Artwork for Decomposed

Decomposed with Jade Simmons

American Public Media

Decomposed breaks down the stories that have shaped classical music, from secrets and scandals to acts of sheer genius. Hear these stories accompanied by the symphonies, operas and other masterpieces they inspired. Hosted by Jade Simmons, a classical concert pianist and storyteller, the first season of Decomposed takes on gender expectations, Cold War propaganda and the danger of putting your pers... more

PublishesWeeklyEpisodes7Founded5 years ago
Music HistoryMusic

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Artwork for Decomposed

Latest Episodes

George Gershwin visited African-American churches and nightclubs in South Carolina to craft the music for “Porgy & Bess.” Years after his death, the opera and its all-star cast played an unexpected role in Cold War relations.

5 years ago

Everybody knows the Beethoven story: He’s a brilliant composer who faced hearing loss; a genius who couldn’t listen to his own masterpieces. But there’s a different way to consider the story we think we know.

5 years ago

Making music under Stalin was a dangerous undertaking — it could end with applause or in a prison camp. In the brutal grip of World War II, Shostakovich composed a symphony so powerful, it was smuggled halfway around the world in order to be played.

5 years ago

This is the story of two letters Tchaikovsky received in the mail. One would lead to his greatest mistake; the other to the most intimate relationship of his life.

5 years ago


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4.8 out of 5 stars from 1.7k ratings
  • Fascinating new favorite

    Soothing and stimulating at the same time this podcast is so refreshing. I just started piano lessons at 40 and learning about the lives of famous classical composers I’m learning to play feels so approachable. Jade Simmons has an expert but inviting way of telling these stories. I love it!

    Apple Podcasts
    captain inmo
    United Statesa year ago
  • My favourite potcast

    Amazing storytelling with interesting title. more

    Apple Podcasts
    South Koreaa year ago
  • More episodes please!

    I absolutely love this podcast and wish there were more episodes! Every episode is expertly researched and the storytelling is captivating. Please make more episodes!

    Apple Podcasts
    mckenzie kitchen
    United Statesa year ago
  • Excellent, exciting, exquisite

    As a pianist, studying music educator, and creative, I found this podcast excellent, exciting, and exquisite!

    Apple Podcasts
    Sarah Dansliah
    United States2 years ago
  • Awesome podcast, will you do more?

    We listened to these a couple years ago and still eagerly await more episodes - there’s nothing else like it out there as far as I know but there are sooo many more stories to tell! more

    Apple Podcasts
    Canada2 years ago

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Chart Rankings

Apple Podcasts
#43 Canada/Music/Music History
Apple Podcasts
#28 Australia/Music/Music History
Apple Podcasts
#55 France/Music/Music History
Apple Podcasts
#223 Australia/Music
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#27 China/Music/Music History
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#31 Chile/Music/Music History


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Decomposed launched 5 years ago and published 7 episodes to date. You can find more information about this podcast including rankings, audience demographics and engagement in our podcast database.

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