The Beatles 50th Anniversary of U.S. Debut, and WQXR’s Timeline “The Beatles Meet Classical Music”

The Beatles 50th Anniversary of U.S. Debut, and WQXR’s Timeline “The Beatles Meet Classical Music”
From our Music Director, Salvatore Di Vittorio:

9, February 2014 – New York

WQXR 105.9FM, New York’s leading classical music radio station, has published a very interesting timeline surrounding The Beatles’ 50th anniversary of their U.S. debut (on February 9th).

WQXR “The Beatles Meet Classical Music”

I felt compelled to write about this event since, as a composer, I am often confronted by friends, family and colleagues especially about the nature of (and even the debate over musical quality) in composition – including songwriting.

Why are The Beatles still alive and a part of our musical culture? Posterity (for the most part) excludes mediocrity. If John Lennon and Paul McCartney were born during the Renaissance period, they would have been great polyphonic composers. If you study music history you can actually trace and make connections between their music and English Renaissance music. I was therefore not at all surprised to see Paul McCartney move into classical music later on in life. (This comes from a composer who began his first few years in composition as a songwriter.)

Finally, The Beatles’ sound and overall production was enhanced by the vision and the orchestral arrangements of their brilliant producer George Martin, a classical composer. No George Martin, no Beatles – at least as we know and appreciate the group today.

I hope that we continue to remind young students and musicians alike (including professional musicians) about this sort of thing when they hear silly comments about the possible death of classical music.

Speaking of English music: Chamber Orchestra of New York will feature a program of English music entitled “To English Masters” on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 7:30pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The program will include first printed editions by Oxford University Press of rediscovered early works of Ralph Vaughan Williams (in collaboration with the Vaughan Williams Trust in London) alongside rare works of William Walton (in collaboration with the Walton Trust) and Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony in honor of the Britten centennial anniversary.

To English Masters at Weill/Carnegie Hall on May 29th

For more information, please visit our Concert Season webpage.