JPR Classics

JPR Classics
7:15 am
Mon September 29, 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 5:46 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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JPR Classics
2:41 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 5:23 pm

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JPR Classics
1:07 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 December 18, 2014 12:37 pm

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JPR Classics
7:27 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 6:55 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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JPR Classics
8:53 am
Mon September 22, 2014

For The Love Of Cello

(martin lester/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 1:12 pm

A study published this month in the Journal of Neuroscience looks at free music programs aimed at at-risk kids, and finds that studying music improves performance in the human brain.

Youth Radio’s Scott Lau went through a similar program.

He’s now a freshman at the University of Southern California studying the music business and the cello.

He sent us this audio postcard about how playing the cello changed him.

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JPR Classics
8:35 am
Mon September 22, 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 7:36 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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JPR Classics
8:19 am
Mon September 22, 2014

First Listen: John Luther Adams, 'Become Ocean'

Cantaloupe

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:33 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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JPR Classics
8:15 am
Mon September 22, 2014

A Pianist Hears Chopin From Inside His Instrument

Chad Lawson's new album is The Chopin Variations.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:23 am

Even if you're not a fan of classical music, you have heard of Frédéric Chopin: His music has appeared in countless movies, TV shows and commercials, even video games. But it's almost certain you haven't heard the Polish composer performed the way Chad Lawson plays him.

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JPR Classics
7:07 am
Fri September 19, 2014

If It's Not Scottish ... Classical Contributions Of The Scots

The Scottish bagpipes make a surprise appearance in a beloved piece by Peter Maxwell Davies.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:47 am

The votes are in. The people of Scotland have chosen to remain in the United Kingdom. To mark the historic occasion, a wee reminder of what the Scots have contributed to classical music is in order.

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JPR Classics
11:25 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Watch A Sweet Little Butterfly Nearly Crush A Woman's Hopes And Dreams

Flutist Yukie Ota kept her cool at the Carl Nielsen Flute Competition yesterday in Odense, Denmark.
Odense Symphony

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 8:16 am

Flutist Yukie Ota spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about her encounter with a too-friendly insect this week; hear their conversation at the audio link and read on to learn more.

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JPR Classics
1:58 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always

Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the film version of The Music Man.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 9:07 am

Perhaps the most static conversation in American culture is the one about its constant decline. Today's music, today's actors, today's movies, today's media, today's food, today's habits, today's language — it's all going to hell, all of it, and it's taking us with it, no matter when today is.

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JPR Classics
1:55 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performs in Baghdad. The concert was promoted by word of mouth to avoid being targeted by bombs.
Graham Smith NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:27 am

It's a hot night in Baghdad, and the national theater is packed with people who are here to see the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.

They're fanning themselves with programs that show conductor Karim Wasfi, a striking man with thick eyebrows and a pointed beard, playing the cello. Tonight, he'll be conducting for the first time in more than a year.

Iraq has been in the headlines lately, with extremists taking over parts of the country, American airstrikes, the militias and the politics.

But the country was once a sophisticated center for learning and the arts.

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JPR Classics
9:10 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Listen To The Atlanta Symphony While It's Locked Out — Again

Robert Spano conducts members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, who are now locked out for the second time in two years after failed contract negotiations.
J.D. Scott Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Alas, it is déjà vu all over again for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. At midnight Saturday, the ASO musicians and management failed to meet the deadline to agree on a new contract after eight months of negotiations. That means the players, while still employees of the orchestra, are effectively locked out of the Woodruff Arts Center (the orchestra's home) and will not receive paychecks until a new agreement can be ratified.

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JPR Classics
9:05 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Q&A: Why Teaching Music Matters

Margaret Martin (right) poses with student Jose Correa during a Harmony Project open house at the Ramon C. Cortines School for Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
Esteban Rael Harmony Project

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 11:07 am

I went to Los Angeles to report a story on brain science. A new study had just been released, exploring how music instruction helps kids process language. The children the researchers studied were all participants in a community music program run by the nonprofit Harmony Project.

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JPR Classics
8:15 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Philip Glass And Steve Reich At BAM: Together Again Yet Still Apart

Four Organs by Steve Reich was performed Tuesday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of the 50th anniversary of the Nonesuch label (from left: Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, David Cossin, Timo Andres and Steve Reich).
Stephanie Berger

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:04 pm

Throughout this month, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's signature Next Wave Festival is celebrating a record label with which it shares history and purpose: Nonesuch, marking its 50th anniversary this year.

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JPR Classics
3:19 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Nonesuch At 50: A Record Label Without Borders

Björk's interdisciplinary project Biophilia was released on the Nonesuch label in 2011.
Nonesuch

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 9:08 am

Sometimes good things come in small packages. Nonesuch Records, which started as a tiny independent budget classical label in 1964, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with three weeks of concerts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The label became a force in the recording industry by pioneering electronic music and world music, launching the ragtime revival and becoming a place where contemporary classical composers had a home. Now an industry powerhouse, Nonesuch still operates like an independent record company.

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JPR Classics
2:21 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music

Amir Pinkney-Jengkens, 8, is learning trombone through Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments and instruction to children in low-income communities. Recent research suggests that such musical education may help improve kids' ability to process speech.
Annie Tritt for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 8:55 am

Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn't just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids' brains process language.

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JPR Classics
11:43 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Misty Copeland On Broadening 'Beauty' And Being Black In Ballet

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 7:53 am

For ballerina Misty Copeland, the role of the Firebird is a personally symbolic one. "It was one of the first really big principal roles I was ever given an opportunity to dance with American Ballet Theatre," she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "It was a huge step for the African-American community."

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JPR Classics
11:42 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Enduringly Dramatic Italian Soprano Magda Olivero Dies At 104

Magda Olivero performing Francis Poulenc's one-woman opera La voix humaine at San Francisco Opera in 1979.
Ron Scherl Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 4:53 pm

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JPR Classics
11:39 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Five New Classical Videos You Need To See To Believe

Teen cellists Jeremy Tai and Minku Lee playing at Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Courtesy of From the Top

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 9:37 am

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