Latest in Classical Music

Interlochen Center for the Arts

This year, 43 students entered the concerto competition at Interlochen Arts Academy. A team of Interlochen Arts Academy faculty members narrowed the 43 initial entries to ten finalists, and the four winners were then selected by a judging panel made up of professional musicians. 

This Saturday at 12 p.m., Classical IPR presents Lyric Opera of Chicago's recent production of Richard Wagner's"Die Walküre." 

This production stars Brandon Jovanovich, Elisabet Strid, Ain Anger and Eric Owens.

Lauren Whitaker

Flutist Lauren Whitaker is a senior at Interlochen Arts Academy, and she is a student of Nancy Stagnitta. Lauren is also the winner of the Encore Winds Youth Artist Competition, and she will perform with Encore Winds on their spring concert this Sunday. 

Fine Art America

Thanks to listeners in Irons, Kaleva, Branch, Northport and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Felix Mendelssohn, Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra

2. Sir William Walton, excerpts from Henry V; Andrew Litton/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

3. Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God; James Litton/American Boy Choir

4. Benech & Dumont, Du gris; Baguette Quartette

5. Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah; Renee Fleming

In a suit filed Friday by the Metropolitan Opera, five men have made newly public accusations against conductor and pianist James Levine, who was closely associated with the Met for four decades. In total, nine men have now come forward, either by name or anonymously, with accusations against Levine.

Premiered in 1869, Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor is one of the most popular piano concertos ever written. Grieg was just 24 years old when he wrote it. The month after the concerto's premiere, his toddler daughter died of viral meningitis, and his wife miscarried what would have been their second child. The Griegs would not have any more children.

Grieg's publisher asked him for another piano concerto for years, but the composer simply couldn't write one. All that he wrote was a fragment about 150 measures in length.

The myriad stories about Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson usually fall into two groups: the ones about her enormous, laser-focused voice and those about her rapier-sharp wit.

Photo by Karin Willman

Gary Gatzke is the principal double bassist of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. He is also the interim Executive Director of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. Gatzke will be one of several soloists featured this weekend in the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra’s Bach Family Festival.

Gary Gatzke recently visited Studio A at Interlochen Public Radio to play music by Dittersdorf, Handel and Saint-Saens. Hear the entire performance and interview below. 

Matt Marks, a young composer, musician and founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, died suddenly Friday, May 11. The group made an announcement Saturday on Twitter, with no cause of death given. Marks was 38.

This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents Lyric Opera of Chicago's recent production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto." 

This production stars Matthew Polenzani, Mario Rojas, Whitney Morrison and Quinn Kelsey.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Wolverine, Cedar, Manistee, Ludington and many other places for your requests this week. 

1. Paul Dukas, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra

2. Dietrich Buxtehude, Prelude and Fugue in F major; Hans Helmut Tillmanns

3. Peter Schickele, music from the original motion picture soundtrack of “Silent Running”

4. Victor Herbert, “Ah, sweet mystery of life”; Beverly Sills

5. Philip Sparke, Music of the Spheres; Kazufumi Yamashita/Osaka Municipal Symphonic Band

Judy Rumelhart, Associate Producer of the original Broadway run of Sondheim's, SWEENEY TODD.
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Arts Academy's production of SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET opens this weekend.

Judy Rumelhart, an Associate Producer of the Sondheim classic's original Broadway run, will be watching the production with great love. Judy joined IPR's Kate Botello in the studio to discuss her memories of the first SWEENEY TODD - and selected a few of her favorites to share with us!

Judy selected the following pieces: 

  • Prologue/The Ballad of Sweeney Todd
  • The Worst Pies in London
  • Pretty Women
  • Not While I'm Around


Baroque Choral Festival Encore Broadcast - Tonight!

May 11, 2018
Karin Willman

Classical IPR brought you the Baroque Choral Festival live from Corson Auditorium last month. The concert included the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and soloists, choral ensembles from Northwestern Michigan College, and the Interlochen Arts Academy Choir. Together the groups performed Dettingen Te Deum and Zadok the Priest by Handel, and Vivaldi's Gloria. Listen to our encore broadcast of this concert tonight at 8 p.m.

The premiere recording of Michael Torke's "Unconquered" celebrates the United States, the ideals of the Revolutionary War and the city of Saratoga, FL. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center commissioned the piece to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In response, Torke composed a piece inspired by the Battle of Saratoga.

Manitou Winds

The members of the chamber group Manitou Winds each play multiple instruments, which means that their concerts offer an infinite number of different combinations of sounds. Members Anne Bara, Sam Clark, Christina Duperron, Laura Hood and Jason McKinney recently visited Studio A at Interlochen Public Radio to perform some music and talk about their upcoming concert this weekend. Hear the entire performance and conversation below.

After many months of competitions at the district, regional, and national levels, five singers have been named as the winners of the nation’s most prestigious vocal competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Each winner receives a $15,000 cash prize and the exposure that comes with winning the competition that launched the careers of many of opera’s biggest stars.

Violinist Er-Gene Kahng is a professor at the University of Arkansas and concertmaster of both the Fort Smith Symphony and the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also taught and performed at the Bay View Music Festival in northern Michigan.

Thanks to listeners in Harbor Springs, Traverse City, Kaleva, Cadillac and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Leonard Bernstein, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (selections); Edo de Waart/Minnesota Orchestra

2. Giovanni Sgambati, Serenata Napoletana; Ennio Bolognini/Donald Kemp

3. Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto no. 1; Jeannette Sorrell/Apollo’s Fire

4. Giuseppe Verdi, Va’ pensiero from Nabucco; Sir Georg Solti/Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

5. Greg McCallum, Hymn Quilt; performed by the composer

Wu Man is recognized as the world's greatest virtuoso on an instrument that is over 2000 years old: the Chinese pipa.

Florence Price (1887-1953) was the first African American woman to have a symphony performed by a major United States orchestra. She also composed two violin concertos, which were thought to be lost until they were discovered in an abandoned house in 2009.

Aspiring orchestral musicians have long known that the road to a professional career is arduous and paved with risks. But new research from the U.K. shows that even attaining the brass ring of an orchestral job does not necessarily provide financial security. In fact, even with salaried, full-time employment, many British orchestral musicians are struggling to pay their bills.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Pages