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Jan 31
Super Bowl XLVIII
The big game is coming up on Sunday: Seattle versus Denver in the Super Bowl. Sports pundits have spent the last two weeks poring over every possible angle - except one. Coming up on Friday's Performance Today, the Super Bowl from a classical music perspective, including game predictions by musicians from both cities and music performed by ensembles from Seattle and Colorado.
Jan 30
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 is often interpreted as an expression of immense sadness. But Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conductor Manfred Honeck says that what Mahler meant was entirely different; he was writing a tender love song to the woman who was about to become his wife. On Thursday's Performance Today we'll hear Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony in concert in Berlin playing Mahler's Symphony No. 5.
Jan 29
Leon Fleisher
In 1964 Leon Fleisher was one of the greatest young pianists in the world. But over the course of that year the ring and pinky fingers of his right hand began curling up tight. For decades there wasn't anything that doctors could do to help. Fleisher dealt with the situation by taking up conducting and teaching, but now he's back at the piano — with both hands. More with Leon Fleisher, on Wednesday's Performance Today.
Jan 28
Fazil Say
Turkish composer Fazil Say's Symphony No. 1 sounds like a nice Romantic symphony...until the foghorn comes in! Then we're suddenly transported to the vibrant port city of Istanbul. On Tuesday's Performance Today we'll hear a piece Say calls the "Istanbul Symphony;" a composition for full orchestra and Turkish folk instruments.
Jan 27
Gustavo Dudamel
When Gustavo Dudamel conducts, it's like his body is inhabited by the music; his physical expression of the music often has a energizing effect on the orchestra and the audience. Coming up on Monday's Performance Today, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic play Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in London.
Jan 25
Lang Lang
Every year for the past decade, Chinese pianist Lang Lang has played a solo concert at Carnegie Hall. He's performed a huge range of music, but until recently he had never played any music by Bach. On this weekend's Performance Today, we'll hear Lang Lang open a solo concert at Carnegie Hall with Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 1.
Jan 24
Lang Lang
Every year for the past decade, Chinese pianist Lang Lang has played a solo concert at Carnegie Hall. He's performed a huge range of music, but until recently he had never played any music by Bach. On Friday's Performance Today, we'll hear Lang Lang open a solo concert at Carnegie Hall with Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 1.
Jan 23
claudio abbado
On Thursday's Performance Today we'll remember the late great conductor Claudio Abbado with stories and, of course, with music. For a dozen years, Abbado was Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic; coming up we'll hear from a concert he led in Berlin featuring pianist Maurizio Pollini.
Jan 22
Peter Tchaikovsky
At first glance, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky might seem like opposite ends of a musical spectrum. But Stravinsky loved Tchaikovsky's music, and in 1928 he borrowed some of Tchaikovsky's music for his ballet 'The Fairy's Kiss.' The themes are mostly Tchaikovsky's, but the rhythmic energy and wit are pure Stravinsky. Coming up on Wednesday's Performance Today, Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Stravinsky's musical homage to Tchaikovsky.
Jan 21
Helene Grimaud
On Tuesday's Performance Today, pianist Helene Grimaud discusses finding the delicate balance in music by Mozart. Plus we'll hear her perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 with the Chamber Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio.
Jan 20
Martin Luther King Jr
On the Martin Luther King holiday we'll celebrate Dr. King's legacy with music. Joseph Schwantner's 'New Morning for the World' features inspiring, galvanizing words from Dr. King's speeches. Plus, a musical connection with the legacy of Nelson Mandela. It's our annual King celebration, on Monday's Performance Today.
Jan 18
Rafal Blechacz
Rafal Blechacz is a young pianist from Poland who loves to play music by a composer from Poland: Frederic Chopin. We'll hear recently named 2014 Gilmore Artist Rafal Blechacz play Chopin and much more on this weekend's Performance Today.
Jan 17
Franklin Benjamin
Benjamin Franklin was born on Jan. 17, 1706. He was a statesman, a scientist, an inventor, and postmaster. He signed the Declaration of Independence. And he also loved music. On Friday's Performance Today, we'll celebrate his birthday by listening to his music and his musical invention - the glass armonica.
Jan 16
Aaron Copland
When he was 20 years old, American composer Aaron Copland went to Paris; that was where all the exciting new music was happening. He wanted to find a teacher, and he found someone he thought was tremendously inspiring: Nadia Boulanger. Coming up on Thursday's Performance Today, we'll hear from an amazing 1980 interview in which Copland recounts how he found his great teacher. And we'll hear his Clarinet Concerto, from a concert at the Windham Music Festival in upstate New York.
Jan 15
Fritz Kreisler
Fritz Kreisler is famous as a 20th century violinist and composer. It's not so well known that when war broke out in 1914, Kreisler volunteered to serve in the Austrian Army and he spent four weeks in the trenches on the Eastern Front. We'll hear the story of Fritz Kreisler's narrow escape from the trenches and a piece he wrote a few years later; his String Quartet in a minor. Plus, news from the Minnesota Orchestra, on Wednesday's Performance Today.
Jan 14
Rafal Blechacz
When Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz was called for a meeting with Dan Gustin, Director of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, he had no idea the news he was about to receive: that he had been selected as the winner of the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award! Coming up on Tuesday's Performance Today, music and conversation with 2014 Gilmore Artist Rafal Blechacz, from a special event last week in New York.
Jan 13
tartini
Giuseppe Tartini was seeking refuge in a monastery when he had a vivid dream. In his dream the Devil appeared at the foot of his bed and played a beguiling little melody, which stuck with Tartini for the rest of his life. On Monday's Performance Today, we'll hear that mesmerizing tune performed by Michala Petri and Anthony Newman in concert at the 92nd Street Y.
Jan 11
Orion Weiss Anna Polonsky
On this weekend's Performance Today, husband and wife duo Orion Weiss and Anna Polonsky share a piano to play Schubert's Andantino Varie. It's lovely music, played with love. Plus, Weiss and Polonsky will tell us what it's like to be a musical couple and the story of how they got together.
Jan 10
Jason Vieaux
For many years Performance Today has invited promising young musicians to our studio as Young Artists in Residence. On Friday's Performance Today we'll check in with two of our Young Artist in Residence alumni, including world-class guitarist Jason Vieaux.
Jan 9
Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn has a reputation as a composer who had wonderful facility, but not necessarily mastery. On Thursday's Performance Today we'll hear music that challenges that reputation of faint praise; Mendelssohn's Piano Trio in C minor.
Jan 8
Dmitri Shostakovich
The final section of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 has been a conductor's conundrum since it premiered in 1937. Do you play it fast and loud as a life-affirming statement for a downtrodden people, or do you play it slower to emphasize the irony of people rejoicing through tears? On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll hear this ambiguous piece performed by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.
Jan 7
Imani Winds
On Tuesday's Performance Today, Valerie Coleman and the Imani Winds visit the PT studios and perform music evocative of Southern charm and comfort.
Jan 6
Leonidas Kavakos
On Monday's Performance Today we'll hear violinist Leonidas Kavakos speak about and perform a rarely-played, intensely demanding piece; the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski.
Jan 4
Downton Abbey
The fourth season of "Downton Abbey" begins on Sunday, and in anticipation we'll hear from Scottish composer John Lunn, who has written music for the series. And since "Downton Abbey" is set in early 20th century England, we'll also sample some early 20th century English music on this weekend's Performance Today.
Jan 3
Downton Abbey
The fourth season of "Downton Abbey" begins this weekend, so on Friday's Performance Today we'll hear from Scottish composer John Lunn, who has written music for the series. And since "Downton Abbey" is set in early 20th century England, we'll sample some early 20th century English music as well.
Jan 2
Vladimir Horowitz
On Thursday's Performance Today we'll hear some of the most memorable concert moments ever recorded, including Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall in 1965, Leonard Bernstein celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich performing in the USSR in 1990.
Jan 1
Liszt
On New Year's Day 1886, Franz Liszt wrote "this will be an unlucky year for me." How did he know? On Wednesday's Performance Today we'll have lots of celebratory music for the new year, and a story about a composer who made a New Year's prediction that turned out to be spot on.