Classical Music

The latest in Classical music from Interlochen Public Radio. You'll find concert recordings, live performances from our very own Studio A, Classical music for kids and so much more. 

Jonathan Biss Comes To Interlochen

Jan 13, 2014

Acclaimed pianist Jonathan Biss will perform in concert Tuesday, January 14th in Interlochen's Dendrinos Chapel. Music by Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin will be featured. Biss will perform the same program at Carnegie Hall soon.   

Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.

Having a hard time concentrating when it's time to "knuckle down?" Lots of homework? Or just trying to think or read in peace while listening to some great, non-distracting music?  Whatever your task, we hope this three-hour selection of music will help keep you focused and happy.

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, who at age 20 swept all five top prizes at the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, can now add another prestigious award to his collection. Early Wednesday, Blechacz was named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.

The Gilmore may not have quite the name recognition as the Chopin Competition, but it has a distinguished cachet of its own, plus a generous $300,000 cash award.

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo is a veteran when it comes to taking risks, and it pays off in her compelling music. As a young girl in Vietnam, she knew she wanted to be a traditional musician, even though it was a world dominated by men. It was risky, then, when she pestered a master teacher for three years to give her lessons. He finally gave in, taking her on as an apprentice.

A case stirring intense outrage in the classical music community and starting to gain steam in the mainstream press is getting more mysterious by the day.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." That could be the annual mantra for the classical music world. It has been predicted to crumble for decades, just as optimists continue to point to positive trends. This year is no different. Despite two ugly black eyes — the death of the New York City Opera and the continuing, bitter stalemate between the Minnesota Orchestra's (locked out) musicians and management — terrific music is being made by marvelous artists. Here we offer a short list of the best and worst of 2013.

Three hundred sixty-five. That's the number of days the Minnesota Orchestra will have gone without playing in its concert hall in 2013. The orchestra became the unwitting poster child for labor strife in the classical music world — and, to some extent, an emblem of the problems facing non-profit arts institutions across the country.

One of the world's oldest and most iconic piano makers, Pleyel, will close its factory doors in Paris at the end of 2013.

The French press characterized the bankruptcy as inevitable in the face of cheaper competition from China. But many disagree: They say Pleyel could have survived by adapting better to the times.

The relationship between a teacher and a student can be transformative. It's a particularly important relationship in classical music. A teacher is part mentor, part manager — even a parental figure.

Since 1973, the four-man vocal chamber group The Hilliard Ensemble has been breathing new life into the sounds of the Renaissance. Now that they've reached their 40-year anniversary, the members have decided to call it a day. Fresh off the new album Il Cor Tristo, the Hilliards will spend 2014 celebrating their long tenure with one last world tour. Then, a year from now, it's all over.

For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.

Renee Fleming On 'Song Travels'

Dec 13, 2013

Grammy-winning soprano Renée Fleming is a regular at the world's top opera houses and concert halls around the globe. Her awards include a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement medal and the National Medal of Arts.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has a balanced budget for the first time in years. The DSO has struggled recently, with $6 million dollar deficits, one of the largest budget deficits of any orchestra in the nation. A musician's strike in 2011 that was also tough on morale.

It’s been six years since the last time the DSO has been in the black. It has also built a growing fan base, at a time when symphonies are struggling with an aging audience.

The year may have suffered a couple of black eyes in the form of shuttered opera companies and orchestras in labor disputes, but as far as recordings go, don't let anyone tell you classical music is dying — the music and musicians are thriving.

Happy Holidays! We asked IPR staffers to share their favorite holiday music with listeners this season. If you're in the Seasonal Mood, try out this playlist of tunes we love. Play the music from your computer anytime. All you need is a free Spotify account.

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Our friends in the public radio system are some of the most open-minded listeners we know. Each month, our Heavy Rotation series brings you free downloads of what our fellow programmers and producers are experiencing on repeat.

Funk, Faust And Stone: Three Stunning Albums From 2013

Dec 11, 2013

Throughout this week, we at NPR Music are taking a look at the year in music with our friend Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered. I joined her to bring a closer ear to two very impressive classical albums and an international rarity that's been brought back to life. (I also provided Audie with a primer on pronouncing my last name. I hope you all pay close attention.)

Baritone Carlton Ford - Live in IPR's Studio A

Dec 6, 2013

Alumnus Carlton Ford returned to Interlochen Arts Academy to work with voice students, and he also paid a visit to IPR to sing works by Grieg, Ravel and Tosti.


This wound up being a spectacular year for elaborate, lavishly packaged reissues. Given all the fabulous classical box sets that appeared this year, you'd think we were in some kind of boom era for music served up on compact discs. (2013? More like 1993.)

Celebrate the Season with Classical IPR!

Printer friendly: Complete Holiday Programming Schedule

Saturday, January 4 3pm

  • New Year’s Day from Vienna * A Saturday rebroadcast of the annual New Year’s concert with the Vienna Philharmonic led by Daniel Barenboim.

Whether you're sitting in the bath (or you wish you were), entertaining friends, or perhaps looking to relax after the baby has finally stopped crying -- Interlochen Public Radio's Kate Botello has the perfect Classical playlist for you. Play the music from your computer anytime. All you need is a free Spotify account.

We asked a listener with a new baby what she most wanted from classical music. Her response? "I want something that's the opposite of the baby crying." We hope this fits the bill.

We had quite a crowd in Studio A this morning! Northwestern Michigan College Choir Director Jeffrey Cobb brought 32 stalwart members of the new vocal ensemble, Canticum Novum, to IPR's Studio A. Canticum Novum, along with the NMC Chamber Choir, will appear in, "Sounds of the Seasons - Holiday Songs for Brass and Voices," in Miliken Auditorium Friday, December 6th.  Listen for a sneak preview of the concert - Mendelssohn and a calypso carol.


Lynne Tobin,  Director of the Traverse City Civic Ensembles, spent an early morning hour in Studio B co-hosting an early hour with Kate Botello. Lynne brought great music with her, including highlights from the upcoming holiday concert season. She even brought us a double-header Kids' Commute!


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