Music + Culture

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS82nF85_gA Pierre Boulez, the French composer and conductor whose career spanned from the avant-garde post-World War II era to the computer age, has died, according to the French culture ministry. He was 90. Boulez famously challenged his peers and his audience to rethink their ideas of sound and harmony. In his music, Boulez often created rich and contrasting layers that were built on musical traditions from Asia and Africa, and on the 12-tone technique...

NWPR STAFF BEST READS OF 2015

Dec 16, 2015

With upwards of one million books published each year in the U.S., it can be difficult even for bibliophiles to know the good reads. So this year, we asked our erudite colleagues at Northwest Public Radio for their suggestions. Check out their top 10 (in no particular order):

Clemens Pfeiffer / Wikimedia Commons

Traditional carols, heartwarming and hilarious stories, and new ways to think about the holidays! Here’s the list of special programs coming your way throughout December. New Year's Day From Vienna 2016: Ring in the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic’s beloved annual concert of waltzes and polkas from the Johann Strauss family and its contemporaries, brought to you from the Musikverein in Vienna Philharmonic. Radetsky March, anyone? 2 – 4 PM, Friday January 1, 2016, NPR and Classical Music...

Special Programs For Thanksgiving

Nov 16, 2015
Dion Hinchcliffe / / Flickr

From culinary and hosting help to poetry, music and a scientific consideration of gratitude, Northwest Public Radio has a lineup of special programs to enhance your Thanksgiving!

SNEAK PREVIEW: Latino USA Yakima Valley Special

Nov 15, 2015
Michael Paras / NPR

The next episode of Latino USA is devoted entirely to stories from the Yakima Valley - but you can get a sneak preview! Come to a Listening Party at The Seasons Performance Hall , Friday November 20th at 6 PM .

FARE

In the United States, 8% of children have a nut allergy . Halloween can be tricky to navigate. Consider this; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was the top candy for Halloween in 2013. I love those. And I’m sure my son would too if it weren’t for the asthma attack and hives. But after 2 reactions and one expensive E.R. visit, “Are there nuts in this?” seems less annoying. This year we learned about the teal pumpkin project . People who are aware of growing food allergies in children will display a...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG-5StYEeqk Teddy Abrams is a fresh face in the classical music world. The 28-year-old conductor of the Louisville Orchestra is the eighth and youngest music director in the organization's 78-year history, and he's hoping to use his position to make classical music more accessible. His own Louisville Concerto , a collaborative work that premieres Friday, incorporates folk, rock and hip-hop. Abrams spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin from the studios of Louisville...

Feast of Music / Flickr

Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra is known for her energetic, animated conducting. Take a look at the her joyous body language in this rehearsal video : https://youtu.be/YfKBfH0g_Hc Tune in this Sunday, November 1 from 2-4 PM to Concierto , when Alondra de la Parra conducts her Filarmonica de las Americas in music by the Mexican composer Mario Lavista . Hosted by Frank Dominguez, Concierto is a bilingual show which features music and performers from Spain and Latin America, hosted in...

Why is classical music so hard to enjoy on streaming services? In one word, it's metadata. Metadata is the information that coexists with every digital music file: each and every piece of information about a selection of music that a listener might find useful to know, and what makes the information in one file discernible from the next. In the case of classical music, relevant and important metadata includes the name of the piece of music, the composer, the album it's from, the performers,...

When the curtain rises on the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Verdi 's Otello tonight, opera fans will quickly notice what's not there. For the first time since the opera was first staged at the Met in 1891, a white singer performing the title role will not be wearing makeup to darken his complexion to play the Moor at the center of the tragedy. When Otello premiered at La Scala in Milan in 1887, the great Italian tenor Francesco Tamagno sang the role in blackface. Ever since the debut...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYerKidQGcc Kevin Sylvester says that when most people see a 6-foot-2-inch, 260-pound black man, they don't expect him to also be a classically trained violinist. A recent exchange with a woman in an elevator, when he happened to have his instrument with him in its case, drove that point home. "She's like, 'What do you play?' " he recalls. "I'm like, 'I'm a violinist.' And she was like, 'Well, obviously you don't play classical, so what kind of style do you play...

NWPR

September marks the beginning of the 2015/2016 Symphony season for many ensembles in the Northwest – mark your calendar for these concerts: September 15: Explore guitar music from Baroque-era Spain and Mexico with The Early Music Guild of Seattle. The first concert of their season features the Tembembe Ensemble Continuo and a celebration of Mexico’s independence. 7:15 PM, Town Hall Seattle. September 19 & 20: The Spokane Symphony ’s new season kicks off with a concert of Russian...

Rich History And Rich Soil Makes For Rich Beer

Aug 10, 2015
Sparkfly / Fremont Brewing

You can’t talk about brewing in Washington State without mentioning Rainier and Olympia beer. According to its website, Rainier Beer traces its beginnings back to the mid-1800s, when Seattle was a pioneering city for lumberjacks and fishermen – after all, hard workers need refreshment. Rainier was officially launched in 1878 and quickly found popularity. Olympia Beer began in the 1850s when founder Leopold F. Schmidt believed he had found the perfect brewing waters near the Tumwater Falls...

A member of the All Things Considered family has died. Alan Cheuse , who reviewed books on our air nearly every week since the early 1980s, passed away today after a car accident in California two weeks ago. He was 75 years old. In two minutes every week, Alan paid his respects to good writing in his soft, intense, passionate voice. Who ever read as much as Alan did? When he wasn't reading, he was teaching — over the years at Bennington, the University of Virginia, University of Michigan, and...

Concierto, WDAV Classical Public Radio

Frank Dominguez has been part of classical music on public radio for more than 20 years – experience he mixes with his Hispanic heritage to produce and host Concierto , the nation's first bilingual classical show which you now hear Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 on your NPR and Classical Music Service. Every week, Concierto takes a look at the deep roots Hispanic culture has in the classical genre and includes a roster of composers and musicians from all over the world. In a recent interview...

The denouement of a 35-year drama takes place Thursday at the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. And I trust that my father, virtuoso violinist Roman Totenberg, who died three years ago, will be watching from somewhere. For decades he played his beloved Stradivarius violin all over the world. And then one day, he turned around and it was gone. Stolen. While he was greeting well-wishers after a concert, it was snatched from his office at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass. It was a...

ALL CLASSICAL PUBLIC MEDIA

A classically trained Shakespearean actor and the BBC’s former Hollywood correspondent, Edmund Stone is host of one a new program on the NPR and Classical music service. The Score is a weekly celebration of music in film. Why that combination? Well, think about your own introduction to the classics: more often than not, you gained familiarity with great works because you heard them in a movie. So how do composers come up with scores—do they work with the movie directors before or after the...

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. In fact, what adjectives are we missing? Is your favorite composer Copland? Do you find...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8VIdZWqk-o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOu7RdnMxpw Gunther Schuller, one of America's most wide-ranging musicians — a French horn prodigy and tireless advocate for bridging classical music and jazz — died Sunday morning in Boston, his son Ed Schuller said. Gunther Schuller was 89. Extraordinarily active and influential as a composer, conductor and educator, he was also hailed as an author, publisher and record producer — and, not incidentally, as a friend...

You've been put on notice, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! John Moore of Decatur, Ga., wrote to NPR: "Everyone is allowed one mulligan, and you just had yours." Moore, who admits he might be an "NPR snob," was referring to the show's "Not My Job" guest appearance this past weekend of—gasp!!!—Kim Kardashian, where she was invited to promote her new book, Selfish , 448 pages of photographs of herself. Kardashian's presence on the show sent several hundred listeners over the top. By the dozens, they...

Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni / Mozart Museum

You read about music for mom earlier this year - now it's time to celebrate dad in the classical music world. Throughout music history, famous fathers have come in all forms - composers, conductors, musicians and, of course, superfans. This Father's Day, Northwest Public Radio celebrates with a look at all varieties of fathers. Children’s Corner, Claude Debussy Debussy wrote this piece from the perspective of a child: his daughter, Claude Emma. And it was Claude Emma for whom he wrote it,...

K ennewick’s Mike Rinker won Grand Champion of WineMaker Magazine’s International Amateur 2015 Wine Competition. Rinker brought home the gold with a red – a 100 percent Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from 2013. Rinker, who is the father of Northwest Public Radio’s former operations manager Kevin Rinker, told Great Northwest Wine the Northwest’s wine making abilities are growing. In fact, it was his move to the Tri-Cities in 1991 that inspired Rinker to try mashing grapes and making wine. “I...

Sueann Ramella / Northwest Public Radio

It was a little too hot to weed in the garden this week which may have you frustrated because you know how fast they can grow. Believe it or not, some serve a purpose besides breaking your back. Have you ever noticed that weeds take over bare spots? This is Mother Nature’s way of saving the valuable topsoil from eroding or blowing away. Weeds with deep taproots break up hard soil so other plants can reach water. But let’s face it, some weeds need to go and you have lots of herbicides to...

NWPR

Have you ever wondered what classical musicians do when symphony season is over? The answer: summer music festivals! That’s right—festival season is upon us, with accomplished musicians from all over the nation flocking to various Northwest locations to give great performances in some of the most scenic locations in the region. Haydn, Mozart, Debussy and a world premiere - just a few highlights of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival , running through June 27. The Art of Modulation,...

"The monastic life is very plain and ordinary," says Father Cassian Folsom, the founder and prior of the Monks of Norcia, ensconced in the St. Benedict Monastery in central Italy. "You get up, and you pray, and you do your work and go to bed and then the next day you do the same thing." A large portion of the monks' daily routine is singing. "We chant the Divine Office and the Mass every day," Folsom tells NPR's Scott Simon. "And if you put all of those moments together it takes about five...

Jim Cornelison

Raised in Enumclaw and Sunnyside and trained in opera, Jim Cornelison will sing the national anthem for the Chicago Blackhawks when the NHL Stanley Cup finals begins. According to this NPR story , it's not just a competition between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lighting - the anthem singers compete with the cheering crowd and with each other. After listening to Cornelison we are filled with patriotic fervor! We are sure Tampa Bay Lighting's Air Force Tech. Sgt . Sonya Bryson will...

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling. The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top . He is 9 years old. Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand. "It reminds of when I lost my pet bunny. I named her Symphony," he tells NPR...

You wouldn't normally expect one of the great composers of the last few centuries to be meek, but how's this for humility? "Bach and Beethoven erected temples and churches on the heights. I only wanted to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy, and at home." Those words are credited to Edvard Grieg . Pianist Stephen Hough has three — count them, three — new albums out right now. One features his own compositions, and two of them include music by Grieg, including 27 of the...

Wikimedia Commons

Music for Memorial Day serves two very different purposes: 1. honoring the nation’s fallen soldiers, and 2. acknowledging the holiday’s popular expression as the official start of summer. Below, you’ll see we’ve gathered a few suggestions for each of these. “Decoration Day” was the original name of this last Monday in May, designated as the time for decorating the grave sites of American military who had made the ultimate sacrifice. At memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries all around the...

The Local Flavor Of Craft Distillers

May 21, 2015
http://www.newdealdistillery.com/

Every major region of America has local distilleries. Both Seattle and Portland have tours where locals and tourists alike can venture through an array of neighborhood distilleries. Erika Degens, owner and partner of Stone Barn Brandyworks in Portland, says there is something admirable about local distilleries. “It’s an entrepreneurship and that’s what’s appealing,” Degens said. Degens and her husband started Stone Barn Brandyworks in 2009, a year after Oregon expanded their alcohol...

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