Ear To The Ground

Five of the best British contemporary composers talk about politics, society and the current events which inform and inspire their music.

Critic Paul Driver asks if their work springs from a need to meet the challenges of the modern world or to retreat from it.

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Episodes

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01Alexander Goehr2004101120050503

Five of the best British contemporary composers talk about politics, society and the current events which inform and inspire their music.

Critic Paul Driver asks if their work springs from a need to meet the challenges of the modern world or to retreat from it.Alexander Goehr comes from an eminent musical family which emigrated from Germany before the Second World War.

A modernist composer with a caustic wit, his view of the relationship between music and propaganda is particularly pertinent at a time when the West is at War on Terror.

02Robin Holloway2004101220050504

Robin Holloway started his musical life as a chorister at St Pauls Cathedral school.

His music draws its inspiration from the past but he's far from an old fogey.

03Judith Weir2004101320050505

s work began with complex operas based in faraway lands and exotic locations.

Now she writes about one of Londons best known traffic roundabouts - at the Elephant & Castle.

04Michael Finnissy20041014

's discusses how his politics inform his work.

Can there be such a thing as homosexual music?

05 LASTJonathan Harvey2004101520050506

s interest in music began with the study of medieval texts, but look at his work today and youll find avant-garde Buddhism, bird song, electronica and contemplation.