Arts & Culture

Classical Music
11:44 am
Sat November 23, 2013

The Sound of Struggle Tempered With Terror: Penderecki At 80

In Penderecki's music there is a struggle between melody and dissonance.
Bruno Fidrych

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 8:27 am

There's a beguiling photo of Krzysztof Penderecki, who turns 80 today, inside the brochure of this week's Warsaw music festival that bears his name. It shows the lauded Polish composer standing in his immense garden, surrounded by a labyrinth of trees and shrubbery trimmed to symmetrical perfection.

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Classical Music
4:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Making Music To Be Useful, And For The Living

A singer takes the stage during the first performance of "Grimes on the Beach," an outdoor production of Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes, on June 17, 2013 in Aldeburgh, England.
Bethany Clarke Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 5:20 pm

Composer Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago today, and the occasion is being marked by performances of his music around the world, from Carnegie Hall in New York to Memorial Hall in Tokyo.

Britten was a central figure of 20th-century classical music: He was a conductor, pianist and festival producer, as well as a composer. His best-known works include the opera Billy Budd, his War Requiem and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.

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Arts & Culture
3:59 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

A Magik Night For 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the Magik Theatre runs through December 21.
The Magik Theatre

The Magik Theatre begins its holiday season with a program they’ve done before. It’s called "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a kind of morality tale pitting the bad kids against the good kids.

"It’s really a comedy, but eventually you realize it’s a comedy with a heart," said the Magik Theatre's Marketing Director Aimee Stead.

"These children, through this pageant and through this experience, learn a lot about generosity, love, and really seeing the good in other kids," Stead said.

Becky King has the pleasure of playing one of the bad kids from the Herdman family.

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Classical Music
3:37 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Consumed By Violence, With Hope For Peace: Britten's 'War Requiem'

Benjamin Britten takes a cup of tea during rehearsals for his War Requiem at Coventry Cathedral, in Coventry, England in May, 1962.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 10:18 am

I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to composer anniversaries but this year, marking 100 years since the birth of Benjamin Britten, has been absolutely fascinating for me. I am now living proof that such centenaries can indeed change the way we look at a composer and provide us with opportunities to explore their breadth and depth. In Britten I have found a new hero, a musically surprising and multi-dimensional citizen of the world.

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World Festivals
11:42 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Ditching Ponies For Pachyderms At The Elephant Polo Championship

World cup 2011 of Elephant Polo in Meghauli, Nepal.
Krish Dulal Wikimedia Commons

Polo, the game much loved by the British Royals, has a murky history. No one is quite sure where it originated, but modern polo was formalized by the British in India. Normally played on polo ponies (although they are actually horses), the game involves men riding up and down a field, wielding a long handled stick called a mallet, hitting a small round ball. Fairly fast speeds can be attained, and injuries are not infrequent.

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Arts & Culture
11:16 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Try Something Different This Holiday With 'Guys And Dolls' At The Playhouse

"Guys and Dolls" cast.
Siggi Ragnar

The Playhouse comes off of their production of "Les Miserables" to tackle an old standard: "Guys and Dolls," which has been done multiple times on Broadway, and of course, in Hollywood.

On Friday, December 6, The Playhouse mounts its production at the Russell Hill Rogers Theatre.

"It has such a solid cast," said Chris Berry, who plays Sky Masterson. Berry talked about how tough -- and fun -- it is to tackle a classic:

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Arts & Culture
10:13 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Latin Grammys More Diverse Than Ever In 2013

Guitarist, composer, arranger Mario Adnet.
Credit Milton Montenegro

[This post has been edited from when it first went online to reflect some of the winners in this year's categories.]

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KPAC Blog
4:32 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Carlos Prieto Brings His Cello (And Its Incredible Story) To San Antonio

Carlos Prieto
Courtesy of the artist

Carlos Prieto has traveled the world over playing his cello for enthusiastic audiences and when he travels he always buys a full-fare ticket for his cello, but he would often have a problem.

"The employees never knew how to issue a ticket for a cello, until my wife came up with the brilliant idea of giving my cello a name. It’s called Miss Cello Prieto," he said.

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World Festivals
2:49 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

In Switzerland, Competing To Be The Top Claus

Samnaun-Ravaisch, Switzerland
Wikimedia Commons

Did you think Santa Claus only delivered presents? Well, in Switzerland on the last weekend of November, would be Santa Clauses endure two grueling days of competition to find out who’s absolutely, positively the best Santa in the world. Now in its twelfth year, the Cla Wau event attracts participants from around the globe. The only requirement to enter is a Santa outfit, three co-conspirators, and an adventurous attitude.

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Arts & Culture
1:52 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Carmen's De La Calle Offers Global Food And Local Music, But Not For Long

Paula Sullivan
Paula Sullivan

We don't normally do stories about eateries and bars, but the promise of "global eats and local acts" got my attention.

"We concentrate on giving you a global experience and then we use local entertainment," said Paula Sullivan from Carmen’s de la Calle, a European-inspired cafe that features live music.

Although they serve up a global experience with the food, Sullivan said she also thinks of her establishment as a tapas bar. Tapas cover a wide variety of things Americans tend to order as appetizers.

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