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Middle Tennessee composer makes the Billboard Classical Music chart


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A mid-state composer has a new album out that’s reached the top of the Billboard music charts.

Of course, that happens routinely on the Billboard’s Country Music chart, but not the Traditional Classical Music chart.

Vanderbilt composer Michael Kurek released his album “The Sea Knows” in mid-July and it immediately went to number one on the Classical chart.

Kurek says for years he composed in the modernist style and did quite well. He earned an Academy Award and a Lifetime Achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

But Kurek says what he really wanted to create was music in a more traditional style.

“That’s the bottom line is just that what I was hearing in my head was this and not avant-garde style music, and you have to ultimately write music that you’re hearing.”

Credit vanderbilt.edu
Michael Kurek

Kurek says the more traditional Classic Music is also more popular with audiences, so while he’s pleased his album bounced to the top of the charts, he isn’t surprised.

Kurke’s parents live on the ocean near Savannah, Georgia. He says he’s always found standing on the beach musically inspiring.

“I think there’s something freeing. It just causes the cares of the day to drop out of my mind and just allow me to relax and so music started coming in.”

Kurek will be changing directions again for his next album. He’s currently working on a Broadway musical based on the letters of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Michael Kurek’s six cut album “The Sea Knows” can be found on all the usual online sites.