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Jul 31
Host Fred Child is at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, in Michigan, for the final weekend of the 2009 Interlochen Arts Camp. We'll highlight the hard work and play of the students at Interlochen...more than 1500 of the best young musicians in the world, ages 8-18. And we'll hear students raving about traditions like "Gutter Sundae" (clean household gutters from the hardware store, filled with ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce), and talking about what's so inspiring about Interlochen...aside from the ice cream.
Jul 30
Michael Steinberg
Obituaries this week have called him a classical music critic, or a classical music writer. At Performance Today, we remember Michael Steinberg as classical music sage. Steinberg's reviews, books, concert notes and lectures had a way of getting at the essence of music, and at the essence of the *experience* of music. Michael Steinberg was 80 when he died this past weekend.
Jul 29
Franz Joseph Haydn
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And in 1798, Joseph Haydn told that story in music. Haydn's greatest work may have been his oratorio, "The Creation." Music that is at once reverent, and ravishingly beautiful. We'll hear Part One from Haydn's Creation in a glorious concert a week and a half ago at the 2009 BBC Proms, in London. Paul McCreesh conducting his Gabrieli Consort, and a massed ensemble of nearly 200 musicians and singers.
Jul 28
Gryphon Trio
Last year, high school student Paula Gil took part in the annual "Young Composers Project" in Toronto. And the Gryphon Trio liked her piece so much, they played it at one of their regular chamber concerts. We'll hear young Paula Gil's "Gryphon March."
Jul 27
Maurizio Pollini
Pianist Maurizio Pollini is old-school: when he plays, he makes no facial expressions, he doesn't gyrate or moan or gesticulate. One critic wrote "there are morticians who go about their duties more chirpily than Pollini on the concert platform." You may not be able to *see* Pollini's engagement with the music, but you can *hear* it in every note he plays. We'll hear Maurizio Pollini in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2.
Jul 25
Richard Tognetti
Richard Tognetti is a terrific violinist, and a graceful, athletic surfer. We'll hear Tognetti lead the Australian Chamber Orchestra in concert, playing Haydn's Symphony No. 44 near some prime surfing...in Santa Barbara, California.
Jul 24
Chopin
Pianist Sergio Tiempo put on a jaw-dropping display at the International Chopin Festival in Warsaw, and the audience went nuts. We'll hear his three encores as they happened, each more astonishing than the last. Finishing with Tiempo's own arrangement: one Chopin Etude with his right hand, and *another* with his left, simultaneously. Sounds impossible, but he did it, and the audience literally screamed, shouted, and stomped their approval.
Jul 23
Igor Stravinsky
In 1895, Sir Henry Wood created a music festival that was inexpensive, informal, and accessible for everyone: the Proms in London. From the first night of the 2009 Proms, a concert last Friday, the BBC Symphony Orchestra lights Stravinsky's Fireworks, and plays Edward Elgar's overture "In the South."
Jul 22
Richard Tognetti
Richard Tognetti is a terrific violinist, and a graceful, athletic surfer. We'll hear Tognetti lead the Australian Chamber Orchestra in concert, playing Haydn's Symphony No. 44 near some prime surfing...in Santa Barbara, California.
Jul 21
Matthias Maute
"No risk, no fun!" says recorder virtuoso Matthias Maute. Maute focuses on music from the late 1600s and early 1700s, when composers expected a certain degree of improvisation from musicians. Tuesday, Maute plays a Vivaldi concerto at the Library of Congress, sometimes reading the written notes, sometimes making it up as he goes.
Jul 20
Richard_Strauss
On the 40th anniversary of the first earthlings on the moon, music that has come to be the soundtrack of space travel: "Also Sprach Zarathustra," by Richard Strauss. We have a concert performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic...and the voices of Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, from 40 years ago, and from today.
Jul 18
leonard slatkin
By Leonard Slatkin's count, there are over 80 different orchestrations of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." He tapped into 15 of them to create a unique version of the work. He leads the Nashville Symphony in a performance of it at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
Jul 17
Carter Pann
Every Friday, PT features 21st century music. This week, the world premiere of the "Mercury Concerto" by Carter Pann. 20 minutes of virtuosic music for flute and orchestra, inspired by the real-life love story of the flutist who played the premiere. (And...Carter Pann says there is a subtle hint of classic 70s rock in the opening movement.)
Jul 16
Thomas Hampson
The great American baritone Thomas Hampson kicked off the 2009 edition of his "Song of America" tour last week. From their concert in Winona, Minnesota, Thomas Hampson and pianist Craig Rutenberg perform "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven," an entertainingly melodramatic song about the man who founded the Salvation Army.
Jul 15
David Zinman
Fred is hosting today from Aspen Public Radio, in Colorado. Conductor David Zinman and pianist Yefim Bronfman talk about the "total lunatic episode" in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, and we'll hear their wild performance with the Aspen Chamber Symphony. And this week's Piano Puzzler caller is Alan Fletcher, President of the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Jul 14
Stephane Deneve
A tragic love story and a happy love story intertwined at the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, California. Conductor Stephane Deneve had a fairy-tale wedding in a lovely Napa Valley winery...and the next night, Deneve conducted a performance of Gabriel Faure's Suite from Pelleas and Melisande, music inspired by a love story where everything that CAN go wrong DOES go wrong. We'll hear the Faure performance, Stephane Deneve leading the Russian National Orchestra.
Jul 13
leonard slatkin
By Leonard Slatkin's count, there are over 80 different orchestrations of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." He tapped into 15 of them to create a unique version of the work. He leads the Nashville Symphony in a performance of it at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
Jul 11
Erno Dohnanyi
The PT debut of a young and talented (and irreverent) chamber orchestra from Boston that calls itself "A Far Cry." They'll play Benjamin Britten's playful "Simple Symphony." And a rarely-played gem: the Sextet in C by Erno Dohnanyi. Fred explains *why* it's so rarely played (there's a good reason!), and we'll hear an exemplary performance by members of the Nash Ensemble, in concert in Boston.
Jul 10
Nicholas Maw
Bruce Adolphe is the creator of the PT Piano Puzzler...and one of his dear friends was composer Nicholas Maw. Maw died this spring at age 73. Bruce Adolphe has a personal remembrance, and some thoughts on why so many people find Maw's music so compelling.
Jul 9
Tomaso Albinoni
David Washburn is a *great* trumpet player, a member of three orchestras in Los Angeles. And Americans can sing along with him every evening. He plays the solo trumpet on the theme of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. We'll hear David Washburn play an elegant Trumpet Concerto by Tomaso Albinoni, in concert at the Music@Menlo Festival in California.
Jul 8
Richard Strauss
Music that began with the word "no." An oboe-playing American GI in 1945 asked Richard Strauss if he'd ever consider writing an oboe concerto. Strauss gave that one word answer...but a few months later, he composed his Oboe Concerto in D Major. We'll hear a concert performance from Stockholm; Daniel Harding conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony, with oboe soloist Francois Leleux.
Jul 7
Miro Quartet
It was an experiment in words and music, from a concert this summer by the Miro Quartet and American poet Matthea Harvey. She chose poems to go with each movement of Beethoven's Quartet No. 16, and read her work before each movement. The Miro Quartet gave a visceral, energetic performance, framed by Harvey's words. We'll hear it exactly as it happened.
Jul 6
Erno Dohnanyi
The PT debut of a young and talented (and irreverent) chamber orchestra from Boston that calls itself "A Far Cry." They'll play Benjamin Britten's playful "Simple Symphony." And a rarely-played gem: the Sextet in C by Erno Dohnanyi. Fred explains *why* it's so rarely played (there's a good reason!), and we'll hear an exemplary performance by members of the Nash Ensemble, in concert in Boston.
Jul 4
paavo jarvi
Celebratory classics inspired by fireworks and sparklers for the holiday weekend! Music by Stravinsky, Handel, and Moritz Moszkowski. And our 21st century piece this Friday is the world premiere of "prairyerth" (pronounced like "Prairie Earth") by Kansas native Robert Johnson. (btw, that's the correct spelling, with no capital letter) Paavo Jarvi conducts the Cincinnati Symphony in this piece evocative of the wide-open spaces of the American prairie.
Jul 3
paavo jarvi
Celebratory classics inspired by fireworks and sparklers for the holiday weekend! Music by Stravinsky, Handel, and Moritz Moszkowski. And our 21st century piece this Friday is the world premiere of "prairyerth" (pronounced like "Prairie Earth") by Kansas native Robert Johnson. (btw, that's the correct spelling, with no capital letter) Paavo Jarvi conducts the Cincinnati Symphony in this piece evocative of the wide-open spaces of the American prairie.
Jul 2
Domenico Scarlatti
19th century sugar with a little 20th century spice makes for a tasty serving of orchestral music at one of the world's great concert halls, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber." David Robertson leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a pulsating performance. Domenico Scarlatti wrote 550 sonatas, almost all for harpsichord. We'll hear a set of three played in concert on anything BUT the harpsichord: Christian Zacharias at the piano, Emmanuel Ceysson on the harp, and Lidia Kaminska on the...accordion.
Jul 1
Simon Rattle
Today's show begins in Amsterdam. Simon Rattle leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Schumann's fourth symphony. Then we'll return to our St. Paul studios, where Bruce Adolphe joins host Fred Child for another "Piano Puzzler." In hour two, Ivan Fischer leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Arnold Schoenberg's arrangement of Brahms' first piano quartet in Amsterdam.