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!

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JPR Classics
11:31 am
Wed March 25, 2015

DJ Sessions: Opera Greats Past And Present

German opera singer Fritz Wunderlich (1930 - 1966) is pictured circa 1958. (Express Newspapers/Getty Images) and American opera singer Renee Fleming is pictured on, March 2, 2015, in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision via AP)

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:06 am

For this week’s installment of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson sits down with classical DJ and opera singer Peter Van de Graaf, who shares some of his favorite opera music, from the late German tenor Fritz Wunderlich to American singer Renee Fleming.

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JPR Classics
11:28 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Giving Up The Concert Stage To Teach

Piano instructor Seymour Bernstein, left, poses with actor Ethan Hawke. Hawke made a documentary about Bernstein called "Seymour: An Introduction," which has won raves on the festival circuit. (Robin Holland/IFC Films via AP)

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:06 am

Seymour Bernstein fell in love with the piano at an early age and built a stellar concert career. But when he was 50, Seymour decided to give it up to devote his time to writing and teaching.

Now 88, Seymour Bernstein is the focus of the documentary “Seymour: An Introduction,” directed by actor Ethan Hawke. Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Bernstein about his life and the film.

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JPR Classics
11:14 am
Tue March 24, 2015

First Listen: Missy Mazzoli, 'Vespers For A New Dark Age'

Missy Mazzoli's new album, Vespers for a New Dark Age, comes out March 31.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 8:30 pm

Can robots think and feel? Could there be a day when computers control our lives?

Watch the Spike Jonze movie Her, in which Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), and you get the sense days like these might be just around the corner.

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JPR Classics
9:15 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Pretty Yende: An Opera Star Whose Rise Began With A Fall

Soprano Pretty Yende in a Los Angeles Opera rehearsal. Starting Saturday, she'll be appearing in the company's production of The Marriage of Figaro.
Corin Cates-Carney NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 2:20 pm

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JPR Classics
9:03 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Parisians Sing The Praises Of 'Singin In The Rain'

An actor performs during a March 9 rehearsal of Singin' in the Rain on the stage of the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. American musicals were rarely performed in France in the past, but have been a huge hit in recent years.
Jacques Demarthon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 4:43 am

Once again, Parisians are ecstatic over the latest American musical production playing at the city's Chatelet Theatre.

"Singin' in the Rain is a little corner of paradise," the French newspaper Le Figaro wrote of the show, which is playing through March 26 to sold-out audiences.

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JPR Classics
4:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Detroit's 'Frida' Aims To Build Latino Audiences For Opera

Soprano Catalina Cuervo, singing the role of Frida Kahlo, rehearses with bass baritone Ricardo Herrera, singing the role of Diego Rivera, on Feb. 21, 2015 at the Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit.
Veronica Zaragovia KUT

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 5:18 pm

A few months ago, inside her stall in a Mexico City market, Ofelia Contreras showed Monika Essen the intricate handwork on an indigenous Mexican skirt. She pointed out how many months it took to complete the patterns by hand.

Essen is the costume designer for the Michigan Opera Theatre's revival of the opera Frida, and came to Mexico City to get the look of the opera right, since Kahlo was so particular about her traditional wardrobe.

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JPR Classics
7:52 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Oboist Reclaims Mozart's Lost Contemporaries

Berlin Philharmonic Principal Oboist Albrecht Mayer introduces neglected composers from Mozart's time on the new album Lost and Found.
Harald Hoffmann Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 3:22 pm

Does the name Jan Antonín Koželuh mean anything to you? It doesn't register even to most classical music geeks. But Albrecht Mayer would like to change that.

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JPR Classics
7:39 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Matt Haimovitz & Christopher O'Riley: Tiny Desk Concert

Carlos Waters NPR

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 2:31 am

Whether it's warranted or not, classical music wonks are perennially worried about the next generation of fans.

It seems there's less need to fret when you hear cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O'Riley. Some 15 years ago, they were already chipping away at the barriers — both real and perceived — between classical and pop.

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JPR Classics
7:03 am
Mon March 9, 2015

These Tunes Are Music To Your Cats' Furry Ears

Could this cat be enjoying "Spook's Ditty"?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 9:18 am

When you leave the house, do you ever turn on some music to keep your cat company?

What kind do you choose? Tom Jones crooning "What's New Pussycat?" A ballad by Cat Stevens? Perhaps Al Stewart's "The Year of the Cat"?

Nonsense. Cats don't to want to hear humans singing about them, says composer and University of Maryland music professor David Teie.

Researchers at U.Md. and the University of Wisconsin have teamed up with Teie to make music that was more feline friendly.

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JPR Classics
1:40 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Saying Goodbye To A Manhattan Classical Music Mecca

Owner Heidi Rogers Tuesday at her famous Manhattan shop, Frank Music Company, before the store's final closing Friday. Judging silently from on high is composer Igor Stravinsky.
Anastasia Tsioulcas NPR

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 4:04 pm

There's a kind of little village of artisans on Manhattan's West 54th Street. In a couple of plain looking office towers, there are a bunch of rehearsal studios, violin makers' workshops and other music businesses. Behind one of those office doors on the 10th floor sits Frank Music Company — Frank's, as everybody calls it.

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JPR Classics
8:58 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Young Composer's Work Dropped For Nazi Melody

21-year-old Estonian-American composer Jonas Tarm.
Elena Snow Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 5:28 am

It was supposed to be a celebratory occasion, a high-profile performance of a piece given life by the orchestra that commissioned it — a young composer's music played by other young musicians.

Instead, the performance scheduled for Sunday of Jonas Tarm's music at Carnegie Hall by the highly regarded New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) has been canceled after it came to the attention of the ensemble's administration that the piece contains a quotation from the Nazi "Horst Wessel Lied."

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JPR Classics
7:13 am
Thu March 5, 2015

The Bachelors Of Opera

Latvian bass-baritone Egils Silins portrays The Flying Dutchman, one of opera's most disturbing bachelors, in Orange, France in 2013.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 5:03 am

The Bachelor, the reality TV show poised to close out another nail-biting season (which young woman will Chris Soules choose Monday?), has nothing on opera. Over the past 400 years, composers have placed onstage any number of hot-blooded Romeos, sensible gentlemen and conniving psychopaths all looking for the perfect mate.

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JPR Classics
11:58 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Young Singers Beat The Odds To Sing With National Honor Choir

Fifth graders (from left) Claire Thompson, Sophia Porreca and Tamilyn Lechuga all attend Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy. (Courtesy Denver Public Schools)

Tonight and tomorrow, 1,200 students from across the country will perform with the National Children’s Honor Choir in Salt Lake City.

It’s one of the most prestigious junior choruses in the country. Among them will be three students from a school in southwest Denver, where more than three-quarters of the kids qualify for free or reduced lunch.

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11:32 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Looking Back At Amadeus: Truth Vs. Fiction

Has it really been 30 years since Amadeus won 8 Oscars? How time flies. But I always thought Salieri was getting a bad rap. I should've known it had something to do with Pushkin. This story from the BBC has some great Mozart/Salieri nuggets!
It is 30 years since Amadeus swept the board at the Academy Awards. Miloš Forman's 1984 film of Peter Shaffer's 1979 play, took home eight statuettes that night, including best film, best director, best actor and best adapted screenplay.
JPR Classics
8:38 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Bryan Hymel's Hefty High Cs

Tenor Bryan Hymel sings shining high Cs in the Rossini aria "Asile héréditaire."
Dario Acosta Warner Classics

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 6:33 am

Pavarotti, roll over. There's a new king of the high Cs. His name is Bryan Hymel and he pops off no fewer than 10 of them in "Asile héréditaire," the Rossini aria that opens his new album Héroïque, released Tuesday.

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JPR Classics
8:06 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Podium Diplomacy: Conductor Takes Chinese Music West And Vice Versa

Chinese conductor Long Yu.
P.A.D. Studio Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 11:40 am

By some measures, China is now the world's largest economy. It's also a gigantic market for American brands, from Hollywood blockbusters to KFC and Pizza Hut. But one Chinese conductor, Long Yu, would like these cultures to hear each other a little more clearly. He's launching a new project to do just that, and it's starting tonight with the New York Philharmonic.

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JPR Classics
8:23 am
Mon February 23, 2015

To Set The Mood In Period Drama, A Composer Paints Around The Emotions

Timothy Spall as the British painter J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, whose score is nominated for an Oscar.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 9:36 am

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JPR Classics
12:39 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Composing The Folk Music Of A Made-Up Country

Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori as hotel concierge M. Gustave and his lobby-boy confidante, Zero, in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:13 pm

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JPR Classics
7:09 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Anderson & Roe's Personalized Bach

The new album by piano duo Anderson and Roe is devoted to J.S. Bach.
Ken Schles

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 4:04 am

Music lexicographer Theodore Baker, in his biographical dictionary of musicians, labeled J.S. Bach as the "supreme arbiter and lawgiver of music." And while Bach may have blanched had he read such a description, there is absolute power to much of his music.

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JPR Classics
1:00 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Climate Scientist Tries Arts To Stir Hearts Regarding Earth's Fate

Robert Davies (standing) and the quartet during a performance of "The Crossroads Project." Musicians include (left to right) Robert Waters, Rebecca McFaul, Anne Francis Bayless and Bradley Ottesen.
Andrew McCallister Courtesy of The Crossroads Project

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 9:45 am

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