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.


TPR Events & Initiatives
9:31 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Sounds Like KPAC: The Final Round!

The entries are in, and we're listening! Over 60 entries were submitted for our first ever talent competition for area students, SOUNDS LIKE KPAC. Our Final Round competition takes place on Sunday, February 8 from 3-5 p.m. The event takes place at the Palmetto Center for the Arts on the campus of Northwest Vista College. The public is invited to the concert, which will be recorded for later broadcast on KPAC 88.3 FM. 


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4:28 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

A Rare Bird: After 120 Years, Audiences Still Flock To 'Swan Lake'

Swan Lake is 120 years old and still popular. The Mariinsky Theatre's current tour of the ballet at BAM in New York City is nearly sold-out.
Valentin Baranovsky BAM

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:39 am

The version of Swan Lake most often performed today premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, 120 years ago this month. The ballet had been staged before, but it wasn't a hit until choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov revised it.

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Author Interviews
7:48 am
Sat January 17, 2015

A 'Down-To-Earth Diva' Confronts Her Flaws And Good Fortune

Deborah Voigt regularly hosts and performs in the Metropolitan Opera's The Met: Live in HD series.
Heidi Gutman HarperCollinsPublishers

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 10:57 am

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Arts & Culture
3:34 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Youth Orchestra And San Antonio Symphony Team Up

Troy Peters
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio’s next concert holds an interesting promise. TPR’s Arts and Culture Reporter Jack Morgan has more.

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio’s next concert holds an interesting promise--the promise of what’s yet to come for the young musicians. Here’s YOSA’s Troy Peters.

“This Sunday we’re going to have a side-by-side at Laurie Auditorium at three o’clock, where you’ll see the San Antonio Symphony and YOSA playing together in one great big, giant orchestra.”

The mentor relationship between the symphony and YOSA is a rich one.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:16 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

What We Love And Hate About 'Mozart In The Jungle'

Gael García Bernal (right), Bernadette Peters and Malcolm McDowell star in the classical music comedy series Mozart in the Jungle.
Nicole Rivelli Amazon Studios

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:41 pm

Pill popping, pot smoking, back-stabbing, bed hopping and tantrum throwing — now we're talking classical music! At least that's what the new Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle would have us believe is all in a day's work for orchestra musicians. The 10-part series is based on a tell-all book of the same name published a decade ago by oboist Blair Tindall.

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10:28 am
Thu January 15, 2015

What I Think About When I Hear Richard Strauss' "Salome"

Patricia Racette (Salome) & Alan Held (Jochanaan) in Opera San Antonio's Salome
Credit Karen Almond

For years now, I keep coming back to a jazz composition by composer/jazz educator and good friend Dick Goodwin. He wrote the piece back when I first got to know him, in the late '60s, calling it “What I Think About When I Hear 'Bye, Bye, Blackbird.'” It's funny how utilitarian the concept is: “What I Think About When I Hear Beethoven 5th,” or “Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Scheherazade.'” Or what about the visual?

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Classical Music
9:08 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Dark, Energetic, Uplifting: The San Antonio Symphony Plays Mozart's Requiem

Sebastian Lang-Lessing
John Clare TPR Arts

The San Antonio Symphony’s Strauss Festival continues this Friday and Saturday, and Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing has high words of praise for the Symphony’s next target: Mozart's "Requiem," which is paired with Richard Strauss's "Death and Transfiguration." 

“It is extraordinary and gifted, a dark, extremely beautiful color," Lang-Lessing says of Mozart's work. "And now you would say ‘Oh, it’s a depressing piece.’ I find it the most uplifting requiem ever written. It gives so much hope. There is nothing bitter in this piece. Nothing.”

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Arts & Culture
3:03 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

She’s A Cellist, But Not Like Any You’ve Ever Heard Before

Maya Beiser

Arts San Antonio is bringing a world renowned, well-reviewed cellist to the Alamo City, but her sound isn’t exactly classical.

“Yeah, my name is Maya Beiser, and I play the cello.”

She has many styles, from a tranquil, moody style, all the way to AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black.’ She plays the cello, but she’s not what people think of when they think of a cellist.

“No [I'm not]… I use electronics to create a one-woman orchestra, if you will.”

More on how and why she does what she does, but first, a little backstory.

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Classical Music
11:37 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Dallas Symphony Conductor Eduardo Mata Remembered 20 Years After His Death

From left: Doug Howard, Mary Reynolds and Clifford Spohr all played under Eduardo Mata and shared some of their memories of the maestro.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 10:14 pm

Twenty years ago this week, the conductor who helped build the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata, died in a plane crash. Starting Thursday night, and through the weekend, the orchestra honors his memory with a piece Mata conducted at his first Dallas concert. Some orchestra members share their own memories of the maestro.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:56 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Swan Songs: Classical Musicians We Lost In 2014

Conductor Claudio Abbado was one of the many great classical musicians we bid farewell to in 2014.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 7:35 am

Farewells are never easy, especially when you're saying goodbye to a favorite musician. From conductors and composers to pianists, singers and critics, the classical music world lost many masterful musicians in 2014.

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