary to Sydney via Marseille, Casablanca and Berlin. It all began with his grandfather who carried the instrument (and little else) across the globe having left Hungary in 1920. Daniel has collected and composed music that follows the historical line of this instrument and he's in to tell the story in words and music.


Dyson Stringer Cloher

Three of our most experienced female musicians unite with a new album and tour. Mia Dyson, Liz Stringer and Jen Cloher have voices which blend effortlessly in a set of new songs emphasising arresting harmonies and driving guitars.


Heroes: Paul Grabowsky on Bud Powell

Bud Powell was the father of modern jazz piano, and pianist and composer Paul Grabowsky sits down at the piano in The Music Show's studio to demonstrate why. Grabowsky breaks down Bud Powell’s influences, and demonstrates his technique, hand by hand. He talks about Powell’s musical relationships with contemporaries such as Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro, and his later influence on fellow pianists McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Grabowsky himself.


Brett Dean's 'Approach to Bach'

London based composer Brett Dean explains how he composed a companion piece to a concerto by one of the creative geniuses of all time, J.S. Bach. Brett’s Approach (Prelude to a Canon) is part of the current Australian Chamber Orchestras homage to Bach series. Brett also ponders whether he's a modernist composer and if he's ever self-censored his work.


Reclaiming Clara Schumann

Clara Schumann was born 200 years ago and it's high-time to bring this extraordinary musician into the spotlight. Frances Falling from the Schumann-Haus in Leipzig reclaims Clara’s past; virtuoso pianist, composer at nine, defiant daughter and mother of eight whose famous husband became afflicted by mental illness and died at 46.


Heroes: Brian Ritchie on Charlie Haden

Bass luminary Charlie Haden was singing in the Haden family radio show at two years of age. After he discovered jazz he became a member of Ornette Coleman's ground breaking quartet and their improvising duets were legendary. But while jazz was Charlie's real passion his musical interests were wide open; he loved country, played Portuguese folk music and his Liberation Music Orchestra was born out of his stance against the armed conflicts in Spain, Cambodia and Vietnam. Charlie Haden never...


Mike and Ruthy on the thriving folk tradition in New York state

Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar (Mike + Ruthy) are a husband and wife folk music duo from Upstate New York. Armed with a fiddle and guitar they're back on The Music Show to talk about writing modern protest songs and the thriving folk music scene in their Woodstock community. They'll perform a couple of songs live for us, including Jay Ungar's (Ruth's father) famous Ashokan Farewell, the theme tune for Ken Burns’ Civil War series.


Daniel Weltlinger's violin - bonus podcast

From a new CD comes the story of Daniel's grandfather's violin from Szolnok in Hungary and its remarkable journey to Sydney via Vienna, Marseilles and Casablanca. It's also about the importance of time, continuity and moving forward.


Métis poet and master of the loop pedal, Moe Clark

Moe Clark is a Métis spoken word poet, musician, educator, activist and performer from Canada. She uses a microphone and a looping pedal to bring a talking circle to life on stage, in workshops and in radio studios. Moe also travels with an elk skin frame drum and performs a blend of poetry and song. Moe's in Sydney for Story-Fest and is performing at the Australian Poetry Slam Finals.


Nitin Sawhney's England in 1999 and now

Nitin Sawhney is a producer, DJ and composer and was there when Anglo Asian music hit the mainstream in Britain during the late 1990's His seminal album Beyond Skin was partly responsible and Nitin Sawhney talks about how 20 years on, its themes of race, religion and identity still resonate.