Keeping Score: 13 Days When Music Changed Forever

The Keeping Score Series: 13 Days When Music Changed Forever

Produced by 98.7 WFMT & the WFMT Radio Network

The San Francisco Symphony’s radio project, The Keeping Score Series: 13 Days When Music Changed Forever, is about musical revolutions—about the composers, compositions, and musical movements that changed the way people heard, or thought about, music. Each program explores the historical backdrop and the musical precursors to the revolutionary change, as well as the lasting influence of that moment in music history.

The series is a follow up to one of the most broadcast classical music series of the last 25 years, American Mavericks, also produced by the San Francisco Symphony. This time, instead of focusing on seismic shifts in American music during the 20th century, the series will extend back to the 1600s and include Western and Eastern European music, as well as American music.

The production design will include musical excerpts mixed with commentary from the host, pop icon Suzanne Vega, as well as interviews with composers, musicologists, writers, and musicians. Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, will be the key interview subject.

The producer of the series is Tom Voegeli, who produced the Symphony’s other radio series: The MTT Files and American Mavericks (both of which won Peabody Awards). Mr. Voegeli is known as one of the leading audio producers in the United States. He has received multiple awards for his work, including two Grammy Awards, a Prix Italia for Best Radio Drama, three Peabody Awards, several Audie Awards for the Best Book on Tape, and an Ohio State Award. He is also known for his radio adaptations of the Star Wars films, as the creator of the long-running radio series Saint Paul Sunday, and as a theatrical sound designer.

The 13 days covered in the series will be:
• February 24, 1607: The premiere of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo; a program about the dawn of opera
• April 22, 1723: The town council of Leipzig appoints Bach as cantor; a program about Baroque music
• October 29, 1787: The premiere of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Prague
• August 8, 1803: Parisian piano maker Sebastien Erard gives one of his sturdy new creations to Beethoven and the composer was able to write more expressive and emotional music for the piano
• April 7, 1805: The first public performance of Beethoven’s Eroica
• August 13, 1876: The launch of the first “Ring” cycle at Bayreuth
• May 7, 1889: The opening day of the Exposition Universelle in Paris, when Debussy first heard gamelan music, and world music became a part of the Western European classical language
• January 5, 1909: The premiere of Strauss’s Elektra
• May 29, 1913: The premiere of Stravinsky’s ballet, The Rite of Spring
• December 26, 1926: The premiere of Sibelius’s Tapiola, his last major work before thirty years of silence
• January 10, 1931: The debut of Charles Ives’s Three Places in New England
• January 28, 1936: The Soviet newspaper Pravda publishes the article Chaos Instead of Music, which signaled Stalin’s displeasure with Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
• November 4, 1964: The premiere of Terry Riley’s In C

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