Arts & Culture

KPAC Blog
4:22 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Ten Great Violin Albums Released In 2012

The modern violin
Wikipedia

The art of violin playing is alive and well, especially based on the virtuosity and volume of new artists along with the refined performances of old favorites. These are just a few of the incredible releases I recommend you revisit -- or hear for the very first time; these picks are great listening for yourself or perhaps that someone special in your life!

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KPAC blog: The Piano
1:02 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

The Holly & The Steinway: The Piano As A Christmas Tradition

Victorian Tree trimming party
Wikipedia

Think back to how families used to celebrate the Holidays. For some of us, it was sitting in front of the TV watching a Charlie Brown special, and going back another twenty years, Dad would play disc-jockey, keeping the records spinning on the Hi-Fi. Back another generation, families grouped around the piano with someone, who hopefully spent some time practicing, played Christmas carols for the mini-multitude to sing along.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:59 am
Fri December 21, 2012

The 12 Tones Of Christmas

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Local Cultural Figures
9:39 am
Fri December 21, 2012

County Commissioner Paul Elizondo Added To Iconic Mi Tierra Mural

Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo takes the microphone at the unveiling of his addition to the Mi Tierra mural.
Eileen Pace Texas Public Radio

It wouldn’t be El Mercado without Mi Tierra Café and Panadería. The iconic restaurant has served presidents, ambassadors, celebrities, local leaders and generations of families who established the area in the 19th Century.

On Thursday, the famous restaurant honored another key figure in the development of local culture, Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:03 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews."
Philippe Merle AFP/Getty Images
  • Tenor Rolando Villazon let loose during a recent Q&A with The Arts Desk: "One thing that I haven't achieved is longevity. This will come — if it comes. That said, I don't think that longevity is a necessary part of a great career." And regarding his own health problems: "[My doctor] would have told [critics] the problem was biology. I would have got it if I had sung Mozart. It had nothing to do with repertoire or technique or how much I sang.
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KPAC blog: Metropolitan Opera
2:16 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

The Barber Of Seville: You Can Understand Rossini!

Rodion Pogossov as Figaro
Metropolitan Opera

It was habit in the nineteenth and early twentieth century to present operas, whatever their original language, in the language of the host country. Playbills of the past are filled with references toWagner's Il Sigfrido, or Mozart’s Il Fluto Magico, or Figaro's Hochzeit. The idea was, of course, to fill the seats. This is especially important in comedy, because what was the point if nobody got the jokes!

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Classical Spotlight
12:53 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Holiday Pops For All Ages With San Antonio Symphony & Children's Chorus

Conductor Akiko Fujimoto
Eric Green

There are three chances to go to Holiday Pops and hear seasonal favorites with Akiko Fujimoto and the San Antonio Symphony featuring guest vocalists Cristal Smith, Eric Schmidt, and the Children's Chorus of San Antonio this weekend.

The first two concerts are at the Majestic Theatre and include holiday classics by Leroy Anderson, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and John Rutter.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:03 am
Wed December 19, 2012

The Landfill Harmonic: An Orchestra Built From Trash

Cellist Juan Manuel Chavez, whose instrument is made from an oil can and discarded bits of wood.
Landfill Harmonic

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 9:13 am

There's an amazing video floating around YouTube that has brought a ray of sunshine to a very dark week for all of us. It's the trailer for an upcoming documentary called Landfill Harmonic, which focuses on one remarkable group in Paraguay: an orchestra that plays instruments created out of literal trash, made lovingly for them by their community.

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World Music Picks
11:44 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Anoushka Shankar Goes Flamenco On 'Traveller'

Deutsche Grammophon

Flamenco music is relatively new on the music scene (especially considering the long history of music as art), but still dates backs a couple of hundred years. It was brought to Spain by gypsies, who were erroneously named because they were mistaken for Egyptians but are of Indian descent.

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