Classical 91.5

On Record

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

Ward Stare: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Jon Nakamatsu: jonnakamatsu.com

On one of the coldest days of the year, pianist Jon Nakamatsu and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare stopped by our studios to chat with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about a show that promises to be hot, with some moody Rachmaninov, bouncy Beethoven, and the always challenging Rite of Spring by Stravinsky.

This week, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is serving up a menu of music filled with color and stories with works by Debussy, Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Gemma New is making her conducting debut with the RPO, and Vadym Kholodenko, who has twice wowed us with Prokofiev, will show us his looser and lighter side with Ravel's Piano Concerto in G-Major. Both stopped by to talk with Classical 91.5 music director Julia Figueras about it all .

The sacred and the profane go head to head this week with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, as the Rochester Oratorio Society and more join the orchestra for performances of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Orff's Carmina Burana. RPO Music Director Ward Stare chatted with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about the pairing of these two pieces...in the middle of our holiday season.

Nancy Horowitz

This week Carlos Kalmar, Music Director of the Oregon Symphony, makes his debut with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Maestro Kalmar stopped by our studios to chat with WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras about getting to know a new orchestra, growing with his current orchestra, and why Haydn symhonies are the true test of talent for all orchestras.

How do you commemorate a Silver Anniversary? If you're Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, you throw a musical party!

Andreas Delfs has returned to guest conduct your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in a program that features a Christmas present, a fairy tale, and a hero.

Kondonassis: Mark Bettrell/Higdon: jenniferhigdon.com

They're back! Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is about to record the Jennifer Higdon harp concerto with soloist Yolanda Kondonassis that they all premiered in May. It's part of an all-American show that includes works by Patrick Harlin, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein.

The great pianist Yefim Bronfman is joining forces with Ward Stare and your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to open the new season with two fan favorites and a concerto that Mr. Bronfman calls "a nightmare;" the Roman Carnival Overture by Berlioz, Dvorak's New World Symphony, and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 all set the stage for concerts to come.  

A big ending is as important as a strong beginning, right? With that in mind, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare chose Bizet's opera Carmen to close out the 2017-18 season. Reviled at the premiere, it became one of opera's greatest hits within three years after being shredded by Paris critics.

Ward Stare, mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy (Carmen), and tenor Dinyar Vania (Don Jose) sat down with Julia Figueras to discuss this now-iconic opera. 

Kondonassis: Mark Bettrell/Higdon: jenniferhigdon.com

Jennifer Higdon believes in magic. This week, Ward Stare, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra weave a spell with the world premiere of Higdon's Harp Concerto. All parties involved talked to Julia Figueras about the creation of this work, with a little Brahms and Britten in the mix, too...and it was magic.

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