Suggestions for modern composers to listen to

September 30, 2012 at 05:05 AM · My favorite pastime lately has been expand my musical appreciation by trolling thru YouTube for performances of the violin classics - Mozart, Beethonvan, etc. I've come to the classics late in life. Today I thought I would look to see what modern, living composers were doing. What I ran into was less than satisfying. I must admit my taste are pretty conservative - I much prefer the paintings of Renoir to those of Pollock.

Can anyone recommend modern composers of violin music that is more in the line of the flowing romanticism of Beethoven or Sibelius and less in the line of the discordancy being practised by the modern minimalists, like Crumb.

Replies (23)

September 30, 2012 at 09:04 AM · kapustin

October 3, 2012 at 03:03 AM · Have you tried Philip Glass? He would still be considered minimalist but enjoyable to the ear.

October 3, 2012 at 06:32 AM · The music being written by today's composers is remarkably diverse. Much of it is beautiful, in my opinion, though perhaps not in a 19th century way. The string quartets of Justin Friedman, for instance, I find to be incredibly beautiful, and powerful and moving. The mammoth second movement of his third string quartet has some truly breathtaking moments, but I suspect this isn't what you're in the market for right now.

For music by a living composer that is immediately approachable (and good, in my view), you might give Miguel del Aguila a listen. This link has the first movement of his Salon Buenos Aires playing:

Miguel del Aguila

Aaron Jay Kernis is another wonderful composer you might like:

Kernis Air

And Here's a fun piece for solo viola by Kenji Bunch(people have been talking about viola recently on this site):

Kenji Bunch:3Gs

October 3, 2012 at 03:02 PM · Try out Kapustin's concert rhapsody.

October 4, 2012 at 06:46 PM · Check out Canadian composer Marjan Mosetich. His work is often played by the CBC, and samples can be found on YouTube. "Postcards from the Sky" is a good place to start.

June 3, 2013 at 03:16 AM · I recently discovered the music of Scott Slapin and was absolutely delighted!

Here is his nocturne arranged for string quartet.

June 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM · I recently discovered music of Edmund Rubbra (1901 – 1986), the English composer. 20th century, but still very much contemporary. Nothing quite like his music. I have no idea why has he been so neglected. Check out his chamber music, especially string quartets.

June 3, 2013 at 01:36 PM · You might also consider performers who favour modern composers, Leila Josefowicz for example.

It's probably not exactly what you had in mind, but in a recital not long ago on a snowy day in the middle of nowhere, when she and John Novacek played John Adams' "Road Movies", it momentarily energized the place.

June 3, 2013 at 02:17 PM · I really like the Edgar Myers concerto, recorded by Hilary Hahn.

June 13, 2013 at 11:36 PM · William Walton, 20th Century I know, but since they've mentioned Rubbra - and Walton's film music is even more accessible. And Shostakovich is probably the other great composer of the 20th century.

Of this century, John Rutter is definitely accessible.

June 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM · The quartets of Robert Simpson (d 1997) carry some interest, too.

June 25, 2013 at 07:02 PM · Try Canadian composer Marjan Mosetich. Postcards from the Sky is particularly evocative.

February 23, 2015 at 05:09 PM · Please, go to:

and find Sonatas (Partitas) for violin solo (acapella)


Modern, new music for VIOLIN, VIOLIN SOLO!!!

February 24, 2015 at 03:12 PM · Maciek, I went to the site you linked in your post, but I didn't see any music there to download.

March 2, 2015 at 04:51 PM · I am sorry, Paul. You can use "Search" - "Sonata":{%22instrumentationid%22%3A[%2241%22]%2C%22commonid%22%3A[%2272%22]%2C%22genreid%22%3A[%222%22]%2C%22q%22%3A%22sonata%22}

You can find some of composers: Ivo Bláha, Sabra Lindgren, Gunther Frey, M. Zolnowski etc.

March 2, 2015 at 04:55 PM ·


March 4, 2015 at 06:08 PM · Kenji Bunch

Michael Kimber

Libby Larson may be spelled en. not sure

Leiberman may have two n's

Scott Slapin

Joan Tower

Paul Coletti has composed a few pieces

Amy Barlowe

Rachel Pine

Not living but Rebecca Clarke

March 4, 2015 at 09:17 PM · Krzysztof Penderecki:

March 5, 2015 at 04:06 PM · Encouraging to see that Simpson and Rubbra are already mentioned. Vagn Holmboe is often mentioned with Simpson and is worth exploring. Both of them wrote basically tonal but often noisy, dissonant and occasionally violent music for orchestra - very exciting and well worth a listen. I think Simpson's quartets are rather better than 'carry some interest' (and rather better than Holmboe's)- they include some masterpieces which are as well written for quartet as anything in the last century. Nos 7 and 14 are probably a good place to start.

Also Malcolm Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Bax, (William) Schuman, Roy Harris and many others wrote music which is far removed from 'minimalism' or 'modernism' - although this may be going further back in time (to the mid-20th century) than you are looking for. I've been exploring this territory recently but there's a lot of it.....

March 16, 2015 at 04:00 PM · Arvo Part:

March 17, 2015 at 01:47 PM · I really like Atli Ingolfssons music and in particular his piece, La Metrique du Cri.

I recently heard a fugue based on the old eighties theme, Axel F, by Matthew Bridgham. A true masterpiece in my opinion.

March 17, 2015 at 02:24 PM · David,

I liked this piece for string quartet titled Metro Chabacano by Javier Alvarez. It reflects a diverse set of influences (20th and 19th century)

March 17, 2015 at 02:37 PM · Here's one you may like. I was supposed to perform this last month, but it didn't pan out and we played other rep, to my utmost disappointment. (I'll play it sometime!)

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