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Sep 30
Charlie Albright
Pianist Charlie Albright has been in the studios all week. Today, he wraps up his stay as the newest PT Young Artist in Residence with one of his own improvisations and a transcription of Johann Strauss, Jr.'s, Blue Danube Waltz. Plus, the wacky mating call of the French composer: Hector Berlioz's bizarre love song to a woman he'd never met, his Symphonie Fantastique. We'll hear it from a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Sep 29
Julia Bogorad Kogan
The road to the concert hall is paved with countless hours spent alone in the practice room. In today's show, we continue our series on the Art of Practice. Fred Child visited with flutist Julia Bogorad-Kogan to find out more about her practice routine. And PT Young Artist in Residence, pianist Charlie Albright, talks about what it's like to combine a whirlwind concert schedule with the life of a full-time student.
Sep 28
Leos Janacek
It was a piece born of anguish, and nearly destroyed by anguish. In today's show, the story of 1.X.1905, a remarkable piano sonata by Leos Janacek. Janacek wrote it to protest the death of a student, and for unknown reasons, tried to destroy it when it was finished. PT Young Artist in Residence Charlie Albright is back in the studios today to perform it.
Sep 27
Ludwig van Beethoven
When it comes to upholding traditions, the Brits do it better than just about anybody else. Their big summer music festival, the BBC Proms, is full of traditions. And there's none bigger than their annual performance of Beethoven's monumental Ninth Symphony. We'll hear the final two movements, including the famous Ode to Joy. Plus, PT Young Artist in Residence Charlie Albright is back in the studios for music and conversation with Fred Child.
Sep 26
Charlie Albright
PT's newest Young Artist in Residence is pianist Charlie Albright. He joins host Fred Child in the PT studios, sharing music and conversation every day this week. We'll get a chance to meet this surprising and talented young man. He's pursuing a music career with all the passion and energy you might expect, but there's more to him than that. In today's show, he plays a piano sonata by Joseph Haydn.
Sep 24
george gershwin
Around the turn of the 20th century, the world went car crazy. Pretty soon, the sound of the city was the blaring of car horns. When George Gershwin visited Paris, he loved the sound of the horns on the winding stone streets so much that he brought four authentic Parisian taxi horns back with him to use at the premiere of his work, an American in Paris. Leonard Slatkin leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Gershwin's homage to Paris.
Sep 23
Liszt
Most people have at least a little respect for death. Not Franz Liszt. He took the Dies Irae, a chant from the medieval mass for the dead, and turned it into bombastic 15-minute piece for piano and orchestra. In effect giving death a slap in the face. We'll hear Liszt's Totentanz, the Dance of Death, ironically from a concert celebrating his 200th birthday.
Sep 22
Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (Solemn Mass) isn't so much a declaration of piety as it is a battle with the Almighty. It's massive. It's unsettling, even thorny in places. Just like the composer himself. Sir Colin Davis led a performance several weeks ago at the BBC Proms in London. We'll hear highlights in today's show. Plus, Sergei Prokofiev's homage to Haydn, his Classical Symphony.
Sep 21
george gershwin
Around the turn of the 20th century, the world went car crazy. Pretty soon, the sound of the city was the blaring of car horns. When George Gershwin visited Paris, he loved the sound of the horns on the winding stone streets so much that he brought four authentic Parisian taxi horns back with him to use at the premiere of his work, an American in Paris. Leonard Slatkin leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Gershwin's homage to Paris.
Sep 20
Alisa Weilerstein
The MacArthur Foundation calls it the Fellows Program. But it's better known by its nickname, the Genius Grant. Each winner receives $500,000 over five years, with no strings attached. Today, the MacArthur Foundation released its list of 2011 Fellows. Two of them are classical musicians. Host Fred Child spoke with one of them, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, about the award. The full story is in today's show.
Sep 19
Maria Joao Pires
Maria Joao Pires just might be the Brett Favre of pianists. She told one newspaper she would stop playing in 2011. Then she said she had no intention to retire at all. Now she's thinking maybe in 2014. Free agent Maria Joao Pires signed on with David Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra for a concert at the Super Bowl of summer music festivals, the BBC Proms in London. She'll play Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27.
Sep 17
Degas Ballet Rehearsal painting
Critics beware. History may not judge your work all that kindly. Case in point: Peter Tchaikovsky's ballet, Swan Lake. It was a big flop. Critics didn't think much of it. One said it suffered from "a poverty of creative ideas." That critic is long forgotten, but Tchaikovsky's music has lived on. Valery Gergiev leads the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in highlights from Swan Lake, from a concert last month in London.
Sep 16
Gustav Mahler
Yesterday we heard part one of our special two-day broadcast of Mahler's Fifth Symphony, from a concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony. Today we'll hear the final two movements, beginning with the famous Adagietto. Conductor Manfred Honeck says it's not funeral music, as many people think. He says it's a love song written by Mahler to his future wife Alma. Honeck leads the Pittsburgh Symphony, from a concert last Sunday in Berlin.
Sep 15
Manfred Honeck, conductor
The Pittsburgh Symphony just wrapped up a 12-concert European tour. Perhaps the most special of all 12 of those concerts was on Sunday, September 11th, in Berlin. Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh musicians dedicated their performance of Mahler's Fifth Symphony to all the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Today and tomorrow, we'll hear Mahler's dramatic Fifth Symphony from Berlin.
Sep 14
Degas Ballet Rehearsal painting
Critics beware. History may not judge your work all that kindly. Case in point: Peter Tchaikovsky's ballet, Swan Lake. It was a big flop. Critics didn't think much of it. One said it suffered from "a poverty of creative ideas." That critic is long forgotten, but Tchaikovsky's music has lived on. Valery Gergiev leads the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in highlights from Swan Lake, from a concert last month in London.
Sep 13
Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich's Ballet, the Age of Gold, is a witty and raucous farce, full of what conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen calls "the most skillfully-written wrong notes in the history of music." It's a Soviet take on the old good guys vs. bad guys story. The good guys are a hard-working Soviet soccer team. The bad guys are the greedy Western capitalists who try to exploit them. It's no surprise who wins in this delightful ballet by Shostakovich. In today's show, we'll hear highlights from a recent Proms concert in London.
Sep 12
Mozart
Death stood peering over Mozart's shoulder as he struggled to finish his Requiem Mass in 1791. Mozart was ill, and seemed to know that he was in a race against time. He wrote frenziedly. But in the end, death didn't have the patience to wait for him to finish. He died at age 35, leaving it to others to complete this most beautiful of Requiems. In today's show, a performance of Mozart's Requiem from a concert at the BBC Proms last month.
Sep 10
World Trade Center New York
In the days and weeks after the 9/11 tragedy, musicians responded in the only way they knew how. They played. For the dead, for the injured, and for all of us who were struggling to cope with the enormity of what had happened. In today's show, we look at how the nation responded through music to the horrors of September 11, 2001. And we'll hear several new works written in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Sep 9
World Trade Center New York
In the days and weeks after the 9/11 tragedy, musicians responded in the only way they knew how. They played. For the dead, for the injured, and for all of us who were struggling to cope with the enormity of what had happened. In today's show, we look at how the nation responded through music to the horrors of September 11, 2001. And we'll hear several new works written in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Sep 8
Simone Dinnerstein
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein completely changed the way she practiced after one "nightmare performance" where she suffered a memory lapse. In today's show, she joins host Fred Child in our occasional series on the Art of Practice. And Emily Reese, avid gamer and host of the popular podcast Top Score, joins Fred to talk about classical music and video games.
Sep 7
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto lay in a stack of papers, collecting dust, on the desk of the great 19th century violinist Joseph Joachim. It wasn't discovered until after Joachim's death. Now, you may wonder what a violinist was doing with Schumann's music. In today's show, the story of the many transformations of Schumann's Cello Concerto, and a performance by a violinist, from a concert in Australia.
Sep 6
Trio Mediaeval
It's long been known that music has the ability to help transport us out of our daily lives. It's one of the reasons so many of us listen to it. In today's show, we have a whole hour of music about other realms of being, and higher planes of existence. "Visions of Another World," by Karim Al-Zand, "Music of the Spheres," by Josef Strauss, and a Transcendental Etude by Franz Liszt. Plus an ethereal Norwegian vision of heaven from the women of Trio Mediaeval.
Sep 5
Fleck Meyer Hussain Trio
When you think of three instruments that just naturally belong together, it's not likely your first thought would be banjo, string bass, and tabla (Indian drums). Banjoist Bela Fleck, bassist Edgar Meyer, and tabla player Zakir Hussain come from very different musical backgrounds, but they've formed a unique and compelling trio that is capturing the attention of music lovers. PT's Fred Child hosted a live event recently in Miami, featuring interviews and performances by Fleck, Meyer, and Hussain. We'll hear highlights on today's show.
Sep 3
Bruce Adolphe
Bruce Adolphe and the Piano Puzzler have been on a summer vacation for the last couple of weeks, leading to more than a few cases of Puzzler withdrawal in the PT community. Luckily, they're back in today's show. Play along with Fred and Bruce; see if you can guess the hidden tune and the mystery composer in this week's Piano Puzzler.
Sep 2
Bruce Adolphe
Maybe all he really wanted to do was direct, like the old Hollywood joke goes. But the fact is that Josef Stalin, murderous Russian despot, did get involved in the movie biz. In today's show, the story of Alexander Nevsky, a 1938 propaganda film ordered up by Stalin, and a concert performance of the film score, written by Sergei Prokofiev.
Sep 1
Manny Laureano
Every day on PT, listeners can enjoy terrific live performances from around the world. But how did those musicians get to be so good? What kind of hard work lies behind the seemingly effortless performance on stage? In today's show, another in our occasional series that we call the Art of Practicing. Trumpeter Manny Laureano says he's more like a singer than you might think.