Music + Culture

Chinese New Year
3:00 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

A Song For Chinese New Year: Stop And Hear The Red Flowers

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Amanda Kowalski Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 4:03 am

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Northwest Sinfonietta
7:58 am
Mon February 16, 2015

With Founding Director's Exit, Northwest Sinfonietta Looks To New Model

Credit Northwest Sinfonietta

Christophe Chagnard, founding director of the Northwest Sinfonietta, resigned after 24 years, reports the News Tribune. The chamber orchestra out of Tacoma is known regionally for its compositions and youth opportunities.

But more dramatic than Chagnard's exit is the Sinfonietta's new musician-driven model. According to the News Tribune, the Sinfonietta will move to:

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Classical Love Story
10:41 am
Fri February 13, 2015

A Real Classical Love Story: Clara and Robert

Picture of a young Clara Schumann.
Credit Wikimedia Commons /

A little girl’s crush: you could say it all started like that, when she was a brilliant 9-year-old concert pianist, and he was her music-educator father’s brilliant 18 year old protégé. But little girls grow up. Right after her sixteenth birthday, he writes in his diary: “Clara’s eyes and her love…the first kiss…” and she writes in a letter to him: “When you gave me that first kiss, I thought I would faint; everything went blank and I could barely hold the lamp that was lighting your way out.”

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Music + Culture
10:34 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Obsessive Berlioz Scares Off His Crush

Harriet Smithson caught the eye of the obsessive Berlioz. We imagine this is her telling him to chill out.
Credit WikiCommons

The obvious real-life romance in the classical world is Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck, so for a change of pace I will talk about Harriet Smithson and Hector Berlioz.

Harriet was an Anglo-Irish actress. In one performance of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet in 1827​, in which Harriet played the leading ladies, Berlioz happened to be in attendance. He immediately fell in love with the beautiful and talented actress. 

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Valentine's Day
8:37 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Old Northwest Love Stories You Need To Know About

Credit Patty Colmer from Citrus Heights, United States / WikiCommons

Nothing says love like silk ties, long-distance correspondence, divorce and murder-suicide. OK, maybe a hug and kiss would do, but for your Valentine’s Day entertainment here are some historical Northwest stories that have something to do with love.      

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Valeintine's Day Music
6:32 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Here Are A Few Great Songs For Valentine's Day

Credit Leandroid / Flickr

We already know that NWPR staff have great taste in music. You only have to listen to our Classical Service to know that. And so with Valentine's Day on Saturday, we once again asked our staff for recommendations. Here's what we got:

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Music + Culture
8:21 am
Wed February 11, 2015

What It Means To Play Pablo Casals' Cello

Amit Peled is preparing to re-create a century-old cello recital by Pablo Casals, using the master's own instrument. Here, he shows if off in NPR's Washington, D.C., studios.
Colin Marshall NPR

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 11:47 am

When Amit Peled was 10, his parents gave him a gift: a cassette of music by cello master Pablo Casals. Peled had no classical background; his parents were not musicians. He says his own budding interest in the cello was a scam, a way of getting close to a girl in his town who happened to play the instrument. And yet, every night, he would fall asleep with the tape playing from a boombox beside his bed. The music made an impression.

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Love Songs
10:05 am
Tue February 10, 2015

The Good Listener: How Can I Avoid Love Songs?

When it seems like every song on earth is about love or its absence, the heartsick need a strategy.

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 5:03 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the pheromone-laced collars we ordered in the hopes that our cats will stop acting like jerks is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on how the heartsick can avoid songs about love, sex and desire.

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Music + Culture
3:36 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Music for Valentine's Day

Classical music and a classic Valentine's Day gift.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Barber

Adagio for Strings

Hector Berlioz

"Romeo and Juliet" Love Scene

Georges Bizet

The Pearl Fishers - Au fond du temple saint

Carmen - La fleur que tu m'avais jetée

Johannes Brahms

Liebeslieder Waltzes

Alexander Borodin

String Quartet No. 2

Claude Debussy

Suite bergamasque: Clair de lune

Gaetano Donizetti

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The Seattle Symphony
11:35 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Seattle Symphony Wins A Grammy

Credit The Seattle Symphony /

The Seattle Symphony's recording of Become Ocean by John Luther Adams won "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" at the 2015 Grammy Awards on Sunday. This marks a historic moment in the Symphony’s 111-year history as their first recording to win a Grammy after a total of 18 nominations.

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