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Aug 31
Brooklyn Rider
It's the final weekend of the summer season. Labor Day weekend. We'll hear summertime music from concerts in Dallas, in Minneapolis, and in New York City. Plus, Bruce Adolphe joins us for this week's piano puzzler, on this weekend's Performance Today.
Aug 30
Stanislav Khristenko
It's the final weekend of the summer season. Labor Day weekend. We'll hear summertime music from concerts in Dallas, in Minneapolis, and in New York City. Plus, a Gold Medal performance from Stanislav Khristenko, winner of the Cleveland Piano Competition. On Friday's Performance Today.
Aug 29
King Frederick the Great
When Johann Sebastian Bach arrived at the court of King Frederick the Great, the King had a wickedly convoluted little tune that he gave to Bach. He asked Bach to improvise around it. No problem for the old master. Coming up, a gorgeous Trio Sonata that Bach wrote, based on the King's little tune. It's on Thursday's Performance Today, from a concert at the Music@Menlo Festival, in Silicon Valley.
Aug 28
J S Bach
In the past 10 years, many classical music organizations in the US have struggled to make ends meet so, while disheartening, it was not a big a surprise to hear that the Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington was shutting down. But it was a big surprise a year later to hear that the festival had re-organized, re-energized and was restarting, bigger and better than ever. On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll hear the story of the re-ignited Bellingham Festival of Music with musical proof in the form of Bach.
Aug 27
Nigel Kennedy
For many fans of the Proms, the big summer music festival in London, this was the feel-good story of the summer. Nigel Kennedy was on stage with a group of young string players from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine. Everyone could agree, it was a wonderful opportunity for these young musicians. NOT everyone could agree, though, with Nigel Kennedy's characterization of the state of Israel when he spoke from the stage. The music from that performance, and the controversy surrounding it, on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Aug 26
Joaquin Rodrigo
In 1939, Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo went to see his wife in the hospital. She was seven months pregnant, but with complications. The doctors told Rodrigo not to expect mother or child to survive. Rodrigo went home, feeling utter desolation, and wrote a tender melody. We'll hear that melody in his Concierto de Aranjuez, on Monday's Performance Today.
Aug 24
Samuel Barber
American composer Samuel Barber wrote his Adagio for Strings in 1936 and it has become one of the most beloved pieces in American music. Barber knew right away that he had created something special. He wrote to a friend: "I have just finished a slow movement...and it's a knockout!" It might seem a little incongruous that Barber used a boxing metaphor for his piece that touches the very depth of the human soul. But he was right. Barber's Adagio became a favorite right away. On this weekend's Performance Today, we'll hear the story behind Barber's Adagio and a performance of it from a concert in Athens, Georgia.
Aug 23
Chris Thile
Chris Thile is one of the most inventive and talented mandolin players on the bluegrass scene today. His band, the Punch Brothers, has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and on the PBS series Austin City Limits. But Chris Thile is also a huge fan of music by Johann Sebastian Bach. On Friday's Performance Today, Chris Thile talks about how he discovered Bach, the music that he says "fires on all cylinders" with a special immediacy, emotional intensity and clarity of intent.
Aug 22
Samuel Barber
American composer Samuel Barber wrote his Adagio for Strings in 1936 and it has become one of the most beloved pieces in American music. Barber knew right away that he had created something special. He wrote to a friend: "I have just finished a slow movement...and it's a knockout!" It might seem a little incongruous that Barber used a boxing metaphor for his piece that touches the very depth of the human soul. But he was right. Barber's Adagio became a favorite right away. On Thursday's Performance Today, we'll hear the story behind Barber's Adagio and a performance of it from a concert in Athens, Georgia.
Aug 21
Alessandro Deljavan
It was the shock heard around the world. Well, around the *classical* music world anyway. This June, 26 year-old Italian pianist Alessandro Deljavan, an audience favorite, was eliminated after the semi-final round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. On Wednesday's Performance Today, we'll hear from Deljavan's final concert at Van Cliburn competition and find out how a pianist picks himself up, and tries again.
Aug 20
James Galway
Flutist Sir James Galway is 73 years old now, and some think he's playing better than ever. He's sold more than 30 million albums. He has a big beautiful home looking out across a lake in Switzerland. Galway could easily relax. But what's he doing right now? Galway just finished leading an intensive two week long flute festival and now he's busy rehearsing for a big concert tour. On Tuesday's Performance Today we'll hear from the flutist who likes to stay busy. Sir James Galway and friends play a set of three tunes from Ireland in concert in Athens, Georgia.
Aug 19
Scarlet Tanager
One morning, Antonin Dvorak was walking in the woods, and noticed a beautiful song coming from a bird he described as red with black wings. He was so inspired by that simple bird song, he wrote a string quartet with that little melody. But what bird was it? On Monday's Performance Today, we'll do some ornithological sleuthing to figure out what bird that was and we'll hear the Jupiter Quartet in concert at the Skaneateles Festival in New York.
Aug 17
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg talks with us about everything from the Aspen Festival to A-Rod. Plus, 19 year-old cellist Nathan Chan makes his PT debut. Highlights from our week in Residence at the Aspen Music Festival, on this weekend's Performance Today.
Aug 16
Adria Ye
When pianist Adria Ye was 11 years old, she and her family moved from her home just outside Portland, Oregon to New York City. She became a student at the Juilliard School, one of the great music conservatories in the world. On Friday's Performance Today, Adria Ye will make her PT debut on stage in Aspen with a Tarantelle by Franz Liszt.
Aug 15
Sharon Isbin
Guitarist Sharon Isbin is a regular at the Aspen Music Festival and School, as are the local black bears. Sharon Isbin talks about a close encounter with what appeared to be a musically curious bear. Plus, 19 year-old cellist Nathan Chan makes his PT debut, on Thursday's Performance Today.
Aug 14
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg was a student at the Aspen Music Festival and School almost 40 years ago, but the memories are still fresh. On Wednesday's Performance Today, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg talks with us about everything from the Aspen Festival to A-Rod, as our week in Residence at the Aspen Music Festival continues.
Aug 13
Stefan Jackiw
Every summer, the Aspen Music Festival and School welcomes more than 600 of the most talented young musicians in the world. On Tuesday's Performance Today, violinist Stefan Jackiw tells us about his first time as a student at Aspen. We'll also chat with Per Hannevold, Raymond Mase, and Orli Shaham.
Aug 12
Aspen
This week, PT is in Residence at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colorado. For years, the Aspen Festival has been one of the finest summertime music academies in the world, but until now, the student campus has always been a little...rustic. Aspen Festival President Alan Fletcher takes us on a tour of the brand new campus, on Monday's Performance Today.
Aug 10
Christopher Costanza
Christopher Costanza a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and he's a talented cello soloist, as well. On Monday's Performance Today, we'll hear his complete performance of the Solo Cello Suite No. 1, by Bach in concert at the 2013 Spoleto Festival USA, in Charleston, South Carolina.
Aug 9
Emily Reese
For hundreds of years, composers have written music for the stage. For about the last 80 years, great composers have written soundtracks for films. Now, there's yet another medium for composers. Video game music. Emily Reese joins us to show the connections between video game music and classical music, on Friday's Performance Today.
Aug 8
Antonin Dvorak grew up surrounded by the folk music of the Czech countryside, and the feel of that music found its way into the his compositions. People who dislike music by Dvorak often say it's too folksy. People who LIKE Dvorak often say "it's folksy!" Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony in a performance of Dvorak's Symphony No. 7, on Thursday's Performance Today.
Aug 7
Max Bruch
In the mid 1700s, the Gewandhous Orchestra of Leipzig had no concert hall, their regular venue was the Three Swans Tavern. It became apparent that the atmosphere of the tavern didn't always lend itself to the serious side of music-making, so in the 1780s, they moved to a big hall in a building where textiles were traded...the Garment House, or Gewandhaus. Two pieces by Max Bruch, played by the Gewandhaus Orchestra, on Wednesday's Performance Today.
Aug 6
Bill Eddins
Conductor, pianist and candid commentator Bill Eddins joins host Fred Child in the studio to take listeners on a tour of his favorite pieces of classical music. He talks about the unappreciated humor in Beethoven's symphonies, the sly keyboard prowess of Alicia de Larrocha, and Eddins reveals what he calls "the sexiest piece of classical music ever written." Find out the answer and get the conductor's take on classical music on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Aug 5
Christopher Costanza
Christopher Costanza a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and he's a talented cello soloist, as well. On Monday's Performance Today, we'll hear his complete performance of the Solo Cello Suite No. 1, by Bach in concert at the 2013 Spoleto Festival USA, in Charleston, South Carolina.
Aug 3
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 this weekend's Performance Today.
Aug 2
National Youth Orchestra
On Friday's Performance Today, the power of musical youth. Great young performers from across the country. We'll hear the National Youth Orchestra of the U.S. in concert this summer in London, and 15 year-old pianist George Li tearing up a Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Liszt.
Aug 1
Stephen Hough
Pianist Stephen Hough says the melody in Rachmaninoff's Paganini Variations is so nimble, so adaptable, it could be a musician's most valuable tool in his repertoire. Or wardrobe. "It's like a white shirt," Hough says. "You can do anything with it. You can put jean, a suit, evening dress, a tie." Hough performs the white shirt in a white shirt on Thursday's Performance Today with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.