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.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 10 a.m. for Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," a 2017 performance featuring Interlochen Arts Academy students. 

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

 Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 2 p.m. for "Sounds of the Season," the 2017 holiday concert from Interlochen Arts Academy.

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

  A new album from Decca features winter-themed music by the Norwegian-born American composer Ola Gjeilo. Gjeilo himself is at the piano for every piece, and her performs with 12 Ensemble and the Choir of Royal Holloway, conducted by Rupert Gough.


Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 4 p.m. for Winter Songs and Carols, the 2017 holiday concert from Manitou Winds. View the complete Songs and Carols concert program below.

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Cadillac, Petoskey, Lake Ann, Traverse City, Cheboygan and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Mykola Leontovich, Carol of the Bells; James Meredith/Sonos Handbell Ensemble

2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Marriage of Figaro overture; New York Philharmonic Winds

3. Traditional, The Little Drummer Boy; The Klezmonauts

4. Franz Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody no. 3; George Li

5. Traditional, Ya Maryam El Bekr; Fairuz

6. William Bolcom, Three Rags; Altius String Quartet

Photo by Marshall Clarke

Cellist Amit Peled actually encourages his students to join a gang - the Peabody Cello Gang.

Peled spoke with Classical IPR about how the Cello Gang got started, which piece on their new album is the “Everest” for cellists and the story behind the album’s cover photo. He also talked about the once-in-a-lifetime live performance of David Popper’s Requiem featuring nineteen cellos that appears on the new album.


If you’re a top cellist at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, you’re probably in a gang. A cello gang, that is. Amit Peled calls the students in his studio the Peabody Cello Gang, and they have a new album.


Wellcome Collection

Thanks to listeners in St. Ignace, Harbor Springs, Cadillac, Williamsburg, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade (first movement); Jose Serebrier/London Philharmonic Orchestra

2. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker (selections); Modern Mandolin Quartet

3. John McCutcheon, Christmas in the Trenches; John McDermott

4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Magic Flute overture; Bruno Weil/Tafelmusik

5. Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God; Vienna Boys Choir & Placido Domingo

 Violinist Angèle Dubeau and her orchestra La Pietà have recorded musical portraits of many composers, including Philip Glass, Ludovico Einaudi and John Adams. Their latest musical portrait album features selected works of Max Richter.


Wellcome Collection

Thank you to listeners in Lake Leelanau, Petoskey, Suttons Bay, Levering, Good Harbor Bay and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Harold Arlen, Get Happy; Jenny Lin

2. Hildegard von Bingen, O quam magnum miraculum est; Nonsuch Singers

3. Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story Suite; Orchestra of the Americas

4. Giuseppe Verdi, Libera me from the Requiem; Sir Georg Solti/Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Leontyne Price

5. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto, third movement; JoAnn Falletta/Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/Chloe Hanslip

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Beulah, Petoskey, Bear Lake, Traverse City, Midland and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Johann Melchior Molter, Concerto Pastorale; Angele Dubeau/La Pieta

2. Alexander Borodin, Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor; Andrew Davis/Toronto Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

3. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, March from the Nutcracker; Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic

4. Cesar Franck, The Accursed Hunter; Eiji Oue/Minnesota Orchestra

A new album by Steven Isserlis surveys the music written for the cello during the period of World War I. The album is called The Cello in Wartime. It includes several popular pieces performed on an instrument called a trench cello.

Creative Commons CC0

This Thanksgiving Day, celebrate with Classical IPR and the following special programs.

7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Morning Classics with Kate Botello

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Performance Today with Fred Child

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. A Feast for the Ears: Celebrate Thanksgiving with music that sets the atmosphere and reflections that provide deeper meaning to the holiday.

National Gallery of Art

Thanks to listeners in Petoskey, Millersburg, Cedar Creek Township, Onekama, Suttons Bay and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Gaetano Donizetti, Act II Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor; Montserrat Caballe, Samuel Ramey et al.

2. Giacomo Puccini, “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi; Renata Tebaldi

3. Over the River and Through the Woods; The Smokey Mountain Band

4. Karl Michael Ziehrer, Step Right Up! (waltz); Gustavo Dudamel/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

  The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra recently presented a concert called Sol Español. The music included pieces by three Spanish composers as well as American composer Gwyneth Walker’s settings of text by the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. The concert featured guest appearances by the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet and soprano Amy Cross, and the music was conducted by Libor Ondras.

Photo courtesy

 Chris Brubeck and the rest of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet will perform this Saturday night in Traverse City. In addition to being a bassist, a bass trombonist and a jazz composer, Brubeck is also a classical composer. Just last week, the Lexington Philharmonic and Canadian Brass gave the premiere performance of Brubeck's "No Borders."

 Military wind bands were very popular in Britain in the early part of the twentieth century. Sir Edward Elgar and his contemporaries wrote quite a bit of music for this type of ensemble. A new release from Somm Recordings called Elgar and His Peers: The Art of the Military Band celebrates this repertoire.


Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has released an album featuring solo piano music of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Sibelius composed fewer than 20 works for the piano, and his orchestral music is far better known.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

1. Robert Cray, arr. Armed Forces Medley; Cpt. Douglas Monroe/United States Air Force Band of the Golden West

2. Mikis Theodorakis, Ode to Zeus; John Williams/Boston Pops & Tanglewood Festival Chorus

3. Stanley Myers, Cavatina from The Deer Hunter; Jason Vieaux

4. Stephen Paulus, Symphony for Strings (third and fourth movements); Yoel Levi/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

photo courtesy Matt Thomas

Baroque on Beaver is held every summer on Beaver Island. The multi-day festival includes many different types of classical music, from Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin to world premieres by living American composers. 

 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. A new album produced by Rachel Currea is a musical celebration of the the many contributions of Martin Luther.


photo: Maud Cuney Hare (Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to listeners in Millersburg, Indian River, Pellston, Custer, Lake Leelanau and many other places for your requests this week. 

1. Arvo Pärt, Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten; Angele Dubeau/La Pieta

2. Dmitri Shostakovich, Piano concerto no. 2 (first movement); Paul Freeman/ RTV Symphony Orchestra/Joshua Pierce

3. Camille Saint-Saens, Danse macabre; James DePreist/Oregon Symphony

4. Felix Mendelssohn, Hebrides Overture; Bernard Haitink/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

5. Traditional, the Star-Spangled Banner; Van Cliburn

Simon Powis

The Juilliard String Quartet was founded in 1946 and remains one of the leading string quartets in the world. They recently visited IPR's Studio A and talked about the legacy of the quartet and what it's like to carry that legacy into the 21st century. They played movements from string quartets by Haydn and Beethoven.  Hear the entire performance and conversation below.

National Gallery of Art

Thanks to listeners in Wolverine, Clare, Sault Ste. Marie, Boyne City, Maple City, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Alan Hovhaness, Symphony no. 2 “Mysterious Mountain” (second movement); Gerard Schwarz/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

2. Conni Ellisor, Blackberry Winter (third movement); Nashville Chamber Orchestra

3. Aaron Copland, Variations on Simple Gifts (from Appalachian Spring); John Williams/Boston Pops Orchestra

4. George Frederic Handel, Music for the Royal Fireworks (overture); Jean Lamon/Tafelmusik

A new album from Sony Classical presents all three piano trios of Johannes Brahms. Pianist Emanuel Ax and cellist Yo-Yo Ma have already won multiple Grammy Awards for their previous Brahms recordings. Here they join violinist Leonidas Kavakos in their first recorded collaboration as a trio.