JPR Classics

JPR Classics is a place to come for all things classical in the State of Jefferson.  We'll honor our rich classical heritage while looking to the future, showcasing inspired performances by the next generation of classical musicians. The classics live on JPR!

An American Opera Impresario Takes His Final Bow

Jun 16, 2016

In 1970, a young business school grad — and failed opera singer — named David Gockley landed a job as business manager of the Houston Grand Opera. After two years, at age 27, he moved up to general director.

Over the next 30 years, Gockley transformed the company into a hothouse for new and revived American opera. During his tenure in Houston, Gockley presented 35 world premieres, including John Adams' Nixon in China, Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk, Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place, Mark Adamo's Little Women and three operas by Carlisle Floyd.

Salman Rushdie's 'Shalimar The Clown' Is Now An Opera

Jun 13, 2016

Shalimar the Clown is Salman Rushdie's eighth novel. Published in 2005, it tells the story of a young man who seeks revenge after he's jilted by the love of his life. There's intrigue, violence, and conflict between tradition and modern society — the sort of stuff that makes for grand opera.

Now, Shalimar the Clown is just that. Adapted by composer Jack Perla and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, the opera premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Rushdie says the novel sprang from one tragic image.

Watch Yo-Yo Ma Play A Moving Tribute To Going Home

Jun 10, 2016

Since it was founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma 16 years ago, the Silk Road Ensemble — an artistic collective comprised of master musicians and other artists from more than 20 countries, spanning the globe — has become an incubator for inspiring cross-cultural collaborations.

The Metropolitan Opera Baton Passes To Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Jun 6, 2016

It's not quite right to say the news came as a shock when the Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday that Yannick Nézet-Séguin would become the house's new music director, beginning in the 2020-21 season. He follows in the footsteps of James Levine, who said in April that he was stepping down after leading the Met for four decades.

The Metropolitan Opera announced that the acclaimed conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin will be the company’s new Music Director. The position has previously been held by only two artists in the company’s storied 133-year history—James Levine, who after 40 years in the position stepped down at the end of the recently concluded season to become the company’s first Music Director Emeritus, and Rafael Kubelik, who held the title briefly in the company’s 1973-74 season.

The Cascade Theatre in Redding has announced its 2016-2017 Performance Series, which focuses on a diversity of musical style and performance types ranging from indie Rock, singer/songwriter, country, blues, folk and world music, to musical theatre and dance.

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

June 1 W Ernest Bloch: Concerto Grosso No. 1 (PACO)
June 2 T Edward Elgar*: Nursery Suite
June 3 F George Whitfield Chadwick: Tam O’Shanter

June 6 M Vincent Persichetti*: Symphony No. 4
June 7 T Camille Saint-Saëns: The Muse and The Poet
June 8 W Tomaso Albinoni*: Oboe Concerto in D minor
June 9 T Carl Nielsen*: Suite from Aladdin
June 10 F Igor Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments

When the New York City Opera (NYCO) announced its final performances and imminent bankruptcy in September 2013, opera lovers, not just in Manhattan, were shocked.

Classical music fans know the names Mendelssohn and Schumann. Chances are, Felix and Robert leap to mind — but Felix's sister Fanny was also a composer, and so was Robert Schumann's wife Clara. Those are just two composers featured in Anna Beer's new book, Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music.

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 Danish String Quartet is one of the most widely acclaimed chamber groups at the moment — although, in the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that one member of the quartet is actually Norwegian. The group has a new record called Adès/Nørgard/Abrahamsen that features a program of Danish and British music.

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 3rd.

'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.

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