As Election Day comes and goes, Arts Alive is asking the question: what does it mean to be an American composer? In the 1890s, when composers in the United States were searching for a unique “American Sound” in their music, they turned to Antonin Dvořák…from Bohemia. Dvořák came to the U.S., met up with composer Harry T. Burleigh—the grandson of former slaves, who was writing art songs and spirituals. Together, Burleigh and Dvořák came to the conclusion that American composers didn’t need Dvořák to find an American sound in classical music—the American sound was already there.
From the Central Coast to San Diego, from Santa Monica to Palm Springs, there are fascinating people creating incredible art and performances. KUSC will be covering those experiences on Arts Alive. And when you’re in the mood for a little more, like a longer version of an interview, more Arts Alive coverage is available online at kusc.org/artsalive.