Classical 91.5
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The New York Philharmonic takes us into the darkness, Nov 2019

Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, Gustav Mahler and more were inspired by the night and darkness. We'll hear those inspirations on the November 17th broadcast. Sundays at 3pm.

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Recent blog posts

Musical Mucha

Nov 8, 2019

"For me, the notions of painting, going to church, and music are so closely knit that often I cannot decide whether I like church for its music, or music for its place in the mystery which it accompanies." – Alphonse Mucha

“Mucha studied to be a musician, you know,” he said.

And I had to admit: I didn’t know that, nor a number a number of the other interesting things that my friend shared with me on our wanderings through the Memorial Art Gallery today.

Aaron Winters

Syrinx XXII is a trio with an unusual, perhaps unique, combination of instruments: flutes, recorders, and piano.

They visited Rochester this week to perform on our lunchtime concert series Live from Hochstein, along with a few other performances throughout the region.  What a discovery! The way that they blend the wide range of tones and textures of their instruments into sweet and surprising music.  You can listen to that show here online. 

News from the world of Classical Music

Gabriela Ortiz's Yanga had its world premiere late last month at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Ortiz is one of Mexico's most sought-after classical composers and her work has been performed by musicians all over the world, from soprano Dawn Upshaw to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to Kronos Quartet.

For Alzheimer's Awareness Month, accomplished flutist Eugenia Zukerman has released a new book called Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir. It chronicles her internal and emotional journey since a diagnosis of "cognitive difficulties" three years ago.

Just this past September, Zukerman was playing Claude Debussy's "Syrinx" — a piece she figures she's played more than 20,000 times since the age of 10 — when she drew a sudden blank. So although she can't always find the notes these days, Zukerman is persistent in finding the words.

Jeff Beal can put his feet up and relax Friday night at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater. “I have nothing to do,” he says.

Yes, that’s the job of the Eastman Philharmonia, conductor laureate of the St. Louis and Detroit symphony orchestras Leonard Slatkin, and Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann. It’s a celebration of Beal’s Emmy-encrusted career as a composer of film scores, television themes and classical compositions.

Caroline Shaw sings her own song, "And So," with the Attacca Quartet.

Last month, trumpeter and composer Nicholas Payton had the U.S. premiere of his Black American Symphony with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

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On Record Interviews

Tessa Ward: Lauren Desberg

Tessa Lark's star is shining brightly. She brings her luminous presence into Kodak Hall this week for a performance with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Alban Berg's Violin Concerto. Tessa and RPO music director Ward Stare came by our studios to talk with Julia Figueras about this deeply moving piece, as well as Bach, Bartok, Webern, and the freedom of fiddling.

Cellist Andrei Ionita brought down the house when he played Shostakovich for his RPO (and American!) debut just over a year ago. He's back in town, this time to play a concerto that struggled to gain a foothold in the concert hall. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra music director Ward Stare has framed the concerto with touches of spring, dashes of melancholy, and a lengendary ballet. Both came to our studios to chat with Julia Figueras.

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Across the Universe/Jeff Spevak

Black Violin is not a Frankenstein creation, where we can see all of the parts stitched together, the bolts sticking out of the neck, the lumbering gait. “We approach the performance like rappers, but the music is approached sort of like Beethoven,” says Kev Marcus.

Black Violin. Kev Marcus on violin, Wil B on viola. Plus a DJ and drums. On Thursday, they’re bringing this surprising fusion of classical and hip-hop to Kodak Center, 200 W. Ridge Road.

The band’s new album, “Take the Stairs,” was released earlier this week.

It was the early 1980s and Christine Lavin's longtime boyfriend, a lawyer, told her a special guest would be joining them for dinner at a Manhattan restaurant. "But he wouldn't tell me who, because he figured I wouldn’t show up," Lavin says.

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