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. 

Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn't just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids' brains process language.

Throughout this month, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's signature Next Wave Festival is celebrating a record label with which it shares history and purpose: Nonesuch, marking its 50th anniversary this year.

What's going on here, I can only guess, but here's what you're about to see: In the video below, the great musician Glenn Gould, supreme interpreter of Bach, is sitting at his living room piano on a low, low chair, his nose close to the keys. He's at his Canadian country house in his bathrobe.

Musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen once quipped: "The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition." But it's tough to see much gloom when faced with the diversity of premieres and provocative programming around the country in the 2014-2015 season.

This story has been set to unpublished due to the NPR API updating this story earlier and now the NPR API is unavailable. If the NPR API has deleted or changed the access level of this story it will be deleted when the API becomes available. If the API has updated this story, the updated version will be made available when the NRP API becomes reachable again. There is no action required on your part. For more information contact Digital Services Client Support

Well, it's happened again. Vacations are over. Kids are returning to school. "And where," you're wondering, "did my summer go?"

You can get the same feeling in music sometimes. No matter how long a piece is, its end might sneak up on you. Try this mysterious little quiz filled with fantastical finales and enigmatic endings. Score high and take an extra week off from work. Score low and get back to the grind.

Bruce Hornsby's Modern Classical Moment

Aug 23, 2014

Bruce Hornsby cracked the music world three decades ago, making smooth, contemplative piano-pop with his band The Range. But if "The Way It Is" is how you remember him today, you've missed a lot.

Making some new acquaintances, and still in that getting-to-know-you phase?  Perhaps you're having some delightful people over but don't know yet if they'd dig your massive collection of rare acid jazz. We've found some eclectic, fun, modern-ish tunes to hang out in the background and be friendly, without hampering your scintillating dinner conversation (but if the socializing's not going so well, you can always talk about the music!).


  This edition of Radio Collage features excerpts from the 2014 Interlochen Arts Camp "Collage" show, along with performances recorded at a few of the other concerts that take place during the Camp.  There's music by Mendelssohn, Duke Ellington and Brahms, a bit of Shakespeare, and original works by students from the Singer/Songwriter and Creative Writing programs.

Now that the embattled Metropolitan Opera has surmounted most of its labor squabbles, it's time to take a break from reading about the rancorous negotiations. See how many of these nerdworthy Met questions you can answer. Score high and bellow out your best Wagnerian "Hojotoho!" Score low and start learning the "Simpleton's aria" from Boris Godunov.

  For this Radio Collage, we revisit performances from the recently completed Interlochen Arts Academy year.  There's lots of diversity, with music by Maurice Ravel, Sir Arthur Sullivan, and Dave Brubeck.  We'll also hear works by students from the Comparative Arts, Creative Writing and Singer-Songwriter programs.


A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera — the largest opera house in the world — appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.

With this Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Béla Bartók's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.

Italian-American lyric soprano Licia Albanese, known for her deeply felt character portrayals, died Friday at her home in New York, her son, Joseph Gimma, told NPR Music Saturday. She was 105 years old.

Enso circles back!

Aug 16, 2014
Maureen Nelson, Richard Belcher, Melissa Reardon and John Marcus
Tim Burke

  The Enso String Quartet has returned to the Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp as guest artists-in-residence.  The ensemble’s name is derived from the Japanese Zen painting of the circle, which represents many things: perfection and imperfection, the moment of chaos that is creation, the emptiness of the void, the endless circle of life, and the fullness of the spirit. In addition to teaching during the  camp, Enso gives three recitals over the course of six days.  Still, they found time to drop by IPR's Studio A to perform excerpts from Five Pieces for String Quartet by Erwin Schulhoff.

Four guitars, one great sound!

Aug 14, 2014

  This summer, the Interlochen Arts Camp was once again filled with young artists, actors, writers, dancers, and, oh yes, musicians! Among them, a guitar quartet who paid a visit to IPR's Studio A.  Leonela Alejandro, Ria Modak, Grace Elmer and Luke Sunderland performed Kalimba by Jurg Kindle. For this performance, some of them put cloth under the strings near the guitar bridge to imitate the sound of the kalimba, also known as the "thumb piano".

Inspiration can come from unlikely places. For composer Robert Kyr, the silence of a desert monastery is key to the radiant music on his new disc of recent choral works performed by the vocal ensemble Conspirare and its director Craig Hella Johnson.

Kyr travels frequently to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, in northern New Mexico, from his home in Eugene, Ore., where he teaches composition at the University of Oregon. Living among the monastery's Benedictine monks, Kyr hikes along the winding Chama River by day and composes music in a bare-walled room at night.

Last month, The New Yorker announced that it was teasing a new "freemium" version of its website (which launches this fall) with an alluring proposition. All of its most recent pieces, plus the full archives back to 2007 and some even older selections, are free for the rest of the summer.

So we took this opportunity to dig up some delicious classical music-minded pieces from the magazine's archives. They're perfect long reads for a lazy August afternoon.

Christopher Gruits, Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, stopped by Studio B this morning to chat about the upcoming 2014-2015 season. Highlights include: singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, Aquila Theatre's Wuthering Heights,  Ailey II from the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, and the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, from the Nebraska Theatre Caravan.

To hear the interview, featuring a track by singer/songwriter Wainwright (appearing at ICA in October), click "Listen," below.

Tickets go on sale soon - keep your eye on  

After the jump - more highlights of the upcoming season, including video from Ailey II and A Christmas Carol.

Jenie Altruda has found a happy balance between a professional life and an artsy upbringing here at Interlochen. After growing up surrounded by various artistes and theatre types, ICA gives her the opportunity to combine business expertise with a love of the arts.

We spent a terrific hour together listening to some of her favorite music.  This is a cool, eclectic mix, with everything from favorites you might know and love (Bach Cello Suite, anyone?) to pieces new to IPR that may become new favorites (Goat Rodeo! Giacchino! Duckworth!).

Jenie had so much great music that we couldn't fit it all into our hour together on-air.  Never fear! You can still hear it all - click, "Read more," to see a list and enjoy more than two hours of Jenie's choices. Listen to our full conversation and hear the music in context in the streaming link, below.

Sooner or later it had to happen — an all-classical Drum Fill Friday. This week's puzzler proves that the world of Beethoven, Stravinsky and Bartók can serve up beats as thunderous as any double drummer metal band.