Black Violin, it's the Florida band which has staked out the unlikely intersection of hip hop and classical music. Band member Wilner Baptiste (Wil B) spoke to TPR about the band's outreach efforts in high schools.
"It's something that is very dear to our hearts because we understand," Baptiste said. "We were in a performing arts school that actually had an orchestra."
Baptiste talked about his Fort Lauderdale high school years where, due to budget cuts, he nearly missed being able to learn violin.
Conspirare is a professional chamber choir from Austin that sings different types of music, from medieval to modern. The word itself may sound like it has sinister undertones, but Craig Hella Johnson, the group's artistic director, said it means, "to breathe together."
"We are so thrilled about our visit to San Antonio," Johnson said. "We are returning to a venue that we really enjoy singing in -- Laurel Heights United Methodist Church -- and we are singing this Friday."
The San Antonio Mastersingers are about to begin a series of performances that have become a San Antonio holiday tradition. They are teaming with the San Antonio Symphony for George Frideric Handel's "The Messiah."
Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 — "Rach 3," as fans fondly call it — is one of the most famously difficult pieces of music there is. The sheet music goes on and on, with notes so dense the pages start to look like modern art. The piece is so challenging that some noted pianists have declined to perform it — but Yuja Wang has recorded it for her newest album.
Leonard Bernstein is widely considered one of the great American composers and conductors. He was the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, and he composed the music for “West Side Story” and other musicals, in addition to serious works of contemporary American classical music.
"The Nutcracker" is now an American Christmas tradition, but when Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky debuted the work in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, it wasn't a success. San Antonio Symphony’s Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto explains.
"You have to understand, until Tchaikovsky came along, ballet music was just ballet music," Fujimoto said. "It wasn’t appreciated for its own good, and Tchaikovsky single-handedly did that."