William Sterling

SPOTLIGHT: Music

Jan Sibelius

Nielsen and Sibelius This course involved comparing and contrasting the careers and music of two great Scandinavian contemporaries. Both were born in 1865, Sibelius gave up composing in 1931, the year of Nielsen’s death. The course was based round their magnificent symphonies but explored their whole contribution to C20th music. I ran this course at… Read more »

Sergei Rachmaninov

Rachmaninov, the Last Romantic The career and music of the great composer and pianist. In the tradition of the great composer pianists of the nineteenth century such as Mendelssohn, Chopin and Liszt, Rachmaninov had the advantage of living in the age of records so we can hear what he was like as a pianist. Plagued… Read more »

Dmitri Shostakovich

Prokofiev and Shostakovich This course examined how two Russian composers came to terms with the constraints of living and working under the Soviet regime. Unlike their contemporaries, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky, both Prokofiev and Shostakovich found ways to express their artistic integrity within the strict confines of Soviet Russia. They were both censored at times but… Read more »

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