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Classics for Kids
Saturdays, 8:04 a.m.

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Start off the kids' Saturday morning with Classics for Kids. Naomi Lewin brings classical music's great composers to life through music and stories.

Awards and Honors for Classics for Kids
Classics for Kids® has been honored with a National Community Impact Award for Engagement by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in recognition of its innovative on-air and online services for children.

In 2004, Classics for Kids® received a Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. The Clarion Awards is a renowned competition recognizing the best works from all communications fields. Classics for Kids® was honored for excellence in the category of Radio Regular Feature Program. 

Program Schedule
May 6, 2016
May's Featured Composer: Frédéric Chopin
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cfk-mayFrédéric Chopin was born on March 1, 1810 in a town just outside of Warsaw, Poland. He was one of the greatest pianists of his day. His mother introduced him to the piano and by the time he was six, Chopin played extremely well and was starting to compose. He gave his first concert at the age of eight. When Chopin was 20, he left Poland to seek fame and fortune in other European cities. When Chopin got to Paris, he decided to stay.  

There's a story that when Chopin left his native country, his friends gave him some Polish soil, which he carried around with him for the rest of his life. While the story is unlikely, Chopin did continue to be passionatly patriotic about Poland, even though he never went back there. Chopin was never healthy, and was only thirty-nine when he died of tuberculosis. When he was buried -- in France -- a special box of earth was brought from Poland to sprinkle on his grave. But Chopin's heart is in Poland -- literally. His heart was put in an urn and taken to the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.

Learn more about Frédéric Chopin:
April 6, 2016
April's Featured Composer: Benjamin Britten
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cfk-brittensquareBenjamin Britten was born in Great Britain in 1913. He was an expert in three different musical fields -- conducting, composing and playing the piano. From the moment he started playing the piano, Britten knew he wanted to earn his living as a composer. His first paying job was writing music for films. 

Britten was a pacifist -- he didn't believe in fighting wars. So when it became obvious that England would go to war with Germany in 1939, he left for America. Britten later returned to his native country in the middle of World War II. When the war was over, the biggest opera company in England held a gala reopening, and commissioned Britten to write a new opera for the occasion. Britten was also asked to compose an opera when Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England.

Learn more about Benjamin Britten:

March 7, 2016
March's Featured Composer: Georg Philipp Telemann
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ck-marchGeorg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg, Germany. He learned to play several musical instruments, and taught himself to compose.  When Telemann went to the university in Leipzig, he was supposed to study law and forget about music. But his music-loving roommate found out that Telemann was a composer, and arranged to have one of his pieces performed. The next thing Telemann knew, he was writing music for the biggest church in town. Unlike many composers, Telemann was famous and appreciated in his day. He was friends with most of his fellow composers, and was godfather to one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach has his middle name!

Learn more about Georg Philipp Telemanncott:
February 5, 2016
February's Featured Composer: Scott Joplin
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cfk-160205Scott Joplin's father was born into slavery in North Carolina; his mother was a freeborn woman from Kentucky. Both his parents were musical. When his parents separated, Scott's mother supported the family by cleaning houses, and he was allowed to use the piano in one of those houses. He taught himself to play. As a teenager, Joplin started traveling. In Missouri, he played piano in saloons; for the 1893 World's Fair, he headed to Chicago, and played cornet in a band. After spending some time in college, Joplin moved on to St. Louis, the hotbed of ragtime music. Eventually, he wound up in New York City. Scott Joplin wrote some songs and stage works, but he's best known as one of the greatest composers of piano rags. In 1976 -- almost 60 years after Scott Joplin died -- his opera Treemonisha was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Learn more about Scott Joplin:
January 2, 2016
January's Featured Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
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Franz Joseph HaydnFranz Joseph Haydn was known as the "Father of the Symphony" during his time. He helped develop new musical forms, like the string quartet and the symphony. Born in the tiny Austrian town of Rohrau, Haydn went to Vienna to sing in the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral and attend the choir school at the age of eight. Though he was not a focused student in his youth, he went on to compose symphonies, operas and other music. Haydn spent more than 30 years working as music director for the Esterhazy family. By the end of his life, Haydn was both rich and famous, and worked well with his employers, which was unusual for a composer of that time.

Learn more about Franz Joseph Haydn:

December 26, 2015
December's Featured Composer: Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Piotr (or Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia. His family moved to the the capital city of St. Petersburg when he was 8 years old. His parents did not consider music to be an "acceptable" profession, and made him study law instead. But even in law school, Tchaikovsky continued to study music. Eventually, he gave up his legal job and went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Tchaikovsky traveled all over Europe for performances of his music. In 1891, he even came to America for the opening of Carnegie Hall, where he was invited to conduct his music.

Learn more about Leonard Bernstein:

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