Latest in Classical Music

Learn about upcoming programs, listen to recent interviews and find the latest information about the world of classical music.

Outdoors: Halcyon days

Dec 30, 2020

Well, they’re over.

Halcyon days, that is.

The phrase, I discover, refers to a period of calm, peacefulness and prosperity.

The term shows up in poetry, once or twice in Shakespeare, and even in modern articles and essays.

I used to be a bit startled when I encountered it.

Having once dutifully memorized the scientific names of bird subfamilies, I connected the name Halcyon with kingfishers. And what do kingfishers have to do with tranquility?

According to mythology, quite a bit.

Metropolitan Opera: Satyagraha

Dec 30, 2020
Ken Howard / Met Opera

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season begins the New Year with an inspiringand hauntingly beautiful opera, Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, an encore broadcast from 2011.

Susan Snyder


Repose has been a Classical IPR listener favorite since the 1980s. Listen every weeknight at 10 p.m., with new episodes every Saturday at 10 p.m.

This week's playlists

Monday Ep170217
Minstrel Streams - Ancient Mariner 
Dan Chadburn - Quiet Soul
Autumn's Child - Row of White Trees
Jeffrey Michael - Indigo Falls 

Requests for this Saturday included a variety of music for  Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's. 

See the complete playlist below.

To make a request for the January 2 episode of Music by Request, email or leave a message on the MBR line at (231) 276-4422.

Yuki Tei

The life and music of clarinetist David Shifrin is the focus of this week's episode.

David Shifrin spent four summers at the National Music Camp and two years at Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating in 1967. 

Each week, Interlochen campus safety officer Kevin LaRose plays a mystery instrument somewhere on the Interlochen Center for the Arts Campus.

Where's Kevin, and what instrument is he playing? Send us an e-mail with the correct answer to and if you're right, we'll send you a CD!

Last week, Kevin played the bass in the Bus Barn.

This week's video is below. Where's Kevin?

In a chaotic world, it can be hard to slow down and just focus on the task at hand, whether it's at the office, in the kitchen or out in the garage. 

The contemporary classical music on this playlist was chosen to help calm some of the chaos and encourage focus and contemplation.

Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute

Dec 23, 2020

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a holiday presentation of Mozart’s fable The Magic Flute, a broadcast from 2010, abridged and sung in English.

It’s the story of a brave prince and princess – aided by a not-so-brave bird catcher – who embark on a quest to attain wisdom and love.

Outdoors: The bleak midwinter

Dec 23, 2020

Earth was hard as iron
Water like a stone

I love the Rossetti lyrics to Holst’s carol “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

While I have doubts about the Biblical accuracy of this description, it is certainly is true in the Great Lakes region.

Even during a pandemic, the medical professionals in the Detroit Medical Orchestra found time to come together (at a distance) to perform music for the holiday season.

The Detroit Medical Orchestra was founded in 2009. Its musicians are professionals in medical or related fields.

Sometimes the holidays call for a full symphony orchestra and hundreds of choristers, and other times, the music can be a little cozier.

With that in mind, Classical IPR put together a Spotify playlist of holiday music for the piano.

Gwyneth Walker on the dairy farm
Robert Eddy

You've heard music by renowned American composer Gwyneth Walker on Classical IPR in the past.

Walker, composer in residence for the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, recently completed a new piece for members of the ensemble.

"On Christmas Eve" will be performed on Christmas Eve at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Petoskey.

"On Christmas Eve" contains settings of "Bring a Torch Jeanette, Isabella," "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow."

Interlochen Center for the Arts

On this edition of The Interlochen Collection, it’s a variety of sacred and secular music for the Christmas season. 


Music for Christmas dominated this week's requests. 

Listeners chose a variety of sacred and secular Christmas favorites, plus music about snow and winter. 

All of this week's requests are available below.

Listen now: Adagio

Dec 18, 2020

Our friend Chris suggested that we create a Spotify playlist featuring a collection of adagio movements, so we did!

Classical IPR curated adagio movements and pieces by composers from the 18th century to the present, featuring music for solo piano, symphony orchestra and everything in between.

Hey Kids Commuters! We're in our last full week before holiday break, so we're listening to an opera - for kids - for the holidays!

Composer Engelbert Humperdinck teamed up with his sister to put together a version of "Hansel and Gretel" for their family. It went so well they expanded it into a whole opera! We'll listen to the opera this week - in English!

We have a fairy tale themed Quizlet for you, too.

Tune in Monday through Friday at 7:40 a.m., or listen any time at the links below.

Metropolitan Opera: Hansel and Gretel

Dec 17, 2020
Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a family favorite for the holiday season, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, sung in English.


This encore broadcast from 2018 stars soprano Lisette Oropesa as Gretel and mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught as Hansel, the hungry siblings who must use their wits to survive.


Each week, Interlochen Center for the Arts campus safety officer - and multi-instrumentalist - Kevin LaRose hangs out somewhere on campus playing a musical instrument.

In this special holiday edition of Making the Rounds - where's Kevin, and what instrument is he playing? Take a guess, send your answer to, and if you're right, we'll send you a CD!

Last week, Kevin was playing the bass kazoo in Interlochen's prop storage!

Watch this week's video below. Where's Kevin?

Two-hundred-fifty years ago, a musical maverick was born. Ludwig van Beethoven charted a powerful new course in music. His ideas may have been rooted in the work of European predecessors Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josef Haydn, but the iconic German composer became who he was with the help of some familiar American values: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Outdoors: The moon of wintertime

Dec 16, 2020

Twas in the Moon of Wintertime
When all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead.

The charming Huron Carol uses a French tune, but the lyrics were written during the 1640s by a Jesuit missionary in the Great Lakes region.

In trying to explain the miracle of Christmas to First Nation People, the black-robed father used images from nature.

I rather like his idea that God used birds and angels interchangeably.

This week's program featured lots of music for the Christmas season, from J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio to Vince Guaraldi's music for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" to seasonal favorites performed by Canadian Brass.

We also heard a chorus from Beethoven's "Fidelio" and a quartet from Verdi's "Don Carlos." 

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Texts from the Book of Psalms have inspired composers for centuries.

This program features a variety of psalm settings performed by decades of students from Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy.

This edition of Classical IPR in Concert is a showtune spectacular!

We revisit "Showtunes with Kate Botello: Holiday Edition" featuring Christmas-themed showtunes and an interview with the Music Director of "Elf" on Broadway, Nate Patten.

We'll hear tunes from merry to melancholy, and everywhere in between (hey, it's Musical Theatre - there's gotta be some drama!).

Tune in Friday at 8 p.m., Sunday at noon, or listen any time at the link below.

This week on Kids Commute - for years, people have told musicians to  give up on their music dreams and "get a job!"

Composing is certainly a worthy line of work, and some classical composers had patrons, people who would pay their way so they could create music without having to worry about money. Many more had to keep their "day jobs" - ways to make money when the composing dollars weren't rolling in.

We'll hear music from composers who had to keep a 9-t0-5 - it's Get a Job Week! We have a new Quizlet to flex your brain, too.

Metropolitan Opera: Fidelio

Dec 10, 2020
Met Opera Archives

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcast season continues with Beethoven’s Fidelio, a performance from 2017 starring Adrianne Pieczonka as Leonore and Klaus Florian Vogt as Florestan.

This encore broadcast of Beethoven’s only opera is presented in honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.