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Jul 31
Christoph von Dohnanyi
Conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi led the Cleveland Orchestra for 18 years. When his tenure came to an end in 2002, the orchestra liked him so much, they named Dohnanyi "Conductor Laureate." Something similar happened in London. Dohnanyi led the Philharmonia Orchestra for 10 years. Again, they didn't want to see the relationship come to an end so the Philharmonia gave Dohnanyi the title: "Honorary Conductor for Life." On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll hear from a conductor whom is not just respected, but loved by the orchestras he works with.
Jul 30
Johann Sebastian Bach
If you enjoy classical music, there's no escaping Johann Sebastian Bach. This 18th Century German composer continues to influence how we organize pitches, put notes in order and create harmony. We'll hear Bach at work in the 21st Century from modern performances of his music to new compositions playing upon Bach's themes, on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Jul 29
C.P.E. Bach
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the son of the immortal Johann Sebastian Bach. But CPE was also a great composer and musician in his own right. He was the harpsichordist and composer for the Prussian King, Frederick the Great. We'll hear a cello concerto by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, on Monday's Performance Today.
Jul 27
Maurice Ravel
Composer Maurice Ravel was a dear friend of the Gaudin family. When World War One began, the brothers Pascal and Pierre Gaudin proudly signed up for the French army. On the day they arrived, the two brothers were killed by a single German shell. On this weekend's Performance Today we'll hear music Ravel wrote this in memory of his friends Pierre and Pascal, Le Tombeau do Couperin. And we'll sample music celebrating new life, the birth of a royal baby.
Jul 26
Gabriel Faure
French composer Gabriel Faure spent five weeks on vacation in Venice. The feel and mood and music of the city, though, stayed with him. Over the next several decades, he wrote 20 pieces inspired by Venice. On Friday's Performance Today we'll hear one of those pieces, a musical image of the famous gondolas.
Jul 25
Benjamin Britten
Growing up, composer Benjamin Britten's house had a great view of the North Sea. He saw the ocean first thing in the morning. He saw it by moonlight. He saw it calm and placid and through the havoc of tumultuous storms. It was a deep part of Britten and he brought the sea to life in music, just as real as any human opera character. We'll hear Britten's Sea Interludes from the BBC Proms on Thursday's Performance Today.
Jul 24
Maurice Ravel
Composer Maurice Ravel was a dear friend of the Gaudin family. When World War One began, the brothers Pascal and Pierre Gaudin proudly signed up for the French army. On the day they arrived, the two brothers were killed by a single German shell. On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll hear music Ravel wrote this in memory of his friends Pierre and Pascal, Le Tombeau do Couperin. And we'll sample music celebrating new life, the birth of a royal baby.
Jul 23
joann falletta
At a time of tremendous uncertainty and instability for several American orchestras, the Buffalo Philharmonic is a model of certainty and stability. That allows the Buffalo Philharmonic to focus on making music. On Tuesday's Performance Today, we'll hear the rich, warm sound of the Buffalo Philharmonic as JoAnn Falletta conducts music by Antonin Dvorak.
Jul 22
Wendy Warner and Irina Nuzova
Russian pianist Irina Nuzova says that even though Sergei Rachmaninoff moved away from Russia, his music was always fundamentally Russian. "You can always hear in his every note, every melody," she said, "where he comes from. That his heart was there." On Monday's Performance Today Irina Nuzova and Wendy Warner join Fred Child to talk about, and to play Romantic Russian music for cello and piano.
Jul 20
Tanglewood
On this weekenda€™s Performance Today, we'll sample from a concert that the Boston Symphony and pianist Peter Serkin gave at their summer home in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. It was the perfect night for a concert outdoors: a temperate New England summer evening with the stars coming out overhead, and an amiable audience of 16,000 enjoying great music as Beethoven's Choral Fantasy wafted over the breeze.
Jul 19
Tanglewood
On Friday's Performance Today, we'll sample from a concert that the Boston Symphony and pianist Peter Serkin gave at their summer home in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. It was the perfect night for a concert outdoors: a temperate New England summer evening with the stars coming out overhead, and an amiable audience of 16,000 enjoying great music as Beethoven's Choral Fantasy wafted over the breeze.
Jul 18
Mika Yoshida
Every day on PT, we have concert highlights you can't hear anyplace else. On Thursday's show, we'll take you to a concert hall with what might be the best view in the world of classical music. The Shalin Liu Center is right on the Atlantic coastline in Rockport, Massachusetts. And if you draw back the curtain right the stage, the audience gets a view through a floor to ceiling window of the bay that opens into the Atlantic Ocean. Clouds dancing overhead, and fishing boats on the water provide just the right background for a performance by marimba soloist Mika Yoshida.
Jul 17
Mozart
When the publisher saw the music for Mozart's most recent 1785 string quartet, he thought "this can't be right!" The introduction seemed to be full of wrong notes. The publisher sent Mozart a note, asking if there was any chance that the composer had sent a rough draft instead of the final composition. "Nope," Mozart responded. "I meant to do that." Coming up on Performance Today, we'll hear Mozart's puzzling and progressive string quartet, nicknamed the Dissonance Quartet, in a performance by the Orion Quartet.
Jul 16
Alphonse de Lamartine
A French gentleman named Alphonse de Lamartine wrote a poem suggesting that every single thing we do--from the moment we're born until our last breath, every step, every meal, every job, every kiss, every heartbreak--they're all just preludes to the real show. The show that begins when we exhale for the very last time. Lamartine's ambitious poem inspired ambitious music by Franz Liszt called Les Preludes. On Performance Today we'll hear Liszt try to capture the meaning of life and death over the course of 15 minutes of music performed by the Berlin Philharmonic.
Jul 15
Narek Hakhnazaryan
At 25 years old, Narek Hakhnazaryan is one of the great young cellists in the world today. He won a Gold Medal at the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow despite receiving a notoriously offensive slight from a conductor. Hakhnazaryan has put all of that behind him and now he's introducing himself to the finest orchestras around the world. On Monday's Performance Today we'll catch up with him in Hamburg, Germany, playing the Cello Concerto by Robert Schumann.
Jul 13
Zoltan Kodaly
It was a brave choice in 1939. Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly wrote a set of shimmering variations on a folk song called "Fly, Peacock, Fly," a song about escaping from tyranny. His piece was promptly banned by the Hungarian authorities in 1940, but JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic have brought it back to life in a recent concert. On this weekenda€™s Performance Today, we'll hear the once-banned work from a live performance in Buffalo, New York.
Jul 12
interlochen Center for the Performing Arts
Just like any summer camp, the Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan has rituals. Some are musical -- the annual performance of the Interlochen Theme -- and some involve not notes, but ice cream. We'll hear a little of both on Friday's Performance Today.
Jul 11
Peteris Vasks
Latvian composer Peteris Vasks was once asked if his music contained sadness. He answered, "Perhaps... but it also contains a great deal of idealism. I go through pessimism finally to confirm... that I say 'yes' until my last breath to the beauty of this world." On Thursday's Performance Today we'll hear a piece called Epifania, by Peteris Vasks, in concert from Estonia.
Jul 10
The Calidore Quartet
The Calidore String Quartet is joining Performance Today this week, as our Young Artists in Residence. The four young string players are all in their 20s and all students at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. It takes musical skill, communication skills and interpersonal skills to be successful as a quartet or, as one member of the Calidore String Quartet put it, "the original reality show." The Calidore String Quartet plays music by Mendelssohn on Wednesday's Performance Today.
Jul 9
Zoltan Kodaly
It was a brave choice in 1939. Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly wrote a set of shimmering variations on a folk song called "Fly, Peacock, Fly," a song about escaping from tyranny. His piece was promptly banned by the Hungarian authorities in 1940, but JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic have brought it back to life in a recent concert. On Tuesday's Performance Today, we'll hear the once-banned work from a live performance in Buffalo, New York.
Jul 8
Music @ Menlo
Silicon Valley is a center for technological creativity and musical creativity. On Monday's Performance Today we'll spend some time at one of the great American music festivals, Music@Menlo, in Palo Alto, California. Tune in for everything from early English music to a rollicking Carnival of the Animals.
Jul 6
Alessio Bax
When Alessio Bax was five years old, he desperately wanted to play the organ. There was one problem: his legs were not long enough for his feet to reach the pedals. So he took piano lessons, impatient for the day when he could switch. Wouldn't you know it...he fell in love with the piano. Alessio Bax joins Fred Child in the studio on Monday's Performance Today to play music by Bach and Brahms.
Jul 5
Steven Mackey
There is a kind of scampering exuberance at the end the new Piano Concerto by American composer Steven Mackey called "Stumble to Grace." Mackey tells PT that it's inspired by the image of his young son learning to lift himself up, then to walk, then to run. On Friday's Performance Today, we'll hear this two year-old composition and Mackey talks about the now four year-old for whom it was written. Tune in for this special concert from Sydney, Australia.
Jul 4
Fireworks
It all began with a couple of friends who liked to drive around Boston listening to police radios and rushing to the scene of fires. Conductor Arthur Fiedler and his friend David Mugar were pondering how to attract a big crowd to their Boston Pops Orchestra July 4th events. Their mutual love of pyrotechnics led them to the idea of playing the1812 Overture and using actual howitzers during the performance. It concluded, of course, with a big splash of fireworks at the very end. On Performance Today, we'll hear the 1812 Overture, plus American folk tunes and patriotic marches for Independence Day 2013.
Jul 3
Mozart
The great Johann Sebastian Bach had died 30 years earlier. But at that point, nobody really knew his work. It hadn't been published, and the only people who had it were devotees who passed around hand-written copies. One of those devotees was the Baron von Swieten, in Vienna. The Baron had a young friend named Mozart, and every Sunday, Mozart would go see the Baron, and play Bach. Mozart was enthralled. He copied out the music, studied what Bach had written for the keyboard, and re-arranged it for string quartet. On Wednesday's Performance Today, we'll hear the Orion Quartet play fugues by Bach, lovingly re-imagined by Mozart.
Jul 2
Gil Shaham
A few years ago, violinist Gil Shaham was introduced to a piece he'd never heard. As his friend played the piece for Gil, his friend burst into tears. The music was so emotional. The piece is based on an old story about two star-crossed lovers. After their tragic death, they're reincarnated, and reunited as butterflies. On Tuesday's Performance Today Gil Shaham talks about discovering the Butterfly Lovers Concerto, a piece written in 1959 by two Chinese composers.
Jul 1
Alessio Bax
When Alessio Bax was five years old, he desperately wanted to play the organ. There was one problem: his legs were not long enough for his feet to reach the pedals. So he took piano lessons, impatient for the day when he could switch. Wouldn't you know it...he fell in love with the piano. Alessio Bax joins Fred Child in the studio on Monday's Performance Today to play music by Bach and Brahms.