Latest in Classical Music

Ben Shirley's story is one of redemption. He'd been playing bass in bars, clubs and arenas in the Los Angeles area since he was 15 when he fell down a path of drugs and alcohol. Four bottles of vodka and $360 worth of heroin a day brought him down hard on Skid Row.

It was at the non-profit The Midnight Mission where Shirley turned his life around in 2011. Now, at 53, he's an undergrad in The San Francisco Conservatory of Music's program of Technology and Applied Composition. He debuted an original piece, "We Need Darkness to See the Stars," earlier this month.

Credit olagjeilo.com

  Ola Gjeilo is one of the most in-demand composers alive today. He’s not even 40 and has already had his music performed by major ensembles including the Choir of King’s College Cambridge and the Phoenix Chorale. His newest album is called Winter Songs, and it features original compositions and his new arrangements of some Christmas favorites.

  Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 8 a.m. for Messiah + Bach & Rutter, the 2017 holiday concert from the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. View the complete concert program below.

 

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

 

Updated, Dec. 21, 10:45 p.m. ET and Dec. 22, 12:09 p.m.: The responses of various orchestras to the allegations were added to this article.

The Associated Press has reported allegations of sexual assault against the famed conductor Charles Dutoit made by four women, in incidents that span from 1985 to 2010 and that took place in five different U.S. cities.

  

Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 12 p.m. for Home for the Holidays, the 2017 holiday concert from the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. View the complete Home for the Holidays concert program below.

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

Goran Bregović is one of the Balkans' most beloved musicians and composers. He grew up in the Bosnian town of Sarajevo and witnessed the atrocities of war in the 1990s. But he channeled his home region's pain, as well as its endless humor, into his music, and got his big break composing for films like Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 10 a.m. for Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," a 2017 performance featuring Interlochen Arts Academy students. 

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

 Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 2 p.m. for "Sounds of the Season," the 2017 holiday concert from Interlochen Arts Academy.

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

  A new album from Decca features winter-themed music by the Norwegian-born American composer Ola Gjeilo. Gjeilo himself is at the piano for every piece, and her performs with 12 Ensemble and the Choir of Royal Holloway, conducted by Rupert Gough.

 

Collaboration. It's at the heart of many of NPR Music's finest moments. And it's in the DNA of the intrepid Kronos Quartet, which some 40 years ago began working with composers around the globe to spotlight new music.

Opening our 10th anniversary concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Kronos, true to form, gave an appreciative audience both a world premiere and an extraordinary surprise collaboration.

Join Classical IPR on Christmas Day at 4 p.m. for Winter Songs and Carols, the 2017 holiday concert from Manitou Winds. View the complete Songs and Carols concert program below.

View Classical IPR's complete holiday program schedule by clicking here.

Metropolitan Opera: The Marriage of Figaro

Dec 18, 2017
Photo by Chris Lee/Metropolitan Opera.

Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).  Harry Bicket conducts the performance, which features bass-baritone Adam Plachetka as the wily valet Figaro, opposite soprano Christiane Karg, who makes her network broadcast debut as his fiancée, the maid Susanna.  Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen stars as the Countess, a role she sang for her Met debut in 2014, opposite bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, reprising his interpretation of the lascivious Count Almaviva, and mezzo-soprano Serena Malfi is the page, Cherubino.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Cadillac, Petoskey, Lake Ann, Traverse City, Cheboygan and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Mykola Leontovich, Carol of the Bells; James Meredith/Sonos Handbell Ensemble

2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Marriage of Figaro overture; New York Philharmonic Winds

3. Traditional, The Little Drummer Boy; The Klezmonauts

4. Franz Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody no. 3; George Li

5. Traditional, Ya Maryam El Bekr; Fairuz

6. William Bolcom, Three Rags; Altius String Quartet

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist established their community more than 20 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich. where music is a daily part of the Catholic nuns' lives in the Motherhouse.

Sounds of the Season - Live on Classical IPR

Dec 14, 2017

Join in the joy! Surround yourself with the holiday spirit as Corson Auditorium sets the stage for Interlochen’s annual holiday concert, Sounds of the Season. Enjoy the Interlochen Arts Academy Band and Choir as they present a magical evening of family-friendly festivities. Listen live this Friday at 7 p.m. on Classical IPR.

 

Photo by Marshall Clarke

Cellist Amit Peled actually encourages his students to join a gang - the Peabody Cello Gang.

Peled spoke with Classical IPR about how the Cello Gang got started, which piece on their new album is the “Everest” for cellists and the story behind the album’s cover photo. He also talked about the once-in-a-lifetime live performance of David Popper’s Requiem featuring nineteen cellos that appears on the new album.

 

If you’re a top cellist at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, you’re probably in a gang. A cello gang, that is. Amit Peled calls the students in his studio the Peabody Cello Gang, and they have a new album.

 

Metropolitan Opera: Bellini's Norma

Dec 11, 2017
Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Bellini’s Norma, starring Angela Meade and Jamie Barton, who reprise their acclaimed interpretations of the Druid priestess Norma and her rival Adalgisa. The performance also features Joseph Calleja as Norma’s unfaithful lover Pollione and Matthew Rose as her father Oroveso, conducted by Joseph Colaneri, in a production by Sir David McVicar.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, December 16 at 1pm ET.

Wellcome Collection

Thanks to listeners in St. Ignace, Harbor Springs, Cadillac, Williamsburg, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade (first movement); Jose Serebrier/London Philharmonic Orchestra

2. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker (selections); Modern Mandolin Quartet

3. John McCutcheon, Christmas in the Trenches; John McDermott

4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Magic Flute overture; Bruno Weil/Tafelmusik

5. Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God; Vienna Boys Choir & Placido Domingo

Here's an idea for a musical: The end is near, and there's just one day for the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom to figure out how to save themselves from a powerful volcano that's about to explode. Who can we count on to come through?

Well, who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!

This year marked major anniversaries for some of the most beloved works of classical music, from George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” suite, first performed 300 years ago, to the 125th anniversary of “The Nutcracker” suite.

Peter Smith

Interlochen Public Radio, the University Musical Society and the New York Philharmonic presented a  live program from Hill Auditorium on November 19th. It will be rebroadcast  on Classical IPR this Friday, December 8th at 8pm.

The program features commentary, interviews, and the performance of Don Quixote by Strauss and Bernstein's  Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish" conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Along with the New York Philharmonic, performers include Speaker Jeremy Irons, Soprano Tamara Wilson, the UMS Choral Union, and the MSU Children's Choir.

Classical music has never lived in a bubble. For centuries, it's always found common ground with folk music.

Enter, the Danish String Quartet.

 Violinist Angèle Dubeau and her orchestra La Pietà have recorded musical portraits of many composers, including Philip Glass, Ludovico Einaudi and John Adams. Their latest musical portrait album features selected works of Max Richter.

 

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