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. 

Think opera plots are tough to follow? Try wading through the complicated drama playing out offstage at the Metropolitan Opera. At its most basic, it's the story of management and labor unions fighting over a supposedly dwindling pot of money.

At the Metropolitan Opera, drama is usually onstage. But for the past several months, it's been in the newspapers.

Contract deadlines for 15 of the 16 unions at the Met in New York are set to expire at midnight tonight, and negotiations will likely go down to the wire. A lockout shutting down the world's largest opera house seems imminent.

Management wants concessions from the unions to offset dwindling ticket sales. Union employees think they're being asked to pay for unchecked spending.

Les Miserables is one of those "dream" shows for actors in musical theatre.  If you've never done it, you pray you'll be in it, and if you've been in it, you'll never forget it. This summer, Interlochen Arts Camp students had a chance to do the dream show with a dream team - Rick and Lynne Church.  Rick was the show's Musical Director and Conductor, and Lynne served as Vocal Coach for the young singers.  The delightful Churches have had fascinating careers (so far - more to come!) and brought all their expertise to the actors.  To us, they brought terrific music from Les Mis and music that Victor Hugo might have been listening to when he was writing his epic about the French Revolution. BONUS for those listening to the stream - Lynne shared a recording of her own performance in Pagliacci! (We've substituted Maria Callas on our Spotify playlist; click, "Read more." )

Composer John Luther Adams has been enjoying enormous success.

This story has been set to unpublished due to the NPR API updating this story earlier and now the NPR API is unavailable.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

When an opera company is in the midst of contentious labor negotiations, the results can be dramatic. This week, the war of words between unions and management at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera company, escalated. An Aug. 1 shut down now seems likely.

At the center of the debate is the ballooning Met budget, which stood at $200 million in 2006 but has since climbed to more than $325 million. Met General Manager Peter Gelb asserts that union salaries and benefits are his biggest costs, accounting for two-thirds of the operating budget.

The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.

For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.

If you're a classical guitarist, it may be impossible to resist the pull of one iconic piece: the Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Many musicians regard it as the holy grail of guitar repertoire, including a man so big in the classical world he is known by only one name: Milos.

There's more to a Symphony Orchestra than musicians - somebody's got to keep everything ticking behind the scenes! Executive Director Krista Cooper helps keep the Traverse Symphony Orchestra running like clockwork.  Krista prefers to be behind the scenes (even though she's secretly an accomplished opera singer! Shhh...), but we managed to get her in front of a microphone, sharing some of her favorite music with us.  

Hear Krista and her music in the interview below, or click, "Read more," to listen all the music in one playlist.

  

The Cavani String Quartet came to the Interlochen Arts Camp this summer to work with the advanced string quartet program.  While they were on campus, they stopped by IPR's Studio A for a live performance. Here's an excerpt from Midnight Child by Charles G. Washington.  It's based on the spiritual Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child , and mixes some of the music that Washington heard as he grew up: Gospel, Blues and Swing.


Olafur Arnalds On World Cafe

Jul 16, 2014

World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is a busy man. Composer and musician Ólafur Arnalds creates beautiful, sweeping neoclassical music, perfect for the soundtracks that have won him high praise. He's been in especially high demand since winning a BAFTA award for his musical contributions to the British TV series Broadchurch.

Deb Lake managed to eke out an hour before the Traverse City Film Festival and share some of her favorite film music with us.  It was probably the most time she'd spent sitting down in weeks. Deb's been the Executive Director of the TCFF since 2006 and has been a volunteer with the Festival since its very first year.  Film Festival is her Crunch Time, so we had a lovely breather, listening to some great music together. Don't worry if you missed it - we have it right here. 

Hear the music and conversation below, or click, "Read more," to listen to the playlist. 


The cast of Broadway's Next Hit Musical was on Interlochen's campus for a show, and brought us a real treat - our first ever entirely improvised Live from Studio A session! Cast members Rebecca Vigil, Rob Schiffman, Rob Grant and Eric March gave us a performance to remember.

Eric, Rebecca, Rob and Rob were great sports, and performed for us at what had to be an ungodly  hour of the morning for them. Since I was the only live person in the audience (a perk of hosting in Studio A!), I got to choose the song title (yay!).   At the end of the interview, please enjoy, "It's Early, and I'm In Love."

After the jump, learn more about BNHM and  hear a BONUS TRACK! - the cast dedicates an ode to IPR Studio A engineer, Brock Morman.
 


"The Star Spangled Banner" turns 200 this year, and the attention it's been getting is again a reminder of how difficult it is for many Americans to sing our national anthem.

Richard Reed Parry is famous for making music sound big. As a core member of Arcade Fire, the Grammy-winning indie rock group from Montreal, he wields multiple instruments to help create deep, layered textures in which strings and synthesizers, slow ballads and disco dance tracks are all at home.

Carlo Bergonzi endures. Not only is the Italian tenor approaching his 90th birthday (on July 13) but for decades he sang with tireless warmth and precision, representing a certain old school approach to carefully cultivating one's vocal resources.

You'll want to dim the lights for this video to accompany "VHS," from composer Christina Vantzou. The title implies a primitive digital universe. But in Vantzou's world, it's more of a void — a pitch-black emptiness where a lone figure chases her own barely perceptible reflection.

Violin Virtuosity: Stanislav Pronin

Jul 8, 2014

Violinist Stanislav Pronin paid a return visit to IPR's Studio A and gave a live performance of Nathan Milstein's challenging, "Paganiniana."  We asked Pronin what attracted him to Nathan Milstein's arrangement of works by Paganini. His answer? "It's just fun to play."

It's also a lot of fun to hear!

Sheldon Harnick has been a working lyricist for over 60 years. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the musical Fiorello! and a Tony Award for Fiddler On The Roof. But he says a career in the theater means writing some songs that, for whatever reason, don't make the show.

"Sometimes, the song was changed because a scene was changed and it no longer accommodated the song," Harnick says. "So, sometimes there had to be a new song."

The year is half over and that means NPR Music and our public radio partners have been obsessing over our favorite songs of the year so far. The full list of 50 songs makes a potent stew ranging from power pop and brash hip-hop to electro-fueled dance music and intimate portraits from jazz vocalists, classical guitarists and folk troubadours.

Tracy Silverman has been called the greatest living exponent of the electric violin. But we're not talking just any electric violin.

Pages