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Apr 30
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
One year ago this weekend, Nashville was hit with a devastating flood. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the Nashville Symphony's home, took on 24 feet of murky river water. The hall was closed for 8 months, undergoing $42 million in repairs. On this first anniversary of the floods, we'll revisit a special concert in honor of the re-opening of the Schermerhorn last January.
Apr 29
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
One year ago this weekend, Nashville was hit with a devastating flood. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the Nashville Symphony's home, took on 24 feet of murky river water. The hall was closed for 8 months, undergoing $42 million in repairs. On this first anniversary of the floods, we'll revisit a special concert in honor of the re-opening of the Schermerhorn last January. Plus, music in honor of Britain's royal wedding today.
Apr 28
Cantus
Like a lot of great musical ensembles, the vocal ensemble Cantus started as a group of friends getting together to make music for the sheer joy of it. They turned professional a few years later. Now, they've been called the premier men's vocal ensemble in the country. They're also this year's PT Artists in Residence. In today's show, Cantus sings sacred choral music from the last 400 years.
Apr 27
Every summer, Scottish-born conductor Donald Runnicles exchanges his tam for a cowboy hat, and steps into his role as the music director of Wyoming's Grand Teton Music Festival. This summer marks the festival's 50th anniversary. In today's show, Mozart's Symphony Number 40, led by the cowboy with the brogue, from last year's Grand Teton Music Festival.
Apr 26
"If your eyes were not the color of the moon...oh, my dearest, I would not love you so! But when I hold you, I hold everything that is...in your life I see everything that lives." Composer Peter Lieberson set those verses by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to music, as a loving gift to his second wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. She only had a chance to sing them a few times before she died of cancer in 2006. This past weekend, Peter Lieberson also died. We'll hear an excerpt from Lieberson's "Neruda Songs" in today's show.
Apr 25
What does music taste like? There are a variety of different flavors in today's show: The rich, dark chocolate of a Mozart Wind Serenade, from a concert in New York City. The exotic middle-eastern flavors of Camille Saint-Saens'"Egyptian" Piano Concerto, from a performance in Rotterdam. The heartiness of two Hungarian Dances by Brahms. And the refreshing sparkle of Vivaldi's "Spring" concerto, played by Margaret Batjer and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Apr 23
DiMenna Center
New York's Orchestra of St. Luke's had never had its own home. That's all changed, with the opening of the new DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, a space dedicated to rehearsing and recording and education. As part of the hall's inaugural, PT host Fred Child was there for a very special onstage event, music and conversation with conductor Ivan Fischer and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. We'll have highlights on the show, today and tomorrow.
Apr 22
DiMenna Center
Yesterday, we brought you Part I of our special onstage event with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, in their new home at New York's DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Today is Part II, and includes a performance of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony. Conductor Ivan Fischer calls it "full of life, humor, fun...a wonderful joke." Plus, music in honor of today's Good Friday and Earth Day observances.
Apr 21
DiMenna Center
New York's Orchestra of St. Luke's had never had its own home. That's all changed, with the opening of the new DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, a space dedicated to rehearsing and recording and education. As part of the hall's inaugural, PT host Fred Child was there for a very special onstage event, music and conversation with conductor Ivan Fischer and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. We'll have highlights on the show, today and tomorrow.
Apr 20
Bernstein 2
PT recently talked with cinematographer Rob Hahn (Batman Returns, The Addams Family) about his life-long relationship with Bach's St. Matthew Passion. He told of blaring it out his apartment window when he was six, of performing it with the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein when he was nine, of weeping at a recent performance where his daughter was one of the soloists. In today's show, we'll hear the 1962 recording featuring Leonard Bernstein, the New York Philharmonic, and boy soprano Rob Hahn.
Apr 19
Japanese flag
In the immediate aftermath of last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the world rushed to help. Classical musicians have been performing benefit concerts ever since, raising money for relief efforts. In today's show, we'll go to one of the first, by the Radio France Philharmonic, given just a week after the tragedy.
Apr 18
Ludwig van Beethoven
Those opening four notes. They're so familiar that they're almost a cliche. How many times have we heard them and thought, oh, that again? We've heard it so many times before. In today's show, we'll hear Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 like never before, in a spectacular performance by the Dresden Staatskapelle. Plus, the do-it-yourself success story of American Pianist Simone Dinnerstein. She plays a Bach suite from a concert in Berlin.
Apr 16
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler had a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. He also had a pretty good opinion of himself. When a friend came to visit him at his summer home in the Austrian countryside, the friend stopped to admire the spectacular scenery. Mahler waved his hand impatiently. "Don't bother looking at the view," he said. "I've already composed it." We'll go to a concert by the New York Philharmonic to hear some of Mahler's larger-than-life music, part of his Third Symphony.
Apr 15
Martha Argerich
Pianist Martha Argerich is one of those rare artists who works outside the established system. She signs no contracts, plays when and where and what she chooses, frequently cancelling performances at the last minute. And yet she inspires a reverent adoration in her many fans, who refer to her as Madame Argerich. In today's show, Madame Argerich plays Chopin's First Piano Concerto, from a concert in Warsaw. Plus, we'll have late-breaking news regarding the fate of the financially-troubled Philadelphia Orchestra.
Apr 14
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler had a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. He also had a pretty good opinion of himself. When a friend came to visit him at his summer home in the Austrian countryside, the friend stopped to admire the spectacular scenery. Mahler waved his hand impatiently. "Don't bother looking at the view," he said. "I've already composed it." We'll go to a concert by the New York Philharmonic to hear some of Mahler's larger-than-life music, part of his Third Symphony.
Apr 13
Richard_Strauss
Mozart called him Don Giovanni. A heartless womanizer, he was a rogue and a cad, with no sense of remorse. But Richard Strauss called him Don Juan, and gave him a soul. The story behind Strauss' great tone poem, Don Juan, is in today's show, along with a performance by Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Apr 12
Alisa Weilerstein
In today's show, music and conversation with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, on stage with Fred Child at the Virginia Arts Festival. She's only 28 years old, but plays with the depth of emotion and understanding of someone who's been around for much longer than that. A knockout performance at last summer's BBC Proms had one critic comparing her to the great Mstislav Rostropovich. We'll hear her play selections by Osvaldo Golijov and Johann Sebastian Bach in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Apr 11
Musikverein Goldener Saal
Vienna's Musikverein is one of those spectacular old European concert halls. The walls and ceilings shimmer with real gold. And the acoustics are every bit as magnificent as the decor. Up until recently, pianist Lang Lang had never played there. He finally got his chance, playing a solo recital that included Beethoven's "Appassionata" Sonata. It's in today's show. Plus, we'll hear a performance from the Musikverein from a special New Year's Day concert. Daniel Barenboim and the Vienna Philharmonic rattled those golden walls and ceilings with Johann Strauss, Jr.'s "Thunder and Lightning Polka."
Apr 9
Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten drew from his own experience of the sea when writing his opera Peter Grimes. Britten grew up on the wild and unpredictable North Sea coast, and it shows in his music. He painted a portrait of the benevolence and malevolence of the sea as only one who knows it well can. In today's show, Mark Elder leads the Halle Orchestra in Four Sea Interludes from Britten's Peter Grimes.
Apr 8
Peter Tchaikovsky's violin concerto had a rocky start. The first two violinists who tried to master it gave up. The third gave the work its premiere, but was panned by critics. One said the soloist had not so much played the violin as "torn it apart, pounded it black and blue." Nowadays, the Tchaikovsky concerto is an audience favorite, a staple in every violinist's repertoire. We'll hear one of the best, Christian Tetzlaff, in concert with the Montreal Symphony.
Apr 7
Aaron Copland
Aaron Copland was working on a new project in 1944, a collaboration with choreographer Martha Graham. There was a rough story line about a young couple starting out married life in rural Pennsylvania. But the ballet didn't have a name, so Copland called it simply, Ballet for Martha. Only at the last minute did it get its real name, Appalachian Spring. In today's show, we'll hear Aaron Copland getting a good chuckle out of the story (from a 1980 interview), and a performance from Los Angeles.
Apr 6
Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten drew from his own experience of the sea when writing his opera Peter Grimes. Britten grew up on the wild and unpredictable North Sea coast, and it shows in his music. He painted a portrait of the benevolence and malevolence of the sea as only one who knows it well can. In today's show, Mark Elder leads the Halle Orchestra in Four Sea Interludes from Britten's Peter Grimes.
Apr 5
Midori
Violinist Midori joined host Fred Child in our PT studios recently for an hour of music and conversation. She talks about the singular power of music by Bach ("so spiritual, so cleansing, so difficult") and about the many ways in which she is reaching out to young musicians, and young listeners. Plus, Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony in a performance of Dvorak's Seventh Symphony.
Apr 4
couperin
Whenever King Louis XIV traveled, his entire court traveled with him including musicians. Composer Francois Couperin earned a decent living, got to stay at Versailles and every Sunday, at the king's request, he performed the same four orchestral suites he had written because they were the king's favorite. We'll listen to those tunes which made life very comfortable for Couperin and his king.
Apr 2
Lee Hoiby
This weekend, PT remembers American composer Lee Hoiby who died on Monday at age 85. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of a used-car salesman.
Apr 1
Ludwig van Beethoven
Music scholars have just confirmed what they hoped was true: a 200 year-old nightshirt recently found in a closet in Vienna did indeed belong to Beethoven. The historical significance is not in the cloth, though, but in the musical sketch inked on the sleeve. Pianist Stephen Hough breathes life into this newly discovered Beethoven melody on Today's Performance Today.