Classical 91.5

Arts Features

The Rochester Fringe Festival is two weeks away and already one show is sparking serious conversation. Lee Wright leads the First Inversion choir and they have a show in the festival dedicated to African American spirituals. But recently, some in the community called out Wright for what they say are anti-black images.

Christmas Eve, during the first year of World War I, soldiers from opposite sides put aside their differences and the war they were fighting to spend time together, sharing their provisions and stories with each other, to celebrate Christmas.

This beautiful, true story was told in the movie Joyeux Noël in 2005, and then adapted into an opera, Silent Night, in 2011 by librettist Mark Campbell and composer Kevin Puts, who as an alum of the Eastman School of Music.    

One of the operas on stage at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY this year is the Pulitizer Prize-winning Silent Night – based on a true story of a legendary cease-fire during World War I.  Composer Kevin Puts spoke with WXXI's Mona Seghatoleslami for a preview of this moving opera. 

LEN LEVASSEUR

This weekend, hundreds of musicians and music lovers will gather in Rochester for the 2018 Organ Historical Society (OHS) Convention. The OHS began in 1956 as a small group of young musicians who met in New York City to talk about locating and preserving historic pipe organs in the city. Since then, the society has grown from that small group to an international organization.

http://mcs.smu.edu/artsresearch2014/arts-vibrancy-2018

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University has just released its Top 20 List of Most Vibrant Arts Communities, and Rochester made the list as the 17th most vibrant arts community among large cities.  Mayor Lovely Warren said, “The City of Rochester’s commitment to the arts has landed us on the NCAR’s list for the third time in four years and illustrates our dedication to our citizens and the arts community as a whole.”

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His cello has floated to islands and scaled mountains.  Its sound has echoed across remote lakes and dense pine forests.

Brian Donat is The Adirondack Cellist, and he's performed on wild peaks, in hunting cabins, and on lakeside docks.

To hear a concert by pianist Tony Caramia is to hear beautiful and unexpected music. He follows his intuition, chance, a ravenous curiosity and a good ear into some wonderful musical discoveries, that open up new worlds for listeners – as well as for the students he teaches at Eastman. 

On Live from Hochstein this afternoon, Caramia is playing music that stands out for its lovely harmonies – and playful energy -  in a program called “Syncopated Sounds from Germany.” Listen above to hear him introduce you to Ernest Fischer, Erwin Schulhoff, Lothar Perl, and others.  

Guitarist Lawrence Johnson recorded the complete works of early-nineteenth century composer Fernando Sor – using equipment that the guitarist got in a trade for a Volkswagen.  He recalls, "I found out this guy and this girl, they were married – and he decided he didn’t like her anymore and he left her and took her car. But he was also a recording nut, and so he had this Revox 77.  So I said: I got a car if you want it, but I need that Revox 77. So, I got it." 

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"I really love Rochester. I love the simplicity. I love the sense of neighborhood. I love the fact that it's common to speak to people on the street even if you don't know them."

So says retired music teacher Teryle (pronounced “TARE-il”) Watson, who possesses a birds’ eye view of music programs across the spectrum.  

Finalists for the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition; top row (l to r): Christine Amon; Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod; Daniel Berryman; John Brancy; Nkrumah Gatling; Richard Glöckner; Caroline Hewitt. Bottom row (l to r): Christian Hoff; Andrea Lett; Christof Messner; Reilly Nelson; Benjamin Pattison; Laura Sanders; Philip Stoddard; John Tibbetts. 

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