But there was another side to Brubeck. Whether instilled by his mother’s attempts at classical training, or his mid-'40s studies with composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, a latent classical gene started making itself known by the late 1960s. In early 1968, The Light in the Wilderness for baritone solo, choir and organ, was premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel. The next year, Brubeck produced The Gates of Justice, a cantata mixing Biblical scripture with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In November 2003, Dave Brubeck appeared on Crossover to speak about his work in the classical realm, and his then brand-new Telarc CD, Classical Brubeck.