Randy Anderson

Classical Music Director & Host

Randy was Texas Public Radio's Classical Music Director and the longest-serving employee in Texas Public Radio's history. He hosted the very first airshift on KPAC when the station went on the air at 90.9 FM in San Antonio back in November, 1982.

Randy started his career in classical broadcasting at KMFM in the mid-70s, working with one of KPAC's founders, B.J. McClain. The overnight shift was the only full-time job when KPAC first started in 1982 and he was happy to take it.

Randy's first love is painting; he enjoys portraits, landscapes and still lifes, and he spends much of his free time in front of an easel. Great music is a perfect complement to his love for painting and Randy spent years trying to find the perfect instrument. The piano came close, but he eventually realized that his best instrument is a turntable or CD player (or digital library).

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KPAC Blog: The Piano
1:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

2012 SAIPC Semi-Finals Heat Up With Debussy, Albeniz & Beethoven

Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier Sonata'
all-music-sheets.com

Over the years of listening to the San Antonio International Piano Competition, I've noticed that nerves play an important part. Just enough, and a performance can be charged with excitement, too much, and disaster awaits.

With the competitors narrowed from 11 to eight, the stakes are higher, and that could help the judges separate the best as the competition continues.

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KPAC Blog: The Piano
12:52 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Making A Pianistic Point At The SAIPC

SAIPC

I've seen contestants in piano competitions play some large and impressive works when trying to stand out from their other competitors. Big and difficult works like Liszt's "b minor sonata" or Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit" are sure to get the judges attention, but there is also the fear of losing the audience.

It is not easy programming your first set at a competition. This week on The Piano, we visit more recordings from last October's San Antonio International Piano Competition.There are only two big and challenging works on the program.

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KPAC Blog
11:31 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Scarlatti, Medtner & Schumann Appear At International Piano Competition

Flying Fingers - Domenico Scarlatti
Wikipedia

We continue working our way through the preliminary rounds of last years contest. This Sunday, the music of Italian Domenico Scarlatti, a man who won a harpsichord "play-off" against G.F. Handel, and was so impressed by Handel's abilities that he always crossed himself when mentioning the composers name.

Scarlatti left Rome and moved to the courts of Spain and Portugal where he taught Queen Barbara to play harpsichord. Our "concert" starts with three of Scarlatti's sonatas.

Carrying Scarlatti's style

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KPAC blog: The Piano
2:31 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

San Antonio International Piano Competition A Lesson In Contrast

Ihang Lin
San Antonio Inter. Piano Competition

Contrast really means something to those of us who enjoy classical music. The carefully constructed essence of music is the growth and movement between the various emotional plateaus of the composition. This is where the listener derives enjoyment, knowing that Beethoven, Stravinsky or Leonard Bernstein is in the driver's seat and that while we perhaps have a frame of reference for the adventure, we still don't completely know how the journey will proceed or end.

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KPAC blog: The Piano
12:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

A Tsunami Of Talent At The International Piano Competition

Bach dares you to play ALL the notes
Wikipedia

A wave of great young pianists crashes into the Alamo City every three years to compete in the San Antonio International Piano Competition. Last October 11, aspiring artists arrived and prepared themselves to impress the judges at the usual venue - the Ruth Taylor recital hall. Luckily for all of us it was all recorded by John Coker.

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KPAC blog: The Piano
2:03 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Genius Times Three: The Music Of Nicolai Medtner

He knows what he wants from music
Wikipedia

Russian composer Nicolai Medtner had it all; he was a brilliant pianist who was a musical intellectual, and while he could have made a comfortable living playing the classics, he was devoted to his composition.

On The Piano this Sunday, three aspects of Medtner.

I first present the lyrical genius of the composer, then his love of structure and complexity with his theme and variations, and the program concludes with his grand expression of lyricism in the Ballade Concerto in e minor.

KPAC Blog: The Piano
10:14 am
Fri January 4, 2013

When John, Paul, George And Ringo Didn't Perform… In Search Of Chopin: Part Two

A casting of Chopin's hand
Wikipedia

In pop music, pieces featuring the "original artists" are usually big sellers. These are the performances we heard first and are used to -- not the cover songs performed by other artists years later. Some pieces are so familiar that we mentally hear the scratches and pops on the 45's that we had at home back in the day.

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KPAC blog: The Piano
11:59 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Leonard Nimoy and Frederic Chopin?

Frederic Chopin at 25
Wikipedia

When I sit back and think upon my youth my thoughts often turn to television; I am an American after all. One program that gripped me in those days was "In Search of…" where Leonard Nimoy would explore various topics; everything from Bigfoot to the mysterious underwater monoliths thought to be the foundations of Atlantis.

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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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KPAC blog: The Piano
3:43 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

A Fresh Slavonic Wind From The East…

A Piano from the East - Petrov.
Petrov Piano Company

On "The Piano" this Sunday, a collection of riveting pieces that have Slavonic roots. First, Sergei Rachmaninoff and his new, modular approach to music; whether he consciously or unconsciously chose tolling bell patterns as a basis for his 2nd piano sonata, the effect is the same as a great festival in which, at the conclusion, all the church bells get involved.

Then there is Mily Balakirev, who explored the height of piano virtuosity with his "Islamey," featuring a soloist who was never known to rein in his power and audacity - Vladimir Horowitz.

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