About Michael Kurek

American composer Michael Kurek is the author of the recently released book, The Sound of Beauty: A Composer on Music in the Spiritual Life (Ignatius Press) and the composer of the recent Billboard No. 1 classical album The Sea Knows (Parma Recordings). His compositions for symphony orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed or heard in over sixty countries on six continents. The winner of numerous composition awards, including the prestigious Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he holds the doctorate in music composition from the University of Michigan and is Emeritus Professor of Composition at Vanderbilt University. For more information and music, visit MichaelKurek.com.

My Adventures Colonizing the World With Music

By |2021-02-18T14:40:51-06:00February 18th, 2021|Categories: Music|

I'm a composer, and I was recently informed by some self-assured young academics that being influenced by the European classics made me guilty of “white supremacy” and musical “colonization”! Who knew? All these years I thought I was lovingly sharing something beautiful with others. Half a century ago, as a mere lad, I must confess [...]

What Keeps the “Groans Wrapped in Mathematics” Going?

By |2020-12-19T16:25:11-06:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Music|

I greatly enjoyed reading Roger Scruton’s "Groans Wrapped in Mathematics," published here recently. However, it raises as many questions as it answers. How and why has this lamentable state of affairs—postmodern classical music that hardly anyone likes, foisted upon the public—persisted for so many decades? Why do opera companies and orchestras continue to program music [...]

When Bad Composers Do Good Things

By |2020-10-15T15:30:00-05:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: Music|

As a composer myself, I personally like the metaphor that my works are my children. In fact, they are my grown children, separate people, out of my house and entirely responsible for themselves now. Don’t blame me for them! And don’t blame them for me, either. No, my title does not refer to good people [...]

The Lost Art of Great Popular Song

By |2020-09-03T00:12:36-05:00September 2nd, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music|

Johnny Mercer Is the Great American Songbook still being written? The so-called Great American Songbook is defined as a canon of the memorable “standards” of popular song that helped to define American culture in the first half of the 20th century. Its great composers included Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Jerome [...]

Truth, or Cultural Imperialism?

By |2020-07-09T14:56:57-05:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Music, Truth, Western Civilization|

Secular relativists and Europhobes in academics say that based on entirely subjective criteria, a Eurocentric culture collectively decided that certain art was great and cruelly imposed that view on other peoples through “culture imperialism.” But is it really true that people in the West twisted arms and forced people to like Western art and music? [...]

Further Reflections on Beethoven’s Best Work

By |2020-08-20T16:19:54-05:00February 6th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

The question becomes, by what criteria do we determine what is objectively the “best” in the arts? I think that "communication" is a crucially important criterion, and I propose that a transcendent reflection of God, who is the divine source of objective truth, expressed in human creativity is indeed objectively, theologically "better" than mathematical integrity [...]

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