James Baker

Producer, Host: Classics a la Carte

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.

If pressed to describe himself, James will say he is a musician who hosted classical music.  For over 40 years, he has worked as a professional French horn player, holding posts in the Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, the oldest orchestra in Mexico.  He has held the Principal Horn position in the Mid Texas Symphony for the past 20 years.

James also is an avid marathoner.  Look for him running the streets of San Antonio with his three rescued border collies.

James was the long-time host of Itinerarios, a weekly program of music with Latin-American roots, Listener's Choice, KPAC's request show, and for over 10 years co-hosted with Ron Moore Alternate Routes, KPAC's program of contemporary music.

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James Baker

Let's Rodeo, San Antonio! It's time to saddle up and head out to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. If you've never been, there's no time like the present. The Rodeo starts on Thursday, February 11 and runs through Sunday, February 28. All shows are at the AT&T Center. If you think you know that venue, as in seeing the Spurs play basketball there, you're in for quite a surprise. Check it out!

Los Angeles Times

 

It was my good fortune to cultivate a friendship with the composer Daniel Catán. I knew Daniel primarily through his music, having first encountered it in 1982 while I was working as an orchestra musician in Mexico City. It was a freelance gig, known in Mexico as a hueso, and involved performance of a skillfully made pastorela, a Christmas pageant. I was impressed by what he had written, though when I reminded him of it years later he dismissed it as an early work, not yet matured. Daniel was like that, a man with high expectations while at the same time all too aware of the vagaries of the music business.

Clarice Assad

I have anticipated the premiere of Clarice Assad's song cycle, "Elementos," since Soli Chamber Ensemble first announced their 2015-16 concert season. I have watched with interest the evolution of Clarice as a composer since I first heard her "Violin Concerto" over a decade ago.

Amazon.com

It's a confusion of seasons. Is there any better way to describe Christmas week temperatures in the upper 70s, maybe 80's by Christmas day? How do we explain it? Global warming? Let's not get into that! Why not place the blame on the shoulders of those who write the songs? Here are three songs from the Great American Songbook, each with a confusion of seasons.

Sweat was on the brows of Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne when they wrote their classic “Christmas Waltz.” Diane Berlanga explains.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. © Sucessio Miro / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2015

This week's Modernists at The McNay, Part Four, wraps up the 4-part series which has been exploring parallels between the visual art of Joan Miro (and also a number of the important Cubists) and music. The question addressed to some degree on each program queries the relationship between the visual and audible arts. Can a painting sing? Can music paint a picture? These two questions are addressed today by composer Jim Balentine and surface design artist Jane Dunnewold.

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