KPAC Blog

The KPAC Blog features classical music news and analysis.  From a detailed look at Wagner's masterpiece "Parsifal," to an inside look at the Latin Grammys, the KPAC Blog features writings about some of the music played on air as well as other interviews and essays about classical music.

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Holiday Programming
12:50 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Carols Of Alfred Burt On KPAC

Burt Family Christmas card

Oh my! The tears still flow, tears of joy tinged with sadness, as I prepare for yet another broadcast of "The Carols of Alfred Burt: A Legacy of Love." I first produced this program in 1997, prompted by my good friend Bill Ginn, who had been familiar with the 15 contemporary carols by Alfred Burt for a number of years. Bill had arranged several of these precious carols for both brass and woodwind quintets that I played with. "Tell me more about this music," I asked of Bill.

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NPR Story
4:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' Became A Holiday Tradition

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here is a holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY SONG, "NUTCRACKER OVERTURE")

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Arts & Culture
3:31 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Enjoy Holiday Pops With A Dash Of Mariachi Style

Akiko Fujimoto
Liz Garza Williams

They will be packing the Tobin this weekend for one of the Alamo City’s standout holiday events. It's the San Antonio Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert.

“It’s going to be a big weekend.”

Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto details the event.

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Arts & Culture
1:40 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Singular San Antonio, Where ‘Blowing It’ Makes For Festive Fun

Tubameister Christmas at the Arneson River Theater
Hans Grim

This has to be one of San Antonio’s most distinctive holiday events. It’s one where people come from far and wide to blow their horn. Literally. And you can hear the difference from the very first notes.

[music]

“I think most of us who play the tuba enjoy what we do and are perfectly happy playing a supportive role most of the time.”

Meet Ray Grim, with the Tubameisters. Once a year, Tuba and Euphonium players converge and take over the stage.

“It’s become a community event. We actually have people come in from out of town to attend the concert.”

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Arts & Culture
4:11 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

King William To Ring In The Season With Brassy Concert

San Antonio Brass at Villa Finale
Orlando Cortinas

It’s a combination of a fascinating setting and a unique concert. That fascinating setting is called Villa Finale.

“Villa Finale is the only National Historic Trust Site in Texas.”

Meet Villa Finale’s Sylvia Gonzalez.

“It’s located in the King William National Historic District, and was the last home of Walter Nold Mathis, who is credited with being the catalyst for revitalization of the King William Historic neighborhood.”

You’ve got a really interesting concert coming along on Thursday; tell us about that.

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Arts & Culture
4:01 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tobin Takes YOSApalooza To The River Walk

Troy Peters
Jack Morgan

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio have an interesting performance scheduled for Sunday, and it’s got a heck of a name.

“YOSAPalooza is a concert with more than 400 musicians.”

Troy Peters is YOSA’s Music Director.

“All of the different levels of the YOSA experience, share in one concert at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.”

I also spoke to YOSA member Victoria Acuna.

“I play violin. I’m in the YOSA Philharmonic; I’m in my third year.”

When you think back on those three years with YOSA — do you have a favorite experience?

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Deceptive Cadence
8:57 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

A Bicentennial For Boston's Handel And Haydn Society

Harry Christophers leads the Handel and Haydn Society, now celebrating its bicentennial.
James Doyle Handel and Haydn Society

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:14 pm

Boston's Handel and Haydn Society is one of the oldest continuously running performing arts organizations in the country. To celebrate its bicentennial this season, the group made a new recording of a holiday perennial, Handel's Messiah, which also happens to be one of the first works it staged nearly 200 years ago. Still, the Handel and Haydn Society is very different from what it was when it started.

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Arts & Culture
3:53 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Sleigh Bells Will Be Ringing In Seguin's Holiday Concert

David Mairs
Joseph Plumeyer

A local symphony has set a holiday-themed event for this weekend. They’re Seguin's Mid Texas Symphony.

“This is our thirty-seventh season.”

Artistic Director David Mairs.

“And we play half of our concerts in Jackson Auditorium at Texas Lutheran Auditorium in Seguin, and the other half in the Performing Arts Center at Canyon High School in New Braunfels.”

Now, you’ve got a concert coming up on Sunday, is that right?

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Music Interviews
2:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Soprano Renee Fleming Releases A Christmas Album

Renee Fleming's new album is "Christmas in New York." (© Timothy White/Decca)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 1:26 pm

Famed soprano Renee Fleming has performed numerous times at the Metropolitan Opera, she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl and she’s won several Grammy awards for her classical recordings. But until this year, Fleming had not made a holiday album.

Now she’s released “Christmas in New York,” where she collaborates with musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and Rufus Wainwright.

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Arts & Culture
10:18 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Weekend Chamber Choir Events Promise Big Music, Holiday Cheer

More musical holiday cheer is coming your way, and it’s coming by way of the San Antonio Chamber Choir.

“The San Antonio Chamber Choir is a superb group of singers that is joined together by their love and passion for music.”

Rick Bjella knows; he’s their Music Director. This weekend, they have a pair of holiday-themed events. 

“On Saturday, Dec. 13, we have a performance at the chapel at Oblate School of Theology, and on Sunday, Dec. 14, our premiere performance at the Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center.”

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