Classical Music

James Gilray's "The Pic-nic Orchestra" (1802)
Credit [London] : Pubd. April 23d 1802 by H. Humphrey St. James's Street, [1802] / https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-101455846-img

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.

When you think of an orchestra, you're probably picturing refined woodwinds, brass, and strings. But one ensemble I recently met is made up mostly of kids who play instruments made out of literal trash. This is the Recycled Orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay, and their group is the subject of a new documentary film.

Derek Gripper was a musician with a problem. He'd been playing classical music since he was 6 years old — violin, then piano and finally guitar. He was poised for an international career as a classical guitarist. But he remembers going to the homeland of one of his favorite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach.

"It felt kind of strange," he says. "It felt strange to be in Germany playing Bach to them."

First Listen: Jóhann Jóhannsson, 'Orphée'

Sep 8, 2016

One of the most enduring stories at the intersection of music and love is the Orpheus myth. The ancient Greek paragon of all-encompassing musical talent and fatalistic passion has inspired artists of all stripes in all eras.

As a 16-year-old, Pretty Yende was sitting with her parents in their rural South African home watching TV when a British Airways ad came on. As the sweet music swelled and voices intertwined, Yende was mesmerized. The only problem: She had no idea what to call the beautiful music she'd just heard.

Interested in Steve Jobs, Georgia O'Keefe or Alice in Wonderland? They are all explored in new music in the upcoming American concert season.

Imagine you're a teenager in Beijing in the 1960s and '70s, during the Cultural Revolution. Everything that's deemed Western and bourgeois is banned — so listening to a 78 rpm recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, powerfully transformative as it might be, is off limits.

Any musician can tell you that there is a profound connection between the breath and making music. There's the physical action, of course — one makes the other possible — but there are also the metaphysical bonds between breathing and creating.

Paul Erhard performs on his double bass, in the back porch of his home in Pierport, Michigan.
Daniel Wanschura

Have you ever wondered about the difference between the music of India, and the music of the West? 

Professor Paul Erhard has, and combines elements of each to form a unique blend of music that includes some jazz.

Paul Erhard is the Professor of Double Bass at the University of Colorado College of Music. He became interested in Indian music shortly after getting married in 1985. He and his wife visited India because they had an interest in the spirituality of the people.

Many stylistic winds blow through the repertoire of The Westerlies. The unconventional brass quartet from New York (Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler, trumpets; Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch, trombones) embraces jazz, classical, new music and dance — and in this case, puts a new spin on an old British ballad.

Each year, Interlochen Arts Camp becomes home to the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, high-school age musicians working with renowned conductors from all over the world.

In our sixth and final episode of the 2016 season, conductor Jung-Ho Pak conducts the WYSO in Jennifer Higdon's Machine, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture, and the Olympic Fanfare by John Williams.

In a tradition dating back to 1928, Interlochen Center for the Arts President Jeff Kimpton conducts all the Interlochen Orchestras together in Franz Liszt's Les Preludes.

Yesterday in New York, something very big happened outside Lincoln Center: One thousand people gathered to sing a new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Entitled the public domain, it was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mostly Mozart festival.

Miles Salerni, a 25-year-old percussionist, is one of this year's elite instrumental Fellows at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. But it took him a while to get there — five tries, to be exact.

Many audition for this prestigious training program, but few are selected. When Salerni got rejected for the third time, he knew he had to find another way to get to Tanglewood.

"They killed my mother in the doorway." How's that for an opening line?

We're talking opera — specifically, the aria "La mamma morta" from Umberto Giordano's 1896 French Revolution thriller Andrea Chénier. The soprano is Anna Netrebko.

David Bromberg is best known as a guitar virtuoso, who has collaborated with Bob Dylan and George Harrison and fronted his own band. But he's also a collector of American violins, and his collection is such that the Library of Congress has announced its intention to acquire it.

Each year, Interlochen Arts Camp becomes home to the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, high-school age musicians working with renowned conductors from all over the world.

In the fifth of our 2016 episodes, Carlos Kalmar conducts the WYSO in Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, with soloist Conrad Tao, and Dvorak's Eighth Symphony.

This summer marks my 25th and final season as music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, Calif. What an amazing adventure this has been, working with living composers and being at the center of so many new creations.

Let The Games Begin: A Playlist For Rio

Aug 5, 2016

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is essential, like air and water, for many classical musicians. Pianist András Schiff starts every day with Bach — sometimes before breakfast. "It's like taking care of your inner hygiene. There's something very pure about it," he says.

Slowly but surely, Lubomyr Melnyk is getting noticed. This summer, the enigmatic Ukrainian-born pianist, who looks like Rasputin's doppelgänger, released illirion on Sony Classical.

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