classical

Northwest Public Television

 

Francisco Mendoza is a seventh-grader with a sweet smile. Like many boys his age, he has yes and no answers to most questions. It wasn’t easy getting the details of his life - but maybe it’s because of the struggle and loss his family has endured. Francisco’s father died when he was three years old, and his mother works low-wage jobs to provide for her family.

But playing the cello relieves Francisco’s stress.

Marie Glynn / NWPR

In this episode, Greg Yasinitsky discusses his work Nighthawk in Flight - an exploration of the line between the genres of classical and jazz called "third stream."  The Washington State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs alongside jazz quartet Nighthawk, an ensemble in which Yasinitsky plays saxophone.

Listen below to this rhythmic and melodic melding of genres or download at Soundcloud

Digging into information for the tidbits you hear next to the classical music on NWPR, we run across some interesting phenomena. Like the use of a composer’s name as an adjective. What makes a piece Brahmsian? Or Beethovenian? Writers about music often take this shortcut to describe a sound. Steve Reeder discovered that the French are fond of the word “Ravelian.” And Mahlerian, but we have that one too.

Mobeen Ansari / http://www.npr.org/

Imagine your life if attending a concert were against the law. Now imagine trying to bring the music back to life, in a country where the skills to play it have been almost lost. A new documentary takes you to Pakistan, where it's more than just an imaginary scenario.

Peter Serling / http://www.npr.org/

Northwest Public Radio's classical music programming staff has lately been making sure to include women composers on our playlists. Here's one you might not have heard of -- but now you will. Julia Wolfe has received the Pulitzer Prize for her oratorio about coal miners and their families.

P.A.D Studio/Courtesy of the artist

"Are you hearing me?" A conductor in China asks that question, and it will echo back across the ocean in 5 years of concerts. 40 new compositions. High profile performers. Yes, including that globe-spanning cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma, but not just.

If you're a parent, the sound of a small child sawing away at the strains of the "Twinkle Variations" may be all too familiar.

It's Song One, of Book One, of the Suzuki method, a musical pedagogy developed by Shin'ichi Suzuki in the 1960s.

But lately there has been discord among music educators, a feud over methods and credentials and accusations of fraud.

The votes are in. The people of Scotland have chosen to remain in the United Kingdom. To mark the historic occasion, a wee reminder of what the Scots have contributed to classical music is in order.

Sometimes good things come in small packages. Nonesuch Records, which started as a tiny independent budget classical label in 1964, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with three weeks of concerts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The label became a force in the recording industry by pioneering electronic music and world music, launching the ragtime revival and becoming a place where contemporary classical composers had a home. Now an industry powerhouse, Nonesuch still operates like an independent record company.

Northwest Public Radio's Gillian Coldsnow would love to meet you when she emcees at two music festivals this weekend.

Chihuly And Cellos: A Transcendent Affair

Jun 6, 2014
From The Top

Yes, this is a group of teenagers - and the piece was arranged by one of them too! The video features the Konpeito Cello Quartet playing a composition from the Hayao Miyazaki film “My Neighbor Totoro.” The piece is called "The Path of the Wind." Jeremy Tai, who is only 15 years old, arranged the piece for cello and plays alongside Minku Lee, Catherine Kim, and Irene Jeong. If the music doesn't transport you to another world, the location will with views of gorgeous glass sculptures from Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass. Stunning!

NWPR

 Symphony season is coming to a close and summertime is on its way!  That means it’s time for the many fantastic summer classical music festivals here in the Northwest, where regional, national and international stars perform in some spectacular venues, both indoors and out.

·        The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festivals brings regional, national and international stars to the city to perform at vineyards, museums, churches, theaters and other intimate venues throughout June.

BBC

The BBC reported that a lost Mendelssohn composition was recently rediscovered. The composition, which was commissioned privately, is a simple piece – and was never intended for public performance. In fact, Mendelssohn asked that it not be circulated. For the first time in more than a century and a half, the piece received a live performance, which you can see on the BBC's website.

From The Top’s Teen Musicians Thrill NWPR Audience

May 5, 2014
From The Top

“His hands were moving so fast, all I could see was a blur,” said Judy of 15-year old pianist Derek Wang of Needham, Massachusetts. And Richard, speaking of 15-year old cellist Jeremy Tai’s arrangement of a piece for his cello quartet, declared it “absolutely brilliant!”

Stefan Hersh / darntonhersh.com

The Classical music world was relieved when Milwaukee police found the stolen Stradivarius. But how were they sure it was the genuine article? After all, people have tried to pass off counterfeits before.  Enter this guy: 

Stefan Hersh.

Police in Milwaukee have recovered "Lipinski" – a 300-year-old Stradivarius stolen last month from a concertmaster as he was walking to his car with the rare violin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, quoting law enforcement officials, says the instrument has been found:

From The Top Auditions Due

Jan 7, 2014

Young classical musicans: send in your audition tape now! Submissions are due at the end of the month.  

Northwest Public Radio is seeking applications from young musicians across the region to be on the April 24 show, at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma, sponsored in part by Ted Brown Music and the Broadway Center For The Performing Arts.

Journey to the Awards

Oct 24, 2013
John Behringer / APA

Tune in for Journey to the Awards, a series that documents the finals of the yearlong competition, the 2013 ProLiance Energy Classical Fellowship Awards of the American Pianists Association. Monday through Thursday evenings, October 28th through the 31st, you’ll hear performances and behind-the-scenes interviews with the five finalists vying for the $100,000 prize, one of the most lucrative awards available to an American pianist.

Rain Rannu / Flickr

With another Halloween approaching, horror, thriller, and supernatural films
come to the fore.  Many of these pictures feature original music by composers
who have the gift for pushing our buttons and sending our pulses racing.

Bernard Herrmann, a frequent collaborator with director Alfred Hitchcock,
helped make history with his searing, astringent score for Psycho (1960).
Violins have never quite seemed the same.  Nor has taking a shower.

"Last Night of the Proms"

Sep 6, 2013
Parnall, C H (Lt) Royal Navy official photographer / Wikimedia Commons

The “Last Night of the Proms,” one of the biggest classical music parties of the summer, is tomorrow night with performances in London, Belfast and Glasgow.

Dario Acosta

You don’t have to have roots in Walla Walla to become the world’s favorite defender of the art form known as opera, but the Grammy-winning opera star Thomas Hampson does, and he knows how to use them. In a surprisingly buzzworthy confrontation on a BBC show called Hardtalk, Hampson (raised in Spokane; studied at Eastern Washington; endowed a scholarship at Walla Walla U.) faced down a hostile interviewer’s accusation that opera is only for elitist rich people.

With an interview show named HARDtalk I suppose the host might be expected to come out swinging. And recently the BBC's Sarah Montague did not disappoint.

Remembering Toby Saks

Aug 5, 2013
Seattle Chamber Music Society

Northwest music lovers are mourning the death of Toby Saks, founder of the Seattle Chamber Music Society. A major figure in the musical and civic life of the Pacific Northwest, Saks was well known in the region's classical community. Two of Northwest Public Radio's classical announcers remember her:

British National Trust

Perhaps you’re enjoying a cold Northwest craft brew on an August evening and listening to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose sweet orchestral sounds often keep you company on Northwest Public Radio.

NASA

Have you seen this latest photo of our home?

I hope someone is composing some new music, expressing the feeling of that photo, the feeling that renews our sense of what “home” means.

Icicle Creek International Chamber Music Festival

Jul 18, 2013
Andrew Jacobs

    Robin Rilette and Jessie Jacobs are in Leavenworth this weekend as part of the Icicle Creek International Music Festival.  Robin will host a program featuring the music of Brahms and Mozart performed by the Avalon String Quartet and pianist, Oksana Ezhokina.  Join Robin and Jessie Friday evening at 8:00 at the Icicle Creek Music Center in Leavenworth.  Click here for more information. 

Critics and fans love a good debate over the great American novel or great American movie. But what about the great American symphony?

Is there one? If not, why? If so, which symphonies are good candidates for the title? (Check out our Spotify list for some contenders.) And in the land of the melting pot, what does it mean for a symphony to be "American" in the first place?

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and on the big day, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture will be heard from coast to coast, complete with fireworks and cannons. But how did a Russian composition, depicting the rout of Napoleon's Army, end up as the unofficial soundtrack for our most quintessentially American holiday?

The Wunder Years: Sloppy Johann

Jun 28, 2013

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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