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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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Strike Up The Band! Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends

After more than 15 months, the bitter labor battle between the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management has ended. Whether the orchestra's music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured here) will return, after resigning in October, remains to be seen.
Greg Helgeson Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 11:39 am

"The 15-month lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra ended Tuesday after management and musicians announced an agreement," Minnesota Public Radio writes.

"Musicians will return to work on Feb. 1," the network adds. They had been locked out since October 2012.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:29 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The 'Ode To Joy' As A Call To Action

A Chinese student at the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, where speakers playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony were rigged up to drown out government broadcasts.
Battle Hymns Productions

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:39 pm

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KPAC Blog
1:50 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

San Antonio Symphony's Dvorak Festival Surprises

Antonin Dvorak
Wikimedia Commons

As you likely know, the city-wide Dvořák Festival finds several classical music assets doing live concerts of the composer’s music. The yearly one-composer focus was begun by the San Antonio Symphony, and this is its fourth year.

"This week is the only week where we have two different programs on Friday and Saturday so you have to come twice this weekend if you want to hear the entire Dvořák cycle," said Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Acclaimed soloist Michel Dalberto performs with the symphony first.

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Classical Music
9:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

A Gramophone And Mozart, Or How I Fell For Opera

Conductor (and flutist) Nicholas McGegan fell in love with opera as a kid.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 8:41 am

British conductor Nicholas McGegan celebrates his 'Beatle' birthday today (64, that is). To mark the occasion, he recalls how he first fell in love with opera. It came by way of a newfangled record player and one heavenly Mozart recording. Remember when the operatic light bulb first sparked for you?

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KPAC Blog
3:26 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Symphony And YOSA Team Up To Tackle Dvorak's 'Serenade For Strings'

Troy Peters directs YOSA.
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

Many classical music organizations are participating in the city-wide Dvořák Festival, and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are doing so too. YOSA Music Director Troy Peters has the lowdown.

"We are working with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and also with musicians from the San Antonio Symphony" he explained. "So we’ll have a string orchestra of students and professionals playing together, playing the great Dvořák 'Serenade for Strings.' And then we’re also going to do a nice little set of choral music with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio."

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Deceptive Cadence
2:42 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan?

Left to right: Kamala Sankaram as Mukhtar Mai, Steve Gokool, Theodora Hanslowe, Leela Subramaniam, Kannan Vasudevan, Manu Narayan.
Prototype Opera Festival

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:53 am

Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.

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Classical Music
3:33 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

KPAC Is Music For Your Life

This month, KPAC 88.3 FM and KSTX 89.1 FM begin a four-week series of announcements on-air that should be music to your ears. And your heart. And your brain. We’re calling it “Music For Your Life.”

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Classical Music
4:03 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

New Year, New Discoveries From South America

As is so often the case, discoveries are made by the back way. I was browsing today the upcoming 2014 programming of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, conducted by my old acquaintance Enrique Arturo Diemecke. I saw many familiar composers, but a sprinkling of unknown, mostly Latin American composers as well. Esteban Benzecry, an Argentine musician, was among them. It was a new name to me, and new music--they're playing his Violin Concerto in Buenos Aires.

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KPAC Blog
12:11 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Camerata San Antonio's Dvorak Concert Features Exciting Guests

Ken Freudigman
Camerata SA

The city’s Dvořák Festival begins tomorrow and Camerata San Antonio is getting ready for their performance on Sunday, January 19.   

"We are truly excited to be partnering with the San Antonio Symphony in their yearly festival," said cellist and co-founder Ken Freudigman.

Camerata is a four-piece chamber ensemble that grows just a bit during these festivals.  

"This year Camerata will be partnering with the soloist pianist Michel Dalberto in the magnificent 'Piano Quintet in A Major,'" Freudigman said.

But Dalberto isn’t Camerata’s only guest.

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Classical Music
3:35 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Cachet And Cash For Rafał Blechacz, Named 2014 Gilmore Artist

Rafał Blechacz has been named the 2014 Gilmore Artist. In 2005, he swept the five top prizes at the International Chopin Competition.
Felix Broede DG

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:19 am

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, who at age 20 swept all five top prizes at the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, can now add another prestigious award to his collection. Early Wednesday, Blechacz was named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.

The Gilmore may not have quite the name recognition as the Chopin Competition, but it has a distinguished cachet of its own, plus a generous $300,000 cash award.

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