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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KPAC Blog
2:09 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Symphony Holding Canned-Good Food Drive For March Performances

San Antonio Symphony President David Gross.
Courtesy photo

The San Antonio Symphony is back at it this weekend, but this time around they're doing something a little different.

“We have our classical concert this weekend on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8,” said new San Antonio Symphony President David Gross.

There will be a guest player/conductor.

“Kolja Blacher is our violin soloist, and he is also our guest conductor" said Gross. "And we’re going to be featuring music of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Beethoven.”

But this is where the regular symphonic experience takes a slight detour, as he explained.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Robert Ashley, Opera's Misunderstood Innovator, Dies At 83

Robert Ashley's operas for television redefined the genre.
Joanne Savio Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:50 pm

Robert Ashley, a restlessly innovative American composer, died at his home in New York March 3 from complications of cirrhosis of the liver. NPR confirmed the composer's death through his wife and manager Mimi Johnson. Ashley was 83.

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KPAC Blog
10:51 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Intimate Copperleaf Quintet Performances In The SAMA Golden Gallery

Ruth Moreland
Benissimo Music

A local singing ensemble has an artful and interesting way of doing what they do. They're the The Copperleaf Quintet and they perform vocal chamber music in stunning settings.

"We gave two gallery concerts at the San Antonio Museum of Art," said Copperleaf Quintet’s Executive Director Ruth Moreland.

This Tuesday night, March 4, they’ll be singing in a small gallery named in honor of the priest who established Mission San Jose. Moreland detailed he music they’ll be singing:

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Deceptive Cadence
11:42 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Philippe Jaroussky And The Impossibly High Male Voice

Philippe Jaroussky's new album is Farinelli: Porpora Arias.
Marc Ribes Erato/Warner Classics

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 6:09 pm

Philippe Jaroussky cuts a masculine figure on the cover of his new album, Farinelli: Porpora Arias, but you might do a double take upon hearing the music. The arias the French opera singer performs on this release were written in the 18th century for a castrato — a boy singer castrated to retain his high singing voice through adulthood.

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First Listen
11:41 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

First Listen: Augustin Hadelich, 'Sibelius, Adès: Violin Concertos'

Violinist Augustin Hadelich pairs a classic concerto with a contemporary one on this new album.
Rosalie O'Connor

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:54 am

Looking for a new violinist to fall in love with? Meet Augustin Hadelich, the 29-year-old Italian-born son of German parents. On his new album, to be released March 11, he pairs two searching, seemingly disparate violin concertos — one classic and one contemporary.

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Music News
1:23 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

And The Oscar Goes To ... Mr. 'Star Wars' Or Arcade Fire?

William Butler of Arcade Fire: not the most typical contender for Best Original Score.
Jason Oxenham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:13 pm

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World Music
3:32 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Renowned Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia Dies At Age 66

Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía is pictured in 2007. (Cornel Putan Alin/Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:37 pm

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack today in Cancun, Mexico, while on the beach with his children.

The 66-year-old guitarist vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco music and helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself, during a time when the music was largely being ignored by mainstream popularity.

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Classical Music
1:33 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Menuhin Competition Comes to Austin

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:27 pm

The Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists is kind of a big deal. It's been called "the Olympics of violin," which is apt, as it's a worldwide competition that brings together the best young talent in its field.

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KPAC Blog
5:19 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Austin Baroque Orchestra Heads To Fredericksburg For 'Haydn Go Seek'

Austin Baroque Orchestra
Justin Cole Photography

Fredericksburg will soon host a rare music performance. Austin Baroque Orchestra Music Director Billy Traylor described them this way:

“We’re a period instrument orchestra so we perform music from the 17th and 18th century on replicas of instruments from that time," Traylor said.

This comes from a time before metal strings and before wind instruments had valves. If you listen to the audio package above, you can hear the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and it is different. 

I asked Traylor about their upcoming concert in Fredericksburg.

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KPAC Blog
11:22 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Symphony Of The Hills Presents A Show Of "Storm And Stress" In Kerrville

Symphony of the Hills
Full House Productions

The Symphony of the Hills plays Thursday night in Kerrville. I spoke to Jay Dunnahoo, conductor and artistic director of the symphony to find out more about the concert with an interesting title.

“Storm and Stress—Symphonic Adventures," Dunahoo said. "As the title implies, there are some storms and there is some stress. We built this theme around the pieces they’re playing.”

The pieces they’re playing are stormy and stressful, but in a good symphonic kind of way.

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