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Nov 30
The Danish String Quartet
Three members of the Danish String Quartet first met as teens in a summer music camp. They grew up, went to music conservatory, and acquired a Norwegian cellist. On Wednesday's Performance Today, they're in the PT studio performing a lively medley of traditional Danish folk music. Plus, composer Bruce Adolphe has this week's Piano Puzzler.
Nov 29
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Recently, the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has been coaching students at the Juilliard School in the art of playing orchestral music without a conductor. On Friday's Performance Today we'll hear how it went when the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra took the plunge and played the Ancient Airs and Dances by Ottorino Respighi with no one on the podium!
Nov 28
Colorful dreidels
Thursday is the first full day of Hanukkah and the Thanksgiving Holiday. We'll celebrate both on Thursday's Performance Today, from APM. The US Marine Band performs a Hanukkah Rhapsody by American composer Stephen Bulla. Plus, an in-studio performance with the vocal ensemble Cantus singing music on the theme of thanks.
Nov 27
The Danish String Quartet
Three members of the Danish String Quartet first met as teens in a summer music camp. They grew up, went to music conservatory, and acquired a Norwegian cellist. On Wednesday's Performance Today, they're in the PT studio performing a lively medley of traditional Danish folk music. Plus, composer Bruce Adolphe has this week's Piano Puzzler.
Nov 26
Mitsuko Uchida
When Mitsuko Uchida performs a Mozart Piano Concerto, she prefers to conduct while playing the piano, the same way Mozart would have done it in the 18th century. Uchida has been in close collaboration with the players of the Cleveland Orchestra for several years, playing all of the Mozart concertos. On Tuesday's Performance Today, she'll play and conduct his 23rd Piano Concerto from Severance Hall in Cleveland.
Nov 25
Igor Stravinsky
Top composers in the 1940's flocked to Hollywood to write for movies, including Igor Stravinsky. He was approached about a film depicting a Norwegian uprising against Nazi occupation. Stravinsky agreed to compose but demanded that his music wouldn't be altered. He didn't get his way, and the movie went ahead without him. On Monday's Performance Today, we'll hear Stravinsky's rejected movie score, "Four Norwegian Moods", performed by the US Marine Band.
Nov 23
Kevin Puts
In 1812, Beethoven composed joyful music in his Symphony No. 7, yet that time was a low point in his personal life. How could a person so unhappy write such cheerful music? That question haunted composer Kevin Puts so he decided to look for the answer by composing new music. This weekend on Performance Today, we'll hear Puts's piece "Inspiring Beethoven," in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, plus a performance of Beethoven's 7th from Dallas, Texas.
Nov 22
John F. Kennedy
It was 50 years ago today that President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot in Dallas, Texas. On Friday's Performance Today, music to remember his impact and leadership. Also ahead, special music to commemorate the lasting legacy of composer Benjamin Britten on his centennial.
Nov 21
Grieg
On Thursday's Performance Today, our Young Artist in Residence saxophonist Jonathan Wintringham is back in the studio. He is determined to expand the classical saxophone repertoire and grow its popularity on the concert stage. Wintringham will talk with PT host Fred Child and perform music full of character and adventure by Edvard Grieg.
Nov 20
Kevin Puts
It's a conundrum. In 1812 Beethoven wrote his Symphony No. 7, which is full of sunny melodies and phrases that bubble along. It sounds happy, yet Beethoven wrote it during a particularly low point in his personal life. How could a person so unhappy write such cheerful music? That question haunted composer Kevin Puts so he decided to look for the answer in music. We'll hear his piece "Inspiring Beethoven" on Wednesday's Performance Today.
Nov 19
Valery Gergiev
Conductor Valery Gergiev feels eternally grateful to the London Symphony Orchestra. He says at that time, only his friends, family and former classmates knew that he was capable of conducting an orchestra. The London Symphony took a chance on the young Russian conductor and today he's one of the most famous men at the podium. We'll hear him conduct Debussy's La Mer in a homecoming performance of sorts with the London Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Nov 18
george gershwin
While on vacation in Cuba, George Gershwin also found time for a little work. He heard a jazz melody at a concert, and later turned it into an orchestral showcase called Cuban Overture. Tap your toes to the the rumba rhythms played by the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Monday's Performance Today, from APM.
Nov 16
Josef Suk
Josef Suk was a composition student of Antonin Dvorak in Prague, and later became his teacher's own son-in-law. This weekend on Performance Today, we'll hear Suk's Serenade for Strings performed in Berkeley, California. Plus, composer Bruce Adolphe has a musical riddle in this week's Piano Puzzler.
Nov 15
Yannick Paget
In 2011, French composer Yannick Paget was living in Japan when the devastating tsunami struck. In the aftermath, he funneled his grief into writing new music. On Friday's Performance Today, we'll hear the composer conduct the premiere of "Tears of Sakura."
Nov 14
Johannes Brahms
Pianist Helene Grimaud explores the deeply introspective side of Johannes Brahms in his second piano concerto. The music is a glimpse into the composer's thoughts, looking back on a long life. Her performance with the Vienna Philharmonic on Thursday's Performance Today concludes her four-day exploration of both of Brahms' piano concertos.
Nov 13
Johannes Brahms
On Wednesday's Performance Today, pianist Helene Grimaud unravels the Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms. The music reveals an older, wiser composer who struggled with his identity as an artist. Grimaud's performance with the Vienna Philharmonic is on the way, plus composer Bruce Adolphe has this week's Piano Puzzler.
Nov 12
Clara Schumann
On Tuesday's Performance Today, pianist Helene Grimaud continues her tour-guide through the piano concertos by Johannes Brahms. She sees the Adagio movement from the first concerto as Brahms' lovelorn prayer to Clara Schumann, his "impossible love." Grimaud performs it with astonishing emotional sensitivity in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Nov 11
Helene Grimaud
Johannes Brahms composed two monumental piano concertos twenty three years apart. Starting on Monday's Performance Today, pianist Helene Grimaud leads a four-day exploration of both works, beginning with the youthful energy in the first concerto in D minor.
Nov 9
The King's Singers
This weekend on Performance Today from APM, The King's Singers join Fred Child for conversation and performance in the PT studio. Six voices singing choral music, as one. Plus, composer Bruce Adolphe has this week's Piano Puzzler to test your musical riddle-solving skills.
Nov 8
Felix Mendelssohn
In the same way that an illustrator might sketch out ideas for future works of art, Felix Mendelssohn sketched out musical ideas for his compositions. On Friday's Performance Today, conductor Riccardo Chailly tells the story of Mendelssohn's creative process and a symphony fifteen years in the making.
Nov 7
Aaron Copland
In 1944, Aaron Copland was paid $500 to compose a ballet score for dancer Martha Graham. That's low by today's standards, but the result, Appalachian Spring, became an American classic and won him the Pulitzer Prize. On Thursday's Performance Today from APM, we'll hear the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra perform this Americana gem in Houston, Texas.
Nov 6
Truls Mork
In the spring of 2009, cellist Truls Mork contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite. With serious symptoms that impacted his playing, his career was at a standstill. After fighting off the infection and undergoing years of recovery, Mork is performing again. On Wednesday's Performance Today, we'll hear him play the Schumann Cello Concerto in concert in Paris.
Nov 5
Carl Nielsen
Two monumental concertos from recent European concerts are ahead on Tuesday's Performance Today, from APM. From Amsterdam, Emily Beynon brings out the barbaric side of the Flute Concerto by Carl Nielsen. And from Hannover, Germany, Daniel Hope plays the towering Violin Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch.
Nov 4
Ginastera
Alberto Ginastera was thinking of an Argentinian Malambo dance competition when he wrote his Concert Variations in 1953. The piece is a hit with audiences, but technically difficult for performers. On today's episode, the virtuoso musicians of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra tackle this instrumental showcase in Westwood, California.
Nov 2
Georg Philip Telemann
It's worth wondering about what music might exist now if certain composers had lived longer. This weekend on Performance Today, host Fred Child samples music that remembers composers who died far too young. Plus, composer Bruce Adolphe joins host Fred Child with this week's Piano Puzzler.
Nov 1
Ravel
Most of us might know the story of Sleeping Beauty from the way it was told by Walt Disney. But composer Maurice Ravel would have known a much darker version of the 17th-century fairy tale. On Friday's Performance Today, Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, in concert in Sydney, Australia.