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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KPAC Blog
10:45 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Cooking Up Conversations With Classical Musicians

Guests of the first 'Sarah's Prelude & Food'
courtesy of the artist

These days artists and organizations are reaching out to connect with audiences. Preconcert talks, galas, and  after show receptions are the norm. Even preconcert interviews and videos make up a large part of audience outreach.

There have been creative endeavors, including classical music cruises, new performances spaces like art galleries and bars, plus new social media outlets such as twitter, youtube, facebook, and instagram! You may have even seen classical cookbooks: Pavarotti's pasta, Die Oper Kocht, and a whole slew of others.

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KPAC Blog
11:23 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Camp KPAC: Day Three

Ramee Saleh listens to playback.
Nathan Cone

This week, six high school students are working with staff to learn basic radio interviewing and production skills, with the goal of having a finished project at the end of the week that combines words and music. On Wednesday, KABB Chief Meterologist Alex Garcia joined us to share his own professional journey through radio, television, and education, and we spent time interviewing the musicians who were in house yesterday.

Reagan High School student Ramee Saleh writes about today's experiences:

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KPAC Blog
2:19 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Listening To Wagner's Ring With A Roadmap Of Sorts

Richard Wagner
Courtesy of Wikipedia

I recently came across a steal. A friend on a social network posted that a recording was $6. That may seem normal for an mp3 release, or mildly cheap if you purchase an iTunes release for $9.99. But this particular recording was live from Bayreuth - the complete Ring der Nibelungen by Richard Wagner. Yes, all four operas.

The whole world has been celebrating the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth this year (his birthday is May 22). Summer festivals have been playing his music, and several cycles of the Ring are programmed for companies this fall and winter.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:58 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Carnegie Hall's Barnstorming Youth Movement

Cellist Angelique Montes, resident advisor Melissa Willams and clarinetist Tom Jeon arrive at Purchase College, State University of New York to begin their NYO-USA adventure.
Chris Lee courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 1:49 pm

This is the kind of opportunity most classical musicians can only dream about: to be invited to spend part of the summer with an orchestra touring the world — Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London — with two of the biggest names in classical music, conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.

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KPAC Blog
11:44 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Camp KPAC: Day Two

Gabriela Barrera, one of last year's Camp KPAC students, performs.
Nathan Cone

As our Camp KPAC project continues, students got a first-hand look at recording techniques and fine musicianship today.  Jillian Kouzel of MacArthur High School writes:

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Classical Spotlight
4:21 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Q Chamber Music Series Cues Up Woodwind Quintets

Members of Q
courtesy of the artist

The newest chamber music series, Q, continues this week with an all woodwind quintet program. Led by oboist Jennifer Berg, this weekend will mark the return of the formerly Boston based quintet, Q. "We struggled with the name, it was Quintuplets, Woodwind Fire (a pun on Earth, Wind and Fire), but we decided Q was best," says Berg.

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KPAC Blog
10:53 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Camp KPAC: Day One

This week, KPAC's James Baker and yours truly are working with a group of area high school students, offering them an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of radio production. We'll be recording and interviewing young classical musicians, and editing the material into a final project using the techniques they learn.  One of the students, Lennon Maldonado, a recent Thomas Jefferson High School graduate who will be attending San Antonio College in the fall, had this to say about today's experience:

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Deceptive Cadence
8:38 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Tracing The Spirit Of The Early American Symphony

Amy Beach, with her 1896 "Gaelic" Symphony, was among America's early symphonic composers.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 11:21 am

Leonard Bernstein, in a New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert, once summarized the late 19th century as the "kindergarten period" of American music and proceeded to make fun of George Whitefield Chadwick, Boston's leading composer from that period. But in citing Chadwick's Melpomene Overture, Bernstein stacked the deck.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:21 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

From Carnegie Hall, A Youth Orchestra That's A National First

Conductor Valery Gergiev leads the National Youth Orchestra through its first rehearsal with the maestro, at Purchase College outside New York City.
Chris Lee

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:22 pm

It's a hot summer afternoon and the recital hall at Purchase College is abuzz with excitement and nervous energy. One hundred and twenty teenagers, from 42 states, are about to embark on an extraordinary musical and personal journey.

Clive Gillinson, executive director of Carnegie Hall, steps up to the podium to greet them. "Welcome to all of you," he says. "It's wonderful to welcome you here to the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America!"

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Classical Spotlight
11:45 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Young Composer Unites Sounds And Friends

Violinist and Composer Darian Thomas
John Clare / Texas Public Radio

Strings and Songs and Solidarity! - a concert featuring compositions by Darian Thomas, will be performed by high school and college musicians this weekend at the Carver Community Cultural Center.  Thomas hopes you'll "support the contemporary classical music scene of San Antonio, and enjoy the vibrant sounds of youth coming together for a common goal!"

Here is a great example of Darian's artistry, a performance from last May with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's Philharmonic Orchestra and Troy Peters:

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