Classical

Music Reviews
10:16 am
Tue November 26, 2013

After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback

Conductor James Levine in rehearsal with Russian virtuoso Evgeny Kissin.
Cory Weaver Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:15 pm

An extended ovation greeted conductor James Levine last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and cancelled his performances at the Metropolitan Opera. He'd been plagued by health problems, injuries and operations, and it was painful for him to move. Many of his admirers, even he himself, feared he might never conduct again.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:44 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Kronos Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Kronos
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:26 pm

Sunny Yang joined Kronos Quartet in June 2013. Now, just five months later, the cellist she says she's learned quite a few new works β€” not just a handful, but about 70 pieces.

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KPAC Blog
11:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

The Saltarelli String Orchestra, An All-Volunteer Orchestra With A Long History

Facebook photo from an April 19, 2013 performance.
Saltarelli String Orchestra

While the Saltarelli String Orchestra has been around for quite a while -- 45 years -- they've pretty much been under the radar.

"The Saltarelli String Orchestra is recognized at one of the oldest all-volunteer community string orchestras in the United States," said Linda Hart-Garrahan, who plays viola in the group.

The group is conducted by Florence Saltarelli and their concert for tonight has a pair of special guests.

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Classical Music
5:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

A Sound Of Fear, Forged In The Shadow Of War

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining strikes its terrifying tone with help from the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music underscores several of its tensest scenes.
Archive Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:09 am

The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki turned 80 on Saturday. You may think you've never heard Penderecki's music, but I'm guessing you have β€” because I'm guessing you've seen The Shining.

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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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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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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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The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
4:34 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Moved By Kennedy's Death, The Boston Symphony Played On

The Boston Symphony Orchestra was mid-performance when the news of President Kennedy's assassination broke.
AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:08 pm

A visit to the symphony: It's often a solitary experience that can, in truly important moments, become communal β€” as it did in Boston on Nov. 22, 1963.

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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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