Classical 91.5

On Record

A collection of discussions between special guests and Music Director and midday host, Julia Figueras. 

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.

PHOTO BY MICHEL GODTS / www.rochestercitynewspaper.com

In Unison

When singer and conductor Anna Atwater first sang in a Concentus Women’s Chorus in 2016 concert, she started at the top, singing in Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols," one of the pinnacles of the repertoire for women's voices.
     "It was spectacular," Atwater says. She immediately joined Concentus. Now, three years later, Atwater is its first new music director since its founding. The ensemble, currently with nineteen members, is devoted to exploring the wide variety of classical music, ranging from medieval chant through contemporary compositions, written specifically for women’s voices.

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.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Conductor Laureate, Christopher Seaman, is back in town for a concert of audience favorites, including Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Simone Porter. Christopher and Simone came to our studios to talk with Julia Figueras about the program, as well as giving us the inside scoop on Simone's new violin and what's on their reading lists. 

Orli Shaham: Christian Steiner

This week, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes a new maestro and the return of a fan favorite. Conductor David Danzmayr and pianist Orli Shaham combine forces with the RPO for a concert of two temperamentally different symphonies and a songbird's concerto. Julia Figueras sat down in our studios to talk about the pieces, programming, and the power of music for our youngest listeners in Orli's Bach Yard. 

It's a bold opening night for the new Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra season: four works of our time, never before performed by the RPO. Needless to say, the orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Ward Stare, is up to the challenge. Anchoring the program is John Adams' Scheherazade.2, a work premiered by RPO guest soloist Leila Josefowicz. Ward and Leila walk us through that piece - and the three others - and explain why playing contemporary music is important...and thrilling.

Garrett McQueen is a man of many talents: overnight host for Classical 24, creator and producer of the podcast Trilloquy, and bassoonist extraordinaire. He's in town to moderate the opening day panel discussion for the Gateways Music Festival, but found a moment or two to sit down and chat with Julia Figueras about his life path, and why Gateways is inspiring and important to him...and to us.

As has become Ward Stare's tradition, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra closes the Philharmonics season with an opera. This year, it's Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and Ward brought two people into our studios who have been largely responsible for shaping the production: fortepianist Kinza Tyrrell and stage director Grant Preisser. They talked to Julia Figueras about the plot, the editing, and why this opera was not a big hit when it was first performed. 

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