Amanda Sewell

Classical Music Host

Amanda Sewell is a musicologist who holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. As a musicologist, Amanda researches the history, context, and style of music of many different periods and regions. Her research about music has appeared in textbooks, journals, and music encyclopedias, and she is a frequent presenter at academic music conferences all over the country. Amanda frequently contributes program notes for performances of classical music, including performances at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

When not in the studio at Interlochen Public Radio, Amanda works as an academic editor and consultant. Amanda lives in Traverse City with her spouse and two dogs.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Every summer at Interlochen Arts Camp, sixteen students study in the Advanced High School String Quartet program. The students are divided into four string quartets. They learn entire quartets together as a group.

The students recently visited IPR's Studio A and performed Beethoven's String Quartet op. 59, no. 1. Each student quartet performed one movement. Listen to the entire performance below.

Caroline Bittencourt

The Danish String Quartet is known for their iconic mix of traditional string quartet repertoire and their own arrangements of Danish and other Nordic folk tunes. They have played everywhere from Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. 

The Danish String Quartet recently performed in Corson Auditorium at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Join Classical IPR this Friday at 8 p.m. for a special presentation of this recent concert.

View the concert program below.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Sound the call! Beginning August 12, join Classical IPR every Sunday at 8 p.m. for The Interlochen Collection.

The Interlochen Collection features recorded music from the archives of Interlochen Center for the Arts. Listen each week for stories from Interlochen's history, updates from notable alumni and lots of music performed right here in the land of the stately pines.

It all starts Sunday, August 12 at 8 p.m. on Classical IPR. Many episodes will also be available to stream on demand through the IPR website and mobile app.

Amanda Sewell

The Four Woods Quartet is made up of high school students from Interlochen Arts Camp. They are Cindy Kaiser (flute), Anna Johnston (oboe), Drew Franklin (clarinet) and Hunter Begay (bassoon).

The quartet recently visited Studio A at Interlochen Public Radio to perform the Northland Suite by Carl Busch. Busch was a guest conductor at Interlochen for many summers until he died in 1943.

Thanks to listeners in Honor, Kaleva, Old Mission Peninsula, Higgins Lake and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Bedrich Smetana, Overture to the Bartered Bride; George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra

2. Richard Strauss, Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare; Locke Brass Consort

3. Vaclav Nelhybel, Trittico for Band; Frederick Fennell/Dallas Wind symphony

4. Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending; Sir Neville Marriner/Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Iona Brown

  Identity Cubed is a percussion trio that focuses on transcending the music of the standard percussion ensemble. They will be performing July 25 at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts.


Xavier Verna of Identity Cubed chatted with IPR’s Amanda Sewell about the group and its upcoming concert. Verna is also the executive director of the Ramsdell.


The Traverse Symphony Orchestra recently presented an all-Rachmaninoff program.

Join Classical IPR Friday night at 8 p.m. for a broadcast of this recent concert under the baton of Kevin Rhodes.

The TSO welcomed guest pianist John Novacek. Novacek was the soloist in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no. 1.

The program also included Rachmaninoff's Symphony no. 1. See the entire program below. Click the image for a larger view.

Duo Noire is the name of the classical guitar pairing of Thomas Flippin and Christopher Mallett. Flippin and Mallet, both of whom are African American and graduates of the Yale School of Music, are advocates for fresh perspectives in classical music.

Metropolitan Museum of Art


Thanks to listeners in Alden, Traverse City, Kingsley, Arcadia and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony no. 5 (fourth movement); Kurt Masur/Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig

2. Franz Joseph Haydn, Cello Concerto (third movement); Chamber Orchestra Basel/Sol Gabetta

3. Georges Bizet, Jes dis que rien ne m’épouvante” from Carmen; Elixabeth Schwarzkopf

4. Alfred Reed, Armenian Dances Part 1; Frederick Fennell/Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra

5. Victor Herbert, Thine Alone; Beverly Sills

 Phil Sinder is professor of tuba and euphonium at Michigan State University. He is also a 2018 Valade teaching fellow at Interlochen Arts Camp.


Phil Sinder visited Studio A at Interlochen Public Radio to play music by Derek Bourgeois, Bill Dobbins and Paul McCartney. He was joined by collaborative pianist Derek Polischuk.


Listen to the complete performance and interview below.



  Violinist Martin Chalifour is the principal concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and an adjunct professor at USC Thornton School of Music. Chalifour is also a 2018 Valade Concertmaster at Interlochen Arts Camp.


Martin Chalifour visited Studio A to perform music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Camille Saint-Saens. He was joined by collaborative pianist Robert Koenig.


Amanda Sewell

The Interlochen Arts Camp faculty includes musicians and teachers from around the country. The faculty members come together in different combinations during the summer in chamber groups.


An IAC faculty wind quintet recently visited Studio A. Its members are Jennifer Parker-Harley (flute), Dane Philipsen (oboe), Douglas Moore-Monroe (clarinet), Henry (Hank) Skolnick (bassoon) and Josh Michal (horn).


Amanda Sewell

Kristen Holritz, Jeanmarie Riccobono, Aaron Brant, Sara Fraker and Jill Marderness are the Bay View Wind Quintet. They are the resident faculty quintet of the Bay View Music Festival.



Thanks to listeners in Lake City, Petoskey, Traverse City, Big Rapids and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Franz Schubert, ballet music from Rosamunde; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

2. Dmitri Shostakovich, waltzes from the Jazz Suite no. 2; Riccardo Chailly/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

3. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies; William Zeitler (glass armonica)

4. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture; Erich Kunzel/Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

 Pianist Sarah Cahill is an advocate for new classical music and a faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory. In 2018, she was given a Champion of New Music Award from the American Composers Forum.


Sarah Cahill stopped by Studio A at Interlochen Public Radio to play music of John Adams, Annea Lockwood and Pauline Oliveros. All three of those pieces were written for her.

  Cellist Joshua Roman and the JACK String Quartet are on the cutting edge of 21st-century music. This Friday on Classical IPR, hear a special presentation of a recent performance they gave at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Thanks to listeners in Good Harbor Bay, Midland, Ludington, Harbor Springs and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Ludovico Einaudi, Elegy for the Arctic; performed by the composer

2. James Bolle, Two Sea Monsters; Christopher Gross & Robert Black

3. Robert Schumann, Symphony no. 2 (second movement); Christoph Eschenbach/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra

4. Jesper Kyd, Ezio’s Family from Assassin’s Creed 2 original soundtrack

5. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture; James DePreist/Oregon Symphony

Ralph Votapek is a concert pianist and Professor Emeritus of Piano at Michigan State University’s College of Music. His daughter Kathryn Votapek is a Lecturer of Violin at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. The two of them will be performing at the Leelanau Summer Music Festival this weekend.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrated 25 years on the United States Supreme Court this year. A new album on the Cedille label is a tribute to Ginsburg's personal and professional life. 

The album "Notorious RBG in Song" includes art songs by five contemprary American composers. The music is performed by soprano Patrice Michaels and pianist Kuo-Hao Huang. Michaels also composed a song cycle on the album, "The Long View," which is based on Ginsburg's own writings.

 Violinist Lauren Pokorzynski is a graduate student at Texas Tech University. Lauren will be the soloist with the Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra this weekend on their “Love of Country” concert.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Northport, Wolverine, Lake City, Pierport and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Leroy Anderson, Clarinet Candy; Ensemble Vivant

2. Gustav Holst, A Moorside Suite; Eugene Corporon/North Texas Wind Symphony

3. Giacomo Puccini, O mio babbino caro; Renata Tebaldi

4. Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony no. 9 (first movement); Eduardo Mata/Dallas Symphony Orchestra

5. Various composers, Yodeling Overtures; Mary Schneider

6. Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi (selections); Philip Glass Ensemble

Flutist Ana de la Vega has rediscovered a flute concerto by Josef Myslivecek that was previously thought to have been lost. She performs that concerto as well as two by Mozart on a new album on the Pentatone label.

On May 19, 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were wed in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.  They are now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. For the first time in history, all of the music, readings, blessings and vows were recorded and made available on streaming services. The physical album is now also available. 

Google Art Project

Thanks to listeners in Wolverine, Williamsburg, Cadillac, Watervale and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Aaron Copland, Lincoln Portrait; Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony Orchestra/James Earl Jones

2. Marta Keen, Homeward Bound; Mack Wilberg/Orchestra at Temple Square/Mormon Tabernacle Choir/Bryn Terfel

3. Frank Erickson, Toccata for Band; Dennis Zeisler/Virginia Wind Symphony

4. Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Concerto in E major for Jew’s harp and mandora (first movement); Hans Stadlmair/Munich Chamber Orchestra/Fritz Mayr

Audra McDonald has won Grammys, Emmys and six Tonys, which makes her American theater's most decorated performer. But she still has more to do - her newest album "Sing Happy" is her first solo recording with orchestra, and it features many songs that she has never recorded before.