Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

Ruth Phinney

When The New York Times published "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music," your friends at WXXI began thinking of their own cherished pieces.

Here are four pieces we think you might fall for.

1. Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon

Two days into the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, and already we have a bold statement on these times. Words, and music, coming back to us from 150 years ago.

Gerry Szymanski

It depends on your point of view.

An upcoming Fringe Festival performance by Rochester chamber choir First Inversion is embroiled in unexpected controversy after recent social media posts slammed the event for offering African-American spirituals sung by a nearly all-white choir. (Disclaimer: the writer of this post is a member of the ensemble.)

"The Fiery Furnace"

Aug 24, 2018
University of Rochester

To those who knew him, Paul Burgett was a professional encourager.

In the video below, see him tell his story.

It starts with his arrival as a student at the Eastman School of Music in 1964, where he entered what he called the "fiery furnace."

 We must all enter the fiery furnace, he says.

Leonard Bernstein was a grand character (who actually wore a cape!) yet he was also famed for being down to earth and relatable when presenting music.  

These contrasting sides of Bernstein and the impression he left came through in conversation with Mark Watters this week. 

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. 

Summer of Music: Upcoming Music Festivals in Summer 2018

Jul 23, 2018
Jessica Novak, https://www.syracusenewtimes.com/summer-times-music-fests/

From Buffalo to New York City, there’s one thing all New Yorkers have in common: our love of celebrating our warm and stunningly beautiful summers! Here are a few highlights of places and upcoming events where you can celebrate summer with great music here in New York:

Musical summer reading for kids

Jul 9, 2018

Love music? Love books? Here’s a great way for kids to combine a love of reading and music this summer in Rochester.

One of my favorite little things about Rochester that I discovered after moving here is that we had busts of Goethe and Schiller around town.  Sadly, Goethe was stolen a few years ago from Highland Park, never to be seen again. But we still have Friedrich Schiller, best known to music fans as the writer of the words to the Ode to Joy, used by Beethoven in the finale of his ninth symphony.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.

Today, as I biked by, I had to stop – because Schiller had some artistic company, right next to his little park on Andrews Street. Fiber art (yarnbombing?) by someone who knew his musical connections. The lighting was a little blah this morning, but still – hope these make you smile too. 
 

LGBT Artists Through the Ages

Jun 19, 2018
http://www.fscclub.com/history/fame-duelists-e.shtml

As June is LGBT-Pride Month, we here at WXXI 91.5 Classical Radio have been reflecting on how many LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) artists have rocked the classical music scene throughout the ages. From composers, to performers, to conductors, so many LGBT people (Here’s a short list: Benjamin Britten, Samuel Barber, Ethyl Smyth, Arnold Schoenberg) have shaped and innovated classical music for the better.

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