American Masters

American classical music has evolved its own heterogeneous identity, characterized by energy and optimism – rom its Eurocentric beginnings, exemplified by composers such as MacDowell and Griffes, through the encounters of Americans abroad with such musicians as Boulanger and Stravinsky. We will trace this evolution from the New England School (especially Ives and his innovations) through populism (Copland, Harris) and neoclassicism (Piston, Sessions, Schuman), into new horizons inspired by popular idioms (Joplin, Gershwin) and indigenous forms of musical theater (Bernstein). A look at highly divergent recent trends (the Minimalists/neo-tonalists and academic/neo-expressionists) will conclude the course. Music literacy is not necessary.