Classical 91.5


General arts & cultural NEWS

Magos Herrera is a jazz singer from Mexico, but she has also sung pop songs with Brazilian beats and crooned Mexican classics with a touch of rock. Herrera takes another adventuresome step on her new album, Dreamers, where she partners with a classical string quartet for an album steeped in Latin American culture. The potent mix of themes and the sound of the string quartet, plus a little percussion, are compelling.

The American composer, flutist, and educator Katherine Hoover died on September 21st.

Her life was an inspiration to many.   

Two of the country's oldest and most venerated music institutions, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, are beginning their seasons with a change in artistic leadership. Both organizations are grappling with 21st century issues of bringing new audiences in and convincing them that centuries-old music forms are central to their lives today.

Nazareth College on Saturday night took the wraps off the new Jane and Laurence Glazer Music Performance Center.

Located adjacent to the Nazareth College Arts Center, the $15.5 million building includes a 550-seat venue designed specifically for the acoustics of large instrumental ensembles.

Nazareth College President Daan Braveman says that music is now the 2nd largest major at the college. And he says even for students who are not majoring in music, this new space will help them continue their musical interest. 

Despite being one of the first and oldest forms of popular music, opera sometimes struggles to connect with 21st century audiences. However, Anthony Roth Costanzo is breaking down the genre's stodgy stereotype and making opera more accessible — taking his distinctive sound to the masses, from a sixth-grade classroom in the Bronx to NPR's own Tiny Desk.

Rochester mezzo-soprano Jessica Ann Best spoke with WXXI's Helene Biandudi-Hofer on Need To Know about Understanding Music's Ability to Connect and Engage.  Meet Best, hear about how her career developed, her studies with Pat Alexander (mother of Renee Fleming), and how she crosses genres, from opera to jazz to musical theater.  Best says, it's about the colors of the voice and using the right tools for the right genre.

What is the future of classical music in America?

The Eastman School of Music is hosting three guest scholars this weekend who will help answer that question. They join us in studio for a preview of their presentations about teaching classical music in the digital age and the challenges future music leaders will face. Our guests:

  • Robert Winter, distinguished professor of music at UCLA
  • Robert Freeman, pianist, author, former director of the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, and former dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Jim Doser, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at the Eastman School of Music

This week a group of highly respected scholars and visionaries in the arts are gathering at the Eastman School of Music to present three FREE public lectures and panels for the Rochester community about the future of Classical Music.  Topics to be discussed include: Critical Challenges Facing Musical Leaders of Tomorrow (Thursday 9/20, 4:00-5:30, Hatch Recital Hall, ESM); Teaching in a Truly Digital Age (Friday 9/21, 2:30-3:30, Hatch Recital Hall, ESM); and The Future of Classical Music in America  (Saturday 9/22,

These KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival shows are like chasing lightning bugs across a hillside. For most of the shows, you get one, two, maybe three looks at them. And that’s it. They’re gone.