© 2023 Vermont Public | PRIVACY

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@vermontpublic.org or call 802-655-9451
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The legacy of composer Julius Eastman (and how Vermonters are helping honor it)

Eastman Portrait_Ron Hammond.jpg
Ron Hammond
used with permission
Julius Eastman was an amazingly talented composer and performer who boldly challenged classical and academic system simply with the titles he chose for his pieces.

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.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Connor Cyrus joined Vermont Public as host and senior producer in March 2021. He was a morning reporter at WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island. A graduate of Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University), he started his reporting career as an intern at WPTZ, later working for WAGM in Presque Isle, Maine, and WCAX Channel 3, where he covered a broad range of stories from Vermont’s dairy industry to the nurses’ strikes at UVM Medical Center. He’s passionate about journalism’s ability to shed light on complex or difficult topics, as well as giving voice to underrepresented communities.
James Stewart is Vermont Public Classical's afternoon host. As a composer, he is interested in many different genres of music; writing for rock bands, symphony orchestras and everything in between.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.