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Classical 101

Ten 21st Century Composers to Check Out

Judd Greenstein

Anytime someone utters the words Classical Music, the image most have is some guy in a powdered wig with a dour expression writing music in the 18th century.

I'm here to give you a different image. One in which you picture someone you might encounter in a coffee shop, grocery store, or even your own neighborhood. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to offer you music by 10 living composers. Some you'll recognize and some you won't. I DO guarantee that they will expand your definition of classical music and allow you to see the wide open music world that is out there.


First on the list is Judd Greenstein. His musical aspirations began as many do...taking piano lessons. What he REALLY wanted to do was be a hip-hop producer. He and his childhood friend David began writing hip-hop beats when they were eleven or twelve. When he began to see how his piano world and hip-hop world could overlap, his "classical" composing began to expand. He started exploring composers like Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartók and Pierre Boulez, which led him down a blended path.

Here's Plan of the City by Judd Greenstein, featuring the NOW Ensemble.