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!

Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.

When composer Philip Glass started performing his own music, a lot of people didn't know what to make of it. Some people thought it sounded like the needle of a record was stuck in a groove, repeating over and over again. Some people thought it was simplistic. Some thought it was a joke. Glass says that in the '70s, audience members threw things at him while he was performing.

Mothers in prison rarely get to see their children, let alone touch them or sing them a lullaby. But female inmates in New York City are getting a little help with the singing, thanks to Carnegie Hall. For the last few years, Carnegie has sponsored the Lullaby Project, which pairs professional musicians with women in jails, homeless shelters and city hospitals, to help them write lullabies for their children.

Beginning Sunday evening, April 5th, JPR's Classics & News Service will begin a new weekly series of programs called Concerts from the Library of Congress.

Andrew Porter, a renowned music critic and scholar and translator of opera, died early today in London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. His twin sister, Sheila Porter, told NPR his death was the result of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.

Walk in the footsteps of tenor Michael Fabiano as he saves the day (with very little notice) at the MET's recent production of Lucia di Lammermoor. It's a little backstage peek of the opera world, bent nails and all.

Hilary Hahn Marches Through Mozart

Apr 1, 2015

When you're all grown up, you — at least theoretically — put away childish things. But there are exceptions, as violinist Hilary Hahn proves in her latest recording project.

Can You Name That Musical Prank?

Apr 1, 2015

Each April 1st, practical jokers get their kicks pulling the wool over people's eyes. There are little white lies, cunning schemes and elaborate hoaxes. Pranksters are alive and well in music, too. Test your wits with these musical smart alecks who run the gamut from clever clowns to serious scam artists. Score high and feel a surge of superiority. Score low and fancy yourself a true April fool.

The Sensuous Radical: Pierre Boulez at 90

Mar 30, 2015

DJ Sessions: Opera Greats Past And Present

Mar 25, 2015

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.

Giving Up The Concert Stage To Teach

Mar 25, 2015

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.

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

Parisians Sing The Praises Of 'Singin In The Rain'

Mar 22, 2015

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.

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.

Oboist Reclaims Mozart's Lost Contemporaries

Mar 16, 2015

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.

These Tunes Are Music To Your Cats' Furry Ears

Mar 9, 2015

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.

Saying Goodbye To A Manhattan Classical Music Mecca

Mar 6, 2015

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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