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
11:05 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

A Resurgence Of Electronic Classical Music

Tristan Perich is a composer who builds and programs microchips to make music. (tristanperich.com)

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 2:38 pm

Electronic sounds created by machines like vocoders, synthesizers and laptops have become pretty standard in popular music, but electronic music is also having a resurgence in new works by classical composers.

Classical composers have worked with electronics since the end of World War II, but the new technologies and people’s growing familiarity with electronically-produced sounds has led to new and interesting works in the classical world.

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NPR Story
2:39 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Mr. Cohen's Choir Music For Christmas

Ron Cohen, Robin's former choir director at the J.F.K. High School Choir in Plainview Long Island. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

Here & Now’s Robin Young is joined by her former high school choir director Ron Cohen, who brings his picks for choral music for the Christmas season.

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Classical Music
3:06 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

SA Symphony Introduces Dvorak To San Antonio On KLRN

Sebastian Lang-Lessing at KLRN
KLRN

The San Antonio Symphony doesn’t do a lot of television specials, but once a year they collaborate with public television station KLRN to produce an hour-long program.

"[This year's show will] launch nicely our next festival, which will be a Dvorak Festival," said conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing by phone from Belgrade. "[We'll be] introducing Dvorak to the public. We’ve chosen this year the 'Carnival Overture' and a set of Slavonic dances, which really shows Dvorak from his folky side."

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Arts & Culture
3:50 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

This May Be San Antonio's Most Unusual Holiday Celebration

Tubameisters at the Arneson River Theater
Hans Grim

It’s a San Antonio holiday event truly like no other.  We asked Tubameister Ray Grim, who coordinates the group of tuba and euphonium players, just what a Tubameister is.

"A tubameister is someone who has mastered the tuba, in our case it’s a name for our group, calling ourselves the Tubameisters."

He explained how Tubas are known primarily for its background function in music.

"These are instruments that don’t often be at the forefront, but in this concert we get to play all the parts, including the melody."

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KPAC Programming
11:47 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Celebrate "A Baroque Holiday" On KPAC With The San Antonio Symphony

The San Fernando Cathedral in downtown San Antonio was founded in 1731 and is the oldest continually functioning religious community in Texas.
Ryan Loyd TPR

On Christmas Eve, tune to KPAC 88.3 FM and KTXI 90.1 FM for a special program, “A Baroque Holiday,” featuring the San Antonio Symphony, led by Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto. Recorded live at San Fernando Cathedral, Akiko Fujimoto says the venue was beautiful, artistically and historically. “San Fernando Cathedral was built during the baroque period,” she points out, “so there could not be more perfect venue for this music to be performed by the San Antonio Symphony.”

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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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