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.

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

A student at Fresno State University is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with new music by contemporary Armenian composers. The concerts organized by Joseph Bohigian include original compositions inspired by his family, many who were killed by the Ottoman Turks around World War I, and music by other Armenians who live in Armenia and in the U.S. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alice Daniel of KQED has our story.

Slideshow: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Apr 24, 2015
Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of the artist 2012.32.7

There is nothing that says theatre, in the traditional sense, like William Shakespeare. We read his plays while still in school, perhaps see "Romeo and Juliet," or "A Midsummer Night's Dream" played by an amateur theatre troupe. Sometimes, we get our first glimpse of Shakespeare's genius through movies. Sir Laurence Olivier on the big screen, playing "Hamlet," "Richard III," and "Henry V," showed us the dramatic and historical side of Shakespeare. These movies also demonstrated the power of music to enhance the drama. The composer Sir William Walton, led the way.

Life changed a lot after that day in 1877 when Thomas Edison spoke "Mary had a little lamb" into a contraption he called a phonograph and discovered he could reproduce sound. Back then, tinfoil cylinders captured just a few flickering moments. Today Wagner's entire Ring cycle fits on a 16GB flash drive.

Who is today's Birthday Bard? Why, it's William Shakespeare! In truth, his birth date is rather hazy. Nevertheless, April 23, 1564, is when the BBC celebrates it, and that's good enough for me. However, to keep all bases covered, his baptism record shows the date April 26th on it.

Pages