Music + Culture

Music + Culture
7:42 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Chihuly And Cellos: A Transcendent Affair

A screenshot of the Konpeito Cello Quartet playing in front of a Chihuly glass sculpture at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle.
Credit From The Top

Yes, this is a group of teenagers - and the piece was arranged by one of them too! The video features the Konpeito Cello Quartet playing a composition from the Hayao Miyazaki film “My Neighbor Totoro.” The piece is called "The Path of the Wind." Jeremy Tai, who is only 15 years old, arranged the piece for cello and plays alongside Minku Lee, Catherine Kim, and Irene Jeong. If the music doesn't transport you to another world, the location will with views of gorgeous glass sculptures from Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass. Stunning!

Read more
Music + Culture
7:29 am
Wed June 4, 2014

What Weeks Of Debate Have Shown Us About Women In Classical Music

A prop maker readies a portrait of Octavian (Tara Erraught) in advance of the first performance of Der Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Festival last month.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

An astonishing conversation has emerged in the weeks since Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught began her run as Octavian at the Glyndebourne Festival in England. Erraught was excoriated by a handful of male London critics for her weight — prompting a widespread backlash on her behalf in the aftermath of those reviews.

Read more
Music + Culture
4:42 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Summer Classical Music Festivals

A performance at the 2013 Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festivals
Credit NWPR

 Symphony season is coming to a close and summertime is on its way!  That means it’s time for the many fantastic summer classical music festivals here in the Northwest, where regional, national and international stars perform in some spectacular venues, both indoors and out.

·        The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festivals brings regional, national and international stars to the city to perform at vineyards, museums, churches, theaters and other intimate venues throughout June.

Read more
Music + Culture
1:30 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

The Silence And Awe Of Arvo Pärt

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, creator of contemplative music, photographed in 1990 by influential patron Betty Freeman.
Betty Freeman ECM Records

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 9:54 am

Arvo Pärt is one of the few living composers to find popularity beyond the borders of classical music. R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Bjork are big fans.

Read more
Music + Culture
6:46 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Post-Apocalyptic Picnics And Hollywood Steakhouses In Gabriel Kahane's LA

Gabriel Kahane is the rare musician who travels easily between classical, musical theater and pop. His new album is The Ambassador.
Josh Goleman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 3:35 pm

Though New York City-based Gabriel Kahane wasn't raised there, The Ambassador feels like a musical tour of Los Angeles. The album makes 10 stops in the city where the composer and singer-songwriter was born and only came to appreciate later in life, each with a specific address used as the song title.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more

Pages