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!

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:...

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. How could a 70-year-old company, dubbed "The People's Opera," which nurtured the careers of emerging stars like Beverly Sills and Plácido Domingo , fall so far and suddenly cease to be ? Almost as soon as the doors were shuttered, suitors lined up to try to reboot the company. Only in January did a victor emerge in the form of NYCO...

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 . Beer spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about the strategies women composers have used over the centuries to succeed in such a male-dominated field. You can hear their...

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. HB2 excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from the state's non-discrimination laws and prevents local governments from...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO8NoKdPOTA 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. "My father took me down to the Southeastern Music Company in Atlanta to buy my first bass, and he had no idea what I was going to play," she recalled. "So, I says, 'Daddy, there it is in the window, I'm...

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 composers highlighted on this release — Thomas Adès , Per Nørgard and Hans Abrahamsen — hold a special place in the story of The Danish String Quartet. Recently, two of...

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. Composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell collaborated on the project, which opened last week at the Minnesota Opera, for three years. Their work shows in the three-foot-tall, several-inch-thick tome...

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...

How One Man Made The Eiffel Tower Sing

May 9, 2016

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opnK-g_htRQ 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 . Bertolozzi spoke with NPR's Melissa Block about the process. You can hear their conversation at the audio link, or read on for...

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. Little, as well as a gig as a ...

A Symphonic 'Revolution' From Alarm Will Sound

May 3, 2016

Late in 1968, it was astounding to me how one of the best-loved bands could create one of the least-liked songs. It was "Revolution 9," near the end of The Beatles' sprawling White Album . But then, I was only 7 years old and, frankly, those eight minutes of chaotic sounds and mumbled words were positively frightening. And who was that guy who kept intoning "number nine?" It would be years before I realized that The Beatles were actually emulating an established musical genre pioneered by...

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

May 2 M Henry Purcell: Suite from"The Fairey Queen"
May 3 T Francis Poulenc: Concert Champêtre
May 4 W Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 104
May 5 T Franz Schubert: Violin Sonata in D major
May 6 F Johannes Brahms*: Variations on a Theme by Haydn May 9 M Giovanni Paisiello *: Harmoniemusik für “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”
May 10 T Richard Strauss: Overture to Guntram
May 11 W Anatole...

One hundred years ago, a musician was born who took the world by storm, both with his violin and with his warmhearted humanity. Yehudi Menuhin was born April 22, 1916, in the Bronx to Russian immigrants. He began his career as an astounding child prodigy in velvet knee pants. But two men who knew him well — documentary filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon and violinist Daniel Hope — maintain that as Menuhin grew older, he turned out to be far more than just another virtuoso. First off, one shouldn't...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCEme1AJzw0 Fort Worth Opera director Darren K. Woods was looking for a Fort Worth story to mark the company's 70th anniversary. Someone mentioned that they thought President Kennedy spent his last night in the city. "And I went, 'Everybody would know that if that happened,'" he says. "So we Googled it and boy: There it was." The opera that resulted is named JFK, and its world premiere is tonight in Fort Worth, Texas. It tells the story of President John F....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epT1_SbZgsE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM9B-z53BBk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AE6aO1VrTo A Feb. 8, 1994 New York Times headline reads: " The Met Drops Kathleen Battle, Citing 'Unprofessional Actions' ." A Times headline from Monday reads: " You're Unfired: Kathleen Battle Is Returning to the Met After 22 years ." The Metropolitan Opera announced yesterday that on Nov. 13, Battle will sing a program of spirituals called Kathleen Battle: Underground...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOaCuxzIc2c The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra celebrated its 100th birthday earlier this year. In a performance of Ravel's Boléro , the orchestra presented a few members of a new generation of players eager to take the music into a new century. They were members of the BSO's OrchKids program, onstage at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to play right alongside regular orchestra musicians. Marin Alsop is a regular commentator on NPR; she's also the music director of the...

You often don't think of opera at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Tonight that changes: Charlie Parker's Yardbird gets its New York premiere there. It's an opera about the jazz saxophonist on the very stage where Parker played in his lifetime. The opera's Swiss-born composer Daniel Schnyder is a jazz saxophone player himself, who is also classically trained. He wants to combine his two favorite kinds of music. "These two things are far apart from each other," Schnyder says, "and a lot of...

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