Classical 91.5

Eastman School of Music

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. 

This Summer in Rochester: Music-Making in a Library

Aug 3, 2018

The WXXI Education team is halfway through this summer’s Exploration Station Series at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, NY.  We have explored this year’s theme, “Libraries Rock!” by providing music learning activities at our free, family-focused events. 

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.

First Presbyterian Church in Lyons is a community gathering place noted for hosting ecumenical events and musical performances.  The church also has a beautiful old pipe organ that has fallen on hard times - a Skinner and Son organ from the 1920s.

As part of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, a big band of 25 musicians from the Eastman School of Music will play jazz movie scores. Emmy-winning composer Mark Watters, who has been at Eastman for a year now as the director of the Beal Institute for film music and contemporary media will conduct the performances. 

Listen here to a conversation with Mark Watters about composing for movies, TV, and video games - as well as more about the history of jazz at the movies, this week's program at the jazz festival, and his work teaching at Eastman.  

Growing Pains: Opera in 2018

Jun 14, 2018

While in the theater, you hear snippets of conversations. While watching Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Light in the Piazza, I overheard the following: “Where is the Bathroom? How long is intermission? Did you know Jill left Andy for another man?!” But over the hum of the Eastman Opera Theatre Orchestra tuning, I heard the five little words every aspiring classical vocalist shudders to hear: “Opera is a dying art.”

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.  

Cue the Pomp and Circumstance march.    It’s graduation season!   Here come rows and rows of beautiful young humans in caps and gowns, prepared to face an uncertain future. 

I’ve been thinking about rites of passage a lot since my oldest, Beverly, will graduate from college this spring and my third and youngest, Gavin, is about to finish high school.   His next move?  He’ll study music in the fall.  He wants to teach, which both thrills and worries me.  But I’m a born worrier.

Eastman Community School of Music

Graduation can be a fraught time, filled with questions about what's next. Flutist Adam Sadberry , about to graduate from the Eastman School of Music, has no such worries--he recently won the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's African-American Fellowship, and will be a member of the DSO flute section for the next 2 years. On the next Backstage Pass, Adam will talk with Julia Figueras about the fellowship, his turn on NPR's From the Top, and more...and play works by Georges Enesco, William Grant Still, Erwin Schulhoff, and Frank Martin.

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