Classical 91.5

Arts

General arts & cultural NEWS

Miloš Karadaglić was eight when he noticed the dusty guitar sitting on a shelf in his house in Montenegro.

"I think my father had this guitar when he was young, and when he tried to seduce my mother — and once he got her, I don't think he played it ever again," Miloš says, laughing. "Typical sort of behavior. I got this guitar and, seriously, the moment I held it in my hands, I felt I found my best friend."

Rochester philanthropist and activist Betty Strasenburgh has died at the age of 90. 

Strasenburgh was a philanthropist, harpist, sailor, pilot, adventurer, but most of all, she was a community advocate who, among other efforts, helped lead a campaign to renovate the Eastman Theatre.

Strasenburgh was born in New York City, where she lived through high school. She played the harp and was accepted to the Eastman School of Music, which brought her to Rochester.

Classical music fans are mourning the loss of Christa Ludwig, the beloved German mezzo-soprano celebrated both for her versatility and the warmth of her voice. She died at her home in Austria on April 24 at age 93.

Ludwig embraced a broad range of opera roles, with her silken tones, from the battered mistress Marie in Alban Berg's modernist Wozzeck, to the cheeky pageboy Cherubino in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.

To be Esperanza Spalding is to be many things that myths are made of — the myths of genius, of creativity, of beauty, of success and stardom. Just to be a female bass player in the man's world of jazz is to be a unicorn, that most mythical creature. To have, on top of that, a voice that spins gold and casts spells — to win a Grammy for an album literally called 12 Little Spells. The possibilities for myth, magic and fairytale are endless.

CARM: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Apr 15, 2021

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.

Last October, in the midst of the pandemic, Laurie Anderson appeared at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum to recreate one of her earliest works. Wearing ice skates attached to frozen blocks of ice, she played her violin along with a tape recording stashed cleverly inside her instrument. When the ice melted, her performance ended. Bow over bridge, blades over ice: "Duets on Ice" is a meditation on balance and time.

When Duke Ellington famously coined the phrase "beyond category," he was talking about freedom — of choice, of expression, of belonging. He meant following your heart and your instincts into an artistic territory without borders. And that's the place where violinist Regina Carter makes her home. She plays everything — jazz, classical, R&B, Latin, blues, country, pop, you name it.

As capacity restrictions on entertainment venues ease, organizations are approaching the change differently.

Venues like movie theaters and comedy clubs can now fill a third of their capacity, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Larger venues like the Dryden Theatre, which has a capacity of 500, can seat up to 100 people inside and 200 outside. 

In the midst of downtown Rochester’s new Innovation Square development is an ambitious plan to resurrect the former Xerox Auditorium, creating a new performance space for the city. Natalie Fuller and Karl Stabnau plan on having the Theater at Innovation Square up and running by early summer.

“We’re really hoping to give back to the community,” Fuller says, “and provide a space here for groups to come in and either do shows at limited capacity at whatever the guidelines are from day to day and week to week.”

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

I've just had my second dose of the vaccine, and now I have a vaccine card. Um, what do I do with it?

Pages