Classical 91.5

Arts Features

Every day there are exciting things going on in Rochester's cultural arts community.  Classical 91.5 hosts collaborate with and create highlights of various arts organizations, musicians and artists in and around our community. 

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra held its first livestreamed performance Friday morning for classrooms whose field trips were canceled due to coronavirus concerns and precautions.

This week, the RPO had to cancel a series of interactive, educational performances around the concept of voting for fourth- through sixth-graders. According to Marie-Andélina de la Farrière with the RPO, more than 5,000 students in 250 classrooms participated in the live-stream in more than 50 schools.

Judi Vinar

Judi Vinar first saw Bobby McFerrin on the Grammy Awards back in the 80’s.

“I was blown away,” she said by phone from her home in the Twin Cities.  “When I first heard Bobby do a solo piece, you know, a lot of what he does is jump around with a bass note and octave note on top and somehow he fits the melody inside of that.”   

She went out and bought all his records. 

Susan B. at the symphony

Jan 31, 2020

This year’s observances of Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday celebration and the centenary of the 19th Amendment are momentous events, but at first glance they may not seem to inspire musical celebrations. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is prepared to prove otherwise this weekend and next.

“These are significant milestones,” Stare says, “and in planning this season we definitely wanted to make note of them.”

Maya Temperley

David Temperley composes tuneful, expressive pieces in a classical mold, drawing on his experiences with chamber music and influences from the popular music he grew up listening to on the radio. He's also a music theorist who writes about rock music, including in his latest book The Musical Language of Rock

Read more about Temperley and his music in CITY Newspaper this week: "Having it Both Ways. The Music of Rochester Composer David Temperley."

You can also hear his music and story in this radio feature: 


Musicians of Rochester: Blake Pattengale

Nov 27, 2019
Jacob Walsh/City Newspaper

A seemingly strange dichotomy is at work in the creative life of Rochester musician Blake Pattengale. A guitarist who graduated from Eastman School of Music in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance, he’s also the rapper known as Redbeard Samurai.

“What I’ve kind of done through high school, college, and everything is just try out all these different musical hats and try out all these musical genres, and give myself license to do it,” Pattengale says.

Read more in Blake Pattengale: Song of the Samurai in City Newspaper.

Pioneering British-born conductor, harpsichordist, composer and scholar Raymond Leppard has died. He was 92 years old. With full-bodied performances matched by pioneering scholarship, Leppard helped reintroduce audiences to 16th and 17th century Italian masterpieces by composers including Claudio Monteverdi. But Leppard was also very much a man of his time: He championed — and wrote — contemporary works for both stage and screen.

His death was announced by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where he was music director and conductor laureate from 1987 to 2001.

WXXI has announced that it will expand its coverage of the arts. 

“Thanks to support from our donors, we are in a unique position to enhance our existing arts and culture services and expand arts reporting in our newsroom,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein. “We know that the arts have widespread social impact and we believe we have an important role to bring focus to the arts community.”

  

World-renowned artist Albert Paley, who is based in Rochester, is getting ready to make a major change in how he creates his towering metal sculptures and other works.

During a tour of his Lyell Avenue studio, Paley reminds his visitors to safeguard their eyesight and not stare at any welding going on in the cavernous metal fabrication shop. It is part of the leased space he has occupied for the last decade.

Eastman School of Music

To get to know Maria Newman, you have to understand who her father was.   She is the daughter of nine time Academy award-winning film composer Alfred Newman, who wrote the 20th century Fox fanfare.  Her brothers and cousin are equally famous; there’s Randy Newman of Toy Story fame, Thomas Newman, who scored Finding Nemo and Shawshank Redemption. Her brother David has scored nearly 100 films such as Galaxy Quest

It’s no exaggeration to say she comes from a musical dynasty.

The Gateways Music Festival is in Rochester this week, capped off by a concert Sunday in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre.

The 125 musicians from all over the country rehearsed Friday morning, in advance of a preview concert held that afternoon, and among them was Amadi  Azikiwe, a violin and viola player based in New York City.

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