Classical

Texas Public Radio Classical Music blog and other stories.

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If you want to start a fight at a ragtime concert, start mucking with the tempo of the music. YouTube videos are full of comments about how fast or slow the pianist is playing any particular piece. The King of Ragtime, Scott Joplin, himself wrote “it is never right to play Ragtime fast.” But how fast is fast? There are piano roll recordings of Joplin himself clocking in the “Maple Leaf Rag” at around 100 beats per minute.

Nathan Cone / TPR

At only two decades old, violinist Simone Porter has been described by the LA Times as being “on the cusp of a major career.” The audience at San Antonio’s Laurel Heights United Methodist Church earlier this year on January 31 witnessed another step on the way as Porter gave a recital for the Tuesday Musical Club featuring Mozart, Janáček, and a mesmerizing version of Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres.”

How does a scientist become a principal timpanist at the Met?

Jason Haaheim gets that question all the time. The 38-year-old is a former nanotechnology researcher, with a master's degree in electrical engineering. But four years ago, he made a major life pivot: to play professionally with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Three days before the Dallas Street Choir leaves for New York, its traveling members are assembled and listening intently to choir director Jonathan Palant. He makes an announcement about yet one more phase of preparation: haircuts at 12:45 for anybody who wants one.

The 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has now been put to rest for another four years. It's been a hectic two and a half weeks in Fort Worth. But the high-endurance competition was just the start for the winners, who along with a cash prize, were awarded three years of concert bookings.

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