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Classical Breakdown

1. Alistair Coleman on writing music

September 10, 2019

Alistair Coleman is an award-winning and internationally recognized young composer from Washington, DC. Still a student at Juilliard, he is the youngest composer published by Schirmer, and his music is performed by renowned artists and orchestras like Zuill Bailey, and musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In this episode, I sit down with Alistair and talk about how composers write music. We discuss how geniuses like Mozart and Beethoven had such different writing processes, Stravinsky using headstands to "clear the mind" and Tchaikovsky walking for hours. He also shares some of his own music and how he composes.

Show Notes

Beethoven's manuscript of his Piano Sonata No. 23 "Appassionata." Complete with stains (coffee, maybe wine?), measures scratched out, and hard to read. 

Beethoven_Piano_Sonata_23_ manuscript

Mozart's Fantasia in F minor, K.608, manuscript. It's clean, the notes line up, and it's legible!

Mozart_Fantasia_in F_minor_K608

Stravinsky having fun with wheel gymnastics!

Stravinsky in a gymnastics wheel

Alistair Coleman's music heard in this episode. You can find his website here.