Now that you’re enjoying the classics, it is time to expand your horizons and give contemporary music a chance. Have you ever thought about contemporary composers? There’s plenty of good material that you should include on your collection, keep reading, you’ll see some interesting findings.
One of the most productive maestros of the 20th century, his work comprises at least 30 operas, also symphonies, chamber music and concerts with many instruments. He’s actually one of the most imitated composers of our time, though he’s also so prolific it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s a copy and what’s an original. He’s smart and curious, making his compositions interesting and eclectic. He is known for his magnificent work on soundtracks for movies like The Truman Show and The Hours. His music attracts listeners of all generations and tastes, closing the breach between worlds.
Lindberg has become a referent in the Scandinavian contemporary music scene. He presents a voluptuous melodic mix of cultures, Icelandic folklore and European classic with some electronic and junkyard percussion scored by big orchestras; his pieces were once considered the emblematic sound of the classical music of the 21st century. His music was one of the most-performed contemporary compositions in our time. Simply astonishing. You might find his influence on modern-day musicians like Bjork and Sigur Ros.
Another genius that maybe you might have unknowingly heard in the theatre. You probably heard about ‘West Side Story’ or ‘Candide’, two of his famous works exposing his particular philosophy: a passion for sharing the music he loves with everyone. Intense and iconic, those are words to describe his pieces. A natural teacher, he wanted to reach big audiences and make classic music for everybody. Mission accomplished, every time one of us finds ourselves humming ‘I feel pretty…’ for no reason at all.
Mr Ellington is the one we have to thank for swing and heartbreaking ballads. The most prolific composer of the 20th century was also an innovator synthesizing many different elements in music, dominating the sound of the Tin Pan Alley, the ragtime and also the most traditional European classical sound. His sound is rich, expressive and marvellously simple bringing up the level of his blues compositions and paving the way for the biggest and most successful jazz singers in our era.
Regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century, Shostakovich was censored during Stalin’s reign in Soviet Russia. Thereupon, though, he developed an intense and complex inner world, that earned him the epithet of “the manipulator of emotions” in the public. His musical voice is described as complex and hybrid, with sharp contrast and elements of the neoclassical, hearing any of the orchestral works of this maestro is like being on a kaleidoscope of emotions.
As you can see, the classical genre didn’t die in the 19th century, instead, it became richer and an undeniable influence on modern artists. Don’t stick with the canonic musicians and dare to explore the new interesting waves and trends that the modern composers have for all of us.