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Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food & Gratitude, 11/26/20, 8:00am

8:00am Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food & Gratitude 11/26 New for 2020 John Birge hosts a contemporary celebration of gratitude with classical music and stories of Thanksgiving. Guests include conductor Michael Tilson Thomas who remembers his childhood Thanksgivings in L.A and Brooklyn Rider, performing the beautiful Heiliger Dankgesang, and more.

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Recent blog posts

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/black-composers-who-made-classical-music-history/

One of WXXI's (recent) Community Advisory Board Members and lover of classical music, shared Alex Ross' September 14, 2020 New Yorker article with me, titled Black Scholars Confront White Supremacy in Classical Music. It is long; it is deep; it gives perspective; it challenges; it enlightens; it is thought-provoking, and so much more.  As we face the challenges of race, diversity, equity and inclusion, I will not make a personal statement about this article - I will simply challenge you to read it and think about it. 

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Since the pandemic shuttered all live music performances, musicians have been struggling to figure out how to bring music back to the people, and how to keep up the learning and performing.  The creativity has been outstanding as so many have learned to use technology both to learn and share their art.

News from the world of Classical Music

In the mid-1970s, more than 40 years before he won the Pulitzer Prize for music, pianist and composer Anthony Davis was driving with his wife to Boston for a concert when a police officer pulled them over .

HomeStage: Erin Hannigan

Nov 17, 2020

This HomeStage performance comes all the way from the Lone Star State.

Oboist Erin Hannigan is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and she played in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Now she's the principal oboist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Erin loves animals and has always had rescue dogs. But she wanted to do more. She and photographer Teresa Berg joined forces to create Artists for Animals. They have raised tens of thousands of dollars for animal shelters in northern Texas, with concerts, galas, community outreach, and even cute calendars.

One secret about Erin: Even though she's a dog lover, she also rescued a Siamese kitten named Gabby.

On this week’s HomeStage, she performs a piece called “Jimson Weed,” composed by Alyssa Morris.

The first time I saw Helga Davis, she was wearing a column of white satin, standing in a pool of white light, shining. She was singing Judy Collins' "Wings of Angels," a song about grief and loss, but also about the power of love to transcend time and place, life and death. She was magnetic. You could have heard the softest whisper of an angel's wing in the spellbound silence.

Copland House: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Nov 13, 2020

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

How about a little music? "HomeStage at the Little" is a new concert series produced by WXXI and the Little Theatre. The pandemic has changed the landscape for local artists, but the series gives them an opportunity to perform live sessions (audience-free) that can be watched by the community. The episodes include music, interviews, and more.

We preview the series with some of the artists:

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On Record Interviews

This is a week of two large and beloved Russian works: Tchaikovsky's daunting Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov's lush Symphony No. 2. Marcelo Lehninger returns as guest conductor for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist Blake Pouliot is making his RPO debut.  Both stopped by to chat with Julia Figueras about getting through the pitfalls of the concerto, avoiding potential excesses in the symphony and, in the mix, some fashion tips.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Ward Stare cap off the celebration of suffrage and Susan B. Anthony with "The Mother of Us All," Virgil Thomson's opera with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. The production, directed by Susan Stone Li, features singers from the Eastman School of Music. Ward and Susan stopped by to talk with Julia Figueras about putting the concert together, and about the path constructed by Thomson and Stein.

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Across the Universe/Jeff Spevak

This is, John Parkhurst says, “the longest intermission of our lives.”

As we churn toward what epidemiologists predict will be the darkest period yet of the coronavirus pandemic, venues such as Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre are shuttered in uncertainty.

“Right now, you plan for the worst and hope for the best,” says Parkhurst, chief operating officer of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. “And if we can be open in March or April, it’s still a possibility.”

Amy Collins has never seen the northern lights. In the coming months, she aims to address that glaring hole in her soul.

Collins and her husband, Tim Clark -- both folk singers -- were hurtling down the New York State Thruway earlier this week, after leaving Rochester the day following the election. Behind them was Burlington, Vermont. Just ahead, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. They were at the head of a 52-feet-long, one-ton truck, pulling an RV trailer loaded with things they’ll need over the next five or so months of touring the country.

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