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Toys! with Brad Cox

Tiffany Matson Photography
Brad Cox at the piano telling "The Story of the Hard Nut" in 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.'

Revisit your childhood on Sound Currents, where we explore the wacky world of toys with this week's guest, composer Brad Cox.

From musical jewelry boxes to toy soldiers, Silver Atom Rays Guns to Flashing Robots, we’ve got a little bit of everything for your childhood spirit. We’ll also include a modern and local take on the holiday’s most famous toy story.

This week's guest is composer Brad Cox.

Scroll to the bottom to hear how Brad Cox approaches writing music for dance and be sure to answer this week's "favorite piece" poll down below!

Sascha Groschang
Laurel Parks

Brad Cox, composer

The Overture
The March
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arr. by Brad Cox
The Peoples Liberation Big Band, Owen Cox Dance Group

Musical Jewellery Box
by Stephen Hough
Jenny Lin - piano

Musical Toys No. 13 - The Drummer
by Sofia Gubaidulina
Jenny Lin - piano

20 Children's Songs - No. 1
by Chick Corea
Jenny Lin - piano

by Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk

Living Toys Op. 9
V. Playing Funerals
by Thomas Ades
Markus Stenz with the London Sinfonietta

Roadshow for Otto
I. The Silver Atom Ray Gun
II. The Clown Mandeville
V. The Revolving Flashing Robot
by Carl Schimmel
Alex Sopp - flute, Romi deGuise-Langlois - clarinet, Sumire Kudo - cello, Steven Beck - piano

Bonus Content
How can a composer complement dancers when writing music? When composing, Brad Cox takes movement, form, and musicality into account.

Did any pieces we included this week stand out to you?
Let us know using the form below!

Sascha Groschang is a host for Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC.
Laurel Parks is a host for Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC.
Sam Wisman is a Producer for 91.9 Classical KC. Email him at
Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and on-air host for Classical KC. You can reach her at