Classical Music

Interlochen Public Radio is your gateway to news and classical music from Interlochen Center for the Arts. Learn about new music, upcoming performances and more.

Join Fiona Ritchie for a chance to explore highlights from the past decade of radio shows, with great musicians and other individuals involved in the traditional arts. This week, we feature music and interviews with John Doyle and Cathie Ryan.

Today on Kids Commute: dueling operatic cats! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!

Hey there, Kids Commuters! Here, kitty, kitty! It’s Day Three of  CAT WEEK on Kids Commute, where we’ll listen to music either inspired by cats or written about them.

Our musical selection of the day is actually a mashup composed before mashups were actually a “thing." (At the time of its composition, a "mashup" - or different pieces mashed together into one - was called "pastiche.") Gioachino Rossini’s “Cat Duet” is a fun piece usually sung as an encore at the end of a concert or recital that features a pair of singers. Learn about the history of the piece and how Rossini didn’t actually write the piece as it exists today, nor did he give it the name that we call it today. And don’t forget about our quizlet - text us your answer and you may just win an all-new Kids Commute Prize Pack!

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Duetto buffo di due gatti
Gioacchino Rossini (with C.E.F. Weyse and Robert Lucas de Pearsall, writing as G. Berthold)
Victoria de los Angeles, Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, Gerald Moore (pianist)

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Classical IPR programming changes

Sep 18, 2018

New programs are coming to weeknights on Classical IPR. Beginning September 24, Classical IPR will broadcast top American orchestras Monday through Thursday at 8 p.m. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra will now be featured every week.

Every Friday night on Classical IPR is devoted to recent concerts from Northern Michigan, like the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Interlochen students, faculty and guest artists.

Join Classical IPR Friday at 8 p.m. for recent performances of chamber music given by Interlochen Arts Camp faculty members. Friday evening's program is listed below.

Hi Kids Commuters! Are you ready for more kitty cuteness? It’s Day Two of CAT WEEK at Kids Commute, where we are listening to music written about or inspired by cats. ‘Meow’ let’s get down to business.

Today, we listen to "Kitten on the Keys" by Edward Elzear ("Zez") Confrey, who earned his musical reputation reputation recording piano rolls, which are used in old-time player pianos. Learn a little bit about how player pianos work, about Mr. Confrey’s life and musical career. Of course we get to listen to some great music, inspired by Mr. Confrey’s grandmother’s cat walking on her piano. I guess you never know when inspiration will strike!

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Kitten on the Keys
Edward Eleazar ("Zez") Confrey
Eteri Andjaparidze, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:

The New York Philharmonic announced Sunday that it has taken action against two prominent musicians over unspecified "misconduct": the orchestra's principal oboist, Liang Wang, and its associate principal trumpeter, Matthew Muckey.

The orchestra said the decision came after a five-month internal investigation, led by a former federal judge. Both musicians dispute the Philharmonic's findings, and while the musicians' union reviews the orchestra's decision, the two have been placed on unpaid leave.

Happy Monday, Kids Commuters! We're purr-fectly excited, because it's CAT WEEK! We’re not talking about the musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber; we’re spending some time with some other musical cats this week. We’ll listen to music about or inspired by cats. Today is extra special, because we get to hear an orchestra meow like a cat!

Written by American composer Leroy Anderson, "The Waltzing Cat" was originally created for an orchestra. By the way, his name isn’t pronounced the typical way, LEE-roy, but a little more French-like: le-ROY. 

Anderson had some big hits - "Blue Tango" was the most popular song of 1952, and who can forget the classic holiday song, "Sleigh Ride?" Now let's meow along with the orchestra, and Leroy Anderson's "The Waltzing Cat!"

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The Waltzing Cat
Leroy Anderson
Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Thanks to listeners in Interlochen, Ludington, Lake City, Newaygo and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring (final section); Leonard Slatkin/St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

2. Percy Grainger, Handel in the Strand; Richard Hickox/City of London Sinfonia & Joyful Company of Singers

3. Karel Husa, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Concert Band; Justin Mertz/Syracuse University Wind Ensemble/Ronald Caravan

4. Niccolo Paganini, Sonata no. 4 for guitar and violin; Gil Shaham & Göran Söllscher

Angela Scates

Angela Scates is an oboist and a senior at Interlochen Arts Academy. She grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She has studied with Daniel Stolper and Dane Philipsen at Interlochen. 

Scates visited IPR's Studio A to play the first etude of Gilles Silvestrini. This piece is named "L'Hôtel des roches noires. Trouville" after a painting by Claude Monet.

The Thistle And Shamrock: The Long View

Sep 14, 2018

If you've been listening to Thistle for some years, perhaps you'll remember two unforgettable extended medleys of tunes; one from Breton harper and multi-instrumentalist Alan Stivell and the other from Irish fiddler Kevin Burke. You'll be delighted to make their re-acquaintance this week.

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to the last day of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we've been listening to works by legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons, many of whom became composers.

Today, we'll hear music from his youngest - and probably most famous -  son, Child Number Eleven - Johann Christian Bach, who came to be known as the, "English Bach."

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Johann Christian Bach
ZANAIDA:  Allo splendor del trono
Vannina Santoni as Osira
Opera Fuoco/David Stern

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Wayne Shorter likes to tell a story about going to see Charlie Parker, the mercurial titan of bebop, sometime around 1951. Shorter was 18 at the time — a saxophonist, like Parker, and a bop obsessive already gigging around his hometown of Newark, N.J. He headed across the river into Manhattan, where Parker, colloquially known as Bird, was headlining at Birdland, the club named in Parker's honor.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

On this edition of The Interlochen Collection, we’ll hear organ music from various Interlochen dedications. Listen to the entire episode below.

Hi there, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Four of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute! This week, we're listening to the works of the sons of composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Today, we're meeting Bach's Child Number Nine: Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (lots of Johanns in this family!). We'll learn a bit about his life, and hear a few of his variations on, "Ah vous dirai-je maman," the song we use as the basis for, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Baa Baa Black Sheep," and the Alphabet Song!

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Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach: Variations on, "Ah vous dirai-je maman."
See Siang Wong, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Happy Wednesday, Kids Commuters, and welcome to Day Three of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're listening to music by the sons of legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Today, we'll meet Bach's son Number Five - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (known popularly as CPE Bach).

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CPE Bach: Violin Sonata in G major, 1st movement
Isaac Stern/violin, Alexander Zakin/piano

Here's today's Kids Commute:

The Tesla Quartet has just celebrated its tenth anniversary as an ensemble. It has released its debut album on Orchid Classics. The title indicates the composers whose music is included: "Haydn, Ravel, Stravinsky."

Welcome to Day Two of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute! This week, we're hearing music written by the sons of legendary Baroque era composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Yesterday, we heard music from Papa Bach. Today, we'll learn about, and  hear from, his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Duo for Two Flutes in G, 1st movement
John Solum and Richard Wyton

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Good morning, Kids Commuters, and Happy Monday! Welcome to a whole new week on IPR's Kids Commute.

This week, we'll be learning about the family of legendary Baroque period composer Johann Sebastian Bach. (Learn more about JS Bach and the Baroque period here.) JS Bach had twenty children, and a few of them became well-known composers in their own right.

Today, we're starting with Dear Old Dad - JS Bach himself.

Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1: Prelude and Fugue in C
JS Bach
Helene Grimaud

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Wikimedia Images

Thanks to listeners from Arcadia, Mackinac Island, Cadillac, Prudenville and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God; Leontyne Price

2. Stephen Stucky, Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary; Michael Haithcock/Baylor University Wind Ensemble

3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Overture to The Marriage of Figaro; Jane Glover/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

4. Giuseppe Verdi, La donna e mobile (from Rigoletto); Roberto Alagna

5. Hans Zimmer, Honor (main title from The Pacific); original motion picture soundtrack

Gwyneth Walker is the composer in residence for the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. On their season opening concert this weekend, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra will be giving the world premiere of Walker’s Great Lakes Overture.

Hey Kids Commuters! Happy Friday! It's the last day of the first week back to school. Whew! We hope it’s been a smooth transition from summer break to school days.

It's Day Five of Back to School Week, on IPR's Kids Commute - so let's have some fun! Today, we get to hear a selection from Clark Gesner’s 1967 musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, his most successful work. Mr. Gesner wrote lots of cool music for young people to enjoy. Lots of his material was used on kids’ television shows - we'll have a link for you further down the page. Gesner had a terrific sense of humor and enjoyed writing for the theatre.

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown: The Book Report
Clark Gesner
1999 Broadway Cast

Here's today's Kids Commute:

This week, join host Fiona Ritchie for more new recordings that have arrived through the summer months, just waiting for an hour of your time. Some of the featured artists included are Low Lily, The Tannahill Weavers, the Yves Lambert Trio, and Open the Door for Three.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

On this edition of The Interlochen Collection, we’ll look at American dances, folk songs, hymns, and music for an American president. Listen to the episode below.

Episode playlist
Robert Russell Bennett, Suite of Old American Dances
World Youth Symphony Band
Frederick Fennell, conductor
Summer 2004

William Billings, Hopkington, When Jesus Wept and I Am the Rose of Sharon
Interlochen Arts Academy Chorale
Gregg Smith, conductor
May 1977

Welcome to Day Three of, “Back to School,” week on IPR's Kids Commute! This new episode explores more great music from the “March King”, John Philip Sousa. If you’re a regular listener, you might remember we did an entire week where we learned all about famous marches - and you can't do that without talking about Sousa!

Today we focus on a particular Sousa march, High School Cadets, written in the year 1890. Learn about Sousa’s life and compositions and get detailed information about how the structure that he used when composing marches. We’ll deconstruct the piece for you and identify highlights that you should listen for. And of course, we have our weekly quizlet where you might be able to win one of our all-new prize packs!

As a reminder, here's the structure (form) of your typical march:

  1. Fanfare/Introduction - the opening to the march
  2. First strain - the first melody of the march
  3. Second strain - the second melody of the march
  4. Introduction to the trio - some marches have a little introductory phrase before the next part
  5. Trio - usually the most famous portion of the march, the part you'd usually hum along to
  6. Breakstrain/Dogfight - time to mix it up a little and warm up the audience for the big finish!
  7. Final Trio/Grandioso - The Big Finish! Sometimes, "decorated," with an extra voice up at the top, like a piccolo

See if you can identify all the parts in today's music!

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High School Cadets
John Philip Sousa
Eastman Wind Ensemble/Frederick Fennell

Here's today's Kids Commute:

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.