JPR Classics

Classical music posts.

Itzhak Perlman On Canceling In North Carolina: 'I Had To'

May 18, 2016

One of the world's best-known and best-loved classical musicians has joined the ranks of artists refusing to perform in North Carolina. Violinist Itzhak Perlman canceled an appearance scheduled for Wednesday with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh to protest HB2, the controversial North Carolina law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people.

Jane Little spent her long life making beautiful music, and she died this weekend doing just what she loved, onstage. Little played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for more than 71 years. She joined the symphony in 1945, when she was just 16.

The Shining was Stephen King's first hardback bestseller. Stanley Kubrick's film version was listed by no less than Martin Scorcese as one of the scariest horror films ever made. Now, the story is an opera — and its creators want it to be even more terrifying than the book or the movie.

JPR's Classics & News Service presents the new season of WFMT's Living American Composers: New Music From Bowling Green, Sunday evenings at 7pm beginning July 2nd.

'The Noise Of Time' Can't Drown Out Shostakovich

May 10, 2016

What role should art play in society, and who's to say? These are just two of the questions Julian Barnes ponders in his slim but by no means slight new novel, which chronicles the tribulations of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich during his decades under the successive thumbs of Stalin and Khrushchev. Like his Booker Prize-winning The Sense of An Ending (2011), The Noise of Time is another brilliant thought-provoker which explores the costs of compromise and how much confrontation and concession a man and his conscience can endure.

How One Man Made The Eiffel Tower Sing

May 9, 2016

Composer Joseph Bertolozzi's latest musical project turned the Eiffel Tower into a giant percussion instrument. From the basement to the summit, the Paris monument's girders, railings, and rivets were banged, tapped, strummed and thumped. And then, those 10,000 samples were layered into one composition, called Tower Music.

The WFMT Radio Network's American Opera Series returns to JPR's Classics & News Service on Saturday, May 14th following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Opera season.

Eighth Blackbird: Tiny Desk Concert

May 4, 2016

The Chicago new-music ensemble Eighth Blackbird is on a roll. Just after winning its fourth Grammy in February, the group received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions; the prize came with a $400,000 grant. Hand Eye — Eighth Blackbird's second album in seven months — just came out, and this season the group marks its 20th anniversary. The celebration includes an extensive tour, with world premieres of music by Bryce Dessner and David T.

A Symphonic 'Revolution' From Alarm Will Sound

May 3, 2016

Late in 1968, it was astounding to me how one of the best-loved bands could create one of the least-liked songs. It was "Revolution 9," near the end of The Beatles' sprawling White Album.

But then, I was only 7 years old and, frankly, those eight minutes of chaotic sounds and mumbled words were positively frightening. And who was that guy who kept intoning "number nine?"

Featured Works for May – First Concert
(*Indicates May birthday)

May 2 M Henry Purcell: Suite from"The Fairey Queen"
May 3 T Francis Poulenc: Concert Champêtre
May 4 W Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 104
May 5 T Franz Schubert: Violin Sonata in D major
May 6 F Johannes Brahms*: Variations on a Theme by Haydn

One hundred years ago, a musician was born who took the world by storm, both with his violin and with his warmhearted humanity. Yehudi Menuhin was born April 22, 1916, in the Bronx to Russian immigrants. He began his career as an astounding child prodigy in velvet knee pants. But two men who knew him well — documentary filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon and violinist Daniel Hope — maintain that as Menuhin grew older, he turned out to be far more than just another virtuoso.

Fort Worth Opera director Darren K. Woods was looking for a Fort Worth story to mark the company's 70th anniversary. Someone mentioned that they thought President Kennedy spent his last night in the city.

"And I went, 'Everybody would know that if that happened,'" he says. "So we Googled it and boy: There it was."

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra celebrated its 100th birthday earlier this year. In a performance of Ravel's Boléro, the orchestra presented a few members of a new generation of players eager to take the music into a new century. They were members of the BSO's OrchKids program, onstage at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to play right alongside regular orchestra musicians.

You often don't think of opera at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Tonight that changes: Charlie Parker's Yardbird gets its New York premiere there. It's an opera about the jazz saxophonist on the very stage where Parker played in his lifetime.

The opera's Swiss-born composer Daniel Schnyder is a jazz saxophone player himself, who is also classically trained. He wants to combine his two favorite kinds of music.

Featured Works for April – First Concert
(*Indicates April birthday)

Apr 1 F April Fool’s Day Special

Apr 4 M Ernest Chausson*: Poème

Apr 5 - 12 Spring Membership Drive

Apr 13 W William Sterndale Bennett*: Piano Concerto No. 1
Apr 14 T Roy Harris: Symphony No. 6, “Gettysburg”
Apr 15 F Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio No. 23

Meet Cuba's All-Female Orchestra

Mar 29, 2016

The Show-Stopping Singing Of Javier Camarena

Mar 28, 2016

In our jobs, when we're told to redo something, it usually means we've made a mistake. That's not the case for Javier Camarena. Earlier this month at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the tenor had the chance to retake an aria during a performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale because the audience went bonkers after the first time he sang it.

An Iraq War Opera Finds A Vein Of Empathy

Mar 21, 2016

LA Philharmonic's 'Common Man' For Colbert

Mar 16, 2016

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