Difficult Music | Newberry

Difficult Music

Led by Lawrence Axelrod
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Four sessions, Tuesdays, April 20 - May 11

2 - 4 pm (Central Time)

Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to seminars@newberry.org.

Seminar Description

As music-lovers and concert-goers, we rarely have time for detailed listening and study of significant pieces of 20th- and 21st-century classical music. These pieces often present formidable challenges, whether in music language, subject matter, or structure. In this class, we will study two contrasting pieces per session. No prior music study is required--just open ears and an open mind!

Four sessions. Registration – $195

Lawrence Axelrod is a composer, pianist, and conductor. His musical activities have taken him around the United States, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. He is a founder and current member of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium and the creator of Opera Adventures.

Materials List


  • A selection of shorter materials distributed by the instructor.

  • This seminar will require participants to listen to several musical pieces. These will be available to listen, watch, or purchase on music streaming platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, or Google Play.

First Assignment:

  • For the first session, please listen to Claude Debussy's "Jeux" and Olivier Messiaen's "The Turangalîla-Symphonie."

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 13th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 7 at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at seminars@newberry.org.

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.