Music + Culture

Music + Culture
12:04 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

What Do Salmon Ladders and Opera Have in Common? Thomas Hampson Explains

Thomas Hampson argues that opera is still applicable. He is in Salzburg Festival this month as Rodrigo in the production of Don Carlo.
Credit 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.

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Music + Culture
5:41 am
Mon August 12, 2013

The American Symphonic Legacy: Not Just For White Guys

George Walker is considered the elder statesman of today's African-American composers.
Gregory Walker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:23 am

This summer, NPR Classical has been looking for the great American symphony — or at least some idea of what it might sound like.

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Music + Culture
2:19 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Chris Thile Looks Back To Bach

Chris Thile's new album, Sonatas and Partitas, draws from material written by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 1700s.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:09 am

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Music + Culture
2:55 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Versatile Opera Star, Director, Teacher Regina Resnik Dies at 90

Regina Resnik as Ellen Orford in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes in 1948.
Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:11 am

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Music + Culture
2:32 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

And in This Corner: A Baritone Fights For Opera On The BBC

Baritone Thomas Hampson takes his punches for opera on a BBC talk show.
Dario Acosta

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.

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Music + Culture
8:47 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Bruce Bradberry Remembers the Zonkey

A young Bruce Bradberry on a zonkey in Tijuana while on vacation with his Dad.
Credit Bruce Bradberry

Back in the 1960's, tourists to Tijuana would sit on a zonkey and have their picture taken. It was a good living for the owners of the zonkies (donkeys striped with lady's hair dye) but times have changed.

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Northwest Music
10:04 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Remembering Toby Saks

Acclaimed cellist Toby Saks led the Seattle Chamber Music Society's popular festivals for years. She was 71 when she died on August 1, 2013.
Credit 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:

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Vaughan Williams and Ezra Meeker
9:36 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ezra Meeker, Ralph Vaughan Williams, And Beer: Historic Homes. Historic Hops

Leith Hill Place, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s family home in Surrey, England, just opened to the public this summer.
Credit 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.

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Music + Culture
8:40 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A Pulitzer Winner Asks: Why Write Symphonies?

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts is still inspired by the age-old symphonic form.
Andrew Shapter

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 2:32 pm

In 2007, I was interviewed by a journalist over lunch a day before the premiere of my Violin Concerto. One of his first questions was, "So why do you write in these old forms, the symphony, the concerto ... ?" I told him that these were simply titles which imply nothing about the form, which was another thing entirely. But it led me to ask myself: What is a symphony these days? If it no longer comprises a four-movement structure with an energetic first movement, a slow movement, a scherzo, and some kind of quick rondo, then what exactly characterizes it?

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Music + Culture
2:01 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

5 American Symphonies You Should Know

Robert Spano, music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, conducts the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He is a fan of the Third Symphony by Aaron Copland.
Alex Irvin

It's not quite the quest for the Holy Grail, but we're in pursuit this summer of the "Great American Symphony." And in many respects, our journey is just as important as our destination.

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