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. 

Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux returns to Rochester

Mar 12, 2020
Tyler Boye

NOTE: This performance has been canceled, with hopes to reschedule for a later date. More from The Hochstein School on their cancelations here.

Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux’s career reflects the versatility (and the portability) of his instrument. He’s apt to show up anywhere, from a symphony orchestra concert to NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concert series, from teaching at the venerated Curtis Institute of Music to giving online lessons.

Even though there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Monroe County, local arts and cultural organizations are considering contingency plans in the event of an outbreak and to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it is postponing its April induction ceremony, which was to take place at Eastman Theatre.

Artistic and managing director Danny Hoskins calls the Blackfriars Theatre 2020-21 season “a journey.” If so, the men will be left standing on the wharf, watching the ship sail.

“We decided to do something that the Academy Awards didn’t do,” development manager Mary Tiballi Hoffman said Monday night at the Blackfriars announcement for the upcoming season at its East Main Street theater.

While the recent Oscars awards failed to recognize any female directors, Blackfriars has placed all six of the upcoming season’s productions in the hands of women.

Some Rochester area cultural organizations will be meeting soon to talk about potential impacts from the concerns about the novel coronavirus.

A meeting will be held on Tuesday, hosted by the Rochester Museum and Science Center, so that members of various  cultural groups can talk about how concerns about the coronavirus might affect attendance at their venues along with other activities.

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. 

No square on the calendar seems to have escaped. "Extraterrestrial Abduction Day" is March 20. Entire months have been claimed. November is NaNoWriMo. Translation: National Novel Writing Month. And now we're in the midst of FAWM: February Album Writing Month.

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: 


As a longtime Rochester resident facing a roomful of city and county movers and shakers, Thomas Tischer alluded to the piles of architectural renderings whose promise never sees the light of day.

"Beyond plans," he said, sitting in the Dryden Theater on Monday morning, "you want reality."

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.

Pages