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Christmas with the King's Singers, Monday 12/16/19 @3:00p

It’s an a cappella Christmas from England with the King’s Singers, one of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles. In an exclusive New York appearance recorded at The Greene Space, this male sextet — consummate entertainers with a delightfully British wit — perform timeless carols, Christmas classics and new arrangements in their impeccable vocal blend. WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon hosts

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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 an art historian friend shared with me on our wanderings through the Memorial Art Gallery yesterday.

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

YouTube

You know what? Lizzo's "Good as Hell" deserves two music videos.

Ever since Beethoven's iconic Ninth Symphony premiered May 7, 1824 at the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna, it has remained arguably the most popular composition in the classical music canon, thanks largely to its final movement, the "Ode to Joy," with a text by poet Friedrich Schiller.

But Beethoven's music has become something much more than popular. With its expansive length, mold-busting design, and the inclusion of solo singers and chorus, he was proposing nothing less than a philosophy for humanity.

One of opera's leading men, Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, was dismissed Thursday by two of the world's most prestigious houses: the Royal Opera in London and New York's Metropolitan Opera.

His firing comes after an investigation by the Royal Opera [RO], which determined that he had demonstrated "inappropriate and aggressive behavior" during an RO tour of Japan in September.

One of classical music's most beloved conductors has died: Latvian-born Mariss Jansons, who was age 76 at his death on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jansons had long had a heart condition, which first became known when he collapsed on the podium while conducting in Norway more than 20 years ago.

Cecilia Bartoli isn't your average opera star. She doesn't sing many of the popular 19th century operas. Instead, she prefers to explore the dusty, little-known corners of the 18th century.

Bartoli's new album is devoted to music written for a single artist of the Baroque era named Farinelli. He was the most acclaimed opera singer of the mid-1700s, the rock star of his day, singing some of the most virtuosic music ever written for the human voice.

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On Record Interviews

There are journeys we take in life. Sometimes, we go through darkness to find light; sometimes we leave the light and descend into darkness. In the next Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concerts, we will do both.

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.

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Across the Universe/Jeff Spevak

I've learned from past experience that, if you want to catch Lewis Black when he is calm and displaying socially acceptable behavior, it must be in the morning.

But when I call him at his New York City apartment at 10:30 in the morning, I'm already too late. He's been watching the impeachment hearings.

"You elect somebody who doesn't, who never took a civics class," Black says, his voice rising with his anger, "and then you've got a portion of the country THAT DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN?"

What is it that Alan Murphy wants from his band, The Mighty High and Dry?

"I'm looking for a churchy Americana vibe," he says, "but we have some stuff that people can dance to, soul, soul and blues."

He wants different voices, so he's co-written songs such as "Little Red Dress" with Zahyia Rolle of the local R&B band Vanishing Sun. And a couple with Vanessa Mangione, one with a "Johnny Cash vibe," Murphy says, and another he describes as "a gospel party song."

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