December 5, 2013 5:46 pm
John Williams Fest!
John Williams Fest!
This month Houston was graced by the great John Williams, and I got to spend a little time talking with him. So this month I'm going to declare it John Williams Fest! We will play part two of our show celebrating John Williams' 80th birthday. Then the next two weeks we'll focus on the 35th Anniversary of Superman with the expanded edition of the soundtrack...our little Christmas gift to you! Tune in every Saturday night at 7pm or Sunday at 5pm the rest of December!
December 4, 2013 6:03 pm
Liminal Space Contemporary Ensemble: Steve Reich's 2 x 5
Music Lab Intern Daniel Webbon sits down with University of Houston Alumnus George Heathco to talk about his upcoming performance of Steve Reich's 2 x 5.
December 4, 2013 5:21 pm
Classical Classroom, Episode 32: The Making of Handel's Messiah with Robert Simpson
Handel's Messiah is a beloved Christmas favorite. But, as Robert Simpson, founder and artistic director of Houston Chamber Choir, tells us, it is oh-so-much more than the "Hallelujah" chorus. Like, 250 pages more. All of which we cover in this half-hour episode. Just kidding!
December 4, 2013 4:58 pm
Houston Music Highlight
Houston Music Highlight is a regular segment featuring performances by Houston-based ensembles and soloists. In this segment we hear music by the Presti guitar trio from their recently-released debut album.
December 4, 2013 4:57 pm
The Spirit of Christmas: A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theatre
Actors Jeffrey Bean and John Feltch, Ebenezer Scrooge and Mrs. Dilber respectively, talk with St.John Flynn about the Alley Theatre’s annual staging of Michael Wilson’s production of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas, based on the famous novella by Charles Dickens.
December 3, 2013 9:45 am
New CD Release of Music by Rice University’s Richard Lavenda
Chiaroscuro is the newly-released CD of chamber music by Shepherd School of Music faculty composer Richard Lavenda. The five pieces on the album, including a string quintet titled thoughts fly, were all written for friends, many at Rice. Listen to the composer talking about, and hear a movement from, thoughts fly, from an interview earlier this year with St.John Flynn.
November 27, 2013 6:27 pm
Hans Graf Returns to Conduct the Houston Symphony
This weekend (Nov. 29-Dec. 1) Hans Graf returns to Jones Hall as Conductor Laureate to lead the Houston Symphony in performances featuring Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. Also on the program, Edvard Grieg’s overture In Autumn. Dean Dalton talks to both artists about this weekend’s music.
November 27, 2013 1:59 pm
Opera Cheat Sheet: Tristan und Isolde
Listen to our quick, light-hearted overview of Richard Wagner’s monumental Tristan und Isolde, one of the pinnacles of the operatic repertoire, and one of the greatest love stories ever told, which is this week’s Houston Grand Opera broadcast, Saturday at noon here on Classical 91.7.
November 27, 2013 1:12 pm
Classical Classroom, Episode 31: The Music of Hanukkah (Chanuka? Hanuka?) with Cantor Benjamin Matis
Happy Thanksgivukkah everyone! That's right: the Julian and the Hebrew calendars have aligned this year to create a day even more amazing than Hanukkah and more delicious than Thanksgiving. There won't be another until the year 79811! To honor this rare occasion, Cantor Benjamin Matis of the Shelter Rock Jewish Center in Roslyn, NY in Long Island schools us on the history and music of Hanukkah.
November 26, 2013 5:36 pm
CAMH: "Outside the Lines"
In celebration of its 65th anniversary, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston presents round one in a six-part exhibition series exploring contemporary abstraction. On view through January 5.
November 25, 2013 4:13 pm
Antonio Berni: "Juanito and Ramona"
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston presents a groundbreaking exhibition of works by Argentinean artist Antonio Berni (1905-1981), considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. On view through January 26.
November 22, 2013 5:22 pm
Classical Classroom, Episode 30: The Rite of Spring in Fall with Ana Maria Otamendi
Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring was so revolutionary that its alien sounds literally incited a riot at its premiere. Dr. Ana Maria Otamendi, Venezuelan pianist and professor at the University of Houston tells us why! And btw, we are aware that it's Fall. But we don't even care!
November 22, 2013 4:59 pm
Opera Cheat Sheet: Don Giovanni
Listen to our quick, light-hearted overview of Mozart's Don Giovanni, one of the most-performed operas in the repertoire, which is this week’s Houston Grand Opera broadcast airing Saturday at noon here on Classical 91.7.
November 22, 2013 3:36 pm
Houston Symphony Plays Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4
This weekend’s Houston Symphony concerts in Jones Hall feature guest conductor Andrey Boreyko leading the orchestra in performances of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, and Christopher Rouse’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra titled Der gerettete Alberich (Alberich Saved) with soloist Colin Currie. Listen to the guests talk about this great music.
November 22, 2013 1:20 pm
Opera in the Heights' Don Pasquale
Opera in the Heights’ production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale closes its run this weekend with three performances at Lambert Hall. Two of the principals, soprano Katie Dixon, singing the role of Norina, and baritone Octavio Moreno, Dr. Malatesta, joined St.John Flynn in the Geary Performance Studio to sing and talk about this great opera buffa.
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December 6, 2013 12:05 pm
A Bumper Crop Of Classical Box Sets
It's been a banner year for classical box sets. Deceptive Cadence hosts Anastasia Tsioulcas and Tom Huizenga tell us why and choose a few of their favorites.
December 6, 2013 11:51 am
'On Sondheim:' The Musical-Theater Legend At 80
The New York Times calls Stephen Sondheim the "greatest and perhaps best-known artist in American musical theater." Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for, among others, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Company. In 2010 he joined Fresh Air to discuss his career in musical theater.
December 6, 2013 8:08 am
Meat And Booze With A Side Of Still Life: American Painters On Food
Food as a symbol of politics, diet, gender roles, technology, isolation, gluttony and blatant commercialism has been with us for ages and in many forms. A massive exhibit explores how American artists, from Pilgrim times to Andy Warhol, used paintings of food to shape and reflect our national identity.
December 5, 2013 6:48 pm
'Pearl Earring' Is The Crown Jewel Of The Frick's Dutch Exhibit
New York City is home to more paintings by Johannes Vermeer — eight — than any other city. And until mid-January, it's playing host to one more: the world-renowned Girl with a Pearl Earring. Critic Lloyd Schwartz says, since the painting's 1994 restoration, "It's even more breathtaking than I remembered."
December 4, 2013 1:06 pm
Norman Rockwell's 'Saying Grace' Sells For $46 Million At Auction
The sale of the famous painting of a woman and boy bowing their heads in prayer at a table in a bustling restaurant set a record for Rockwell's art.
December 4, 2013 11:14 am
Classical Pranksters Don't Just Play Music: They Play With It
Collective Cadenza, or CDZA for short, is a loose-knit group of musicians — many of them graduates of Juilliard. They've made a name for themselves with funny YouTube videos that have received millions of views. As a result, the group was invited to perform live at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards alongside Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire.
December 3, 2013 5:02 pm
For Miami, A New Art Project, Complete With Drama
The Perez Art Museum Miami opens this week, and despite praise for the building's design, the museum faces controversy over its name and has an uphill battle in a city where the art scene is already defined by private collectors.
December 3, 2013 9:56 am
Yuja Wang: Rooted In Diligence, Inspired By Improvisation
The 26-year-old classically trained pianist tackles Rachmaninov's dense and intimidating "Concerto No. 3" in a new recording. The musician says she hears a connection between the challenging piece and improvisations from the late Art Tatum.
December 3, 2013 8:56 am
Designer B Michael On Bringing Color To The Runway
B Michael is one of few top-tier African-American fashion designers. His work has been described as "politely sexy" and is worn by some of Hollywood's top names. Host Michel Martin talks with the veteran designer about his inspirations.
December 2, 2013 10:41 am
Da Vinci's String Organ Must Be Heard To Be Believed
Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has brought one of Leonardo da Vinci's lesser-known inventions to life. He spent almost four years building the "viola organista" — a unique musical instrument that looks like a piano but sounds like a quartet of string instruments.
December 1, 2013 9:08 pm
Serbian Composer Djuro Zivkovic Wins Grawemeyer Music Prize
Hear On the Guarding of the Heart, an ethereal work for chamber orchestra that earned the award for the 38-year-old Serbian-born composer. He thinks of this music as a discourse about inner transformation.
November 30, 2013 4:08 pm
'Project Unspeakable' Asks The Big Questions
A group of people inspired by a book on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are creating theater around the idea that his death could have been part of a conspiracy. And the questions don't stop there.
November 30, 2013 4:41 am
Around The U.S., Holiday Theater With Local Flair
Each year as they begin to deck the halls, theaters around the country put on seasonal shows. And not just the old standbys: Singularly local stories, including a New York City fairy tale and a Chicago-set musical, have become real holiday traditions.
November 27, 2013 9:08 am
Confronting The Ghosts Of Classical Christmas Albums Past
On WQXR's Conducting Business podcast, we debate what makes for a really great holiday album. Is it oversized brass fanfares and choirs? Or cozy songs that you'd like to think were recorded beside a crackling fire?
November 26, 2013 2:21 pm
At STREB Action Lab, Dance and Physics Collide
Choreographer Elizabeth Streb pushes the boundaries of Newtonian physics--with dance. In her show Forces, dancers fly, fall, and collide in mid-air. No wonder the "action architect" has her share of scientist fans, among them, big-thinking particle physicist Lisa Randall.
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