Classical Music

James Gilray, "The Pic-nic Orchestra" (1802)

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.

GAMEPLAY: Film and TV Composers

Jun 4, 2020
By Source, Fair use: Wikipedia entry

  On GAMEPLAY this week: a celebration of some versatile composers who are just as much at home scoring for videogames, film, and TV! 


We’ll hear game music from Spider-Man, Dante’s Inferno, The Last of Us, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and many more by some of the giants of the game industry, including Garry Schyman and multiple Emmy-winner and Interlochen alumna Laura Karpman.

Join us for an adventure on Classical IPR Saturday at 1 p.m.  This week’s full episode and playlist are available below.

When the story of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police began making news last week, Anthony McGill felt something roiling up inside him.

Classical IPR in Concert: A Tribute to Rick Jones

Jun 3, 2020
Debra Jenner-Townsend

If you’ve lived in northern Michigan long enough or have been a frequent visitor, then you may have attended a performance of the northern Michigan ensemble Song of the Lakes.  

In the early 1980s, Ingemar and Lisa Johansson, Mike Sullivan and Rick Jones began playing and performing sea shanties and traditional Irish melodies. Their charisma and energy attracted audiences around the world, and soon they were known as the unofficial Ambassadors to the Great Lakes.  


Interlochen Center for the Arts

Waking to "Reveille" and drifting off to "Taps" are Interlochen traditions - and Classical IPR wants to make sure those traditions continue during the 93rd camp season.

This summer, Classical IPR will play recorded performances of "Reveille" each morning and "Taps" each night during Interlochen Online virtual camp (June 28-July 19). 

Repose has been a listener favorite since the 1980s. Tune in every weeknight at 10 p.m. on Classical IPR. See all of this week's playlists below.

Enjoy an hour of great music from the Great Lakes Region every Monday at 6 p.m.

Great Lakes Concerts is a co-production of WKAR, Interlochen Public Radio and WRCJ.

This week's program

Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 73, "Emperor"
Ralph Votapek, piano
Traverse Symphony Orchestra
Kevin Rhodes, conductor
(Recorded February 16, 2020, Corson Auditorium, Interlochen)

On Monday, June 1, the nationally syndicated program Performance Today will feature music recently performed and recorded at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Tune in to Classical IPR during the 11 a.m. hour to hear pianist Alon Goldstein perform three sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. The performance took place in the Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall.

Michael Culler engineered the recording.

On this edition of The Interlochen Collection, it’s music by the American composer Frank Ticheli. 

Listen to the entire episode below. 

GAMEPLAY: Final Fantasy

May 30, 2020

This week on GAMEPLAY: a tour of music from one of the most beloved, influential, and commercially successful videogame series of all time: FINAL FANTASY. 

These games are so revered by fans not only because of their complex storytelling and relationships, but because they have been jam-packed with emotional, dramatic, immersive music for over 30 years.

We’re going to enjoy some iconic themes by Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu from Final Fantasy 7, 8, 10 and many more!

Music By Request playlist for May 30, 2020

May 30, 2020
Raise Your Voice: Full Frame Documentary

Today's playlist featured music performed and arranged by Sweet Honey in the Rock.  This ensemble was founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973.  The ensemble's messages are proclaimed through a large catalog of songs addressing the world's woes.   Their music combines contemporary rhythms and narratives with a musical style rooted in Gospel music, spirituals and hymns. 

1.     Frederick Chopin, Waltz in C sharp, minor, Van Cliburn

2.     Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata No. 1 F minor, Alfred Brendel

3.     Traditional, African Drum Invocation, Jessye Norman

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.


Classical IPRs Soiree Series continues! Join Tony Bero for a swanky singalong soiree where we’ll hear some great party favorites from the 20s through the 60s! 

We’ll have cocktail and snack recipes, plus singalong favorites from Mitch Miller, Gene Autry, Doris Day, and many more! 

Put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to sing along this Friday at 8:00 and Sunday at noon on Classical IPR. 

Check out the entire playlist below.

It's not often you get to see and hear 91 flutes perform simultaneously.

But that's exactly what happens in The Prayer Project, produced by composer Amanda Harberg and filmmaker Micah Fink with support from the National Flute Association.

Chris Hintz

This week, the nationally syndicated classical music program From the Top features an episode recorded at Interlochen Center for the Arts and featuring Interlochen Arts Academy students.

The program, recorded in March 2019, was hosted by actor and conductor Damon Gupton with pianist Michelle Cann. 

Student soloists include tubist JunMing Wen, cellist Esther Chae and bassoonist Luis Marquez Teruel.

The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble were also featured.

Multi-instrumentalist Kevin LaRose is also an Interlochen Center for the Arts campus safety officer. 

Every Thursday at 3 a.m. during his rounds,  Kevin makes a video of himself playing a different instrument in a variety of locations on the Interlochen campus. 

Check out Kevin's newest video each week here on the IPR website.

Can you correctly identify (1) what instrument he's playing, and/or (2) where on the Interlochen campus he is?

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Davóne Tines

Where: Raleigh, N.C.

Recommendation: Reconnecting through daily rituals and learning to make the perfect cup of coffee

On May 31, WSRJ 105.5 FM will stop broadcasting Classical IPR. This frequency was temporarily available this winter while the 88.7 FM signal was under repair.

As of Tuesday, May 5, Classical IPR's signal on 88.7 FM was restored to full power. 

Everyone who had been listening to 105.5 FM should now be able to hear 88.7 FM clearly.

88.5 FM (Mackinaw City) and 94.7 FM (Traverse City) are unaffected by this change.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. NPR Music's Tom Huizenga recently spoke with Pulitzer-winning composer Steve Reich, who has been keeping busy with the solitary act of writing a new piece from his winter getaway in Los Angeles.

Who: Steve Reich
Where: Los Angeles, Calif.
Recommendation: Keep on working


Repose has been a listener favorite since the 1980s. Tune in every weeknight at 10 p.m. on Classical IPR. See all of this week's playlists below.

Great Lakes Concerts is a co-production of WKAR, WRCJ and Interlochen Public Radio. Listen every Monday at 6 p.m. on Classical IPR.

This week's program

Morton Gould: "American Symphonette" No. 2, II. Pavanne (1938)
Jackson Sym Orch
Matthew Aubin, conductor
(Recorded on February 10th, 2018 at Potter Center Music Hall)

George Gershwin: "An American in Paris"
Lansing Symphony Orchestra
Timothy Muffitt, conductor
(Recorded live at Wharton Center on January 18. 2020)

Music By Request playlist for May 23, 2020

May 23, 2020
Library of Congress

The Vacant Chair was a Civil War poem written by Henry S. Washburn and set to music by George Root in 1862.  The song mourns the loss of a son during the Battle of Bull Run. The image of ‘the vacant chair’ signifies the empty space Grout’s absence left as the family gathered for Thanksgiving.

1.     Antonin Dvorak, Symphony No. 9, “The New World”, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir George Solti

2.     John Barry, Somewhere in Time, Royal Philharmonia, John Barry

GAMEPLAY: Classics

May 22, 2020

This week on GAMEPLAY, we’ll sample music from some of the classics: games that are not only huge critical and commercial successes, but that have also withstood the test of time. 


Many have expanded into decades-long series, deepening their stories and sometimes reinventing themselves. 


They’ve been played and loved for many years, and these games keep on winning over new fans today.

This week, Classical IPR in Concert features performances by the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra from the 2019-2020 school year.

Leslie B. Dunner conducted the Symphony No. 2 by Johannes Brahms in the fall of 2019 and the Symphony No. 5 by Dmitri Shostakovich in early 2020. This episode also includes selections from The Sleeping Beauty by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Hear Classical IPR in Concert Friday at 8.p.m. or Sunday at noon. You can listen below at any time.

Rachel Portman has been scoring films since the 1980s, and in 1997 became the first woman ever to win an Oscar for best original score for her work on Douglas McGrath's Emma. Since then, Portman has scored dozens more films and TV shows, but is now stepping away from the screen with ask the river, her first album of music not written for a movie, TV show or stage production.

"There were hardly any female film composers," Portman says of winning an Oscar at that time.

Although many classical guitarists wear funky socks that they show off while using a foot rest, Gohar Vardanyan isn't one of them. She usually performs wearing gowns, and socks don't exactly go with that wardrobe.

Vardanyan joined Classical IPR via Zoom from her home in New York City to discuss teaching during the pandemic.