The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Today is Sept. 11. Here are 10 pieces by 10 different composers inspired by the terrorist attacks of 2001 | September 11, 2018

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is Sept. 11, 2018.

That makes it the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Two of the attacks took place on the Twin Towers (below) of the World Trade Center in New York City.

One took place on the Pentagon (below) in Washington, D.C.

And one, with an unknown target but perhaps either The White House or The Capitol, was thwarted on board Flight 93 when passengers forced the plane to crash in a field (below) in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

In past years, The Ear has chosen certain pieces to play or link to.

This year he found a list of 10 pieces of new music, with photos of the composers and short paragraphs of background as a program note, on the website for Classic FM digital radio.

Some of the pieces and the composers he already knows – and suspects you do too. They include John Adams, Steve Reich, Joan Tower, Eric Ewazen, Ned Rorem and John Corigliano.

But there are also quite a few new titles and names, including Robert Moran, Anthony Davis, Howard Goodall and Michael Gordon. (You can hear Howard Goodall’s “Spared” in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

You can find recordings on YouTube.

Here is a link to the story to help you to listen in remembrance – although silence is also perfectly appropriate:

Of course, lots of old music and historic composers can be suitable without being new music directly inspired by 9/11.

So please tell us: What music would you play to mark the occasion?

Leave your choice and the reason for it in the COMMENT section along with, if possible, a link to a YouTube performance.


  1. Today is September 11, 2018.


    Comment by John Mark Rozendaal — September 11, 2018 @ 9:22 am

    • Dear John,
      Thank you for your reply and correction.
      I apologize for the error.
      I must have been preoccupied and read right over the mistake.
      It has been corrected now.
      Best wishes on this sad anniversary.
      The Ear


      Comment by welltemperedear — September 11, 2018 @ 9:34 am

  2. This has little to do with 9/11 except perhaps as a way of forgetting it (had the attackers heard this it is hard to imagine them following through with their act). It’s a pastoral suite for guitar based on Turkish folklore of a shepard and is one of the most amazing pieces I’ve ever heard. I would put this in your “you must hear this” series.

    Here performed by the great Australian guitarist, John Williams.

    Written by the Italian composer Domeniconi, C.:


    Comment by fflambeau — September 11, 2018 @ 2:04 am

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