21st-century classical: discover the music of today

Gramophone Mon 20th March 2017

Explore the music of our time with Gramophone's guides to the key composers

21st-century classical

The music of our time is exceptionally diverse. Composers are able to draw their inspiration from a practically limitless array of sources, from Hildegard of Bingen to Björk, and everything in between.

For the listener, this diversity is both a blessing and a curse. The range of music on offer means that you are more likely to find composers whose music you can truly engage with, but, at the same time, it can be difficult to know which music to listen to next. This is why in each issue of Gramophone we explore the music of a particular contemporary composer and make recommendations of recordings to investigate. 

We've gathered a few of these guides below, and we hope that they will help you to find music that inspires you and that speaks to you in a way that only new music can. This is, of course, just a small sample of the music out there, for regular new guides to contemporary music and reviews of the most interesting new albums, make sure you subscribe to Gramophone magazine. Enjoy!

 

Sound without barriers: recording contemporary music

Awards logo

Recording has transformed the way new music reaches new listeners, as James McCarthy discovers...

Read the feature

 

Peter Eötvös

Eotvos

The Hungarian composer’s works, rooted in contemporary social issues, combine tradition and innovation, writes Arnold Whittall...

Discover Eötvös

 

Sally Beamish

Awards logo

Kate Molleson looks at the music of an abundantly gifted creative spirit with a passion for folk music...

Discover Beamish

 

Gerald Barry

Gerald Barry

The angular, brazen and fiercely individual music of this true Irishman undergoes colourful analysis by Paul Griffiths...

Read the guide

 

Lera Auerbach

Auerbach

Pwyll ap Siôn on a Russian-born American polymath whose striking music is inspired by dreams and haunted by other composers...

Read the article

 

Thomas Adès

Ades

Vanishing spirals, time, entrapment and reference: Pwyll ap Siôn explores what characterises this British composer’s works...

Read the guide

 

Augusta Read Thomas

Thomas

This composer’s career may have been spent in teaching but her music is hardly staid and academic, argues Richard Whitehouse...

Read the guide

 

David Lang

David Lang

The Los Angeles native creates music of pristine beauty through the pared-down purity of his scores, says Kate Molleson...

Read the article

 

Jennifer Higdon

Higdon

Her music may be melodic and accessible, but probe beneath the surface and you’ll always be surprised, writes Andrew Farach-Colton...

Read the guide

 

Brett Dean

Brett Dean

Dean has emerged from the ranks of the Berlin Phil’s viola section with a distinctive voice of his own, says Paul Griffiths...

Read the feature

 

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Salonen

A powerful understanding of the symphony orchestra makes the Finnish conductor an inspiring composer, finds Arnold Whittall...

Read the article

 

Georg Friedrich Haas

Haas

Philip Clark on the Austrian composer championed by today’s great maestros...

Read the feature

 

Christopher Fox

Fox

Philip Clark champions a British composer whose music is impossible to categorise...

Read the article

 

Nico Muhly

Muhly

Kate Molleson charts the inexorable rise of Philip Glass’s former assistant, who has gone on to become one of the most sought after and commissioned composers of his generation...

Read the article

 

Apple Music playlist: 21st-century classical

 

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