From Nadia Sirota on Q2 with Olivia Giovetti: “En-gay-gement Party”

Nadia Sirota on Q2 streams weekdays at 12:00 noon and midnight at Q2


Celebrating gay and lesbian composers

“Usually, we remember where we were when national tragedy hits. However, I’m willing to bet that we’ll someday be telling our grandchildren where we were on the night of Friday, June 24, when the New York State legislature approved a gay marriage bill—becoming the sixth state of the union to legalize same-sex marriage.

I got the call when we were leaving the celebratory and life-affirming The Cunning Little Vixen at the New York Philharmonic. Friends in the audience for The Normal Heart heard the news announced from the stage and one friend discovered the passing when he went to take his dog out for an evening walk in the West Village. The amount of love passing around the city and Internet ether was flooring.

We’re continuing the love this week with a celebration of gay and lesbian composers. We kick off with the jubilant Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, who, in Alex Ross’s words, was gay “on certain days of the week” and grappled with his sexuality at a time when society was closely closeted (one imagines that he tapped into his own personal struggles when penning his 1983 opera, A Quiet Place).

We also look at real-life musical partners like Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti or John Corigliano and Mark Adamo, and even go back in time to hear the radical musical leanings of such greats as Tchaikovsky and Benjamin Britten, while also setting the dial forward to hear works by Corey Dargel, Meredith Monk and Eve Beglarian.”

At the web page for this program, you will also find an “…archival interview (with music!) between this show’s regular host Nadia Sirota and composer Nico Muhly, which was produced as part of WNYC’s 2009 Homophony Festival.”

Olivia Giovetti

Nadia Sirota