Classical 91.5

The final four: more than just sports. RPO Encores wrap Aug 16th

If the games were between Bernstein, Tyzik and Piazzola vs. Wagner, R. Strauss and Beethoven, who would win? You'll decide when you tune into the final four RPO Encore programs, Mondays at 8pm July26-August 16th.

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Recent blog posts

Throughout the pandemic, musicians and artists in Rochester have done so much to keep us all connected, comforted, and inspired while also facing so many challenges of their own. Even as live, in-person music is becoming a more regular part of more people's lives,  I was particularly touched by this virtual choir performance that the Mount Hope World Singers have just released online. Here is their performance of "Umi Sono Ai" by Kousaku Dan, as arranged by Rachel Stenson, with some more about the ensemble and this project from their artistic director Annika Bentley and stage manager Kristen MacKay. ~Mona

Much has been reported recently about the limited representation and inequity in the world of classical music.  From musicians of color being represented in orchestras and the repertoire they perform, to women conductors on the podium, equity and inclusion is now becoming part of the discussion in the classical music industry.

News from the world of Classical Music

The pandemic shut down most summer music festivals last year and Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, was no exception. But on July 10 the BSO returned, with an all-Beethoven program featuring pianist Emanuel Ax.

In Februrary, Will Liverman released his album Dreams of a New Day. It's a beautiful collection of art songs by Black composers, many in world premiere recordings, that chart the peaks and valleys of the Black American experience, celebrating hope and joy, but too often chronicling pain, violence and loss.

Some say that classical music audiences are dwindling and aging out.  But the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra is actively working to change that scenario with its commitment to the next generation of listeners, visionary programming collaborations with video game composers, and educational offerings that include regular school and family concerts.

Isata Kanneh-Mason, 'Deep River'

Jul 14, 2021

A Decca Classics Recording/Universal Music Operations Limited / YouTube

"Deep River," the beloved spiritual, gets heard in strikingly diverse settings – from a swing version

One of the most adventurous classical ensembles, the Grammy Award-winning Attacca Quartet, has made its reputation with an eclectic musical palette – they've explored the string quartets of Haydn and Beethoven and premiered new pieces by contemporary composers.

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On Record Interviews

Andreas Delfs  has just been named the new Music Director of your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has a long and ambitious agenda for the organization as it heads into its centenary year. Julia Figueras sat down with Maestro Delfs in an empty Restaurant Good Luck to talk with him about that to-do list, with a speed round to wrap it up.

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.

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Across the Universe/Jeff Spevak

In some respects, it’s as though the coronavirus pandemic never happened. Over the last couple of weeks, blueswoman Carolyn Wonderland was at Abilene Bar & Lounge. Oliver Wood, lead singer and songwriter of the Wood Brothers, was at Anthology. Irascible and invaluable social critic Steve Earle was at Point of the Bluff Vineyards.

This was how it always was, back in the day.

A music festival dominates our perception of what American culture was a half-century ago. It is Woodstock, of course. Properly filmed and recorded, it’s a touchstone that social historians, documentary makers and dads who once dropped acid -- but not the brown acid!! -- return to repeatedly.

And now, after that same half-century, we have found another one.

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