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It's Paul Hindemith's Birthday

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
SC Public Radio

  Today is the birthday of the composer Paul Hindemith, who was born near Frankfurt, Germany, in 1895. Hindemith originally trained as a violinist and a violist, and, as a young man he enjoyed a very successful performing career. But, it was as a composer that he achieved lasting fame, eventually writing hundreds of pieces, from operas to string Quartets to songs to sonatas for every conceivable instrument. It seems like a paradox, but, Hindemith was a perfectly typical 20th century composer in that his music doesn't' sound like any body else's. In the new absence of old rules, Hindemith's response was to create his own musical language and styel. It was a style that could be exceedingly lyrical and beautiful, especially in his early works, but also anular, harsh, and even violent. Hindemith was a great teacher and a brilliant man, and, if you can get ahold of copy of his book, "A Composer's World," I think you'll find it fascinating.

This has been A Minute with Miles--a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.