JPR Classics

Upcoming C&N Series
2:05 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

American Opera Series Returns May 16th

Los Angeles Opera's production of The Ghosts of Versailles
Credit Craig Henry

The WFMT Radio Network's American Opera Series returns to JPR's Classics & News Service on Saturday, May 16th following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Opera season. 

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8:49 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Can Music Affect The Way Your Wine Tastes?

The studies may not be so scientific, especially after a few glasses of chardonnay, but some are saying music can affect the taste of wine. (You might want to conduct your own study.)
I WENT WINE SHOPPING recently in New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen was playing on the store's sound system-naturally. The Boss is an inescapable musical presence in his home state. Why not in a wine shop? But maybe because "Glory Days" isn't one of my favorites (my tastes, Bruce-wise, tend toward "Thunder Road"), I found the music distracting.
JPR Classics
7:38 am
Mon April 27, 2015

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

Philip Glass photographed in New York City in 1980.
Jack Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 3:23 pm

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

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JPR Classics
7:12 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Roomful of Teeth's new album is Render, out April 28.
Nicholas Whitman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 9:36 am

The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically trained singers incorporating Tuvan throat singing, Appalachian yodeling, operatic trills, rhythmic exhalations and whispered speech into music written by some of the most exciting young composers of the 21st century.

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JPR Classics
7:09 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Young Armenian Composer Looks To Past, Future

Percussionist and composer Joseph Bohigian, 21, a senior at Fresno State University, has organized a concert to observe the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. (Alice Daniel/KQED)

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:41 am

A student at Fresno State University is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with new music by contemporary Armenian composers. The concerts organized by Joseph Bohigian include original compositions inspired by his family, many who were killed by the Ottoman Turks around World War I, and music by other Armenians who live in Armenia and in the U.S. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alice Daniel of KQED has our story.

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JPR Classics
6:57 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Bang On A Can Riffs On John Cage

On the Bang on a Can All-Stars' new album, Field Recordings, composers riff on a range of recorded sounds.
Peter Serling Bang on a Can

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 9:19 am

Life changed a lot after that day in 1877 when Thomas Edison spoke "Mary had a little lamb" into a contraption he called a phonograph and discovered he could reproduce sound. Back then, tinfoil cylinders captured just a few flickering moments. Today Wagner's entire Ring cycle fits on a 16GB flash drive.

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JPR Classics
12:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

Donald Palumbo became the Met's chorus master in the 2007-2008 season. He sang in choruses all his life, he says, and eventually worked his way up without any formal conservatory training.
Marty Sohl Courtesy of the Met

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 8:05 am

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

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JPR Classics
7:35 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Julia Wolfe Wins Music Pulitzer For 'Anthracite Fields'

Composer Julia Wolfe has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields, an oratorio about coal miners and their families.
Peter Serling

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:03 am

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the New York music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields.

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JPR Classics
10:00 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis.
Linn Records

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:41 am

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

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JPR Classics
10:39 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Twitter Outrage Takes Toronto, Canceling Two Pianists

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa
Gilbert Francois Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 10:20 am

Valentina Lisitsa is a pianist whose worldwide reputation was built on social media. She is now experiencing a major backlash due to what she's been writing on Twitter.

It came to a head with the cancellation of Lisitsa's scheduled performances Wednesday night and Thursday night with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which announced earlier this week that she would not be appearing to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the ensemble and Finnish conductor Juka-Pekka Saraste. Both TSO management and Lisitsa have said she will still receive her full fee.

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JPR Classics
10:32 am
Sat April 11, 2015

From Ballrooms To Concert Halls, Mexico Kept This Cuban Style Alive

Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. It's here that well-dressed couples dance to danzón.
Courtesy of Betto Arcos

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 7:54 am

The Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. The classic 1930s ballroom is located in a working-class neighborhood near downtown, and every week, it sees dozens of well-dressed couples of all ages moving to an orchestra of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and percussion instruments.

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JPR Classics
5:51 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Who Gets To Dance In 'Swan Lake'? The Answer Is Changing

Misty Copeland (left) and Brooklyn Mack play Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in this year's Washington Ballet production of Swan Lake. It is the first time that two black dancers star in Swan Lake in a major American production.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 8:47 am

Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.

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JPR Classics
12:20 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Philip Glass On Legacy: 'The Future ... It's All Around Us'

"I'm more and more coming to the idea," composer Philip Glass says, "that it's the lineage and the connection to the past and the connection to the future — that is the real connection."
Eamonn McCabe Redferns

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 1:21 pm

When composer Philip Glass started performing his own music, a lot of people didn't know what to make of it. Some people thought it sounded like the needle of a record was stuck in a groove, repeating over and over again. Some people thought it was simplistic. Some thought it was a joke. Glass says that in the '70s, audience members threw things at him while he was performing.

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JPR Classics
7:10 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Bringing Mothers In Prison Closer To Their Children, Through Music

Daniel Levy works with Vateya (left) at the Rikers Island prison in New York City in February 2015, as part of the Lullaby Project.
Chris Lee Courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 7:30 am

Mothers in prison rarely get to see their children, let alone touch them or sing them a lullaby. But female inmates in New York City are getting a little help with the singing, thanks to Carnegie Hall. For the last few years, Carnegie has sponsored the Lullaby Project, which pairs professional musicians with women in jails, homeless shelters and city hospitals, to help them write lullabies for their children.

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C&N New Series
1:05 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Concerts From The Library of Congress

Bill McLaughlin hosts the new series Concerts From the Library of Congress, Sunday evenings at 7pm.

Beginning Sunday evening, April 5th, JPR's Classics & News Service will begin a new weekly series of programs called Concerts from the Library of Congress.

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JPR Classics
2:42 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Multifaceted Music Critic Andrew Porter Dies At 86

Critic and opera translator Andrew Porter directs singer Nikki Einfeld during a rehearsal of a Canadian Opera Company production of Mozart's Magic Flute in Toronto in 2005.
Tannis Toohey Toronto Star

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 1:43 pm

Andrew Porter, a renowned music critic and scholar and translator of opera, died early today in London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. His twin sister, Sheila Porter, told NPR his death was the result of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.

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8:05 am
Fri April 3, 2015

A Tenor Saves The Day At The MET

Walk in the footsteps of tenor Michael Fabiano as he saves the day (with very little notice) at the MET's recent production of Lucia di Lammermoor. It's a little backstage peek of the opera world, bent nails and all.
The hot young tenor Michael Fabiano was out running errands near his home in Philadelphia around 1 p.m. on Wednesday when the Metropolitan Opera called, wondering if he could step in for an ailing tenor in its production of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." The curtain would rise in six and a half hours.
JPR Classics
11:15 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Hilary Hahn Marches Through Mozart

Violinist Hilary Hahn.
Michael Patrick O'Leary Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:03 am

When you're all grown up, you — at least theoretically — put away childish things. But there are exceptions, as violinist Hilary Hahn proves in her latest recording project.

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JPR Classics
10:50 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Can You Name That Musical Prank?

Test your wits against these musical pranksters.
Douglas Grundy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:43 am

Each April 1st, practical jokers get their kicks pulling the wool over people's eyes. There are little white lies, cunning schemes and elaborate hoaxes. Pranksters are alive and well in music, too. Test your wits with these musical smart alecks who run the gamut from clever clowns to serious scam artists. Score high and feel a surge of superiority. Score low and fancy yourself a true April fool.

JPR Classics
7:08 am
Mon March 30, 2015

A Young Composer's Evening Prayers For Troubled Times

Missy Mazzoli
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 7:05 am

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