Frederic Rzewski and DIY Music-Making

Email a Friend

In this 2002 episode of WNYC's Soundcheck, host John Schaefer talks to maverick American icon Frederic Rzewski as well as fellow pianist-composers Michael Hersch and Russian-born Lera Auerbach about performing their own pieces, and working outside the musical mainstream.

Since moving to Italy in 1960, composer Frederic Rzewski has been on the cutting edge of Europe’s electronic-composition scene; ironically, he remains somewhat on the periphery of the American scene. Rzewski performs live in-studio and talks about his stateside obscurity.

Michael Hersch has worked closely with the Pittsburgh Symphony in recent years, and in this episode, he plays a piano reduction of his Symphony No. 2, commissioned by Pittsburgh music director Mariss Jansons. Lera Auerbach also discusses her work, which includes two-dozen piano preludes, and a live in-studio performance of her Suite for Violin and Piano.

From March 8-30, From the Archives streams weekdays at 7 AM and 8 PM on Q2 Music. For more information on American Mavericks, visit