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. 

A Philip Glass Moment That Could Last Forever

Jan 25, 2017
Photo courtesy Jake Shimabukuro, jakeshimabukuro.com

A few years ago, a video titled “Asian guy shreds on ukulele” was uploaded to YouTube. The video showed an unnamed man playing a virtuosic cover of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on the ukulele.

Today, Jake Shimabukuro’s fans know his name and his vast repertoire, which ranges from Schubert to flamenco to Queen. Shimabukuro started learning ukulele from Roy Sakuma at age 6. Since then, he has transformed into a captivating performer who appreciates space and silence as much as speed.

Shimabukuro joined Kate Botello in Studio A to give our listeners an introduction to the ukulele and a sampling of some of his most-shared hits.


Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia starring soprano Pretty Yende as the feisty Rosina, tenor Dmitry Korchak as the love-struck Count Almaviva, and baritone Peter Mattei in the title role of the barber Figaro.  Maurizio Benini conducts the performance which also stars Maurizio Muraro as Dr. Bartolo and Mikhail Petrenko as Don Basilio.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, January 28 at 1pm ET.

 

One of the nation’s leading string quartets, the Cypress String Quartet, is ready to hang up its bows. After a 20-year career, during which they were hailed by the New York Times as “tender and deeply expressive,” the ensemble played their farewell concert this past June--but they weren’t quite finished. In January 2017, the ensemble gave their fans a final gift: one last album.

Welcome to Episode 35 of Show Tunes with Kate Botello! Coming up: musical matchmaking and upcoming openings. At Intermission, a stern but hilarious lesson in social media etiquette from Nate Patten and Cam Collins, hosts of the theatre podcast, #BookedIt. In Act Two - ever been so moved you called your loved one’s name in song? These people have.

 

Click through for this week's playlist!

 


Last year, Brazil lost one of its most famous musicians: Naná Vasconcelos, who put an instrument called the berimbau on the world's musical map. It's a kind of bow with a gourd attached, and it is the inspiration for a new album, MeiaMeia: New Music for Berimbau, by the group Arcomusical.

For nearly five decades, Daniel Barenboim has been making a case for the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. Tonight at Carnegie Hall, the conductor begins a complete cycle of Bruckner's nine numbered symphonies, leading the storied Staatskapelle Berlin.

Most Broadway musicals that close after 16 performances barely prompt memories, let alone documentaries. But in 1981, the Stephen Sondheim/George Furth opus, Merrily We Roll Along, rolled along so bizarrely, it became the stuff of Broadway legend, worthy of a 2017 post-mortem. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is a theatrically captivating documentary in which a director looks sideways at a musical that goes backwards.

The week of January 9, 2017, we featured Lorelei Ensemble's RECONSTRUCTED as our New Release of the Week.

IPR's Director of Development, Emily Culler, is one of the nine founding members of the Lorelei Ensemble. She dropped by Studio B on Friday, January 13 to play us some highlights from the album, and to chat about Lorelei and the techniques and styles that came together in its creation.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Gounod’s adaptation of the Shakespeare classic, Roméo et Juliette, starring soprano Diana Damrau as Juliette, opposite tenor Vittorio Grigolo as Roméo. Gianandrea Noseda conducts, in Bartlett Sher’s new production which also features Virginie Verrez as Stéphano, Elliot Madore as Mercutio, and Mikhail Petrenko as Frère Laurent.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, January 21 at 1pm ET. 

 

Italian pianist Marco Vincenzi and the Dynamic label bring us a world-premiere album over 100 years in the making.

Welcome to Episode 34 of Show Tunes with Kate Botello! Coming up: we’re just into the new year, so we want to look back at some of the best shows that came out in 2016. We’ll revisit some numbers that we’ve played in previous episodes, and hear a few that we haven’t heard yet. The wayback machine will stay on for Intermission, with a look at classic shows with bad reviews.

Click through for this week's playlist!


Jay Ungar and Molly Mason visited IPR's Studio A today for an interview and performance. The two will perform tonight at Milliken Auditorium in Traverse City as part of the Dennos Museum Concert Series. 


 

For many performers, making your way in music is all about finding your niche.

That’s what makes Conrad Tao’s musical multitasking so unique. Tao doubles as both a concert pianist and a composer, with repertoire ranging from Ravel and Rachmaninoff to modern compositions, including his own. Unlike many of his peers, Tao has never felt the pressure to choose one path—in part because he realizes that the choice to pursue composition or performance does not have to be either-or.

 

Since 2007, the Boston-based Lorelei Ensemble has been reinventing women’s vocal music. The ensemble includes nine professional vocalists, united by a goal of advancing the women’s ensemble and expanding repertoire for female vocalists. The ensemble performs both as the full nine-voice unit and as smaller ensembles of selected members. Besides commissioning more than 50 new works since their formation, the ensemble has also reinvented classic Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque pieces.

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Puccini’s La Bohème, the most-performed opera in the company’s history, starring Ailyn Pérez as Mimì, Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo, Susanna Phillips as Musetta, and Alessio Arduini as Marcello. Carlo Rizzi leads the cast which also features Alexey Lavrov in the role of Schaunard, Christian Van Horn as Colline, and Paul Plishka as Benoit/Alcindoro.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, January 14 at 1pm ET.

Classical composers have long had their patrons: Beethoven had Archduke Rudolph, John Cage had Betty Freeman. For contemporary opera composers, there's Beth Morrison. She and her production company have commissioned new works from some of the most innovative emerging composers today.

Georges Prêtre, the French conductor with a seven-decade career that included close associations with Maria Callas and many of the world's top orchestras, died Wednesday in France at age 92.

When Lin-Manuel Miranda was a teenager in the 1990s, he liked to make eclectic mixtapes for his friends. In those cassettes, he experimented with the rise and fall of energy in music: A musical theater number might play after a hip-hop song, only to be followed by an oldie or an obscure pop song. It was through mixtapes that he could bridge the gap between two seemingly opposing passions — Broadway and rap.

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Verdi’s Nabucco, conducted by Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine, with Plácido Domingo in a network role debut as the title character, the King of Babylon.Liudmyla Monastyrska sings the ambitious Abigaille, who is determined to seize control of the Babylonian empire. The cast also includes Jamie Barton as Fenena, Nabucco’s heroic daughter; Russell Thomas as Ismaele, nephew to the King of Jerusalem; and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the high priest of the Jews, Zaccaria.

Coming up: We’re throwing a New Year’s party, complete with cocktails, dancing, revelry...and regrets. If you’re auditioning for musical theatre these days, take notes at Intermission - we’ll have a list of songs that casting directors do NOT want to hear - and offer you a few alternatives. In Act Two - the Morning After.

Click through for this week's playlist!


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