Classical 91.5

On Record

Local arts interviews hosted by Julia Figueras

This is a week of two large and beloved Russian works: Tchaikovsky's daunting Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov's lush Symphony No. 2. Marcelo Lehninger returns as guest conductor for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist Blake Pouliot is making his RPO debut.  Both stopped by to chat with Julia Figueras about getting through the pitfalls of the concerto, avoiding potential excesses in the symphony and, in the mix, some fashion tips.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Ward Stare cap off the celebration of suffrage and Susan B. Anthony with "The Mother of Us All," Virgil Thomson's opera with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. The production, directed by Susan Stone Li, features singers from the Eastman School of Music. Ward and Susan stopped by to talk with Julia Figueras about putting the concert together, and about the path constructed by Thomson and Stein.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is having a double suffrage celebration. The first of the two concerts features works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Julia Perry, and a world premiere of Gemma Peacocke's Susan B. Anthony-inspired "All on Fire." The second half of the concert is Mark Mobley's "True and Devoted," a collage of words and music featuring interviews with Rochesterian women.

It's a program of music inspired by times of oppression, filled with themes of resistance. Conductor Fabien Gabel returns to Kodak Hall to guest conduct the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Juho Pohjonen makes his  RPO debut in an evening of Beethoven, Poulenc, and Prokofiev. Julia Figueras sat down and chatted with them about the works, the power of Beethoven, and the joys of French music.

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.

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.