IPR Studio A Presents

IPR hosts Interlochen students and faculty, guest performers and talent from across northern Michigan for performances in our very own Studio A. Enjoy these performances anytime!

As a part of Interlochen Arts Academy’s ongoing partnership with the New York Philharmonic, four Philharmonic musicians, all Interlochen alumni, visited campus for a week of master classes, lessons and mock auditions. Two musicians, violinist Kuan Cheng Lu and bassoonist Roger Nye, visited IPR’s Studio A for exclusive performances and interviews.

Violinist Kuan Cheng Lu first heard the New York Philharmonic as an 18-year-old high school graduate in his native Taiwan. Lu was captivated not by classical masters on the program, but his own nation’s national anthem. Lu’s mother, noticing her son’s reaction, said, “I think you’re going to be in there some day.”

Just five years later, Lu’s mother’s prediction came true. Lu won a position in the Philharmonic’s violin section at 23 years of age, making him the first-ever Taiwanese musician to play with the Philharmonic. “The best part is meeting guest artists and playing with my colleagues,” he told IPR’s Kate Botello.

Lu’s Philharmonic colleague, bassoonist Roger Nye, first discovered his instrument as a child. “The bassoon really ‘chose’ me,” he said. Nye heard the bassoon on Bugs Bunny cartoons and fell in love with the instrument’s timbre and singing quality. Years later, Nye was able to study with the same man who played the music he so admired.

Nye stopped by Studio A to chat with Amanda Sewell about the collaboration between Interlochen Arts Academy and the New York Philharmonic, the art of reed-making and his favorite repertoire for bassoon.


Photo courtesy of Sarah Jarosz

 

Sarah Jarosz has come a long way from the Friday night bluegrass jams of her youth.

Jarosz has swapped her mandolin for a guitar and is now a Grammy-nominated artist. But before pursuing her career as a bluegrass musician, Jarosz enrolled at the New England Conservatory to study contemporary improvisation and learn about other styles of music.

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel
I.U.M.A. Management

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel - the first ever pianist chosen to record on the Steinway & Sons label - is in town  to perform a concert with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra - a new work, the “Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra,” by Peter Schickele, otherwise known as PDQ Bach. He dropped by Studio A to give us a taste of the concerto - and to help us get the jokes!

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.


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.

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.


 

 

Twenty-nine years ago, cellist Zuill Bailey experienced what he called his “first awakening” at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

“It was my first real adventure ..” he said. “I was surrounded by people who were like me, and it was the first time I felt a sense of community.”

Since that awakening, it is not enough for Bailey to simply perform: he’s now just as active off stage, carving time out of his busy solo schedule to serve as an artistic director, clinician and classical music advocate. “I’m enjoying so many aspects of life in music because of this torch, the cello,” he said.

Between rehearsals with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra this summer, Bailey joined Christopher Gruits in Classical IPR’s Studio A for a special performance and a discussion of his call to give back to his community.


 

 

Chris Thile is living his childhood dream. At the age of two he asked for a mandolin; by age five, he was taking lessons; as a teenager, he mastered every song on Bela Fleck and the Flecktones’ album.

Thile and banjoist Fleck performed together for the first time at a bluegrass festival when Thile was 14. Since that day, the duo has collaborated countless times, culminating with a weeklong duo tour this summer. “It’s remarkably comfortable for us to play together,” Fleck said.

The duo stopped by Studio A this summer to chat with host Aaron Selbig about their unlikely paths to stardom and the unique “musical dialect” that connects them.

 

 


 

Richard Goode knows Ludwig van Beethoven better than most living people.

Heralded as “one of today’s leading interpreters of classical and romantic music,” pianist Richard Goode is one of only a handful of pianists to complete the project of recording all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. “You get to know them almost as people,” Goode said of the sonatas. Through the sonatas, Goode has also gotten a glimpse into Beethoven himself.

Goode joined IPR in Studio A for a discussion about what Beethoven means to the musical world—and to him personally.

 


Some critics may say that jazz is becoming irrelevant.

Bill Sears knows better. Sears is the Director of Jazz Studies at Interlochen Arts Academy and has spent over 30 years as an educator and performer, playing alongside some of the biggest names in jazz. Raised on the big band music of his parents’ youth, Sears began playing jazz in 1968 and hasn’t stopped since. 

Sears sat down with Studio A host Kate Botello to discuss the communal nature of jazz, its importance in American culture and his calling to share jazz with the next generation.

  

What do you think of when you consider the harp? Angels, chords and soft strumming? These are exactly the stereotypes that Joan Holland, instructor of harp at Interlochen Arts Academy, hopes to correct.

“I want people to realize we’re also capable of playing melodies and great rhythms,” she said.

Holland shares the harp’s versatility, her musical inspirations, and her love of teaching with host Nancy Deneen in this installment of Studio A.


String quintet Sybarite5 is atypical in many ways.

The classically trained musicians do not limit their repertoire to the traditional works of the masters, but also embrace new music, extended techniques and popular rock tunes. Sybarite5’s five-player format and openness to experimentation make them one of the most flexible and dynamic ensembles in today’s instrumental music scene.

Studio A’s Kate Botello sat down with the ensemble to discuss new music and how they’ve forged a unique path in a traditional field.


 

Few vocal ensembles can boast existence—much less relevance—more than 50 years after their founding. The King’s Singers can boast both.

Founded in 1964, the group is committed to keeping choral tradition alive and is recognized as one of the world’s premier vocal ensembles. Through popular tunes and traditional voicing, The King’s Singers balance 21st-century relevance with traditional artistry.

Studio A host Nancy Deneen sat down with the ensemble to discuss the group’s “maverick spirit” and how a choral ensemble can survive and thrive in today’s competitive music business.


40 Years of the String Orchestra at Interlochen

Jul 1, 2016
Interlochen Center for the Arts

After dedicating 40 years to Interlochen, David Holland decided to compile a treasury of performances by the String Orchestra, an ensemble he founded and directed from 1973-2013.  

Listen to the interview, including a performance of Vaughan William's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, here: 

For more information click here

Jazz icon Bob James will giving the American Premiere of his First Piano Concerto with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Corson Auditorium on Saturday, June 4.

TSO Music Director and Conductor Kevin Rhodes was at the helm of the World Premiere of the concerto with the Tokyo Philharmonic.

IPR's Kate Botello sat down with the Grammy-winning composer to talk about the concerto and his incredible life in music.  


Ana Cuba

On June 5, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and Dance Company will perform at David Geffen Hall in NYC as part of the NY Phil Biennial. Described as “one of the most celebrated and sought-after classical composers of the last decade,” (The Guardian)  composer Nico Muhly was on campus to work with students in the Orchestra on his piece "So Far, So Good" which will also feature choreography by Christopher Williams performed by the students of the Dance Company.

Interlochen Arts Academy

On June 5, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and Dance Company will perform at David Geffen Hall in NYC as part of the NY Phil Biennial. Christopher Rountree is a young American conductor and composer committed to bringing contemporary music to a broader audience.  He will be conducting the Orchestra for the Biennial in June and has visited campus a number of times to work with the students in preparation for the performance.


Interlochen Arts Academy

  On June 5, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra will perform at Lincoln Center for the New York Philharmonic biennial. Between now and then, the composers, choreographer and guest conductor will be working with students here at Interlochen, preparing the program for their trip to New York. 

This week we talked to composer Hannah Lash, who was on campus to work with students on her newly commissioned piece Chaconnes​.

Jonatan Myhre Jørgensen in rehearsal for the upcoming NY Phil Bienn
Interlochen Arts Academy

On June 5, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra will perform at Lincoln Center for the New York Philharmonic biennial. Between now and then, the composers, choreographer and guest conductor will be working with students here at Interlochen, preparing the program for their trip to New York. 

This week we feature Jonatan Myhre Jørgensen, one of six students from the Interlochen Arts Academy Dance Company chosen to premiere Christopher Williams' The Good So Far for the Biennal.

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