An Introduction to Young Composers

NPR Music and Q2 (part of NYC’s WQXR) recently collaborated to question readers and listeners on their favorite composers under 40 years old. The open appeal was an invitation to a broad conversation on how to define what a composer looks like in the 21st century, including a wide array of genres. In the words of the NPR article:

We’re thrilled that this project has brought together singer-songwriters and bandleaders, experimental musicians and technophiles, jazz artists and composition students, composer collectives and one-man shows, and couldn’t be more excited to reclaim the terms “composer” and even “classical music” for a 21st-century vocabulary.

In total, over 800 names were submitted – the final list was whittled down to 100. They include:

The project’s intentions were to acknowledge the work of work of young, contemporary composers as well as to introduce their work to curious listeners. Tune in at either Q2’s website or through NPR Music to ear a playlist of works with examples of works by all 100 composers. And what better way to help introduce contemporary artistry to those who may still believe that the only great composers are now long-dead European men?