A Slice of the New York in the Fifties

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Last month, Alaskan composer John Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize in music for Become Ocean, a work that suggests an unrelenting tidal surge, evoking thoughts of rising sea levels due to global warming. Earlier this week, WQXR brought you Adams's award-winning work in a live broadcast from Carnegie Hall.

This week All Ears takes you back to the 1950s and another Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, by composer Quincy Porter, who won the honor in 1954 for his Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.

We stay in the 1950s for other works of that era. They include blues-inflected work by Quincy Jones and the 1953 Sinfonietta for Strings by Coleridge Taylor Perkinson. While still a graduate student in that era, his works were being performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall during his student days.

The show begins further back, with pianist Art Tatum. He showed up in New York City in 1932 and who for the next 25 years demonstrated why he was known as one of the greatest pianist of all time. Tatum died in 1956.