ASCAP — the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers — was founded on Feb. 13, 1914, to protect its members' copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music. It hasn't been an easy century; in fact, just about every victory has come as the result of litigation.
The award is granted once every four years to a pianist with exceptional qualities, chosen by a secretive committee. This time, a young Polish musician who specializes in Chopin has earned the generous $300,000 prize.
Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz aren't the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but they come pretty close. Their music — a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies — certainly ranks among the loveliest to grace the NPR Music offices.
A master of the Brazilian version of the mandolin, Hamilton de Holanda is determined to show the world what the instrument can do — and he's found friends in disparate musical worlds who are helping him prove is point.