Amanda Sewell

Classical Music Host

Amanda Sewell is a musicologist who holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. As a musicologist, Amanda researches the history, context, and style of music of many different periods and regions. Her research about music has appeared in textbooks, journals, and music encyclopedias, and she is a frequent presenter at academic music conferences all over the country. Amanda frequently contributes program notes for performances of classical music, including performances at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

When not in the studio at Interlochen Public Radio, Amanda works as an academic editor and consultant. Amanda lives in Traverse City with her husband and two dogs.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Onekama, Northport, Higgins Lake, Traverse City and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Ron Nelson, Rocky Point Holiday; Jerry Junkin/Dallas Wind Symphony

2. Franz Schubert, Rosamunde overture; Herbert Blomstedt/San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

3. Leonard Bernstein, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Christian Lindberg/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

4. John Field, Irish Dance; Míċeál O’Rourke

5. Samuel A. Ward, America the Beautiful; US Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus

"Cinema per archi" (or "Cinema for Strings") is a new album from the string players of the Academy of St. Cecilia. The album features music by three Academy Award-winning Italian film composers: Ennio Morricone, Nicola Piovani and Nino Rota.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Maple City, Petoskey, Cadillac, Ludington and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Gaetano Donizetti, Act II sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor; Placido Domingo, Cheryl Studer, Juan Pons et al.

2. Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish Dances nos. 7 & 8; Rachel Barton Pine & Samuel Sanders

3. Paul Dukas, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Andre Previn/Los Angeles Philharmonic

4. The Beatles, A Day in the Life; Nick Davies/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

5. Greg McCallum, Hymn Quilt; performed by the composer

If you listen to Classical IPR in the evening hours (from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST), then we need your help! Classical IPR is taking a listener survey about our evening programming.

Your input is valuable, and we hope you can take a few minutes for this survey.

Click here to take the survey.  Thank you in advance for your help.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason isn't even 20 years old yet, and he's already been called "the hottest young classical musician on the planet" by Classic FM. Sheku (he goes by his first name) won the BBC Young Musician Award in 2016 and has just released his first album on Decca Classics, called "Inspiration."

Amazon recently released the fourth season of its original series "Mozart in the Jungle." The show, which has won multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards, depicts the lives of classical musicians in the fictional New York Symphony. 

J. Paul Getty Museum

Thanks to listeners in Cedar, Lansing, Gaylord, Traverse City, Cheboygan and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Gioachino Rossini, Overture to William Tell; Paul Paray/Detroit Symphony Orchestra

2. Claude Debussy, The Sunken Cathedral; Hélène Grimaud

3. Giacomo Puccini, La bohème (opening portion of Act II); Mirella Freni, Nicolai Gedda et al.

4. Antonin Dvorak, Romance for violin and orchestra; Seiji Ozawa/Boston Symphony Orchestra/Itzhak Perlman

5. Herman Hupfeld, As Time Goes By; José Carreras

The American pianist Lara Downes is well known for her interesting portraits of composers. Her latest album “For Lenny” celebrates Leonard Bernstein in his centennial year. Like most of Downes’s other albums, “For Lenny” features a number of piano miniatures that revolve around a central theme. The theme of this album is, of course, Leonard Bernstein.

Matthew Holler

Sybarite5 is one of the most innovative chamber ensembles active today. They are champions of new music by young American composers, and their programming choices are as eclectic as they are surprising.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thank you to listeners in McMillan, Petoskey, Higgins Lake, Alden, Traverse City and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Ennio Morricone, selections from The Mission; composer conducting the Rome Sinfonietta/Yo Yo Ma

2. Leroy Anderson, Blue Tango; Ensemble Vivant

3. Franz Liszt, Liebesträume no. 3; Lang Lang

4. Paul Cantelon, selections from The Other Boleyn Girl; original motion picture soundtrack

5. Johann Sebastian Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor; Canadian Brass

A new two-disc album from the American violinist Hilary Hahn features recordings from every album she has made for Deutsche Grammophon over the last 15 years. This new album, "Retrospectives," also includes previously unreleased live recordings of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Tina Davidson and Max Richter.

UPDATE: all spots are now reserved! If you'd like to be on the waiting list, email 

André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra have a new album called "Amore." The music includes Rieu's interpretations and arrangements of love songs and other uplifting favorites.

"Amore" features love songs like "Love Me Tender" and "What a Wonderful World," film music, waltzes by members of the Strauss family and pieces from musicals, like "The Impossible Dream" (from Man of La Mancha) and "Think of Me" (from Phantom of the Opera).

Click here for video of Rieu introducing the new album.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Petoskey, Moorestown, Kaleva, Northport and many other places (and states!) for your requests today.  

1. Rodgers & Hammerstein, selections from Oklahoma! Sung by Jose Carreras

2. Karl Jenkins, Song of the Plains; composer conducting the Adiemus Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Chorus

3. George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue; Andre Previn/Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

4. Gaetano Donzetti, “Una furtiva lagrima” from The Elixir of Love; Lawrence Brownlee

5. Claude Debussy, Footprints in the Snow; Krystian Zimmerman

photo courtesy Ed Bahr

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra Brass Quintet will perform this weekend as part of the GLCO's Sunday Recital Series. The members of the quintet visited IPR's Studio A to give a preview of some of the music they'll play Sunday and to chat about how they got together as a group.

Listen to the entire performance and conversation below.

For more information about their performance Sunday afternoon, click here.

The string quintet Sybarite5 is known for its untraditional choices of repertoire. They've performed their own arrangements of many songs by the band Radiohead, and they're champions of living American composers. Their music is frequently featured on Performance Today

Grammy-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion has a new album of water-inspired music called "Paddle to the Sea."

Museum of Modern Art

Thank you to listeners in Northport, Cheboygan, Petoskey, Traverse City and many other places for your requests this week. 

1. Antonin Dvorak, Symphony no. 4 (third movement); Libor Pesek/Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

2. Giacomo Puccini, “Nessun dorma” from Turandot; Luciano Pavarotti

3. Miller & Miller, “Let there be peace on earth”; Lowell Graham/US Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants

4. Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto for 2 Keyboards; Robert & Gaby Casadesus/Zurich Chamber Orchestra

A new album from mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli and cellist Sol Gabetta features the unique relationship between the voice and the cello in music from the Baroque period. Bartoli and Gabetta have been friends for years, and this is the first project they have collaborated on.

The Calidore String Quartet is one of the most remarkable young string quartets on the classical music scene today. In 2016, they won the M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition, which came with a $100,000 grand prize. They’ve been recognized as a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist, and BBC Radio 3 has named them a New Generation Artist. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thank you to listeners in Benzonia, Big Rapids, Mesick, Cheboygan, Old Mission Peninsula and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Antonin Dvorak, Symphony no. 8 (first movement); Marin Alsop/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

2. Hector Berlioz, Symphony fantastique (second movement); Daniel Barenboim/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

3. Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending; Neville Marriner/Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Iona Brown

4. Gustav Mahler, Symphony no. 3 (excerpt of sixth movement); Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic

Pianist Liza Stepanova has a new album called Tones and Colors that explores the relationship between music and visual art. Each of the thirteen pieces she plays is either inspired by a specific work of art or else the piece of music later inspired a work of art. 

The liner notes for the album include images of each work of art and an explanation of how the art is related to the piece Stepanova plays.

Photo by Rich Polk

Building your own instruments from scraps of metal, playing a conch shell with your mouth like a trumpet and making music with spaghetti strainers purchased at IKEA - all of these are just another day's work for percussionist Rob Dillon.

Sony Classical has just released the Vienna Philharmonic's 2018 New Year's Concert. Riccardo Muti conducted this year's concert, his fifth time leading the New Year's Concert since 1993. 

Steve Riskind

Pianist Richard Goode is one of the leading interpreters of Beethoven's music alive today. He has recorded all of Beethoven's piano sonatas and piano concertos.