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Music for Life

Music for Life is a music-appreciation and music-history based program that explores the purpose and value of music to humanity’s enrichment. Hosted by Ryan Malone, each episode of Music for Life surveys the history of music, introduces its major composers and plays examples from the standard repertoire. The selections played highlight each episode's particular theme. Along the way, the discussion is usually interspersed with three segments. These segments explore each episode's theme further. 

The segment “Sounds of Scripture” surveys the biblical record's many references to music — giving a longer-sweeping historical perspective on the episode’s main theme, and giving insight into what ancient music was like. The segment “Classroom Corner” explores different methods and curricula for introducing young people to music. And in the segment “Backstage Banter,” Mr. Malone interviews performers on the concert circuit today for their perspectives on music. Finally, each episode will end with what Mr. Malone calls musical “dessert,” where he plays an example from the popular or folk tradition, or something of lighter fare musically — as relates to the episode’s main theme — to end the show.



In this episode, we explore the Moscow Festival Ballet and its “best of Russian ballet” gala program they are bringing to Armstrong Auditorium.


In this episode, we interview a founding member of the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, in the lead-up to its collaboration at Armstrong Auditorium with banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck — in a program titled “Night Flight Over Water.”

In this episode, we explore the fresh string quartet known as Brooklyn Rider and the banjo virtuoso and renowned composer Bela Fleck.

In this episode, we explore some of the great interview moments from the first season of our program, including talks with Gerard Schwarz, Eric Whitacre, Sara Sant’Ambrogio and many more — plus a few musical examples of pieces written to showcase the highest level of performance achievement.

In this episode, we explore the famous Csárdás folk style, and we speak to violinist Ray Chen in the leadup to his performance at Armstrong Auditorium.

In this episode, we explore Spanish composers like Manuel de Falla and his Popular Spanish Suite for violin.

In this episode, we explore the composer Camille Saint-Saëns and his first violin sonata in D minor — considered so difficult in places, only a mythical creature would likely be able to play it.

In this episode, we explore Belgian composers, including Eugène Ysaÿe and his fourth solo violin sonata, as well as violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler — to whom the sonata was dedicated.