Monday, January 18, 2016

Music Education Monday: A master class
with composer John Corigliano

Today for Music Education Monday, it's time to take a look at the big picture of contemporary composing via a video master class with John Corigliano.

One of the most acclaimed living composers of orchestral music, Corigliano (pictured) has won the Pulitzer Prize, five Grammy Awards, an Oscar, and many other honors.

He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York and at the Juilliard School, and has had works performed and recorded by major orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians all around the world.

Some of his best known compositions include his Clarinet Concerto (1977) - the first by an American composer to have entered the standard repertoire since Aaron Copland's clarinet concerto - as well as his Symphony No. 1 (1988), The Ghosts of Versailles (1991), Symphony No. 2 for string orchestra (2000), and the score for the 1998 film The Red Violin.

In this video master class shot in 2006 in New Orleans, Corigliano discusses his compositional concepts, methods, and experiences as a working composer. The class is divided into four video segments, compiled as a playlist and adding up to slightly more than an hour's running time.

For another perspective on some of the topics discussed in Corigliano's lecture, read "A Practical Guide to Musical Composition" by Alan Belkin, a Juilliard-trained Canadian composer and educator who teaches theory and composition at University of Montreal. It's a 44-page text in PDF in which the author shares thoughts on what he calls "the practical principles of musical form...the ways musical ideas are organized and connected in time, so that their evolution is compelling and convincing."

You can see the videos of Corigliano's master class after the jump...

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