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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Music Interviews
4:15 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The Minds Behind 'Einstein On The Beach' Talk Shop

A scene from the revival of Einstein on the Beach.
Los Angeles Opera

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:15 pm

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KPAC Blog
5:01 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Why Verdi?

Giuseppe Verdi
Wikimedia Commons

My first exposure to the music of Guiseppe Verdi came in high school. Fred Junkin, the director of the Victoria High School Band, chose Verdi's "Overture to La Forza del Destino" for one of our contest pieces. The drama of the piece stuck with me, such that as a professional musician and devoted listener to classical music, my heart still responds to Verdi's restless score.

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Classical Music
8:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Verdi's Operas: A Vigorous Soundtrack To Human Nature

Giuseppe Verdi's operas have an uncanny ability to probe into our contemporary psyche.
Leemage Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 3:09 pm

Two hundred years ago today, in a small northern Italian village, a couple named Verdi — tavern owners by trade — welcomed the birth of a baby boy who would later change the face of opera forever. And, whether we recognize it or not, on the bicentennial of his birth, Giuseppe Verdi is still vital.

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Classical Music
1:59 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

What Is Classical Music's Women Problem?

Australian conductor Simone Young, the outgoing artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera.
Klaus Lefebvre Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:36 am

Close your eyes, and you may think that this is 1913. In the past few days, the classical music community has been set aflame by recent comments from three prominent male conductors who are — steel yourself — actually saying that women are not capable of standing on the podium.

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Classical Music
4:11 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.

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KPAC Blog
4:43 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Opera Piccola Moves Downtown To The Empire For New Season

Opera Piccola

Opera Piccola's season starts with a few surprises and amongst those is a big one: Moving into downtown’s Charline McCombs Empire theater.

"It only seats 800 people," said General Director Mark Richter, "so no matter where you sit in the Empire Theater, it’s a tremendous seat."

They’ve also begun positioning the company in a way unlike what many people think when they think of opera.

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KPAC Blog
3:39 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

San Antonio Symphony Adds More Moving Parts

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony debuted its new season last weekend and Musical Director and sometimes Conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing predicts a lot of sizzle for their Friday and Saturday night performances at the Majestic.

"It’s going to be a very exciting performance for me," he said. "Schumann is something  that’s very personal for me. I’m very close to his music. I’ve recorded all of his symphonies and always feature him when I can."

Lang-Lessing is also looking forward to playing Rachmaninoff’s "Symphonic Dances."

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Performing Arts
11:24 am
Mon October 7, 2013

The Fat Lady Sings For New York City Opera

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. They call it The People's Opera, but after this month, the New York City Opera will exist only in the history books. The renowned company is closing after 70 years. The New York City Opera failed to raise the $7 million it needed to cover its debts and will file for bankruptcy protection.

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KPAC Blog
10:33 am
Mon October 7, 2013

SOLI Chamber Ensemble Tackles Old And New Works

The SOLI Chamber Ensemble.
Courtesy of the artist

San Antonio’s SOLI Chamber Ensemble is about to begin its new season and violinist Ertan Torgul said their selections will include what he calls "classics of today" -- selections of such quality that time will eventually render them classics.

"We’re always very innovative," he said. "We do a lot of multimedia and we do a lot of mixed ensemble things, and brand new pieces of course. Every season features at least four or five brand new works."

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Returning To Music, Tested By Loss

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander's new album is titled Claws & Wings.
Angelo Merendino Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 4:06 pm

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.

"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."

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