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!

Mozart And 'The Peanut Vendor' In Havana

Jun 22, 2017

Last month, American pianist Simone Dinnerstein was in Cuba preparing for her current North American tour with an orchestra of young musicians from Havana. She fondly recalls one very hot rehearsal.

Fame Is A Boomerang

Jun 8, 2017

As far as flashy, oversize coffee table books go, opera star Maria Callas is a fitting subject. A larger-than-life figure, she had a complicated off-stage story that played out with as much searing drama as the operas she sang. With hard work and sacrifice, Callas vaulted to the top of her art while pushing it to new levels of intensity. In her personal life, she searched for love, found it, then lost it and died young.

Renée Fleming and Francis Collins have something unexpected in common: music.

Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, plays guitar. Fleming, of course, is a renowned soprano.

Reyna Gordon was an aspiring opera singer fresh out of college when she began contemplating the questions that would eventually define her career.

"I moved to Italy when I finished my bachelor of music, and I started to take more linguistic classes and to think about language in the brain, and music in the brain," she says. "What was happening in our brains when we were listening to music, when we were singing? What was happening in my brain when I was singing?"

Those questions led her to a graduate program in neuroscience in Marseilles, France.

Trying to make out what someone is saying in a noisy environment is a problem most people can relate to, and one that gets worse with age.

At 77, Linda White hears all right in one-on-one settings but has problems in noisier situations. "Mostly in an informal gathering where people are all talking at once," she says. "The person could be right beside you, but you still don't hear them."

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

June 1 T Mikhail Glinka*: Variations in E major
June 2 F Johannes Matthias Sperger: Symphony in B flat major

June 5 M Igor Stravinsky*: Danses Concertantes
June 6 T Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suite No. 4
June 7 W Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes from “Peter Grimes”
June 8 T Erwin Schulhoff*: Moonstruck
June 9 F Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda: Violin Concerto No. 5

How is this for a first day on the job: Maurice Murphy, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)'s late principal trumpet player, spent his very first day with the orchestra recording Star Wars' iconic opening theme, with its incredible brass fanfare — and Murphy leading the trumpets.

Songs We Love: The Crossing, 'The White Wind'

May 19, 2017

When John Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2014 for his undulating orchestral piece Become Ocean, you'd be forgiven for thinking of him as something like the Jacques Cousteau of contemporary classical music.

In The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Teens Speak Up By Singing Out

May 12, 2017
Todd Rosenberg

The WFMT Radio Network's American Opera Series returns to JPR's Classics & News Service on Saturday, May 20th following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Opera season.

Highlights of this season include: Berlioz’ epic Les Troyens (June 3), and Tchaikovsky’s lyric masterpiece Eugene Onegin (July 8). Stars of this season include Eric Owens (Das Rheingold), Christine Goerke (Les Troyens), Mariusz Kwiecień (Eugene Onegin), and more!

Another day, another study undercutting the myth surrounding the 18th-century Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari.

Since the early 20th century, musicians and instrument experts have been trying to figure out what, if anything, makes the violins he made sound better.

Although more women have been winning Pulitzer Prizes for music lately, it's still next to impossible to hear works by female composers performed by America's symphony orchestras.

This year's Pulitzer winner, Du Yun, has a lot to say about the situation.

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel — one of the most famous Venezuelans in the world today and one of the world's most prominent classical musicians — issued an open letter today to the president and government in his native country.

Long reticent to address politics directly, he has published his comments in a letter titled "Levanto Mi Voz / I Raise My Voice," in both Spanish and English. (The full text is below, in both languages.)

As a composer, I entered a profession in which I knew I could actively alter our fractious present using the incomparable tools of art. After all, the intellectually curious and essentially progressive landscapes of our concert halls and opera houses seem like the perfect arenas in which to harness momentum for change and, through the aspirational craft of music, feel the resurrection of hope in the midst of despair and apathy.

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

May 1 M Jennifer Higdon: blue cathedral
May 2 T Alessandro Scarlatti*: Sinfonia No. 12
May 3 W Franz Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio in G major
May 4 T Josef Suk: Fantastic Scherzo
May 5 F Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata

Bill Murray Goes Classical? Hey, Why Not?

Apr 24, 2017

What will Bill Murray do next?

The beloved actor's curiosity seems boundless. It should be no surprise, then, to learn that his new project finds him paired with a classical cellist.

How Do You Bond With Mozart? Adopt A Starling

Apr 20, 2017

Pages