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!

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

After Coming Out As Gay, A Russian Violinist's New Reality

Apr 19, 2017

A 23-year-old, Russian-born violinist named Artem Kolesov is capturing international attention after posting a YouTube video in which he comes out as gay.

Du Yun Wins Music Pulitzer For 'Angel's Bone'

Apr 12, 2017

Du Yun, a 39-year-old composer, musician and performance artist, today won the Pulitzer Prize for music for her opera Angel's Bone. The Pulitzer jury describes the piece as a bold work "that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world." Angel's Bone, which has a libretto by the versatile Royce Vavrek (Missy Mazzoli's Breaking the Waves and David T.

Songs We Love: Trio Mediaeval, 'Morgunstjarna'

Apr 11, 2017

It's a curious thing how ancient music can sometimes sound so contemporary. Listen to "Morgunstjarna," and it's as if three centuries' worth of music history evaporates. The anonymous song from 17th-century Iceland sports a catchy, bittersweet melody and rhythmic hook that pop outfits like Peter Bjorn and John might be happy to whistle.

Hold Up! Renée Fleming Is Not Retiring From Opera

Apr 6, 2017

The opera firmament was shaken yesterday when a New York Times article, headlined "The Diva Departs: Renée Fleming's Farewell to Opera," landed online.

Confronting Anti-Semitism In Russia, In Words And Then Music

Apr 4, 2017

Although it closed 60 years ago, Black Mountain College keeps on giving. In its heyday, the liberal arts institution near Asheville, N.C., counted many of the mid-century's great artistic thinkers, including John Cage, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Buckminster Fuller, Francine du Plessy Gray and Robert Rauschenberg, among its faculty and students.

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

Apr 3 M Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24
Apr 4 T Giacomo Meyerbeer: Overture to Dinorah
Apr 5 W Albert Roussel*: Rustiques

Apr 6-12 Spring Membership Drive

Apr 13 T Félicien David*: Piano Trio No. 2
Apr 14 F Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 49

The first opera hit the stage over 400 years ago. More recently, the art form has been adapted to modern media: In the 1920s and '30s, operas were written to be performed on the radio, and in 1951, NBC commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to compose Amahl And The Night Visitors for television.

Review: The Knights, 'Azul'

Mar 28, 2017

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Piotr Anderszewski might be one of the most revered pianists of his generation, but he's also one of the most impulsive.

In 1990, at age 21, the young Pole entered the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition. He was nearly finished with his semi-final performance when he quit playing — just walked off the stage. He felt he wasn't good enough to continue. It was a gutsy move that actually helped launch his career.

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