Classical 91.5

Classical 91.5 Presents...Following the Ninth

WXXI Classical 91.5 Presents... Following the Ninth , a documentary exploring the meaning, mystery, and global impact of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, as a virtual event in partnership with The Little Theatre .

Celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday with us by purchasing a ticket to watch the movie online through The Virtual Little Theatre between November 20th and December 5th, and then join in an online discussion of the movie and the impact of Beethoven's music on Saturday December...

Read More

Recent blog posts

https://www.alamhof.org/

Jason Max Ferdinand, Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL), takes a new approach to choral directing.  In 2019 he took his ensemble, the Aeolians of Oakwood University, to the American Choral Directors Association's national conference where the singers blew away the audience by challenging racial biases in the choral world with their outstanding performances of traditional Western classical songs and Black music. 

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. 

News from the world of Classical Music

Julia Bullock: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Dec 1, 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.


Soprano Julia Bullock prefers to be called a "classical singer." It's a rather humble, even vague, appellation for one of today's smartest, most arresting vocalists in any genre.

Julia Bullock is an artist who dares you to find new adjectives. The soprano is often described as "radiant," an overused word that actually describes her surprisingly well. Onstage, she's a shapeshifter, ranging from elegant and commanding to bewitching, provocative and dangerous – but consistently intelligent and nuanced. Offstage, she can be goofy.

HomeStage: Peter DuBois and Benjamin Krug

Nov 27, 2020

In this edition of HomeStage, we'll visit a different kind of home.

Peter DuBois is the director of music and organist at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. They have been streaming their Sunday services online since March.

Benjamin Krug has been playing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for 13 seasons.

Watch them perform "A Song Without Words" by Craig Phillips, an alumnus of the Eastman School of 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.

More News

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.

More interviews

Across the Universe/Jeff Spevak

Optimism has been in short supply throughout 2020.

And clarity is virtually nonexistent. The Supreme Court has declared that New York state’s attempt to force churches and synagogues to adhere to coronavirus pandemic guidelines is a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom. But after a tough day at work, if all you want is to sit down in front of a beer and listen to a blues band, your favorite bar is finding it tough to survive under those same COVID-19 guidelines.

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.”

Read more