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
9:20 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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TPR Events & Initiatives
3:25 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

TPR Presents: Dvorak

Antonin Dvorak.
Wikimedia Commons

As part of the city-wide Dvorak Festival, Texas Public Radio invites members to TPR Presents: Dvorak at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, at Our Lady of the Lake University's Thiry Auditorium, 411 SW 24th St. There will be a dessert reception following the performance.

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KPAC Blog
4:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

SOLI Debuts Three New Commissioned Works In January Shows

The SOLI Chamber Ensemble.
Courtesy of the artist

Violinist and SOLI Chamber Ensemble Artistic Director Ertan Torgul said his group specializes in contemporary classical music and has commissioned over 40 works in the group's time together.

They pay musicians to write new classical compositions and then SOLI debuts them in San Antonio.  

"All we’re doing really is performing stuff that is new, just like in Beethoven’s day," Torgul said.

Torgul reminds us that even the classics were contemporary at one time.

"We’re doing the same thing for today’s composers," he said.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
4:12 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo: Tiny Desk Concert

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo performs a Tiny Desk Concert in October 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 7:03 am

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo is a veteran when it comes to taking risks, and it pays off in her compelling music. As a young girl in Vietnam, she knew she wanted to be a traditional musician, even though it was a world dominated by men. It was risky, then, when she pestered a master teacher for three years to give her lessons. He finally gave in, taking her on as an apprentice.

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