JPR Classics

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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."

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
JPR Classics
4:03 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Glenn Gould In Rapture

Gordon Parks The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 6:15 am

What's going on here, I can only guess, but here's what you're about to see: In the video below, the great musician Glenn Gould, supreme interpreter of Bach, is sitting at his living room piano on a low, low chair, his nose close to the keys. He's at his Canadian country house in his bathrobe.

Read more
JPR Classics
8:55 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Great Expectations: A New Season Of New Music

Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain receives its world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in the coming season.
Ken Howard Santa Fe Opera

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:57 pm

Musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen once quipped: "The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition." But it's tough to see much gloom when faced with the diversity of premieres and provocative programming around the country in the 2014-2015 season.

Read more
JPR Classics
1:58 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Deborah Rutter Becomes Kennedy Center's First Female President

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 4:55 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JPR Classics
10:55 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Surge Of Scarlatti Sonatas

Each of Domenico Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas has its own personality.
Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 9:08 am

Three centuries ago a man named Domenico Scarlatti churned out an enormous number of keyboard sonatas — more than 550. Pianists, harpsichordists and even accordionists still can't get enough these inventive, bite-sized pieces.

A clutch of Scarlatti albums have appeared this year and more are on the way. Albums from pianists Orion Weiss and Igor Kamez are due in the coming weeks. Here we offer a sampling of five recent releases.

Read more
JPR Classics
6:48 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Enigmatic Endings: A Farewell To Summer Quiz

Music can be like a fleeting summer. You get to the end wondering, "How did we get here already?"
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 12:40 pm

Well, it's happened again. Vacations are over. Kids are returning to school. "And where," you're wondering, "did my summer go?"

You can get the same feeling in music sometimes. No matter how long a piece is, its end might sneak up on you. Try this mysterious little quiz filled with fantastical finales and enigmatic endings. Score high and take an extra week off from work. Score low and get back to the grind.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:16 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Bruce Hornsby's Modern Classical Moment

Known for writing pop hits, Bruce Hornsby ventures into classical and jazz piano forms on the new album Solo Concerts.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 3:26 pm

Bruce Hornsby cracked the music world three decades ago, making smooth, contemplative piano-pop with his band The Range. But if "The Way It Is" is how you remember him today, you've missed a lot.

Read more
JPR Classics
3:56 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Syrian Clarinetist Finds A Home For His Music

Kinan Azmeh performs in Damascus. (Rima Badawi)

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:27 pm

Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh currently lives in New York, but he grew up in Damascus. Until recently, Azmeh traveled regularly back and forth to his homeland, before it became too dangerous.

In 2011, after protesters were killed in the streets in Syria, Azmeh stopped composing and started to question the role of his music. But after a year hiatus, he realized his music has a place that is important.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:18 am
Thu August 21, 2014

A Perfectly Cromulent Classical Guide To 'The Simpsons' Marathon

From The Simpsons short "Music Ville."
Fox Broadcasting Company

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:24 am

Read more

Pages