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.
Local singing ensemble Voci di Sorelle is celebrating a decade of singing together, but the group didn't set out that way, according to founder and Artistic Director Ruth Moreland.
"Well actually this group started as just a one-time composition project," Moreland said. "When we got together in the summer of 2003 it was just magical."
So magical that they couldn’t see stopping. Now they’re celebrating their first decade at a Christmas concert they’re calling "Sing We Noel." The concert takes place on Sunday, December 15 at the Chapel of the Incarnate Word.
Every year, radio stations are deluged with new Christmas albums, and Texas Public Radio is no different. This year, I came across one that made its way to the top of my listening stack. The Canadian group Ensemble Polaris boasts diverse instrumentation, including guitar, banjo, mandolin, bagpipe, musical saw, recorders and winds.
Black Violin, it's the Florida band which has staked out the unlikely intersection of hip hop and classical music. Band member Wilner Baptiste (Wil B) spoke to TPR about the band's outreach efforts in high schools.
"It's something that is very dear to our hearts because we understand," Baptiste said. "We were in a performing arts school that actually had an orchestra."
Baptiste talked about his Fort Lauderdale high school years where, due to budget cuts, he nearly missed being able to learn violin.
Conspirare is a professional chamber choir from Austin that sings different types of music, from medieval to modern. The word itself may sound like it has sinister undertones, but Craig Hella Johnson, the group's artistic director, said it means, "to breathe together."
"We are so thrilled about our visit to San Antonio," Johnson said. "We are returning to a venue that we really enjoy singing in -- Laurel Heights United Methodist Church -- and we are singing this Friday."
The San Antonio Mastersingers are about to begin a series of performances that have become a San Antonio holiday tradition. They are teaming with the San Antonio Symphony for George Frideric Handel's "The Messiah."
Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 — "Rach 3," as fans fondly call it — is one of the most famously difficult pieces of music there is. The sheet music goes on and on, with notes so dense the pages start to look like modern art. The piece is so challenging that some noted pianists have declined to perform it — but Yuja Wang has recorded it for her newest album.
Pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki presents the "viola organista" on Oct. 18 in Krakow, Poland. Zubrzycki spent almost four years building the instrument, which is based on a late 15th-century design by Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonard Bernstein is widely considered one of the great American composers and conductors. He was the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, and he composed the music for “West Side Story” and other musicals, in addition to serious works of contemporary American classical music.