WorldView Episode 29: Elizabeth Pizer & Paul Chihara

     In addition to featuring the show’s first Klezmer-style piece, episode twenty-nine of WorldView includes two lesser-known composers: Elizabeth Pizer and Paul Chihara. Both American, the two artists come from very different backgrounds and reflect their life experiences in their music. 

      Elizabeth Pizer was born in New York in 1954. She studied music at the Boston Conservatory before becoming an accomplished composer, broadcaster, and music journalist. The recipient of several prestigious compositional awards in the 1980s and 1990s, Pizer has been performed worldwide. She often emphasizes the works of other women in the arts; she has written several dictionaries of female composers and worked with groups such as New York Women Composers and the International Congress on Women in Music. Now 68, Pizer is married to fellow composer Charles Pizer. This episode features her work “Expressions Intimes”,  written in 1975 and dedicated to Catalan pianist Federico Mompou. It is performed by Max Lifchitz on an album recorded in 1992. 

      A survivor of WWII-era Japanese interment camps, Paul Chihara was born in 1938 in Seattle, Washington. Of Japanese-American descent, a young Chihara and his family spent several years in captivity in Idaho, ultimately being released at the end of the second World War. The composer went on to study at both the University of Washington and Cornell University, and worked internationally with well-known artists Nadia Boulanger and Gunther Schuller. Chihara’s music is influenced by many culture and themes, including his Asian heritage; he has been commissioned by the London Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and National Endowment for the Arts. One of his largest outputs has actually been film music and soundtracks, composing pieces for films such as “Sweet Revenge (1976)”, “Impulse (1984)”, and “Forever, Lulu (1987)”. 

       This episode includes “Redwood”, written by Chihara in 1968. It is the second piece featured on this show composed specifically for viola and percussion, and is performed by violist Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky. 


WorldView Episode Twenty-Nine Playlist:

Alexander BORODIN, “String Quartet No. 2”, {Lafayette String Quartet} – Dorian

Daniel GALAY, “Far Yentele (For Yentele)”, {Michele Gingras (clar), Ron Matson (pf)} – MSR Classics  

Elizabeth PIZER, “Expressions Intimes”, {Max Lifchitz (pf)} – North/South Recordings

Paul CHIHARA, “Redwood”, {Kim Kashkashian (vla), Robyn Schulkowsky (perc)} – ECM New Series


WorldView is a classical music radio show featuring composers from everywhere in the world – except Western Europe. Tune in to hear works by lesser-known artists such as Irving Fine and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and widen your knowledge of classical music. Hinke Younger hosts each week’s episode of WorldView on Mondays at 9AM and 6PM (with a rebroadcast Saturdays at 2PM) on

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