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!

A Fearless Soprano's Case For Contemporary Music

Feb 8, 2016

On Friday, February 26th at Noon, JPR's Classics & News Service welcomes guitarist Ana Vidović into the studios for a live performance and conversation on Siskiyou Music Hall.

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly, you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

Songs We Love: Nicholas McCarthy, 'The Man I Love'

Feb 1, 2016

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right hand. Pursuing the piano would not exactly appear to be the most intuitive career choice. And yet that is exactly what the 26-year-old British pianist has done. His debut album, Solo, will be released next week.

McCarthy's "Aha!" piano moment came relatively late, at age 14, after he heard a friend play Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata. In a flash, he saw his future. He was determined to become a concert pianist.

With its innovative original productions, sensational interpretations of modern classics, and “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), Sō Percussion has redefined the scope of the modern percussion ensemble.

A Young Afghan Pianist Plays For His Country's Future

Jan 26, 2016

February Featured Works - First Concert
(*Indicates February birthday)

Feb 1 M Veracini*: Sonata in A major
Feb 2 T Stravinsky: The Song of the Nightingale
Feb 3 W Albrechtsberger*: Trombone Concerto
Feb 4 T Still: Lyric Quartet
Feb 5 F Ippolitov-Ivanov: Caucasian Sketches

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released, but you can hear an excerpt below via YouTube.

January Featured Works - First Concert
(*Indicates January birthday)

Jan 1 F New Year’s from Vienna

Jan 4 M Suk*: Tale of a Winter’s Evening
Jan 5 T Medtner*: Skazki (Tales), Op. 42
Jan 6 W Herz*: Piano Concerto No. 1
Jan 7 T Hurlstone*: Four Characteristic Pieces
Jan 8 F Weinberger*: Polka & Fugue from Schwanda the Bagpiper

Pierre Boulez, the French composer and conductor whose career spanned from the avant-garde post-World War II era to the computer age, has died, according to the French culture ministry. He was 90. Boulez famously challenged his peers and his audience to rethink their ideas of sound and harmony.

Classical Music In 2015: The Year In Review

Jan 5, 2016

Although 2015 produced arguably fewer big headlines in classical music than its predecessors, there were still surprising stories.

The question of assimilation has been on my mind a lot lately. Living in this great country where individuality is embraced, our current obsession with assimilation for those choosing the U.S. as their new home seems like a strange paradox.

As a young girl, Maya Shankar was well on her way to a promising career as a classical violinist. The famed Itzhak Perlman had taken her on as his private student at The Juilliard School at the age of 14, and she was accepted to his prestigious summer program on Shelter Island. But not long after, she injured her finger while playing a difficult section of Paganini's Caprice no. 13. She tore a tendon in her hand, putting her musical career to an untimely end.

19-year-old violinist Ariel Horowitz, a DC native and currently a student of Itzhak Perlman, is taking the music world by storm. In July 2015, Ariel performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Strathmore and Meyerhoff Theaters to rousing standing ovations.

Kurt Masur, a former music director of the New York Philharmonic, died Saturday from complications from Parkinson's disease at a hospital in Greenwich, Conn. His death was announced by the New York Philharmonic.

Amid the ubiquitous din of annual chestnuts like "Jingle Bells" and "Let it Snow," you may be surprised to learn that people are actually writing new holiday songs. And as it turns out, some of them are pretty great.

A New Music Journey From The U.S. To Havana

Dec 10, 2015

When you think of Cuban music, contemporary classical most likely isn't the first — or possibly even fifth — genre that springs to mind. But a group of American composers and musicians couldn't resist an opportunity to travel to the island to present their own music and seek out their Cuban colleagues' work — and frankly, neither could I. We traveled together last month to the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music, for the event's 28th edition.

Jean Sibelius, born 150 years ago on Dec. 8, 1865, was the first Finnish composer to reach an international audience, but his popularity began at home. In the late 1890s, Finland was a part of the Russian empire and its people were striving for independence.

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