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!

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Q&A with Lang Lang & Gary Graffman
5:19 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Talking Great Teachers And Students With Two Piano Masters

Pianist Lang Lang sits down with his own revered mentor Gary Graffman, to discuss what makes great teachers — and bad ones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:52 am

The relationship between a teacher and a student can be transformative. It's a particularly important relationship in classical music. A teacher is part mentor, part manager — even a parental figure.

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Recordings
4:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Music At The End

When I was a student at university, I earned extra money by singing in a church choir and at a temple. As part of my duties, I often took part in services to mark the passing of a member of the congregation. Sometimes family members had specific music they wanted to hear; when they didn’t know what to choose, the rabbi or minister would select something he deemed appropriate, like Handel’s “The Trumpet Shall Sound” or Copland’s arrangement of “At the River.” The music was beautiful, but mostly I sang to make a little extra money. I didn’t think too much about the deeper meaning of the piece. I was paid to help people honor a life, but it wasn’t personal.

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3:40 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Simon Rattle, Davies, Hough Receive Rare Honors

Three prominent classical musicians, including conductor Sir Simon Rattle, composer Peter Maxwell-Davis & pianist Stephen Hough were recently honored with awards from Queen Elizabeth II.
The outgoing Berlin Philharmonic conductor has been appointed to the Order of Merit in Britain's New Year's Honours List. The OM is restricted to 24 living individuals at any given time. Rattle is the first musician of his generation to be included.
Leon Berliner 1935-2013
12:00 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Leon Berliner Takes His Last Bow

Leon Berliner in his cd library
Credit North Coast Journal

Jefferson Public Radio lost a longtime listener, supporter, underwriter and friend when Leon Berliner passed away December 15th. But if he were here today, he’d tell you he left this world exactly when he wanted to:  just in time to wish Beethoven a happy birthday.

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Best of 2013
7:47 am
Fri December 13, 2013

NPR Classical's 10 Favorite Albums Of 2013

Classical albums we loved this year.
NPR Denise DeBelius

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:42 am

The year may have suffered a couple of black eyes in the form of shuttered opera companies and orchestras in labor disputes, but as far as recordings go, don't let anyone tell you classical music is dying — the music and musicians are thriving.

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JPR Classics Special
9:38 am
Wed December 4, 2013

C&N Special: Keeping Score - 13 Days When Music Changed Forever

Singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega hosts Keeping Score, with help from conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

JPR's Classics & News Service presents a special classical music documentary series from WFMT called Keeping Score - 13 Days When Music Changed Forever.

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New Year's Day Specials
1:13 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

JPR's Classics & News Service Rings In '14 With Live Concerts From Vienna And Boston

On Wednesday, January 1st, at 8am, get ready to pop the New Year's Day champagne! JPR's Classics & News Service will take you to Vienna for The Vienna Philharmonic's annual salute to the waltz.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
3:59 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Rogue Valley Symphony: Behind The Scenes

A native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Martin Majkut was hired as conductor of the RVS orchestra in 2010.
Christopher Briscoe Photography

Violin cases and coats lay scattered on dozens of empty seats in the recital hall at Southern Oregon University.  Under the bright stage lights, dozens of musicians laugh and greet friends they haven't seen in months. 

The first rehearsal of the Rogue Valley Symphony's 2013-2014 season is about to begin.

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Recordings
3:39 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Best Albums Of 2013

JPR music hosts take a stab identifying standout recordings of 2013.

Don Matthews | Classical Music Director & Host First Concert

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Upcoming JPR Classics Special
4:16 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Carnegie Hall Live: Arcangelo Friday Night 8pm

Friday night at 8pm, JPR's Classics & News Service will broadcast the next concert in the series Carnegie Hall Live, featuring the ensemble Arcangelo.

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3:42 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Composer John Tavener (1944-2013)

The composer of such memorable pieces as The Protecting Veil, The Lamb, and the beautiful Song for Athene has passed away at the age of 69.
Sir John Tavener, one of the leading British composers of the past 50 years, has died at the age of 69. Sir John was known for music that drew on his deep spirituality. In 1992, The Protecting Veil topped the classical charts for several months and in 1997 his Song For Athene was played at the funeral of Princess Diana.
Live Session Archive
3:54 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Zemlinsky String Quartet Live Session

Zemlinsky String Quartet
Qamuuqin Maxwell

Since its founding in 1994, The Zemlinsky String Quartet has become a much lauded example of the Czech string quartet tradition. The ensemble is named after the Austrian composer, conductor and teacher Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942), whose enormous contribution to Czech, German and Jewish culture during his 16-year stay in Prague was underestimated for decades. His four string quartets (the second one being dedicated to his student and brother-in-law Arnold Schönberg) belong to the basic repertoire of the ensemble.

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9:07 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Another Crack in Classical Music's Glass Ceiling

In September, conductor Marin Alsop became the first woman to conduct "Last Night at the Proms" in their 118 year history. She has led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (the 1st woman ever to lead a major American orchestra) since 2007 and is a frequent contributor to NPR's Saturday Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Corrine Cox, not a classical musician, has been inspired by Alsop's struggle against the male-dominated world of classical music.
Simply put, Marin Alsop has inspired me. Not to follow some long suppressed dream of becoming a conductor, but something more than that; to pursue my goals no matter what the odds. Because the odds were most definitely not in Alsop's favour.
San Francisco Opera
4:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Saturday Opera Offers Alternative Story Of Jesus and Mary

Yeshua (Nathan Gunn), with Mary Magdalene (Sasha Cooke)

On Saturday morning at 10, JPR will present the radio broadcast premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo, performed by the San Francisco Opera.

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JPR Classics
3:56 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

This Opera Will Eat Your Heart Out

Barbara Hannigan and Bejun Mehta in the Festival at Aix production of Written on Skin.
Pascal Victor ArtComArt

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:05 am

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JPR Classics
10:07 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Strike At Carnegie Hall Cancels Opening Gala

A strike by Carnegie Hall's stagehands has caused the cancelation of tonight's opening gala with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the associated live webcast.

More information is available at the New York Times Blog:  Click Here

Britt Festivals
7:05 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Teddy Abrams Takes Baton At Britt Classical

Teddy Abrams

Britt Festivals today announced that Teddy Abrams has been selected as the new Music Director and Conductor of the Classical Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon.

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10:58 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Was Beethoven's Metronome Wrong?

Many musicologists point to Beethoven's tempo markings as ridiculously fast. Over the years, debate as raged as to whether or not the composer's metronome was simply calibrated incorrectly, providing a convenient explanation for the rapid tempos. What do you think?
When great musicians play the classics, they often like to recreate the exact feel of a piece of music. But when playing Beethoven, many musicians completely disregard the tempo markings on his original sheet music. Sixty-six out of 135 of them have been regarded as "absurdly fast and thus possibly wrong," writes Sture Forsen in a new paper published in the American Mathematical Society.
JPR Classics
10:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

New York City's 'People's Opera' May Face Its Final Curtain

Pamela Armstrong (left) as Alice Ford and Heather Johnson as Meg Page in New York City Opera's production of Falstaff. The so called people's opera may have to cancel its upcoming season if fundraising falls short.
Carol Rosegg New York City Opera

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 7:15 pm

There are a lot of operas that end with heroines on their deathbeds, singing one glorious aria before they die. That's what happens at the end of Anna Nicole, the controversial new work that New York City Opera is presenting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in September. But the company's artistic director and general manager, George Steel, says it could also be City Opera's last gasp.

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JPR Classics
10:30 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Banjos, Bartók And La Belle Époque: New Classical Albums

Caleb Burhans debut album as a composer is called Evensong.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 9:34 am

People ask why I thrive on classical music, and I tell them it's all about discovery. The possibilities for finding incredible music, both old and new, are endless as the oceans.

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