Classical 91.5

Interviews

Photo Credit: Christian Steiner

Composer Margaret Brouwer lives in Ohio, near Lake Erie. She loves the natural beauty of the Great Lakes and she’s worried about them.

She has composed her love for Lake Erie -- and her concerns for its future --  into a musical work called "Voice of the Lake."


Two young people from different backgrounds meet and fall in love -- and society tears them apart.  You may recognize that as "West Side Story."

Here's another story: Two young people from different backgrounds meet and fall in love -- and end up making music together all over the world. 


How does music capture a culture, or a political moment, or a time of change? One of the great musical historians is a WXXI host and contributor, and his new book looks at what he calls “City Songs.”

We sit down with Michael Lasser to discuss how music shaped public perspectives as America developed, and we talk about how to recognize when a song goes from just a song to something more culturally powerful.

Meet Rachel Waddell. She’s the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Rochester

She describes music as a “performing tool to bring people together" and views her work with the orchestras at the University of Rochester’s River Campus as a chance to have people challenge themselves, and society. 

Lynn Harrell has been a musical performer for most of his life. He started playing cello at a young age, and his professional career has spanned decades: he started playing in the Cleveland Orchestra at the age of 18, where he was then principal cellist from 1964 to 1971, and he has played solo and chamber music performances around the world. 

While still very busy with music, Harrell has recently tried something new: acting in a movie.  It's a beautiful short film called Cello, where he portrays a (fictional) cellist named Ansel Evans, who has to deal with deblitating effects of ALS, and how it affects his relationship with his family and his music.

A group of students at the Eastman School of Music wants to expand the range of sounds in your life: they're the student-run new music ensemble, OSSIA.

Noah Kahrs is a composer in the last semester of a master’s degree program at Eastman and technical director for OSSIA.

Kahrs says one of the more memorable pieces he worked on with OSSIA was Xerox Rock, by Celeste Oram.

A year has passed since double bassist Gaelen McCormick sat down with Julia Figueras to talk about being afflicted with Bilateral Meniere's Disease, her loss of hearing because of it, and how she was coping with what Gaelen called her super power. A lot has transpired for Gaelen in the last 12 months, and as the next chapter in her new life unfolds, we asked Gaelen to share.

It’s our annual Fringe Festival preview. The 11-day festival includes more than 500 performances. We sit down with the festival’s producer and artists from a range of acts to talk about what’s on stage at this year’s event.

In studio:

Leonard Bernstein was a grand character (who actually wore a cape!) yet he was also famed for being down to earth and relatable when presenting music.  

These contrasting sides of Bernstein and the impression he left came through in conversation with Mark Watters this week. 

Christmas Eve, during the first year of World War I, soldiers from opposite sides put aside their differences and the war they were fighting to spend time together, sharing their provisions and stories with each other, to celebrate Christmas.

This beautiful, true story was told in the movie Joyeux Noël in 2005, and then adapted into an opera, Silent Night, in 2011 by librettist Mark Campbell and composer Kevin Puts, who as an alum of the Eastman School of Music.    

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