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Jan 30
Elizabeth Rowe
Elizabeth Rowe, principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, confesses that, "When I listen to any recording of Daphnis and Chloe, I get nervous before the flute solo. It doesn't matter who's playing." We'll hear Rowe getting nervous, and performing beautifully, along with the rest of her colleagues in the Boston Symphony. They'll perform excerpts from Ravel's ballet, "Daphnis and Chloe," including that big, nerve-wracking flute solo. Also, a look at several Grammy-nominated recordings and a new Piano Puzzler.
Jan 29
Philip Glass
Today we'll feature part two of music and conversation with composer Philip Glass, from a live event in New York. Host Fred Child asks Glass to describe what the experience of composing is about. Glass responds with one word, "fear," and talks about the audacity of composing, given the rich history of music that's come before him. The Glass Chamber Players and Trio Solisti perform music by Glass and Ravel.
Jan 28
glass
There's an urban legend about composer Philip Glass. The one about him driving a New York City cab just when his first opera was being staged at the Met. A passenger looked at his cabbie's license, and declared that he had the same name as a famous opera composer. Turns out, it's true. Glass says he didn't have the heart to tell her that famous composer was driving her home. Today and tomorrow, tune in for music and conversation with Glass from New York's Caspary Auditorium, hosted by Fred Child.
Jan 27
Elizabeth Rowe
Elizabeth Rowe, principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, confesses that, "When I listen to any recording of Daphnis and Chloe, I get nervous before the flute solo. It doesn't matter who's playing." We'll hear Rowe getting nervous, and performing beautifully, along with the rest of her colleagues in the Boston Symphony. They'll perform excerpts from Ravel's ballet, "Daphnis and Chloe," including that big, nerve-wracking flute solo. Also, a look at several Grammy-nominated recordings and a new Piano Puzzler.
Jan 26
Earl Wild
Johannes Brahms lived another twelve years after finishing his fourth and final symphony. Even so, conductor Simon Rattle hears a man facing his own mortality in the music. Rattle shares his insights into this monumental work, in the final installment of our look at the symphonies of Brahms. And he leads the Berlin Philharmonic in a live performance. We also note the passing of eminent American pianist Earl Wild, who died this past weekend at the age of 94.
Jan 25
Gustav Mahler
In 1910, Gustav Mahler was 50 years old and working on his tenth symphony. And he was a man with a broken heart, both literally and figuratively. He was diagnosed with an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart. He was madly, passionately in love with his wife, Alma. And he discovered she was having an affair. That heartache couldn't help but find its way into his symphony. Today, Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in excerpts from Mahler's tenth from San Francisco.
Jan 23
Rachel Podger
Violinist Rachel Podger was once told by her teacher that Baroque violin playing was only for those who can't play real violin. So she sneaked out and took Baroque violin lessons on the side. Podger has since become one of the great early music interpreters, and performs with London's Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in today's show. Podger is both soloist and conductor in a Haydn violin concerto.
Jan 22
Richard_Strauss
Richard Strauss was the master of the tone poem, evocative music that tells the story of people and places and moods. In today's show, we'll hear two Strauss tone poems, one a love story, the other a dark comedy. The French National Orchestra and Daniele Gatti perform "Don Juan" and "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" in Paris. Plus, the Grammies are coming up on the 31st and we'll feature several Grammy-nominated recordings.
Jan 21
Peter Tchaikovsky
Years ago, there were few if any American orchestras that could measure up to those in Europe. Now, many of the finest bands in the world are from the states. The next orchestral frontier is in Asia, with several talented groups emerging. On today's show, the KBS Symphony Orchestra from Seoul, South Korea, plays Tchaikovsky's sixth symphony. Claus Peter Flor conducts.
Jan 20
Rachel Podger
Violinist Rachel Podger was once told by her teacher that Baroque violin playing was only for those who can't play real violin. So she sneaked out and took Baroque violin lessons on the side. Podger has since become one of the great early music interpreters, and performs with London's Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in today's show. Podger is both soloist and conductor in a Haydn violin concerto.
Jan 19
Ukrainian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk saw everything slip away in an instant seven years ago, when a car crash led to a month-long coma. Gavrylyuk has fully recovered from that accident, and his playing is more powerful and poetic than ever. We'll hear him play Chopin and Scriabin Etudes in concert in Miami. And another musician who has come back from a potentially devastating injury: violinist Peter Oundjian lost full use of his left hand due to a repetitive stress disorder. So he took up conducting. Today he'll lead the Toronto Symphony in excerpts from Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4.
Jan 18
Martin Luther King Jr
On this Martin Luther King Day, our entire show is devoted to a celebration of the life of Dr. King. Music was an important force in the civil rights movement, and important in the personal life of Dr. King as well. Thursday night in Atlanta, the Atlanta Symphony and the singers of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges in Atlanta presented a King celebration concert. We'll hear highlights from that concert in both hours today.
Jan 16
Bruce Adolphe
This weekend on PT, it's our Piano Puzzler. Composer Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a great classical composer. We get a listener on the phone who tries to guess the hidden tune, and the composer whose style Bruce is mimicking. See if you can guess what Bruce is up to, on this weekend's Piano Puzzler.
Jan 15
George Enescu
George Enescu is best known for one work, his Romanian Rhapsody. He wrote it when he was 20, and for the rest of his life, it became his only work that people wanted to hear. It's probably not surprising that Enescu grew to hate it. Today, we'll hear a lively performance of the Romanian Rhapsody by the Central German Radio Symphony, led by Roman Kofman.
Jan 14
Nicholas McGegan
British conductor Nicholas McGegan says, "When I direct an orchestra, I don't see myself as working with them. I'm having fun with them." McGegan turns 60 today, and we'll celebrate the day by listening to him having fun with three different orchestras, Germany's Gottingen Festival Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Jan 13
Bruce Adolphe
Every Wednesday on PT, it's our Piano Puzzler. Composer Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a great classical composer. We get a listener on the phone who tries to guess the hidden tune, and the composer whose style Bruce is mimicking. And...who's looking out for bassoonists? PT, that's who. We'll feature one of our favorite bassoon soloists, Peter Kolkay, in a concert performance of a Bassoon Quartet by Francois Devienne, from the OK Mozart Festival, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. And we'll point out a bassoon highlight in Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, as we hear the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra in concert in Copenhagen.
Jan 12
Simon Rattle
Conductor Simon Rattle is back to introduce the Symphony No. 2, by Johannes Brahms. (Every Tuesday this month, Rattle joins host Fred Child to introduce one of the four Brahms symphonies.) Rattle says "this is a work where real unalloyed joy comes out, and that, in all of Brahms' output, is fairly rare." And we'll go to a concert in Berlin, with Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, in the complete symphony.
Jan 11
Noted for his crusty, curmudgeonly demeanor, Johannes Brahms was usually gruff, not gracious. So when he gave a compliment, you knew he meant it. After hearing Dvorak's "Legends," Brahms wrote to the publisher, "Please tell Dvorak how much his Legends have given me lasting pleasure. They are fascinating, and the man's fresh, exuberant, rich powers of invention are enviable." Those enviable Legends are on the show today, performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony and Ilan Volkov.
Jan 9
Ottorino Respighi loved his adopted city of Rome. He wrote three memorable pieces about the city. Today we'll hear his "Roman Festivals," with its final movement a musical depiction of the sights, sounds, and smells of a Roman Epiphany festival. And, after taking a week off, Bruce Adolphe is back with the first "Piano Puzzler" of the new year. Make a resolution to tune in.
Jan 8
Arvo Part
Arvo Part wrote angular, dissonant music in the 1950s and 60s. After taking time off to study mediaeval works, he had a conversion experience -- he returned to composition a different man, and his music took on a completely different character. We'll hear one of the first things he wrote after his return, a piece that's become iconic for fans of his spare, evocative sound: "Fratres." Plus, two works by a fine 19th century composer whose last name is Franck...but whose first name isn't Cesar. We'll remember the neglected composer, Eduard Franck.
Jan 7
The Parker Quartet
Two special introductions: the winner of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, and PT's Artists-in-Residence. Once every four years, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival names their "Gilmore Artist." The winner gets $300,000 and bookings in major concert halls around the world. Performance Today has the exclusive broadcast announcement of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, and host Fred Child talks with the winner. Also: we'll introduce the Parker Quartet as Performance Today Artists-in-Residence. They'll join Fred in the studio to play Mendelssohn's Quartet No. 2. And we'll begin PT's nationwide string quartet competition for high school and college age string quartets.
Jan 6
We'll have music for Epiphany this January 6th. Ottorino Respighi loved his adopted city of Rome. He wrote three memorable pieces about the city. Today we'll hear his "Roman Festivals," with its final movement a musical depiction of the sights, sounds, and smells of a Roman Epiphany festival. And, after taking a week off, Bruce Adolphe is back with the first "Piano Puzzler" of the new year. Make a resolution to tune in.
Jan 5
Simon Rattle
Conductor Simon Rattle joins Fred to introduce the Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms. This begins a month-long look at the Brahms symphonies with Sir Simon, he'll be on PT every Tuesday through the month of January introducing his performances with the Berlin Philharmonic. And...it was the source of a summer-long debate on PT in 2008, and the subject never goes away -- is it okay to applaud between movements? We'll hear cellist Lynn Harrell in concert in Athens, Georgia, playing a Mendelssohn Sonata. The audience gave him an enthusiastic round of applause after the opening movement. Harrell weighs in on the subject, as does conductor Charles Dutoit, and we invite your comments, as well.
Jan 4
Gil Shaham
A Chinese folk tale became music in the hands of composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao. And violinist Gil Shaham decided that he wanted to share this beautiful piece with the world. He's joined by Lan Shui and the Singapore Symphony for the "Butterfly Lovers" Violin Concerto.
Jan 2
Christoph Eschenbach
The lush sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra is an ideal fit for Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. We'll go to the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia to hear Christoph Eschenbach conduct the final three movements of this emotionally turbulent masterpiece.
Jan 1
Johann Strauss, Jr.
It just wouldn't be New Year's Day without some Strauss from Vienna. Daniel Barenboim conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in two works: the march from "The Gypsy King," and "Roses from the South," from last year's New Year's Day concert in Vienna. Plus, some of the greatest party music of the last three centuries, Handel's Water Music, adds to the celebration. Jeanne Lamon conducts the Tafelmusik Baroque ensemble in Toronto.