Richard Markowitz

Richard Markowitz has made a lifelong study of domestic and foreign record catalogs (from 78s to LPs and CDs) and has focused in detail on the history of sound recordings and published scores in the areas of concert works, folksong, and musical theater.

Related Courses

Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost: Two Great American Poets

We will listen to interviews with both of these renowned literary figures and hear each of them reading from his works. To follow along (highly recommended), you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com and he will email the texts to you before the class.


The Unknown Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen’s fairy tales are known and loved the world over, but they have eclipsed his output as novelist, playwright, poet, travel writer, and autobiographer. His work in each of these genres, and as a graphic artist, will be examined and discussed. To follow along (highly recommended), you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com and he will email the texts to you before the class.


2.2.3 Scenes from Pulitzer Prize Winning Plays

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was first awarded in 1918 and has been given most years since then. We will hear scenes from many celebrated American plays, performed by distinguished actors. Representative plays will include Strange Interlude, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Little Foxes, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and J.B., among many others. NEW!


1.2.2 The Life and Artistry of John Gielgud

The seven decade career of John Gielgud (1904-2000) encompassed a wide range of performances on stage, screen, radio and recordings. We will hear him review his personal and professional life in detail, read prose of Dickens, Wilde, and Lewis Carroll, enact scenes from plays of Shakespeare, Chekhov and T. S. Eliot (among others), and recite classic and modern poetry. NEW!


Musicians of Color in the Concert Hall – Session 2

Richard is presenting a two-session course that considers the lives and careers of musicians of color. In the first session, we will consider composers, conductors, and instrumentalists. The second will be concerned with vocal recitalists and operatic singers. Figures to be profiled will include, among others, William Grant Still, Henry Burleigh, Dean Dixon, Roland Hayes, Marian Anderson, and Kenneth Spencer. The enduring racism which played a part in the careers of many musicians of great talent and the ways in which it was handled and overcome, will be examined in detail.


The Radio Plays of Norman Corwin

In the heyday of network radio broadcasting and after, Norman Corwin became celebrated as the poet laureate of radio. During a career that spanned more than five decades, he wrote and directed award winning audio plays which examined a wide range of themes dealing with the human condition. Humorous, satirical, whimsical, dramatic, poignant – the tone and form varied. We will sample a
cross section of scenes from vintage broadcasts, featuring great actors such as James Stewart, Burgess Meredith, Orson Welles, and Ruth Gordon among many others. We will also hear the author, himself, speaking about the creative process and his life. To follow along, you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com and he will email the texts to you before class.


The Beginnings of Baseball: Interviews with Players from the Early Years

Baseball, often referred to as “America’s National Pastime,” dates back to the Civil War years. We will focus particularly on the so-called Dead Ball era, the period between 1900 and 1919, at the end of which Babe Ruth became celebrated as a power hitter. Interview subjects recalling their careers will include Fred Snodgrass, “Goose” Goslin, “Lefty” O’Doul, Rube Marquard, and many others.  Hear from the players themselves what it was like to play baseball professionally in those early days. NEW!


Celebrated Authors Reading from Their Works

In 1953, Goddard Lieberson, the Executive Vice President in charge of artists and repertoire at Columbia Records, initiated a series of spoken word recordings documenting the voices and writing of a dozen American and British authors. We will hear Edna Ferber, Katherine Ann Porter, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Truman Capote, William Saroyan, the Sitwells, John Collier, and Somerset Maugham – each reading for the microphone and captured for posterity. NEW!


Tales of the Folk

All cultures have stories that are transmitted orally from one generation to the next. We will consider stories from four cultures: French, Irish, Yiddish, and West African, in captivating recordings by distinguished storytellers, authors and actors. To follow along during this class, you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com. and he will email them to you.


Celebrated Authors Reading from Their Works

In 1953, Goddard Lieberson, the Executive Vice President in charge of artists and repertoire at Columbia Records, initiated a series of spoken word recordings documenting the voices and writing of a dozen American and British authors. We will sample these records by listening to Edna Ferber, Katherine Ann Porter, John Steinbeck, and Somerset Maugham – each reading for the microphone and captured for posterity. To follow along during this class, you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com and he will email them to you.