© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Cancer Answers is hosted by Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Francine Foss, Professor of Medical Oncology. The show features a guest cancer specialist who will share the most recent advances in cancer therapy and respond to listeners questions. Myths, facts and advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment are discussed, with a different focus eachweek. Nationally acclaimed specialists in various types of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment discuss common misconceptions about the disease and respond to questions from the community.Listeners can submit questions to be answered on the program at canceranswers@yale.edu or by leaving a message at (888) 234-4YCC. As a resource, archived programs from 2006 through the present are available in both audio and written versions on the Yale Cancer Center website.

Yale Symphony Orchestra Rediscovers an Almost Forgotten American Treasure

"This is not a retrospective lament for the passenger pigeon. This is a contemporaneous rejoicing in the flight of the birds."
Neely Bruce

Art, science, and history intersect this weekend, when Yale University commemorates the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon.

In the 19th century, massive migratory flocks of passenger pigeons were a familiar site in the United States. By the turn of the 20th century, their numbers had plummeted due to a combination of deforestation of their natural habitats and hunting. The last known passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

Yale University is hosting an interdisciplinary commemoration of the passenger pigeon's demise on Saturday. Biologists, science historians, and literary scholars will gather for a day-long symposium called "Extinction: Biology, Culture, and Our Futures."

The day culminates with a performance by the Yale Symphony Orchestra of a work inspired by the passenger pigeon, "Columbiad," by Bohemian-American composer Anthony P. Heinrich. The piece was written in the mid 1800s, and was performed only once in Prague in 1858, with Heinrich conducting.

"'Columbiad' was a tribute to the bird from someone who actually saw these migrations," said Neely Bruce, a professor of music at Wesleyan University, and an expert on Heinrich's music. "This is not a retrospective lament for the passenger pigeon. This is a contemporaneous rejoicing in the flight of the birds."

Anthony Heinrich is hardly a household name, but Bruce said he was America's first important musician and composer. "He conducted the first complete performance of a Beethoven Symphony in the United States," Bruce said. "He was also the chairman of the committee that founded the New York Philharmonic in the 1830s. The main thing about Heinrich is that his music is wild and extravagant, and unlike anything that anybody else was doing in Europe or the United States."

"Columbiad" is divided into nine sections, each depicting a scene of passenger pigeons. Brian Robinson, managing director of the Yale Symphony, said Heinrich used the colors of the various instruments of the orchestra to paint a vivid picture of the migrating birds. "When there's a thunderstorm, or a big flock of pigeons zoom up in the air and blacken the sky, the orchestra does that musically, and you really do feel that happen," Robinson said.

"Columbiad" will be heard for the first time in 156 years on Saturday night at 7:30 pm in Woolsey Hall on the Yale University campus. Saturday's symposium is sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and Humanities, and gets underway at 10:30 am at the Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content