June is bustin’ out all over, and Summer is only a few weeks away. I start with that tribute from the soundtrack to “Carousel.” Although no one really knows when Scott Joplin’s birthday is, some place it at the beginning of June, and that is good enough for me. We listen to some of the piano roll “recordings” by the great American stride pianist. Marvin Hamlisch comes up on the birthday calendar, and conveniently, too, with his settings of Joplin for the film, “The Sting.” We’ll also hear music from Georges Bizet and Fred Hersch.
We celebrate Memorial Day with music by Charles Ives, “Decoration Day” from his Holiday Symphony. May 25 was the death anniversary of British composer Gustav Holst; while May 31 is Walt Whitman’s birthday. We pull it all together with Holst’s setting of “A Dirge for Two Veterans.” We also hear Holst’s symphonic poem, “Indra.” “New World a-Comin’
” by Duke Ellington will be played. Sprinkled throughout are a few marches from John Philip Sousa.
May 12 is a big one on the classical calendar. Spring birthdays for two great French composers, Jules Messenet and Gabriel Faure. It is also the death anniversaries of Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe and Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. Music from all of them coming up in the program We’ll get our daily dose of vitamin B from Friedrich Gulda, hear from the Muungano National Choir of Kenya, and thank Scottish guitarist Paul Galbraith for his superb recital last week at the Lobero.