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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Classical Music
9:49 am
Wed December 18, 2013

San Antonio Mastersingers, Symphony Celebrate Holiday Season

Courtesy photo

The San Antonio Symphony’s holiday season is winding down, but there's yet another performance that maybe you shouldn't miss. This Friday and Saturday night at the Majestic Theater, the annual "Holiday Pops" concert closes the seasonal performances. San Antonio Mastersinger and Board Member Chancey Blackburn is excited about the shows.

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Arts & Culture
10:23 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Young Guitarists Perform For The Holidays

San Antonio Guitar Ensemble
Ted Schechter

If your Holiday celebrations haven’t had enough guitar, we've found something you should check out: The San Antonio Guitar Ensemble. Actually, it's two classical guitar ensembles, as creator Ted Schechter explains.

"One are the younger kids, who I call the guitar stars," he says. "Their average age is around ten, that’s a quartet. The older group is more teenagers, high school students…and they go anywhere from five to ten members."

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come

Some Steinway company representatives and employees — like Wally Boot, pictured here — have been working for the company for decades. Boot is the last person to touch every piano that leaves the factory in Queens, N.Y.
Craig Warga Bloomberg/Getty

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.

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Classical Music
11:31 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Mexican Classical Music: From The Known To The Unknown

La Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, one of 5 full time professional orchestras in the greater Mexico City area.
Dirección General de Música, UNAM Wikimedia Commons

If there's one thing to be learned about classical music from Latin America, it's that there's much more there than one might imagine, especially if we only know of that proverbial tip of the iceberg, the scant amount of Latin American music which has trickled into American, European and Asian concert halls. When I first began producing my weekly radio program, “Itinerarios,” I began casting the net further and further into Latin America, hoping to keep new materials flowing in as fuel for the show.

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Soundtracks
3:37 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Making Music For 'The Hobbit'

Composer Howard Shore (howardshore.com)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:38 am

Composer Howard Shore has written dozens of film scores. He’s worked with directors Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorcese, and he’s a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg. But he’s probably best known for his work with Peter Jackson.

Shore wrote the scores for all three “Lord of the Rings” movies, as well as the two “Hobbit” films, including “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which opens today. He’s won three Oscars for his work on “The Lord of the Rings” films.

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Education
1:54 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

YOSA Más Program Changing More Students' Lives Through Music

YOSA Más Students
Stephanie Kocher

Having your children in band or orchestra can be expensive proposition, but as it turns out, not always. Youth Orchestras of San Antonio has a decades-long history in the Alamo City, but YOSA Más is still new, having been officially established in January, 2013. The word más in the title has a double meaning. Besides "more" YOSA Más also stands for YOSA, Music After School.

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Holidays
1:33 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Have Yourself A Midday Noel Downtown

First Presbyterian Church Choir
Lindsay Blackmon

We’ve told you about many local holiday celebrations, but  here's one with a decidedly different angle.
First Presbyterian Church Minister of Music Tom Dooling tells me about the curiously titled Midday Noels--Titled that because they happen at 12:10 in the afternoon.

"It’s just a great break in the middle of the day for folks who work downtown to come and enjoy a brief concert— only about 30 or 40 minutes in length, [then] you can enjoy some lunch options, to get just a little bit of a Christmas break," Dooling explains.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

So Much For The 'Mozart Effect'

Researchers could not find a link between exposure to music and improved IQs in preschoolers.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:02 pm

Music makes the heart grow fonder, but scientists are not so sure that it boosts IQ.

The Boston Globe notes:

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Classical Music
3:52 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Camerata San Antonio Taking Dvorak to Kerrville

Camerata San Antonio
Matthew Diekman Camerata San Antonio

Friday night one of the hottest tickets in town isn’t in town, and the tickets are free. The place is Kerrville and the band to see is Camerata San Antonio, offering a free preview of the Dvorak Festival.

Kenneth Freudigman is a founding member and Artistic Director of Camerata, as well as a member of the San Antonio Symphony.

“We are partnering with the San Antonio Symphony to bring great music of Dvorak to the area. This gives us an opportunity to play this magnificent work…in Kerrville.”

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Arts & Culture
2:22 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

The "True Story" Of Santa Claus, From The San Antonio Choral Society

Jennifer Seighman
San Antonio Choral Society San Antonio Choral Society

This Sunday, the San Antonio Choral Society performs a concert at Our Lady of Atonement Catholic Church that aims to tell "the true story of Santa Claus," according to the group's Artistic Director, Jennifer Seighman. 

"It really begins with Nicolas," Seighman continues. “Some of the miracles associated with him, some of the legends, are what evolved into the story that we know of Santa Claus.”

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