Music + Culture


Courtesy Washington State University

Greg Yasinitsky, director of Washington State University’s School of Music, has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

It was the jazz composer’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that earned him prestigious nod.

The composition premiered last January and was performed by the Baton Rouge Symphony.

Music is a combination of sound and silence - a concept that composer and pianist Haskell Small has explored extensively in his performances and in his own music. As he prepares to perform in the Northwest November 10 and 11, Anjuli Dodhia sat down with Haskell Small to chat about silence, sound, contemplation and his programs in Seattle and Wenatchee.

Anjuli Dodhia: Thank you so much, Haskell Small for being here and speaking with us today.

Getting To Know A Veteran Who Died A Century Ago

Nov 9, 2017
Katherine Barner / Northwest Public Radio

This is a student multi-media project with Northwest Public Radio.  

Sometimes we grieve for people we’ve never met. Walking through a cemetery, looking at the graves of people who exist to you only as names in stone, it’s easy to wonder at the loss. It’s a shallow grief, not the long-term grief for a friend lost, but the fleeting interjection of some unknowable person into your periphery.

Jeff Dill / tumblr

Thanksgiving is on the way - a day of gratitude, family, music, food and reflection. Spend your Thanksgiving with Northwest Public Radio for a day of holiday specials full of stories, cooking tips and classical music.

Katherine Barner / Northwest Public Radio

From the wheat fields of the Palouse to the recording studios of Hollywood, Paul Henning has found success in the Los Angeles music industry.


Photo by Natalia Kikuchi

The Seattle Symphony has taken a major step toward continuity on the podium, naming Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard as its music director-designate.

Image is a painting signed "Walker," published in Harpers Weekly, vol. 38, whole no. 1960 (July 14, 1894), pg. 657.

Labor Day is a time of reflection: where should I camp? Do I actually have to stop wearing white? Where exactly is the best deal on a flat-screen? More than a century ago, though, the United State Congress quickly pushed through legislation declaring Labor Day a national holiday, and it wasn't to give you a three day weekend. It was an attempt to save face with unionists after the largest and bloodiest strike the nation had ever seen.

Tony Award-winning actress and singer Barbara Cook, an ingénue in Broadway's Golden Age — during the 1950s and '60s — who later transformed herself into a concert and cabaret star, has died. She was 89.

Cook died early Tuesday of respiratory failure, surrounded by friends and family at her home in Manhattan, according to her publicist.

Betsy Weber,

Big personalities are no stranger to classical music – the people behind the compositions are remembered through letters, reviews and their own journals. NWPR has taken these colorful characters and matched them with a drink for the summertime. While you stay cool and have a refreshing summer, see if you can taste the music in these cocktails.  

Special thanks to Avery Whisenant for educating us on the craft of bartending and showing us the personality in cocktails.

Inland Folk with Dan Maher will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a special concert on Thursday June 22nd at 7:30 in the Richland Players Theatre

Inland Folk  has been enchanting audiences for decades - it's a Northwest radio staple and its success is due to creator, host, producer and heart behind the show, Dan Maher. Dan's passion for music and love of radio is the reason Inland Folk celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. 

I sat down to chat with Dan about this landmark, his love of music and his life in radio. 

Jessie Jacobs: 35 years of Inland Folk – that’s pretty impressive.

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival

The Northwest doesn't hit the pause button on classical music when symphonies give their final performances of the season. It’s time to press play on chamber music season - June marks the start of summer festivals. While you plan your summer vacations and day trips, keep these festivals in mind.

Have You Heard The Singing Of The Beer Choir?

May 25, 2017
John Reichel

Through the din of the bar, the voices emerge.

The Beer Choir is a choir that sings while drinking beer.

So bottoms up! CHEERS!”

These lyrics can be found in the “Beer Hymnal,” the Bible of songs for members of the Palouse Two Rivers Beer Choir.

All good things come to an end - including the fabulous Northwest 2016/2017 Symphony season. Here's what's on tap for season finales.

Camerata Musica brings national and international musicians to the Tri-Cities throughout the year. To close this season, they are keeping it local in a tribute to young, local, musical rising stars. Help Camerata celebrate the young performers of the region. Sunday May 7, 2:00PM, Battelle Auditorium

Eugene Symphony Scores A New Conductor

Apr 26, 2017
Brian Bull

After more than a year of searching, the Eugene Symphony has announced its new music director and conductor. The search committee reviewed 250 applications from 34 states and 44 nations, before choosing Francesco Lecce-Chong. 

Music for Springtime

Apr 5, 2017
Jenni Chaffin / Tumblr

The change in season comes with a change of musical taste, right? Spring certainly highlights some works in the minds of NWPR staff - so we asked the question: Which works make us think of spring?

Unlocking The Mind With Music

Mar 3, 2017
Staff at Pullman Regional Hospital


A program at Pullman Regional Hospital is using the power of music to tap deep into the memories of dementia patients. Music & Memory is a national program that brings digital music to elderly patients to help improve their quality of life.

John Keogh / Flickr

Why are dystopian novels back on best sellers lists? Recently, 1A discussed renewed interest in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and wondered if this development was in response to legislative uncertainty and fears of an atypical administration?

Katherine Barner / Northwest Public Radio


Less than a week before their first performance, the Washington Idaho Symphony starts rehearsal for their 40th Annual Domey/Gillespie Young Artist Concert. The concert is a major event, but a professional symphony is too busy to spend more time rehearsing.

For the past 45 years, the Washington Idaho Symphony has brought music to eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

Out of Africa Copyright 1985 Universal Pictures, Shawshank Redemption Copyright 1994 Columbia Pictures , Arrival Copyright 2016 Paramount Pictures

Some classical pieces have become so famous for the film scenes in which they appear, it’s hard to think of them in any other context. NWPR staff open up about their favorite classical music moments in film and television.

Operations Manager Marie Glynn noted Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” in the helicopter scene of “Apocalypse Now” to be “harrowing and horrifyingly apt.” She said "it was stunning to be seated in a movie theater in 1979 and experience that.”

Jennifer Higdon: Candace diCarlo

With the New Year come new performers at Northwest music festivals! Many of the region’s chamber music festivals come to life this January and February for winter performances – mark your calendar and prepare for chamber music throughout the Northwest.  

Carols, Hymns and Songs - What You May Not Know

Dec 15, 2016
Marta Crowe / Wikimedia Commons

Holiday music provides a magical soundtrack to your favorite winter-time activities, but there may be more to your favorite Christmas melodies than you expect - how much do you really know about these beloved songs and carols?

Felix Mendelssohn wrote a cantata to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the invention of the printing press. His student later combined the melody with words by Charles Wesley and it became the version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” we know today.  

Holiday Programs 2016

Nov 23, 2016
Doug Pieper / flickr

The end of the year is a time to celebrate. Throughout the month of December, you’ll hear classic carols, hilarious stories, warm musical performances and thought-provoking holiday tales. Here are the special programs coming your way throughout December:

Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink:  Pink Martini and All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro bring you an hour of multi-denominational, multi-cultural holiday spirit in the form of timeless classics and adventurous tunes. 7 PM, Saturday December 17, NPR and Classical Music Service.

Alby Headrick / Flickr

Spend your Thanksgiving with Northwest Public Radio! Here's a list of specials that will keep you company this season.

Sounds of the Season

Nov 14, 2016
Earl Blackaby / Tumblr

Throughout the year, Northwest Public Radio is supported by partners in the community – businesses and organizations that help provide programming for all listeners. Here’s a special seasonal spotlight on the arts groups that keep our communities vibrant with music and NWPR’s airwaves robust with the programs you love. Geographically from east to west, here are the “sounds of the season”:


Autumn's Colors Through The Northwest

Nov 14, 2016
Esther Wofford /

As fall comes to an end, we wanted to take a moment to appreciate the season's vibrant colors. Thanks to our listeners, we gathered photos that showcase the beauty of autumn in the Northwest.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Abraham Lincoln's words. Aaron Copland's Music. James Earl Jones's speaking voice. Seattle Symphony.

Northwest Public Radio will air Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" just before the start of All Things Considered and election day coverage today at 3:45 pm. 

This piece will inspire and bring reflection as the nation chooses its next president. Join us for Jones's reading of  "of the people, by the people, for the people..." well-known words startlingly fresh and relevant, no matter how many times you have heard the piece, or this recording of it, or the Gettysburg Address.

Think you're an expert on eerie music of days past? Want a fun challenge for Halloween?

Take NWPR's Halloween quiz to test your musical chops for this season. 

Northwest Public Television and Radio

Public radio is a duet between the station and listeners. You give your support and appreciation and together we create programs that enrich your mind and uplift your spirits. Become a member in this duet today! #supportNWPR

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival

Symphony season is here once more, and soon, orchestral performances will be filling the region.  Below, you’ll find out what Northwest symphonies and ensembles have in mind to open their 2016/2017 seasons.

Yakima's Second Sunday Series begins the season with a performance from Trio Brilliante - the winners of the Seattle Ladies' Musical Club Frances Walton Competition. September 11, 2:00 pm, Englewood Christian Church.