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Jun 29
Magnus Lindberg
Every week Performance Today features music written in the 21st Century. This week, we'll hear the world premiere performance of a piece Magnus Lindberg wrote to celebrate Alan Gilbert's first concert as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Lindberg is a Finnish composer. His piece is called EXPO. We'll hear that music signaling a brand new era from a live concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Jun 28
Magnus Lindberg
Every week Performance Today features music written in the 21st Century. This week, we'll hear the world premiere performance of a piece Magnus Lindberg wrote to celebrate Alan Gilbert's first concert as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Lindberg is a Finnish composer. His piece is called EXPO. We'll hear that music signalling a brand new era from a live concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Jun 27
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
On Thursday's Performance Today we'll hear a concert performance that is precise and polished. But it only got this way through professional disagreement. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has no conductor. Members of the orchestra lead rehearsals and everyone gets their say. Tune in to hear the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra perform Schubert's Symphony No. 4 at Carnegie Hall.
Jun 26
Jean-Fery Rebel
Jean-Fery Rebel was a prodigy and a progressive. In France in the late 1600s and early 1700s, he pushed and prodded and stretched the conventions of music, from the time he was an 8 year-old boy wonder on the violin through his long and productive life as a composer. He could do it with authority, since he was a virtuoso on just about every instrument. On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll hear a trio by the musical rabble-rouser Rebel.
Jun 25
Valery Gergiev
They are a truly global all-star orchestra. On Tuesday's Performance Today we'll hear a performance by the World Orchestra for Peace with players from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Vienna Philharmonic. In fact, musicians from more than 70 orchestras, from more than 40 countries, join together a few times a year to reaffirm "the unique strength of music as an ambassador for peace." Tune in to hear Valery Gergiev conduct the World Orchestra for Peace in concert in Chicago.
Jun 24
Birthday Cake
What if Joseph Haydn had written the Happy Birthday song? Or Ludwig van Beethoven? On Monday's Performance Today we'll hear composer Peter Heidrich's Variations on the Happy Birthday song which he has written in the style of a dozen different composers. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg leads the New Century Chamber Orchestra in that performance. Also, tune in to find out what makes Happy Birthday one of the most expensive songs to perform.
Jun 22
Pablo Ziegler
For ten years, Pablo Ziegler played piano with the legendary tango composer Astor Piazzolla. Today, Ziegler is a tango composer well-respected in his own right, often combining classical, jazz and tango traditions. On Friday's Performance Today, our featured 21st century piece is a new tango suite by Pablo Ziegler called Suite Canyengue.
Jun 21
Pablo Ziegler
For ten years, Pablo Ziegler played piano with the legendary tango composer Astor Piazzolla. Today, Ziegler is a tango composer well-respected in his own right, often combining classical, jazz and tango traditions. On Friday's Performance Today, our featured 21st century piece is a new tango suite by Pablo Ziegler called Suite Canyengue.
Jun 20
Ray Chen
Ray Chen is a violinist. He's only 24 years old, but already he has played some big big concerts. Nothing, though, compared to the concert he played this past winter in Stockholm. It was the annual Nobel Prize concert. "For me, this has been the most special concert in my life yet, " Chen said. "To play for these Nobel Prize Laureates, that is truly inspiring." We'll hear Chen's inspired performance of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic on Thursday's Performance Today.
Jun 19
rostropovich
They seemed to be complete opposites: Mstislav Rostropovich was the fiery Soviet cellist. Benjamin Britten was the cool-tempered English composer. What they shared were uncompromising convictions about social issues and musical genius. On Wednesday's Performance Today Coleman Itzkoff, our Young Artist in Residence, brings to life music that Britten wrote for Rostropovich. It's music of fire and ice.
Jun 18
Aaron Copland
In 1942, choreographer Agnes de Mille came to composer Aaron Copland with an idea: a ballet about cowboys. Copland responded by saying..."A cowboy ballet? I've already composed one of those," he said. That was called Billy the Kid. "Can't you do a ballet about Ellis Island?" Agnes de Mille said no, Aaron Copland shrugged, composition on the ballet Rodeo began and some of the most memorable music of the 20th century was written. We'll hear dances from the ballet Rodeo on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Jun 17
Cellist Coleman Itzkoff
On Monday's Performance Today we'll feature another member of the young classical vanguard: 20 year-old cellist Coleman Itzkoff. He was with PT this past year as a Young Artist in Residence and we're glad to bring him back this summer. Itzkoff plays music by Beethoven or, as he puts it, he acts music by Beethoven. There are so many different characters, coming and going from the stage, Coleman Itzkoff says he feels like an actor in a one-man play, performing Beethoven's Cello Sonata No. 4, Op. 102.
Jun 15
Beatrice Rana
It's hard to imagine the pressure that was on pianists at the Van Cliburn Piano Competition last week. "It's pretty difficult to deal with the pressure," competitor Beatrice Rana said. "Thirteen people —they decide your fate as a pianist." Luckily for Rana, the jury sided in her favor. She took home the silver medal on Sunday and won the audience award. We'll hear that winning performance of the Schumann Piano Quintet with Beatrice Rana and the Brentano String Quartet on Thursday's Performance Today.
Jun 14
Conrad Tao
Pianist and composer Conrad Tao has a deep appreciation for a huge range of music. "You talk about Rachmaninoff's lyricism," he says, "but you can also talk about Brian Wilson's (of The Beach Boys) lyricism." On Friday's Performance Today we'll hear brand new music by Conrad Tao that draws on that huge range of music. Tao is an accomplished classical pianist who plays concerts around the world. He writes and produces his own indie rock and dance music. He just oversaw a three-day music festival in Brooklyn. We'll hear a new piece he wrote for solo piano called vestiges.
Jun 13
Beatrice Rana
It's hard to imagine the pressure that was on pianists at the Van Cliburn Piano Competition last week. "It's pretty difficult to deal with the pressure," competitor Beatrice Rana said. "Thirteen people —they decide your fate as a pianist." Luckily for Rana, the jury sided in her favor. She took home the silver medal on Sunday and won the audience choice award. We'll hear that winning performance of the Schumann Piano Quintet with Beatrice Rana and the Brentano String Quartet on Thursday's Performance Today.
Jun 12
Mozart
There's nothing quite like a best friend. On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll hear two pieces by famous composer written for their less-famous closest confidantes. One piece is a horn concerto by Mozart composed for his friend Joseph Leutgeb. On the original music manuscript, Mozart scribbled in little notes to Leutgeb all through the music such as, "come on, quicken up here" and, "be a good fellow, have courage!" But at the end, Mozart wrote "thank heavens, that's enough, enough!"
Jun 11
beethoven
Beethoven was 17 when he began work on what would become his first major orchestral piece, his Piano Concerto in B-flat. When he was 21, he took it along when he moved to the big city of Vienna. He kept working on it, and, four years later, he played the concerto at his official coming-out party - his public debut as a pianist in Vienna. On Tuesday's Performance Today we'll hear the first piano concerto Beethoven started, but not the first one he finished.
Jun 10
Vadym Kholodenko
After two and a half weeks of incredible keyboard artistry - not to mention some intense musical drama - the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition wrapped up last night. On Monday's Performance Today, we'll bring you the big stories, the new Gold Medalist, and a Gold Medal winning performance.
Jun 8
Movie reel
Music was a part of movies since before they even had sound. During the silent film era, pianists or organists would play along in the theater. From the 1930s on, Hollywood has known the value of music in supporting, and even sometimes creating a sense of emotion and drama. On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll sample powerful music from the movies. A symphony by Mozart that helped to create just the right sense of dread in the 1984 film 'Amadeus.' Music by Grieg, artfully adapted for the 2010 film 'The Social Network.' And Joshua Bell joins Fred Child to talk about a 21st-century violin concerto based on music John Corigliano wrote for the 1993 film 'The Red Violin.'
Jun 7
Eric Whitacre
"I thought I was going to be a pop star," Eric Whitacre told Performance Today. "I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I'd be a classical composer." In a sense, Whitacre is now both. He is a choral composer. When it comes to the world of choral music, though, Whitacre is welcomed like a rock star. On Friday's Performance Today we'll hear Eric Whitacre's latest, a 2013 composition for the Tallis Scholars.
Jun 6
piano hands
The 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is heading down the homestretch. We began two weeks ago with 30 pianists. Now we are down to six finalists. The judges will pick a winner Sunday night. For the first time since 1997, there is an American among the finalists: Sean Chen. On Thursday's Performance Today, we'll hear a highlight from the first round of the competition performed by the 24 year-old pianist from Los Angeles.
Jun 5
Movie reel
Music was a part of movies since before they even had sound. During the silent film era, pianists or organists would play along in the theater. From the 1930s on, Hollywood has known the value of music in supporting, and even sometimes creating a sense of emotion and drama. On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll sample powerful music from the movies. A symphony by Mozart that helped to create just the right sense of dread in the 1984 film 'Amadeus.' Music by Grieg, artfully adapted for the 2010 film 'The Social Network.' And Joshua Bell joins Fred Child to talk about a 21st-century violin concerto based on music John Corigliano wrote for the 1993 film 'The Red Violin.'
Jun 4
Simon Rattle
How many jokes still work after more than 200 years? On Tuesday's Performance Today, Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, in a concert performance of the Symphony No. 90, by Joseph Haydn. Rattle says he loves the elegance and sophistication of Joseph Haydn's writing, but also a silly joke at the end of this piece. If you simply play it the way Haydn wrote it, Rattle says the 200 year-old joke never gets old.
Jun 3
leif ove andsnes 02
On Monday's Performance Today we'll sample performances from the annual Ojai Festival which begins this Thursday in California. Last year, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes was the music director. We'll hear him perform music by Mozart in what he describes "this place of beauty and slow pulse." And we'll talk with the music director for the 2013 festival: dancer, director and choreographer Mark Morris.
Jun 1
Scarlet Tanager
On an early morning walk, Antonin Dvorak heard the song of a red bird, with black wings. Dvorak was transfixed. He quickly scribbled down the melody of that bird song, then hurried home to include the song of the Scarlet Tanager in his new string quartet. We'll hear the Miro Quartet play Dvorak's American Quartet, with that American bird song in the third movement, on this weekend's Performance Today, from APM.