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. 

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.

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!


Ben Johnston doesn't follow the rules of music. Sure, he's got degrees from two colleges and a conservatory. But from an early age, Johnston heard music differently. When he was growing up in Georgia, he questioned the standard scales he was taught in school. "I played by ear and I invented my own chords," he says.

In the last week of 2016, Songs We Love is featuring just a few of the songs that, for whatever reason, never got their due this year.

The clarinet and guitar are common enough instruments, but you've probably never heard them sound quite like this. In the hands of guitarist Golfam Khayam and clarinetist Mona Matbou Riahi, the instruments breathe together in music that borrows melody and improvisation from their Iranian homeland and classical structures from the West.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Rossini’s comedy L’Italiana in Algeri, conducted by the Met’s Music Director Emeritus James Levine. The comedic opera, heard in an archived performance from October, tells the story of a feisty Italian girl who gets kidnapped in Algiers, but tricks her captors and saves the day. Mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato and tenor René Barbera made their respective company debuts as the title character, Isabella, and the love-struck Lindoro, whom she rescues.

The shopping's almost done. Menus are planned. The relatives are relatively under control.

Just one thing's missing from your holiday checklist — music.

Instead of fumbling through dusty CDs, LPs and cassettes, how about a click-of-the-mouse playlist of classical, and classy, holiday music?

There should be something here for just about everyone: plenty of Christmas carols, a few Hanukkah favorites and some off the beaten slope items.

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Chorus presented the holiday concert Messiah Plus One earlier this month. The concert included the Oratorio de Noël by Camille Saint-Saëns and the Prophecy and the Nativity from George Frederic Handel’s Messiah. Soloists included soprano Risa Renae Harman, mezzo-soprano Jamie Beth Platte, alto Martha Hart, tenor Tom Cilluffo, and baritone Jason Coffey. Messiah Plus One took place at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Petoskey.

One of our favorite traditions at Interlochen Public Radio is the yearly roundup of the staff's most beloved holiday music. We've got a crew with musical tastes all over the place, and we have great fun putting this together for you.

Tune in to Classical IPR at 6pm on December 22, at noon on December 24, or listen any time at the link below. Click through for the playlist of songs and performers.

Happy Everything from all of us at IPR! 


Earlier this month, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presented its annual Home for the Holidays concert. The TSO was joined by the NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Children's Choir.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, in an English-language performance from January 1, 2008. Vladimir Jurowski led the performance, with soprano Christine Schäfer as Gretel; mezzo-soprano Alice Coote as Hansel; mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright and baritone Alan Held as their parents, Gertrude and Peter; and the late tenor Philip Langridge as the wicked Witch. The opera has been part of the Met’s holiday repertoire for decades: on Christmas Day, 1931, Hänsel und Gretel (sung in German) became the first complete opera to be broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera.

Winning the 2011 Thelonious Monk Competition rocketed jazz pianist Kris Bowers to fame in jazz circles and earned him gigs with the likes of Marcus Miller, Jose Jones and even Kanye West.

While many of his colleagues fall prey to the temptation to focus on technique to the exclusion of expression, Bowers leverages his interest in film scoring to keep him emotionally connected. “Music is all about storytelling,” he said. “Your job is to connect emotion to sound.”

Bowers stopped by Studio A for a special performance and a chat with fellow jazz performer Michael Thurber about his musical journey, his new album and his work as a film score composer.


In Memoriam 2016

Dec 19, 2016

Music suffered heavy losses in 2016, a year like no other in recent memory. We bid unexpected farewells to the very brightest stars — David Bowie and Prince — but we also lost masters from every corner of the music world, from classical composers and jazz greats to world music superstars, soul singers, country giants, prog-rock pioneers and record producers. They left us with unforgettable sounds and compelling stories. Hear their music and explore their legacies here.

(Credits: Tom Huizenga, producer; Mark Mobley, editor; Brittany Mayes, designer)

In hundreds of cities across the U.S. –- and a few abroad, too –- tuba and euphonium players are gathering for an annual tradition: TubaChristmas. The mandate of the event is simple: Gather a group of tuba and euphonium players and play holiday songs. Its scope, however, is large: These gatherings can include hundreds of tuba players, and this weekend alone, there are more than 60 TubaChristmas events from Hattiesburg, Miss, to Las Cruces, N.M. to San Ramón, Costa Rica.

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