Cover art for podcast The Composer Chronicles

The Composer Chronicles

74 EpisodesProduced by Alexandrian MediaWebsite

Stephen Trygar recounts the stories of composers past and present through the music they write. Historical episodes focus on a particular work by the featured composer and examines their life during the time the piece was written and performed. Additionally, living composers, musicians, industry pro… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

Ep. 68: Richard Fay

September 22nd, 2021


Richard Fay is a composer who has absorbed the culture of his ancestors and his hometown and embedded them into his own music. With a love for …

Ep. 67: Kevin Graham

September 8th, 2021


Life can take you down interesting paths; you never know if that path will lead you directly where you want it to take you or somewhere you are pleasantly surprised to be. Kevin Graham started his career in filmmaking. …

Ep. 66: The Trumpet (w/ Stuart Stephenson)

September 1st, 2021


The trumpet is an instrument that has been around for a long time, but why only within the past one hundred years has it finally started to see an uptick in virtuosic technique? Stuart Stephenson, principal trumpet of …

Ep. 65: Silas Hite

August 25th, 2021


Silas Hite is a composer with many projects. From television to the concert stage, ambient to folk, Silas has created repertoire for himself that …

Ep. 64: David Dies

August 18th, 2021


Often when music and language are paired together, we simply get lyrics to a song, but every once and a while, a composer will use language in a much more unique way.⁣ This week, I’m joined by David Dies to tell his …

Ep. 63: It's Possible - Rodgers and Cinderella

August 11th, 2021


Originally designed for television, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote a musical that just couldn't be contained to the television.

Ep. 62: Movie Night (Reel 4): Dark (w/ Adal Rifai)

August 4th, 2021


Sometimes the score for a film or a television series is just so perfectly crafted for the show that the music is what you remember the most. In this episode of "Movie Night" I chat with Adal Rifai about the perfection …

*UNLOCKED* - Unscripted: 8. Pride in All We Do (June 2020)

July 28th, 2021


This week, I am not able to post a regular episode. Instead, I have unlocked June's Unscripted episode for you to enjoy. I will be back again next …

Ep. 61: Spicer Carr

July 21st, 2021


Stephen Sondheim. Andrew Lloyd Webber. Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. These are just a few names you may see shining bright on the marquees down Broadway. Spicer Carr certainly caught the musical theater bug …

Ep. 60: The Worth of a Name - Satie, Gymnopédies, and Gnossiennes

July 14th, 2021


Sometimes there are simply no words to describe exactly what you want to express. Erik Satie dug deep into the history of language to find words that …

Ep. 59: Game Play (Disk 3): 8-Bit Music (w/ Daryl Banner)

July 7th, 2021


Why do we find the sounds of 8-bit music so nostalgic, even those who grew up in a time when video games no longer had 8-bit soundtracks? Then, it was used out of necessity, and today it is used to add a level of …

Ep. 58: Jamal Green

June 30th, 2021


Video game and media composer Jamal Green set out on a journey that he thought would lead him in a very specific direction, but where he ended up, he …

*UNLOCKED* - Unscripted: Backstage with J. M. Gerraughty

June 25th, 2021


J. M. Gerraughty quickly became one of The Composer Chronicles' closest friends after his episode (Ep. 34) aired in January 2021. After sharing his joy for being on the podcast with the Twitter-verse, he sparked some …

Ep. 57: Psalms and Sirens - The Life and Works of Lili Boulanger

June 23rd, 2021


Life is about making the most of everything you've got, no matter how long your time is here on this big, blue marble. Lili Boulanger, the younger …

Ep. 56: Juan Pablo Contreras

June 16th, 2021


In order for you to be successful, all you have to do is be proud of what you put into your craft. This is one of the great pieces of advice that …

Ep. 55: Alan Theisen

June 9th, 2021


The world of music doesn't always have to be black and white. Genres of music don't always have to remain individualized and separate, and composers are not required to stick to writing a specific genre of music. Alan …

Ep. 54: The Magical, Musical Career of Pierre Boulez (w/ Kevin Fitzgerald)

June 2nd, 2021


It’s no secret that Pierre Boulez led a double life as a composer and conductor. Kevin Fitzgerald, a conductor in his own right, has looked up to …

Ep. 53: Opera on Broadway - Gershwin and Porgy and Bess

May 26th, 2021


When we hear the name George Gershwin, we often associate it with jazz or musical theater, but he didn't see himself that way. He saw himself as a standard composer of his time and influenced by the sounds around him. …

Ep. 52: Pearl Yim

May 19th, 2021


From the United Kingdom, then to the United States, and and now Singapore, media composer Pearl Yim has seen great success with her music all across the world. Pearl talks about her experience in the fields of film and …

Ep. 51: The Ancients

May 12th, 2021


Music, much like any art form, has been a staple in nearly every culture for thousands of years. We often forget where these arts have their roots, …

*UNLOCKED* - Unscripted: Backstage with Andrew Gavin

May 7th, 2021


Andrew Gavin was The Composer Chronicles' first composer feature back in August, 2020. Since his first appearance, he has been back for an episode of "Movie Night", has composed the theme music to Unscripted, and has …

Ep. 50: The Cello (w/ Steven Chen)

May 5th, 2021


The warm, rich tones produced by the cello have been a siren to many composers, calling them to compose for the instrument whether or not it was in their best interest to do so. Cellist Steven Chen gives his …

Ep. 49: Fallen Heroes - Beethoven and His Symphony No. 3

April 28th, 2021


In the first drafts of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, there is a name that appeared as the subtitle before it was scribbled out and changed to 'Eroica'. Originally Beethoven dedicated this symphony to his personal hero, a …

Ep. 48: Brooks Leibee

April 21st, 2021


Brooks Leibee has dedicated much of his career to the art of film making. However, it is his scores for those films that he is most proud of. In this episode, Brooks shares his journey and gives deeper insight into his …

Ep. 47: The City of Dreams - Korngold and Die tote Stadt

April 14th, 2021


Coming off of the success of his first two operas, young Erich Wolfgang Korngold set out to write his third. His success was so massive, that opera …

Ep. 46: Movie Night (Reel 3): Melody in the Film Scores of Ben Morales Frost

April 7th, 2021


Have you ever tried recalling a tune from a film you love and have a hard time remembering what it is? Or, have you been so mesmerized by a tune that you'll never forget it in all your days? Ben Morales Frost, a …

Ep. 45: Evan Kassof

March 31st, 2021


The world of opera isn't all glitz and glam. Opera maker Evan Kassof has dedicated his life to telling stories in a way that gives audiences a chance to step out of the opera house and potentially stumble upon something …

Ep. 44: Stories of a Songbook - Ravel and Ma mère l'Oye

March 24th, 2021


Mother Goose has been a staple in many a child's life. Her tales of magic and adventure inspire wonder, and even in adulthood, her stories touch us. …

Ep. 43: Trevor Kowalski

March 17th, 2021


Trevor Kowalski, an American composer based in Los Angeles, uses his years of training in various styles of music to compose for a wide variety of …

Ep. 42: When Worlds Collide - Vaughan Williams and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

March 10th, 2021


When Ralph Vaughan Williams was rummaging through old hymnals, he discovered a tune by a composer of England's past Thomas Tallis. This simple tune …

Ep. 41: Game Play (Disk 2): Music in The Elder Scrolls (w/ Andrew Shaw)

March 3rd, 2021


The music of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, IV: Oblivion, and V: Skyrim turned the tides of video game music composing. Their music sets the tone …

Ep. 40: To the Beloved God - Bruckner and His Symphony No. 9

February 24th, 2021


So much of the music of Anton Bruckner was privately dedicated to the God he served, but his final work was publicly dedicated to "the Beloved God." Without a doubt, Bruckner's works are a representation of his devotion …

Ep. 39: Barnaby Martin

February 17th, 2021


Sometimes one road leads us down another that we never expected to find ourselves wandering on. British composer Barnaby Martin has been active in the music world since a young age, but it wasn't until later in life …

*BONUS* - Ep. 38: Star-Crossed - The Musical Reincarnations of Romeo and Juliet

February 14th, 2021


William Shakespeare's beloved tragedy of two star-crossed lovers has been one of the most frequently adapted stories for musical purposes. Composers, such Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gounod, Berlioz, and even Duke …

Ep. 37: A Sad Shrovetide - Stravinsky and Petrushka

February 10th, 2021


Petrushka, Igor Stavinksy's second ballet, is a tragic tale of a living puppet who is treated like a mere toy and brought to the point of madness. Ironically, such a sad tale brought Stravinsky a great deal of success, …

Ep. 36: The Figure & The Frame - Mussorgsky and Pictures at an Exhibition with Notes & Strokes

February 3rd, 2021


The day architect and artist Viktor Hartmann died was a sad one. It was especially hard for composer Modest Mussorgsky, who's opera Boris Godunov was one of Hartmann's favorite works. After an exhibition of Hartmann's …

Ep. 35: Spirit Playing - Scriabin and Le Poème de l'extase (Symphony No. 4)

January 27th, 2021


During his most active years as a member of the Theosophical Society, Alexander Scriabin aimed to follow a spirit on it journey to the Time of …

Ep. 34: J. M. Gerraughty

January 20th, 2021


American composer J. M. Gerraughty informs listeners that the path to becoming a composer is sometimes the road less traveled. He shares the …

Ep. 33: Treasure in the Wreckage - Smyth and The Wreckers

January 13th, 2021


How far are you willing to go to get you want? Dame Ethel Smyth was determined to get her opera The Wreckers produced the way that she wanted. Although the opera was written in French, she had no luck with being able to …

Ep. 32: Repose en paix - Fauré and His Requiem

January 6th, 2021


A Requiem, a Catholic Mass of the Dead, is typically written by a composer when someone is dying or in remembrance of someone who has already died; …

Ep. 31: Devotion - Poulenc and Dialogues des Carmélites

December 30th, 2020


In the darkest times, we all need something we can turn to for guidance and peace. During one of the most difficult times of his life, Francis …

*BONUS* - Ep. 30: Christmas Music from Around the World (Collection 1)

December 24th, 2020


This time of year, our ears are filled with the sounds of holiday music on repeat, but do we know where they came from? This Christmas Eve, enjoy the …

Ep. 29: A Figment of the Imagination - Prokofiev and Lieutenant Kijé

December 23rd, 2020


Yury Tynyanov’s fictitious adaptation of a non-existent lieutenant who rises through the ranks in the army of a true historical emperor of Russia was brilliantly adapted for film by the Soviet film director Aleksandr …

*UNLOCKED* - Unscripted: 1. Mysteries, Musings, and Masquerades (November 2020)

December 18th, 2020


Unscripted is back and stronger than ever! With new music by Andrew Gavin, new cover art by host Stephen Trygar, and a new structure to the show, you're invited behind the scenes of the making of The Composer Chronicles

Ep. 28: Dani Howard

December 16th, 2020


British composer and orchestrator Dani Howard shares her brilliant story of becoming a composer whilst describing what it's like to be a composer of New Music who is trying to reshape the genre and make it more …

Ep. 27: The Devil in the Details - Tchaikovsky and Cherevichki

December 9th, 2020


Convinced that his opera Vakula the Smith was going to prove that he wasn't a flop, Tchaikovsky did everything he could to ensure that a production …

Ep. 26: Movie Night (Reel 2): The Wonderful Music of Disney with Andrew Gavin

December 2nd, 2020


There's something very unique about a Disney song. Why is it that all around the world, you could ask someone to just sing a song from any Disney …

Ep. 25: Fire and Ice - Schubert and Winterreise

November 25th, 2020


Suffering physically and mentally from having contracted syphilis, Franz Schubert set out on a journey to write a piece that would not only be one of …

Ep. 24: Michael Seltenreich

November 18th, 2020


New York-based Israeli composer Michael Seltenreich tells his fascinating story while we discuss his music, compositional processes, and what it’s like to be a composer of new music.

Featured piece: Sparks and Flares

Ep. 23: Riddles and Revelries - Schumann and Carnaval

November 11th, 2020


Robert Schumann poured his life and soul into his piano suite Carnaval. Rather than letting the world see the man behind the mask, Schumann embedded …

Ep. 22: Game Play (Disk 1): The Music of Final Fantasy X with Brian Edwards

November 4th, 2020


Gamers, get ready for an adventure into the musical world of Final Fantasy X! The magic cast by composers Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, and Junya Nakano certainly charmed Brian Edwards, the guest of today's episode. …

*BONUS* - Ep. 21: Case Closed - The Mad Life of Carlo Gesualdo

October 31st, 2020


Happy Halloween! Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa was a mysterious man who was haunted by the crimes committed in his youth. His position as …

Ep. 20: Ben Morales Frost

October 28th, 2020


London-based film, television, and theater composer Ben Morales Frost reveals what its like to work as a composer for both film and theater and acknowledges the hardships that all creative professions faced during the …

Ep. 19: Daryl Banner

October 21st, 2020


In this installment of "Composers of Our Modern World", Daryl Banner, a self-trained composer with a unique repertoire, unravels his unique career as a composer while maintaining his status of being one of the best M/M …

Ep. 18B: Rachmaninoff Reborn - Rachmaninoff and His Piano Concerto No. 2

October 14th, 2020


Today’s episode is Part 2 of a two part episode sharing the decline and revitalization of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s career. Today’s episode picks back up after Rachmaninoff’s slink into depression due to …

Ep. 18A: Rachmaninoff Ridiculed - Rachmaninoff and His Symphony No. 1

October 7th, 2020


Today’s episode is Part 1 of a two part episode sharing the decline and revitalization of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s career. Today’s episode will center around Rachmaninoff’s slink into depression after the …

Ep. 17: Opera Then and Now with Erica Wilens

September 30th, 2020


Today's episode features opera singer Erica Wilens. She and I chat about where opera is now compared to what it used to be and why it's not as elitist as it is perceived to be. Erica provides additional insight as to …

Ep. 16: Better Late Than Never - Joplin and Treemonisha

September 23rd, 2020


Scott Joplin considered his opera Treemonisha one of his greatest works, but audiences of the time didn't feel the same. As a result, the opera never …

Ep. 15: Andrew Gavin

September 16th, 2020


In this first installment of "Composers of Our Modern World", I talk to Andrew Gavin about his journey to becoming a composer, his composition process, and the struggles of getting works of New Music performed.

All …

Ep. 14: Musical Warfare - Shostakovich and His Symphony No. 7 ("Leningrad")

September 9th, 2020


While it is speculated that Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich began writing his Symphony No. 7 ("Leningrad") in C Major, Op. 60 before the Nazi …

Ep. 13: In the Beginning... - Haydn and The Creation

September 2nd, 2020


Crowds filled the streets around the old Schwarzenberg Palace, desperate to hear Franz Joseph Haydn's new oratorio, The Creation. The premiere was a …

Ep. 12: A Philadelphian Fiasco - Barber and His Violin Concerto

August 26th, 2020


Samuel Barber's first major commission was an absolute success, but the journey to that success was more than rocky... it was a fiasco! 

Join me and …

Ep. 11: Movie Night (Reel 1): Classical Music in Film with Matthew Trygar

August 19th, 2020


In today's episode, I interview my brother Matthew Trygar who is an actor and a film maker. We’ll talk about why music is so important in movies, some reasons that film makers might use classical music rather than a pop …

Ep. 10: Be Wary - Bartók and Bluebeard's Castle

August 12th, 2020


Bluebeard's Castle's haunting tale is just the surface of this psychological thriller, and while some modern productions don’t follow the original …

Ep. 9: Homeward - Strauss and An Alpine Symphony

August 5th, 2020


As a young boy, Richard Strauss went on a hiking trip to an Alpine mountaintop. Years later, his final tone poem would be inspired by this trip, the …

Ep. 8: Living Portraits - Elgar and Enigma Variations

July 29th, 2020


Edward Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme (a.k.a. Enigma Variations) is one of the most mysterious and puzzling pieces of music of all time. Using a theme he referred to as "the Enigma", he depicts thirteen of his …

Ep. 7: Scandalous - Mozart and Le nozze di Figaro

July 22nd, 2020


One of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's greatest operatic achievements, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) may not have been possible without the …

Ep. 6: Quest of a Lifetime - Wagner and Parsifal

July 8th, 2020


Wagner's final opera took him nearly 25 years to compose, but in the end it was completely worth the wait. It quickly became one of the most sought after operas to perform, but Wagner, his estate, and the authorities of …

Ep. 5: A Swan Song - Sibelius and His Symphony No. 5

June 24th, 2020


Commissioned by the Finnish government and inspired by the migration of swans, Jean Sibelius would create one of his most important works. It was not …

Ep. 4: Love and Murder - Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, and Lélio

June 10th, 2020


Hector Berlioz's unhealthy infatuation with Irish actress Harriet Smithson and failed engagement with Marie Moke sent the composer into a state of mind that nearly killed him several times... and his life wasn't the …

Ep. 3: Dream Come True - Debussy and Pelléas et Mélisande

May 27th, 2020


Debussy dreamed about composing a theatrical work that was as mysterious and reserved as the life he contrived for himself. When a play by Maurice …

Ep. 2: Rising to Prominence - Stravinsky and The Firebird

May 13th, 2020


Igor Stravinsky's commission to write The Firebird would be the break that the young composer had been looking for. After the ballet's premiere, he …

Ep. 1: A Miserable Marriage - Tchaikovsky and Eugene Onegin

April 29th, 2020


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's early relationship with his wife, Antonina Milyukova, and the first stages of creating Eugene Onegin share a spot in the …


April 27th, 2020


Welcome to The Composer Chronicles! This introduction is designed to familiarize you with the show and prepare you for the journey ahead! 

--- Send in a voice message:
Loading ...

Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to The Composer Chronicles


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens