Arts

Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Danish String Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Starff

An abundance of facial hair is not restricted to the sensitive male indie-rocker set. Three of the four players in the Danish String Quartet could easily pass for hipster Brooklyn beard farmers. "We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard," the group's website says.

Yet what's really important about the ensemble is how they play — and judging from this performance behind Bob Boilen's desk, these Nordic lads possess warmth, wit, a beautiful tone and technical prowess second to none.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:58 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Great Danes: Three Symphonic Albums By Danish Composers

A 1931 portrait of Danish composer Carl Nielsen by Sigurd Swane. Nielsen's symphonies are still undervalued.
Alfredo Dagli Orti The Art Arc

Denmark may be small — smaller than West Virginia — but its musical impact is disproportionately big. Since the late 19th century, some of the best symphonists have hailed from the Scandinavian country, and though they may not be household names in the U.S., their works have influence far beyond their homeland.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Opera About 1985 Achille Lauro Hijacking Draws Protests At Met

Protesters rail outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center on opening night of the opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" on Monday in New York.
Bryan Thomas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:29 am

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was among those who showed up at the Metropolitan Opera last night to denounce the production of The Death of Klinghoffer, which protesters say glorifies terrorism.

Chanting "Shame on the Met!" protesters, numbering about 400, said the performance of the 23-year-old opera was an affront to the memory of Leon Klinghoffer, a passenger on the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro that was hijacked by members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1985. Klinghoffer, 69, was shot in his wheelchair and dumped overboard.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:33 am
Sun October 19, 2014

After 200 Years, A Schubert Song Still Resonates

Scottish-American soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967) portrayed Goethe's character Gretchen, known as Marguerite in Charles Gounod's opera Faust.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 11:43 am

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Deceptive Cadence
4:32 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Postlude To A Kiss: Scriabin's Raging 'Poem Of Ecstasy'

Alexander Scriabin originally set out to write a piece called "Orgiastic Poem," centered on physical ecstasy, but later decided to alter the title to something more ambiguous.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 3:46 pm

I love composer anniversaries because they afford us opportunities to look at musicians anew, and 2015 will mark the centenary of the death of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. It's quite possible that you've never heard of Scriabin, but take comfort in the fact that even his biographer said, "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death."

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Deceptive Cadence
4:05 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Twenty Years Later, 'Klinghoffer' Still Draws Protests

Several hundred protesters picket the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera season at Lincoln Center, Sept. 22, 2014. "You will be made to destroy that set," Jeffrey Wiesenfeld said.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:26 pm

The Metropolitan Opera in New York is bracing for one of the more controversial productions in its history. Since its first performance more than 20 years ago, some critics have charged that composer John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer is anti-Israel, and even anti-Semitic. But the opera's supporters dispute that. They argue that Klinghoffer is a dramatic masterpiece that deserves to make its Met debut on Monday.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:55 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

The Case Of The Stolen Stradivarius

The Lipinski Stradivarius is worth between $5 million and $6 million. Only about 650 Strads, made by master luthier Antonio Stradivari, survive today.
Courtesy of Frank Almond

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 6:52 pm

Stradivarius violins are so important that they come with their own biographies. Several hundred of them survive today, and they're so prized, you can trace their lineages through the musicians who played them over the centuries.

The instruments have been valued at prices ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million. That kind of money attracts a lot of nonmusicians, like investors — and thieves.

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Music News
6:08 am
Sun October 12, 2014

The Royal Shakespeare Company Releases Music From Its Archive

The Royal Shakespeare Company is releasing albums of the music commissioned for its productions of many of the plays in this first collected edition of William Shakespeare's works.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 1:14 pm

For more than a century, the Royal Shakespeare Company in England has hired composers to write original music for its productions. That sheet music has sat in a vault for decades — until now.

The company has started releasing albums that combine music from its contemporary productions with much older works.

Bruce O'Neill, head of music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, describes the archive as "a bit like a bank vault."

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Deceptive Cadence
5:44 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

A Ferguson Protest Brings New Meaning To Brahms' Requiem In St. Louis

Rebecca Rivas, a reporter for the St. Louis American newspaper, captured video of the Ferguson protest at the St. Louis Symphony concert Saturday night.
St. Louis American/YouTube

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 6:30 pm

At the St. Louis Symphony concert Saturday night, the intermission may have been the most memorable part of the performance. Demonstrators in the audience sang a "Requiem for Mike Brown," referencing the 18-year-old African-American shot to death by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in August.

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Music Interviews
5:30 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

The Maestro And The Liberator: Gustavo Dudamel's Cinematic Debut

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor of the LA Philharmonic since 2009, composed the score for the new Simón Bolívar biopic The Liberator.
Vern Evans Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 12:19 pm

A film opened in the U.S. this weekend about the life of Simón Bolivar, the military leader who helped free much of Latin America from the Spanish Empire. Libertador, or The Liberator, tells that story with the help of rousing music by a first-time film-score composer: Gustavo Dudamel.

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Carnegie Hall Live
4:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: The Academy Of Ancient Music Plays J.S. Bach

The Academy of Ancient Music, with conductor Richard Egarr, brings J.S. Bach to Carnegie Hall Nov. 7.
Marco Borggreve Academy of Ancient Music

Stream a live Carnegie Hall concert of Bach's inventive and beautifully wrought orchestral suites, played by the superb Academy of Ancient Music, led by conductor and harpsichordist Richard Egarr.

PROGRAM

J.S. BACH:

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Carnegie Hall Live
4:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: The Chicago Symphony Plays A Colorful Concert

Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Todd Rosenberg Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Hear a live performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under their electrifying conductor Riccardo Muti, in a fascinating program inspired the sea — Debussy's La Mer and Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture — paired with Scriabin's brilliantly colored Symphony No. 3, "The Divine Poem."

PROGRAM

• Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture
• Debussy: La Mer
• Scriabin: Symphony No. 3, "The Divine Poem"

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Riccardo Muti, conductor

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Carnegie Hall Live
4:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: Thomas Hampson Sings A World Premiere

Baritone Thomas Hampson brings a Civil War-themed program to Carnegie Hall Feb. 9, 2015.
Kristine Hoebermann

Hear the beloved American baritone sing a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon in this recital with pianist Wolfram Rieger.

PROGRAM:

• To be announced, but will include a Jennifer Higdon world premiere commissioned by Carnegie Hall

Thomas Hampson, baritone

Wolfram Rieger, piano

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Carnegie Hall Live
4:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: András Schiff Plays Mozart, Haydn, Schubert And Beethoven

Andras Schiff plays final piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert at Carnegie Hall March 10, 2015.
Jean-Francois Gailloud ECM Records

On March 10, 2015, hear the eminent pianist in a recital of sublime works spanning the Classical-era elegance of Haydn and Mozart and the introspective Romantic drama of Schubert and Beethoven.

PROGRAM

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Carnegie Hall Live
4:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: Jordi Savall And Le Concert Des Nations

Jordi Savall and his Le Concert des Nations bring a French Baroque program to Carnegie Hall April 16, 2015.
Courtesy of the Artist

Hear a consummate master of early music, conductor and viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, lead his ensemble Le Concert des Nations in an exhilarating array of 17th- and 18th-century French compositions.

• Anonymous: Concert donné a Louis XIII en 1627 (selected by André Danican Philidor)
·· Les Ombres
·· Air pour les mesmes
·· Les Nimphes de la Grenouilliere
·· Les Bergers
·· Les Amériquains

• Lully: Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

• Lully: "Marche pour la Cérémonie Turque"

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Deceptive Cadence
2:38 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Three Quick Lessons From The Violin Wunderkind Who Became A Master

"The key is to figure out what you're contributing," Joshua Bell says of playing chamber music.
Eric Kabik Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm

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Arts
1:19 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

SU Cultural Calendar Week of Oct. 6th

SU Cultural Calendar Week of Oct. 6th

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Deceptive Cadence
5:06 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

An Inviting Apocalypse: John Luther Adams On 'Become Ocean'

John Luther Adams' Pulitzer Prize-winning piece is called Become Ocean; the recording of the work comes out Sept. 30.
Donald Lee Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 7:04 pm

This past April, composer John Luther Adams became the most recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piece Become Ocean — a work commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, the recording of which comes out this Tuesday.

Adams says that he got the call with the good news in the middle of a afternoon power nap, during an exhausting teaching residency at Michigan Tech University.

"I heard the word and asked the person on the other end, 'You know, could I call you back?' " Adams remembers. "Talk about your wake-up call."

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Music News
7:36 am
Sun September 28, 2014

The Atlanta Symphony Lockout Continues, Musicians Picket On Peachtree Street

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, with Music Director Robert Spano conducting.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 8:46 am

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to open its 70th season this week, but musicians have been locked out of their workplace since September 7th, when their contract expired. The same thing happened just two years ago. Back then, negotiators reached a new agreement before opening night. This year, Atlanta classical music fans were not so lucky.

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Music News
4:52 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

New Boston Symphony Music Director Andris Nelsons: 'It's Not A Job — It's Life'

"The music's kind of oozing out of not just his hands, but his whole body," Boston Symphony managing director Mark Volpe says of the orchestra's new music director, Andris Nelsons.
Marco Borggreve Boston Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 8:23 pm

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Classics in Concert
12:15 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

LA Philharmonic In Concert: Dudamel, Mahler And New Music

Members of the ensemble So Percussion join conductor Gustavo Dudamel for the U.S. premiere of David Lang's man made at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Doriane Raiman for NPR Music

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 12:39 pm

By now the Gustavo-Dudamel-as-wunderkind story is old news. Fans know he started playing violin at age 10, conducting at 12 and became music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra when he was just 18.

Yet Dudamel's stats can still be staggering. He told me recently he was 11 when he played his first Mahler symphony and 16 when he took the podium to conduct Mahler.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:07 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Remembering Christopher Hogwood, An Evangelist For Early Music

The late conductor, keyboard player and scholar Christopher Hogwood.
Marco Borggreve Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 1:55 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
9:32 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Everything You Wanted To Know About Classical Music (But Weren't Afraid To Ask)

Khatia Buniatishvili's new album, Motherland, is among those recommended during the Friday afternoon Twitter sessions.
Sony Classical

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 9:55 am

A few weeks ago, in an act of brazen thievery, your devoted NPR Classical hosts appropriated an idea from our colleague Bob Mondello, NPR's film critic. Each Friday he tweets movie suggestions for the weekend.

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Live in Concert
10:33 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: An Opening Night Gala With The Berlin Philharmonic

Conductor Simon Rattle leads the Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall on October 1, 2014.
A.J. Wilhelm for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:32 pm

Finding the right mix of artistic heft and party-night pizzazz is a balancing act orchestras face when planning an opening night gala concert for Carnegie Hall.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

First Listen: Brooklyn Rider, 'The Brooklyn Rider Almanac'

Brooklyn Rider's new album, The Brooklyn Rider Almanac, comes out Sept. 30.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:36 am

It's become a trope that artists aren't interested in being limited by genre — at least the really fascinating ones, that is. One of the most enjoyable current examples of this reach beyond stylistic divides is Almanac, the newest project from the string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

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First Listen
11:01 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

First Listen: John Luther Adams, 'Become Ocean'

Cantaloupe

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:33 am

When John Luther Adams' sweeping orchestral piece Become Ocean was performed at Carnegie Hall for the first time in May, it was also the first time the composer had attended a concert there.

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