The legacy of composer Julius Eastman (and how Vermonters are helping honor it)
This hour, host Connor Cyrus introduces a special presentation of the podcast Timeline from Vermont Public Classical. In this show, host James Stewart shares with listeners the music and life story of Julius Eastman, an openly gay Black composer whose music is only now being rediscovered.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Eastman made his way to New York City where he became a prolific—and iconoclastic—composer and performer. He was well-known in the city’s music scene in the 70s and 80s, but his struggles with addiction and finding work ultimately found him dead, penniless and homeless by 1990.
For 15 years, Eastman’s music was all but forgotten. But today, there's a renaissance of interest in his work, and what Eastman called “organic music.”
In this show, you’ll hear from Vermont composers and writers—as well as critics and musicians—who are discovering Eastman’s work and contributing to this renaissance.
And you'll hear from music groups releasing new Grammy-nominated recordings of Eastman’s music, as his work is beginning to be performed regularly by ensembles around the world.
Broadcast on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.