Classical Music

Interlochen Public Radio has the latest in classical music. You'll find recent local concerts, live performances from our very own Studio A, classical music for kids and so much more. 

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Join Classical IPR's Kate Botello, Nancy Deneen and Amanda Sewell on New Year's Eve starting at 10 p.m. They'll have plenty of classical music and conversation, a countdown to midnight and then a reflective start to 2018. This program airs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow. Susan Graham stars in her acclaimed interpretation of the title role as the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari, opposite Paul Groves as her commitment-phobic former lover, Danilo. Sir Thomas Allen sings the role of Baron Zeta, determined to play matchmaker while unaware that he is in danger of losing his own wife, Valencienne, to the dashing Camille de Rosillon, sung respectively by Andriana Chuchman and Taylor Stayton. Ward Stare conducts in his network broadcast debut.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, December 30 at 1pm ET.

Twitter @rebecaomordia

2017 was an exciting year for new albums in classical music. There were world premieres of pieces by Bartok, Puccini and Vaughan Williams. There were also lots of anniversaries celebrated in music, from the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation to the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Emerson String Quartet.  

Join Classical IPR's Amanda Sewell for a look at some notable classical music releases from 2017. This program airs Wednesday December 27 at 5 p.m. with an encore presentation on Monday January 1 at 1 p.m.

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.

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Celebrate Christmas Day on Classical IPR with recent holiday concerts from around Northern Michigan. Local concerts are listed below.

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

Christmas Day 2017

8 a.m.: Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra's Messiah plus Bach & Rutter

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thank you to listeners in Gaylord, Cedar, Northport, Wolverine and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Various, Happy Holidays Medley; Keith Lockhart/Boston Pops Orchestra & Tanglewood Festival Chorus

2. Dan Forrest, Carol of Joy; Ronald Staheli/BYU Choirs and Orchestra

3. Traditional, Lord of the Dance; John Langstaff/Christmas Revels

4. Sergei Prokofiev, Piano Concerto no. 4 (third and fourth movements); Andre Previn/London Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy

5. Leon Boellmann, Toccata from Gothic Suite; Carlo Curley

Ben Shirley's story is one of redemption. He'd been playing bass in bars, clubs and arenas in the Los Angeles area since he was 15 when he fell down a path of drugs and alcohol. Four bottles of vodka and $360 worth of heroin a day brought him down hard on Skid Row.

It was at the non-profit The Midnight Mission where Shirley turned his life around in 2011. Now, at 53, he's an undergrad in The San Francisco Conservatory of Music's program of Technology and Applied Composition. He debuted an original piece, "We Need Darkness to See the Stars," earlier this month.


  Ola Gjeilo is one of the most in-demand composers alive today. He’s not even 40 and has already had his music performed by major ensembles including the Choir of King’s College Cambridge and the Phoenix Chorale. His newest album is called Winter Songs, and it features original compositions and his new arrangements of some Christmas favorites.

KC Ep. 74 - Winter Holiday Week! Friday: "Riu Riu Chiu." Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Tapestry from the Galla Placidia Museum

Happy Friday! Welcome to the final day of Winter Holiday Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

We hope you've enjoyed this week of Winter Holiday fun from around the world. Speaking of holidays, Kids Commuters - we're taking a Winter Holiday, too! We'll be playing some kid-friendly music the week of January 2. Kids Commute will be back with all-new episodes - and Quizlets! -  on January 8.

Today, we take a trip to Spain for a, "villancico," - an ancient Spanish Christmas Carol. "Riu Riu Chiu," is a song about protecting the Lamb (in this case, both Mary and Jesus!) from the Wolf (the forces of evil).

Friday, December 22, 2017 (Ep. 74)
Riu Riu Chiu (Traditional medieval Spanish)

Here's today's Kids Commute:

  Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 8 a.m. for Messiah + Bach & Rutter, the 2017 holiday concert from the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. View the complete concert program below.


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


Updated, Dec. 21, 10:45 p.m. ET and Dec. 22, 12:09 p.m.: The responses of various orchestras to the allegations were added to this article.

The Associated Press has reported allegations of sexual assault against the famed conductor Charles Dutoit made by four women, in incidents that span from 1985 to 2010 and that took place in five different U.S. cities.


Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 12 p.m. for Home for the Holidays, the 2017 holiday concert from the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. View the complete Home for the Holidays concert program below.

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

KC Ep. 73 Winter Holiday Week! Thursday: "Betelehemu," by Babatunde Olantunji. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Photo edit: Calypso13

Welcome to Day Four of Winter Holiday Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we're enjoying music from winter celebrations around the world. 

Today, we'll hear Christmas music that comes to America from Nigeria! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017 (Ep. 73)
Betelehemu (Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs)
Babatunde Olatunji

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Goran Bregović is one of the Balkans' most beloved musicians and composers. He grew up in the Bosnian town of Sarajevo and witnessed the atrocities of war in the 1990s. But he channeled his home region's pain, as well as its endless humor, into his music, and got his big break composing for films like Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies.

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.

Welcome to Day Three of Winter Holiday Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we're celebrating Winter Holidays around the world.

Today, we'll take a trip to Scandinavia for St. Lucia's (St. Lucy's) Day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 (Ep. 72)
Santa Lucia (traditional)

Here's today's Kids Commute:

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.


Collaboration. It's at the heart of many of NPR Music's finest moments. And it's in the DNA of the intrepid Kronos Quartet, which some 40 years ago began working with composers around the globe to spotlight new music.

Opening our 10th anniversary concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Kronos, true to form, gave an appreciative audience both a world premiere and an extraordinary surprise collaboration.

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.

Welcome to Day Two of Winter Holiday Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we're enjoying holiday music from around the world.

Happy Hanukkah! Today, we'll hear a classic Hanukkah tune that helps explain some of the traditions of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 (Ep. 71)
Chanukah, O Chanukah (traditional)

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Photo by Chris Lee/Metropolitan Opera.

Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).  Harry Bicket conducts the performance, which features bass-baritone Adam Plachetka as the wily valet Figaro, opposite soprano Christiane Karg, who makes her network broadcast debut as his fiancée, the maid Susanna.  Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen stars as the Countess, a role she sang for her Met debut in 2014, opposite bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, reprising his interpretation of the lascivious Count Almaviva, and mezzo-soprano Serena Malfi is the page, Cherubino.

KC Ep. 70 - Winter Holiday Week! Monday: "Happy Joyous Hanukkah," by the Klezmatics. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Traditional Klezmer musicians

Happy Monday! Welcome to Winter Holiday Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we're hearing music from Winter holidays around the world.

Happy Hanukkah! Today we're hearing music based in the Jewish klezmer tradition. "Klezmer," means, "musical instrument." Klezmer musicians usually use instruments they can carry around so they can use them for parties and festivals!

Monday, December 18, 2017 (Ep. 70)
Happy Joyous Hanukkah
The Klezmatics (by Woody Guthrie)

Here's today's Kids Commute: