Listen: Music in NYC After WWII

Listen: Music in NYC After WWII
After WWII, the US saw a huge rise in immigration from the European nations. New York was also a rapidly developing metropolis expanding in all aspects of life. The Betty Parsons Gallery, which later became a key proponent of the Abstract Expressionist movement, opened in 1945 showing works by Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. New York was selected as the home for the United Nations headquarters in 1946, and became the first city where a credit card was every used in 1950. To really set the stage, monthly rent in New York during this time ranged from $30 to $150 (or just under $2,500 in today's dollar equivalent).

During the post-WWII era, many composers would call New York their home and we have designed this playlist to celebrate their ties to the city. We start our playlist today with two preludes by Rachmaninoff, who lived on the Upper West Side from 1926-1943. Next you will hear two arrangements of songs by Duke Ellington, who lived in Washington Heights from 1939-1961 and performed frequently at the Cotton Club in Harlem. The Chelsea neighborhood was the home of Virgil Thomson from 1940-1989, where he would frequently host lavish dinner parties. John Corigliano was born in New York and composed A Dylan Thomas Trilogy as a tribute to Thomas, who died while on tour in the city. Philip Glass arrived in New York later on where he would perform frequently with his ensemble. There is a wealth of music in New York's city life.

Visit WQXR to see their map of ‘Composers' Homes in NYC’


 —This playlist was contributed by Thomas Wahnish