Music + Culture

Music + Culture
10:33 am
Wed May 28, 2014

What Northwest Public Radio Is Listening To This Summer

Credit Jenni Chaffin photograph with Sueann Ramella graphics

Summer is a time of sunshine, blue skies and green lawns; better weather and easy days. Each summer seems to have its own soundtrack, songs you discover or rediscover that capture the very essence of summer. Northwest Public Radio’s hosts are no strangers to these summer tracks and they want to share their favorites with you! So, without further ado, here are some of NWPR’s favorite classic and current summer hits.

Jessie Jacobs, Classical Music Host

Old-time favorite: George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F

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Music + Culture
9:04 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Read Joyce DiDonato's Inspiring Juilliard Commencement Speech

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Simon Pauly Courtesy of the artist

Star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato gave the 2014 commencement address at Juilliard Friday — and it's a memorable one, both for her words and by DiDonato's own example as someone whose own career began under low heat.

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Music + Culture
2:35 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

The 85 musicians in the Santa Cecilia Orchestra are paid professionals who play with other symphonies and in Hollywood studios.
Courtesy of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:53 am

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

"I brought my dad, my stepmom," she says, "my sister, my brother and my sister's cousin ..."

That's the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

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Music + Culture
10:44 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Marin Alsop's Guide To Mendelssohn's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Titania awakes clinging rapturously to Bottom, still wearing the donkey's head, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mendelssohn wrote music for a production of the play in 1843.
Henry Fuseli Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 11:09 am

Growing up as a violinist, Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto ranked among my top 10 Holy Grail pieces. As I got older, I moved on to his Octet and Piano Trio in D minor, which became two of my favorite chamber works. There's almost nothing comparable to playing Mendelssohn's Octet with seven great string players. It's absolutely thrilling, energetic, virtuosic, youthful, fun and challenging. And to think that Mendelssohn wrote it when he was just 16.

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Music + Culture
5:52 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Asleep In Dress Blues: Music For Memorial Day

A lone bugler plays "Taps" during a burial service at Arlington National Cemetery.
Win McNamee Getty Images

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Music + Culture
11:10 am
Sun May 25, 2014

A Few Words With Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone became a fixture of global culture with his film music — but as a young composer, he was a radical.
Courtesy of Armonia AC

Today at the Cannes Film Festival, attendees marked the 50th anniversary of the spaghetti western at a special screening of A Fistful of Dollars, the Sergio Leone classic that kick-started the genre. Leone's vision of the American West remains singular — and it's impossible to imagine without the iconic music of Ennio Morricone.

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Music + Culture
6:23 am
Wed May 21, 2014

In 2014, The Classical World Still Can't Stop Fat-Shaming Women

How did the figure of Irish mezzo Tara Erraught prompt such a seething mass of contempt from a handful of London critics?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:57 am

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Music + Culture
9:12 am
Thu May 15, 2014

What It's Like To Hear Carl Kasell Say Your Name

The power of Carl Kasell goes beyond his velvety voice.
Credit Katie Burk / NPR

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! will say goodbye to Carl Kasell on May 17th. He will no longer be the show's official scorekeeper, but will continue to record voice mail greetings for show winners. And those lucky winners will experience the giddy feeling of hearing Carl Kasell say their name.

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Music + Culture
12:32 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It)

The vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 will disband after the 2015-16 concert season.
Dario Acosta

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 9:01 am

In 1986, four women gathered in a casual setting to sing through a bit of medieval chant. Little did they know they were launching Anonymous 4, an a cappella ensemble that has spanned nearly 30 years, 20 albums, countless concerts and more than a millenium of music.

Today the group announced that the 2015-16 season will be its last together. But this isn't the first time Anonymous 4 has thought about calling it quits. The group bid a similar farewell in 2004.

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Seattle Symphony
1:59 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

The Seattle Symphony at Carnegie Hall

Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot stands before his orchestra just before their Spring for Music concert at Carnegie Hall on May 6, 2014. (Inspired by the oceanic theme of the concert, the musicians are wearing deep blue scarves and ties created by Seattle fashion designer Michael Cepress.)
Credit Melanie Burford / NPR Music

The Seattle Symphony performed at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 6, with John Luther Adams' prize-winning piece Become Ocean headlining a concert devoted to sea and sand that includes Debussy's La mer and an Edgard Varèse piece inspired by the New Mexico desert.

You can listen to the entire concert right here on NWPR.org, just click here!

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