JPR Classics

JPR Classics
11:46 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Soul-Searching Music From A Serene Desert Monastery

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert in northern New Mexico inspired Robert Kyr to compose the music on his new album of choral works.
Karen Kuehn for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 8:36 am

Inspiration can come from unlikely places. For composer Robert Kyr, the silence of a desert monastery is key to the radiant music on his new disc of recent choral works performed by the vocal ensemble Conspirare and its director Craig Hella Johnson.

Kyr travels frequently to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, in northern New Mexico, from his home in Eugene, Ore., where he teaches composition at the University of Oregon. Living among the monastery's Benedictine monks, Kyr hikes along the winding Chama River by day and composes music in a bare-walled room at night.

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JPR Classics
9:46 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Read These While They're Still Free

Pianist Helene Grimaud, the subject of a 2011 New Yorker profile.
Mat Hennek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 6:44 am

Last month, The New Yorker announced that it was teasing a new "freemium" version of its website (which launches this fall) with an alluring proposition. All of its most recent pieces, plus the full archives back to 2007 and some even older selections, are free for the rest of the summer.

So we took this opportunity to dig up some delicious classical music-minded pieces from the magazine's archives. They're perfect long reads for a lazy August afternoon.

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JPR Classics
11:18 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Beethoven's 'Eroica,' A Bizarre Revelation Of Personality

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 9:07 am

As Beethoven set about composing his Third Symphony, his hearing was failing and he felt certain his life was about to get worse. That it was born in a moment of despair may help explain why the finished work, for all its grandeur, is extremely odd — employing devices that are by turns aggressive and mundane, somber and practically danceable.

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JPR Classics
2:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Met Opera's Union Lockout Postponed; Financial Analysis To Come

A worker unveils advertisement for future productions at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City. The Metropolitan Opera's general manager Peter Gelb has threatened a lockout if there is no an agreement with unions to that represent musicians, stagehands and other employees.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:11 am

Labor negotiations for New York's Metropolitan Opera took a surprising turn Saturday evening. Twelve of the opera's 16 unions faced the threat of a lockout at midnight Sunday, but negotiations were put on hold for a week while an outside analyst takes a look at the Met's finances.

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JPR Classics
7:05 am
Thu July 31, 2014

On The Eve Of A Possible Lockout, Met Opera Talks Remain Contentious

A worker unveils posters Tuesday for the coming season of New York's Metropolitan Opera. The Met's fall schedule could be in jeopardy if failed labor negotiations result in a lockout Friday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 5:12 am

At the Metropolitan Opera, drama is usually onstage. But for the past several months, it's been in the newspapers.

Contract deadlines for 15 of the 16 unions at the Met in New York are set to expire at midnight tonight, and negotiations will likely go down to the wire. A lockout shutting down the world's largest opera house seems imminent.

Management wants concessions from the unions to offset dwindling ticket sales. Union employees think they're being asked to pay for unchecked spending.

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2:52 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Artistic Director Leaves Oregon Ballet Theatre

Oregon Ballet Theatre's artistic director, Christopher Stowell, has left his Portland job to return to the San Francisco Ballet as a ballet master, choreographer, and artistic director. What will the Oregon Ballet Theatre do without him? Read on to find out.
Christopher Stowell, Oregon Ballet Theatre's artistic director from July of 2003 to December 2012, is returning to San Francisco Ballet as ballet master and assistant to Helgi Tomasson, company artistic director and principal choreographer, effective August 25. "I'm so happy to officially announce that I'm returning to SFB!
JPR Classics
1:25 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Labor Conflict May Lock Out Met Opera Workers

Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb has warned union workers of a lockout if a contract deal isn't settled by July 31.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:22 pm

The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.

For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.

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3:56 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Met Opera And Unions Face July 31 Contract Deadline

The Metropolitan Opera has been locked in simmering labor talks in which management asked 16 unions to accept pay cuts.
For months, the Metropolitan Opera has been locked in simmering labor talks in which management asked 16 unions to accept pay cuts, and emails between various factions were leaked to the public. Now, the New York Times reported, Met management has revealed to unions more details about its finances.
3:19 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Shakespeare, Mayhem and Russians are coming!

The 2014 Oregon Coast Music Festival puts an eclectic touch on classical music
COOS BAY - The three points that make up the crown jewel of the annual Oregon Coast Music Festival are set to shine this week in Coos Bay. The 36th edition of the festival winds down with classical music concerts at Marshfield on Tuesday and Saturday night, and a Pops concert Thursday.
Upcoming JPR Classics Special
10:36 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: The National Youth Orchestra July 25th at 8pm

Conductor David Robertson
Credit Dan Dreyfus

On Friday night, July 25th at 8pm, JPR's Classics & News Service will broadcast the final concert in the series Carnegie Hall Live, featuring The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

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JPR Classics
10:41 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Conductor Lorin Maazel, Who Brought America To The Podium, Dies

Lorin Maazel conducing the Vienna Philharmonic in March 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:58 am

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JPR Classics Special Series
5:05 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

New C&N Series - Center Stage From Wolf Trap

Hosts Bill McGlaughlin and Rich Kleinfeldt

Beginning Sunday evening, July 6th at 7pm, JPR's Classics & News Service will broadcast Center Stage from Wolf Trap, a 26-week series of live performances from The Discovery Series of some of today's finest chamber musicians.

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JPR Classics
4:09 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

University of Oregon Honors Rogue Valley Musician Lynn Sjolund

The University of Oregon Alumni Association has selected renowned music educator Mr. Lynn Sjolund as its 2014 Distinguished Alumnus, the highest honor the UO bestows upon alumni.  Sjolund will be recognized at the university’s Commencement exercises on June 16, and at a dinner for Commencement guests on June 15.

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JPR Classics
2:35 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

The 85 musicians in the Santa Cecilia Orchestra are paid professionals who play with other symphonies and in Hollywood studios.
Courtesy of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:53 am

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

"I brought my dad, my stepmom," she says, "my sister, my brother and my sister's cousin ..."

That's the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

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Upcoming JPR Classics Special
2:43 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Carnegie Hall Live: The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra May 23rd at 8pm

Pianist Mitsuko Uchida Performs Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto May 23rd with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

On Friday night, May 23rd at 8pm, JPR's Classics & News Service will broadcast the next concert in the series Carnegie Hall Live, featuring The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

One of Germany's outstanding orchestra brings both a great conductor and soloist on a visit to Carnegie Hall - Conductor Mariss Jansons leads the Symphony with pianist Mitsuko Uchido in a performance of Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto, plus the Symphony No. 5 of Dmitri Shostakovich.

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JPR Classics
11:14 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Played In Oregon To Feature Britt Orchestra May 17th

Britt's 2014 Classical Season Opens August 1st Under New Music Director Teddy Abrams
Credit Josh Morell

On Saturday, May 17th at Played in Oregon will feature a performance of the Symphony No.5 of Dmitri Shostakovich recorded last August at the Britt Festivals in Jacksonville under the direction of then Music Director candidate (and now Music Director) Teddy Abrams.

Played in Oregon, with host Brandi Parisi, celebrates the music and music makers of the live classical music scene in Oregon. The one-hour weekly program airs every Saturday afternoon at 2pm, following the conclusion of our weekly opera broadcast.

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2014 Lyric Opera Season
10:59 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Lyric Opera Of Chicago Returns Sat. May 17th

Marina Rebeka stars as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata on June 7th

Beginning Saturday, May 17th at 10am, JPR welcomes the return of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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Live Session Archive
3:03 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Bela Fleck Live Session

Qamuuqin Maxwell

Just in case you aren’t familiar with Béla Fleck, there are many who say he’s the premiere banjo player in the world. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations.

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JPR Classics
11:06 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Alaskan Composer Wins Pulitzer For 'Become Ocean'

Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams has won the Pulitzer Prize for music with an homage to the sea called Become Ocean.
Evan Hurd Photography

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 12:55 pm

John Luther Adams, whose music is inspired by — and sometimes performed in — natural landscapes, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his symphonic work Become Ocean.

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JPR Classics
11:26 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

In The First Violins — At Least For One Night

Conductor Jeffrey Grogan led a motley — but very happy — assembly of professional, student and amateur musicians at the New Jersey Symphony's #OrchestraYou project in Newark, N.J. Saturday.
Fred Stucker Courtesy of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:24 pm

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