Classical Music

Interlochen Public Radio is your gateway to news and classical music from Interlochen Center for the Arts. Learn about new music, upcoming performances and more.

Bellini Opera Company

The Bellini Opera Company will perform at City Opera House in Traverse City tomorrow night at 7 p.m. They are presenting a tribute to the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso as part of the Sixth Annual Traverse City Wine and Opera Festival.

One of the world's best-known opera stars, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has announced that she will never sing in public again — bringing a long, storied career to a close.

This week on the Kids Commute - it's Mermaid Week! Come and search for treasure and pearls with us in the watery deep. Meet mermaids of all sorts, from all kinds of places!

EPISODE 7 - The Lovely Sirens (Wednesday, September 13, 2017)

People didn't always think of mermaids as lovely underwater ladies who spent all day pearl hunting. The Ancient Greeks thought of them as monsters, called, "sirens." Sirens were very nice to look at, and had beautiful singing voices...but they lured sailors to wreck their ships on rocks. American composer Stacy Garrop wrote, "The Lovely Sirens," as part of her Mythology Symphony -  it's music that shows both sides of our monster mermaids - beautiful singing that ends in a terrible shipwreck!

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Cory Weaver for San Francisco Opera

This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent production of Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" from San Francisco Opera.

The production stars Lianna Haroutounian, Vincenzo Costanzo, Zanda Svede and Julie Adams, and Yves Abel conducts. Read more about the production here. An English translation of the libretto is available here

Classical IPR’s New Release of the Week is an album that celebrates the woman who created the link between Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn. The album is called In Sara Levy’s Salon.


National Gallery of Art

Thanks to listeners in Glen Arbor, Newaygo, Cheboygan, Petoskey, Cedar Creek Township, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Zdenek Fibich, Symphony no. 3 (third movement); Neeme Järvi/Detroit Symphony Orchestra

2. Rodgers & Hammerstein, O What a Beautiful Morning; Bryn Terfel

3. Sir Edward Elgar, Introduction and Allegro; Sir Neville Marriner/Academy of St Martin in the Fields

4. Aaron Copland, Lincoln Portrait; Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony Orchestra/James Earl Jones

5. Jay Ungar, The Ashokan Farewell; Dodworth Saxhorn Band

Interlochen Center for the Arts

This Friday night at 8 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent concert by the World Youth Wind Symphony (WYWS). The concert took place during the 2017 Interlochen Arts Camp season.

J. Henry Fair

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin has a new album called "Alma Española." On the new album, Isbin and mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard perform Spanish-language art songs, many of which are new arrangements Isbin created.

Cory Weaver for San Francisco Opera

This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent production of Giuseppi Verdi's "Aida" from San Francisco Opera.

The production stars Leah Crocetto, Brian Jagde, Ekaterina Semenchuk and George Gagnidze, and Nicola Luisotti conducts. Read more about the production here. An English translation of the libretto is available here

Congratulations on your new school year, and welcome back to IPR's Kids Commute! Tune in to Classical IPR this morning at 7:40, or listen any time at the link below!

This week is "Back to School Week," on the Kids Commute.

EPISODE FOUR (Friday, September 8, 2017)

Today, we'll hear some music by composer John Williams from his score to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - meet Hagrid the Professor!

Here's today's Kids Commute:

The intrepid pianist Marc-André Hamelin has a reputation for embracing the toughest, strangest music. His new recording of For Bunita Marcus by Morton Feldman is a fine example. For nearly 75 minutes the music never rises above a whisper and the damper pedal is always pressed down, allowing single notes to ring out into vast, silent spaces.

Mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard and guitarist Sharon Isbin have a new album on Bridge Records called Alma Española. The album features art songs by Spanish composers including Manuel de Falla and Federico Garcia Lorca.


You never know just where Bill Murray might show up. From house parties to the White House, the actor and comedian has a penchant for crashing events and leaving everyone in his wake surprised.

The lobby of a Silicon Valley tech company is not where you would expect to hear a soprano belting out a Puccini aria, but that was exactly what happened at the first performance of Arias in the Office.

With "Ch'il Bel Sogno," soprano Katharine Gunnink kicked off the new pop-up series at Adobe's San Jose headquarters at the beginning of August. The initiative by Opera San José aims to introduce people to the very concept of opera as something that can be fun and enjoyable.

Caroline Bittencourt

The Danish String Quartet is known for their iconic mix of traditional string quartet repertoire and their own arrangements of Danish and other Nordic folk tunes. They have played everywhere from Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. 

The Danish String Quartet recently gave a concert in Corson Auditorium at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Listen to the entire concert and view the concert program below.

Ron Scherl for San Francisco Opera

This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a 1979 production of Amilcare Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" from San Francisco Opera. 

This performance features Renata Scotto in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Enzo Grimaldo. Bruno Bartoletti conducts. The complete cast list is available here. An English translation of the libretto is available here

 Classical IPR’s New Release of the Week features familiar music in a new and surprising interpretation. Marimbist Kuniko performs her own arrangements of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in Bach: Solo Works for Marimba.


National Gallery of Art

Thanks to listeners in Alanson, Wellston, Glen Arbor, St. Ignace, Prudenville, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Gerald Finzi, Eclogue for Piano and Strings; Howard Griffiths/Northern Sinfonia/Peter Donohoe

2. Danny Wright, Softly as I Leave You (closing theme for Repose with Frank Slaughter)

3. Septimus Winner, Listen to the Mockingbird; Dodworth Saxhorn Band

4. Harold Arlen, Get Happy; Jenny Lin

5. Antonin Dvorak, Symphony no. 5 (third movement); Mariss Jansons/Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Dan Fabbio was 25 and working on a master's degree in music education when he stopped being able to hear music in stereo. Music no longer felt the same to him.

Tony Award-winning composer John Kander has a favorite story about Broadway producer and director Harold Prince: In 1965, he and lyricist Fred Ebb were working on a show that Prince produced called Flora, The Red Menace and it was not going well.

The Kids Commute returns to Classical IPR weekdays starting September 5th!

Join Kate Botello each weekday morning at about 7:40 as she picks stories and sounds from the Classical world your children will love. She wants to inspire your family with the love of Classical music.

Craig T. Mathew for LA Opera

  This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent production of John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles" from LA Opera.

The production stars Patricia Racette, Patti LuPone, Lucas Meachem and Robert Brubacker, and James Conlon conducts. Read more about the production here. The production is in English.

The Venezuelan government has cancelled the upcoming U.S. tour by the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and its star conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who is also the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

El Nacional, a major Venezuelan paper, reported yesterday that the cancellation was ordered by the presidency.

  On June 10 of this year, Yekwon Sunwoo became the 2017 gold medalist at the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. A new album featuring Sunwoo’s performances from the competition is Classical IPR’s New Release of the Week.