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 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.

Cameron Carpenter plays the organ in a way you'll rarely hear in church. He travels with his instrument on a huge truck, and it takes a small team to set it up in concert halls around the world. A virtuoso composer and performer who plays everything from Bach to pop, not to mention the first organist ever to be Grammy-nominated for a solo album, Carpenter says his connection to the instrument goes back even further than his interest in music.

On December 7th at 10am, JPR's Classics & News Service is proud to kick off the Metropolitan Opera's 85th season of Saturday broadcasts with Puccini's La Boheme. This year, all broadcasts begin at 10am.

In the new movie Youth, an elderly, retired composer-conductor is called upon to conduct for the first time in years. He's an Englishman named Fred Ballinger — and the request is from Queen Elizabeth II. It seems Ballinger's composition Simple Songs, written when he was a much younger man, is the only thing the Queen's husband, Prince Phillip, will listen to.

Beginning Sunday evening, January 3rd at 7pm, JPR's Classics & News Service will begin a new series of special programs called Shanghai Spring.

Teddy Abrams: Tiny Desk Concert

Nov 30, 2015

If we're relying on the younger generation to help boost interest in classical music, look no further than Teddy Abrams.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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