13th Annual Festival

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Town Hall concert. Madam Serge Koussevitzky gives Koussevitzky Foundation Award to WNYC for the American Music Festival. Interview with Elie Seigmeister. 7 sides.

Seymour N. Siegel speaks, then introduces Madame Serge Koussevitzky.

"Today marks the opening of WNYC's 13th annual festival of American music. The number of contemporary works which have had their first hearing at these festivals is truly impressive. Through these programs year after year, encouragement has been given to a great many of young composers. The listening public has had an opportunity to become aware of it's own musical heritage and the basis of all musical culture has been broadened and deepened. It is indeed a fitting occasion that WNYC should receive this mark of gratitude from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation created by my husband, Serge Koussevitzky, ten years ago to serve in various ways the same cause for which these festivals are dedicated. It is particularly fitting that the first award of the Koussevitzky Music Foundation should be presented to the radio station of the City of New York because of Serge Koussevitzky's long-cherished hope that music and the fine arts be recognized and supported by governments as essentials elements in the life of the people."

Siegel introduces Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri.

This award is given to you as well as WNYC. American Music Festival cannot exist without your support and interest. We live in an age with greater leisure time, which we must fill and fill profitably in order to lead full and good lives. There is a need for something more personal in entertainment. This we can find in music. You will fine not only the old favorites, but the new music which expressed the feelings of our age. Your sole responsibility is to listen to and enjoy the many public concerts and studio broadcasts for the next ten days.

New York Woodwind Quartet performs Symphonia for Woodwind Quartet by Bernhard Heiden. Samuel Barren, flute; Jerome Roth, oboe; David Glazer, clarinet; Bernard Garfield, bassoon; Ralph Pile, French horn.

New York Wind Ensemble includes an augmented quintet including Norman Greenberg, French horn; Robert Nagel (composer) and Theodore Weiss, trumpets; Julian Magon (?), trombone; Josef Novotny, tuba. Performing Divertimento for Ten Winds by Robert Nagel.

Four songs by Elie Siegmeister. Music set to texts by Lanston Hughes. Brenda Miller sings and Elie Siegmeister at piano. Song titles: Chalkmarks on the Pavement; Childhood Memories; Yes, No or Maybe; It Ain't Me.

Joseph Goodman's Fantasy for Flute, Cello and Piano. Written for the Segal Trio which includes Mary Stretch, piano; Muffy Vonn, cello; and Edith Segal, flute.

Interview with Elie Siegmeister. Siegmester's inspirations? Stravinsky, Beethoven, Musorgsky, Prokofiev, Ives. Talk about composing film scores.

How Siegmeister came to write the four songs to the words by Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote poems, sometimes a couple of lines of poetry and Siegmeister would compose around it and then Hughes would add some more lines. Have you written in concerto form? No. Chamber music? Yes, mostly in his early years. Recently, mainly symphonies. What do you look for in the future of American music? Symphony and musical play, an evolution of an American style which would partake in both these elements.

Introduces compositions by Marcel Grandjany and Gunther Schuller. New Chamber Music Society, under Paul Wolf's direction, perform Poem for Harp, Horn and Orchestra by Grandjany, then followed by Le Petite Suite by Schuller.


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 8611
Municipal archives id: LT7391