Latest in Classical Music

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

Outdoors: Baby skunks

Jul 7, 2020

When I think of Interlochen, I can’t help but thinking of lines. Morning line-up, lines for meals, lines for tickets, lines at the Melody Freeze.

The animal kingdom is filled with lines, too.

Take baby skunks. Skunk kits look just like adults, only cuter.

They develop musk glands when they are about eight days old, and they learn how to spray after a few weeks.

Kits stay in their nests for about the first three weeks of their lives, but when they do emerge, the stubby-legged infants  follow their mother in a single-file line.

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 Repose airs every weeknight at 10 p.m. on Classical IPR, with new episodes every Saturday at 10 p.m. See this week's weeknight playlists below.


Monday Ep131901

Outdoors: Shakespearean flowers

Jul 6, 2020

The plays of Shakespeare are filled with references to herbs and flowers. 

“There’s fennel for you and columbines.  There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.”

In "Hamlet," when Ophelia mentions flowers, Shakespeare was making statements that probably were quite obvious to his audiences.

In Elizabethan times, fennel was the symbol of flattery, while columbines signified marital infidelity and ingratitude. Daisies were symbols of unhappy love. 

Embrace Everything: The World of Gustav Mahler

Jul 6, 2020

The Embrace Everything series is an exploration and celebration of the music of Gustav Mahler.

Throughout his life, Mahler insisted that music had to, literally, embrace everything. This makes his compositions unusually rich in what they offer both audience and musicians.

Each episode of the series explores a different Mahler symphony and includes interviews with leading conductors, music scholars and musicians. Additionally, Mahler’s own words and those of his contemporaries will be read by actors.

Hosted by WKAR's Jody Knol, Great Lakes Concerts is a weekly co-production of WKAR, WRCJ and Interlochen Public Radio.

Listen Mondays at 6 p.m. on Classical IPR.

This week's playlist

Wang Jie: "America the Beautiful"

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor
(Recorded in Michigan Theater on November 2, 2019)

Aaron Copland: Ballet suite, "Appalachian Spring"
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Mark Gibson, conductor
(Recorded in Hill Auditorium on September 13, 2019)

During this unusual summer, Classical IPR is proud to continue the tradition of presenting the World Youth Symphony Orchestra on Sunday evenings.

This week we share more performances from the Interlochen archives.

Tune in Sunday at 8 p.m., or listen below at any time.

On the Program:

Debussy: Nocturnes - Fêtes, WYSO (1981)

Nicolai: Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture, National High School Symphony Orchestra (1961)

Barber: Adagio for Strings, WYSO (2012)

Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 "Organ", WYSO (2000)

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Since the 1940s, Hugh Downs has been known to most Americans as a television host on programs including "Tonight: Starring Jack Paar," "Today" and "20/20."

Downs, who died July 1 at the age of 99, was also a composer of classical music. He hosted the PBS classical music program "Live from Lincoln Center" during the 1990s.

All State Flutes, 1984
Interlochen Center for the Arts

For many years, it's been a summertime tradition to come to the Interlochen campus on Saturday nights to hear performances of the World Youth Wind Symphony (WYWS).

This year, we're celebrating in a new way, with concerts on the radio! Join us on the 4th of July for a rousing evening of band music from Interlochen!

Tune in Saturday, July 4 at 8pm or listen any time below. Happy 4th!


Northern Pines March
John Philip Sousa
Joseph E. Maddy
1956 National High School Band

Trumpeter Walter White was a little disappointed when the television show "Breaking Bad" starting becoming popular. 

White says that he used to be at the top of the Google searches for his name, or in second place after the longtime NAACP leader Walter Francis White.

Outdoors: Federation squirrels

Jul 3, 2020

The rodents that thrive in dry sandy fields at Interlochen are called thirteen-lined ground squirrels. At least, that’s what we call them now.

Around Independence Day, I like to recall their original common name: federation squirrels.

These grasslands creatures have thirteen stripes, alternating dark and light, that are interspersed with little dots that look rather like stars.

Outdoors: The river of the Saw Beaks

Jul 2, 2020

The Little Betsie River connects the two lakes at Interlochen. Then the Betsie River flows from Green Lake to Lake Michigan.

They were named for a duck: a merganser.

Early maps of Lake Michigan bear names given by the French. They called the Betsie "la Reviere du Bec-Scie," or "the River of the Saw Beaks."

The French called mergansers “saw beaks” because of the serrations on the ducks’ narrow  bills. These sawtooth edges aid the birds in capturing and holding onto the slippery fish that make up the bulk of their diet.

This week on Classical IPR in Concert, the program features chamber music performed by faculty members of the 2019 Interlochen Arts Camp

Listen Friday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 12 p.m. or any time on demand below.

Outdoors: Loons' breath control

Jul 1, 2020

At Interlochen, breath control is a big deal. 

Singers, wind players, actors and dancers all have to deal with the basic need to have enough breath to produce their art.

Our beloved loons have breath control under control.  These remarkable birds can dive and stay under water for about three minutes, maybe more. And that is while undergoing strenuous exercise!

You can watch them disappear beneath the surface, but it is anybody’s guess where they might resurface.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

After Mort Achter won a boxing competition at a sports camp in the summer of 1947, his parents were worried.

They told him he'd have to go to music camp at Interlochen the next summer. If he didn't like it, he could return to sports camp the following year.

Starting in 1948, Achter would spend every summer for over a decade at Interlochen's National Music Camp.

Outdoors: Countersinging birds

Jun 30, 2020

I love antiphonal music! 

The ethereal back and forth of double choirs in European cathedrals. The African American call and response form in jazz and gospel music.  And my personal  favorite: several brass choirs  stationed around the sides of Kresge Auditorium echoing back and forth through the hall and into the mall.

The dawn chorus at Interlochen is rather like antiphonal music. Birds take turns singing.   

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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 

Outdoors: The flowers that bloom in the spring

Jun 29, 2020
CC BY-SA 4.0

Have you ever noticed how often singers sing about nature?

Take Gilbert and Sullivan.  Librettist Sir William Schwenk Gilbert was remarkably knowledgeable in matters "vegetable, animal and mineral."

For example, in "The Mikado," Nanki Poo and Koko, addressing the shade intolerance of woodland wildflowers, sing,  “The flowers that bloom in the spring / tra la / breathe promise of merry sunshine.”

Interlochen Center for the Arts

For the first time since 1928, campers, staff and faculty will not convene in person at Interlochen Center for the Arts this summer.

But the sounds of camp will still emanate from Interlochen via Classical IPR. 

Between June 27 and July 19, Classical IPR will have hourly, daily and weekly features celebrating the past, present and future of camp at Interlochen.

Enjoy an hour of great music from the Great Lakes region every Monday at 6 p.m. on Classical IPR.

Jody Knol is your host. Great Lakes Concerts is co-produced by Interlochen Public Radio, WKAR and WRCJ.

This week's program

Bedrich Smetana: 3 Dances from "The Bartered Bride" - Polka; Furiant; Dance of the Comedians
Lansing Symphony Orch
Timothy Muffitt, conductor
(recorded live, May 19, 2017, Great Hall, Wharton Center)

Music OMH

Music written for voice constituted nearly half of today's program.  We heard ensembles VOCES8, Anonymous 4, The London Opera Chorus, Cambridge Singers, and the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, along with the voices of  Bryn Terfel, Renata Tebaldi, Renee Fleming, Carol Vaness, Jussi Bjoerling, Joan Sutherland, Carlo Bergonzi, Emma Stone, Dawn Upshaw, Peggy Wood, Christopher Plummer, Julie Andrews, and Charmian Carr.

1.     Claude Debussy, Children’s Corner Suite, Yoshiko Okada

An Evening with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra

Jun 26, 2020

Classical IPR is proud to continue the tradition of presenting the World Youth Symphony Orchestra on Sunday evenings.

This week, we begin our season sharing performances from the Interlochen archives.

Tune in Sunday at 8 p.m., or listen below at any time.

On the program:

Rossini: The Thieving Magpie Overture, WYSO (2000)

Hanson: A Sea Symphony, WYSO and High School Choir (1977)

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, National High School Orchestra (1961)

Berlioz: Beatrice and Benedict Overture, WYSO (2005)

Clarinet players at Interlochen, 1965, with instructor Sydney Forrest
Interlochen Center for the Arts

For many years, it's been a summertime tradition to come to the Interlochen campus on Saturday nights to hear performances of the World Youth Wind Symphony (WYWS).

This year, we're celebrating in a new way, with concerts on the radio!

Tune in to Classical IPR for three Saturday nights for "An Evening with the World Youth Wind Symphony."

Listen to the first episode this coming Saturday, June 27, or listen any time below.


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. 

Scroll down to see Kevin's video for the week.

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

On Friday, June 26, the nationally syndicated classical music Performance Today will feature music performed at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Join Classical IPR during the 11 a.m. hour as Performance Today broadcasts a recent performance given by the Harlem Quartet at Interlochen's Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall. The quartet played three rags by William Bolcom.

Michael Culler engineered the recording.

Campfire songs can be silly songs, pop songs, cowboy songs, sentimental favorites, or many other kinds of songs.

We cover several types of campfire songs on this week's Singalong Soiree!