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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Deceptive Cadence
12:11 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Hit The Road And Hear Some Music: Summer Classical Festivals 2013

At the Moab Festival in Utah, patrons can hike to a secret spot to hear concerts.
Richard Bowditch Moab Music Festival

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 7:55 am

Summer is heating up and so are dozens of classical music festivals all around the country. We couldn't possibly list them all, but here's a sampling of some of the best events, from open-air venues and seaside spots to historic concert halls. Been to a great summer festival we've missed? Feel free to pass along your own reviews in the comments section.

EAST

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Classical Spotlight
8:58 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

USAF Band Of The West Celebrates Independence Day

Airmen Ainsley Davis and Jennifer Daffinee at the TPR studios
John Clare / Texas Public Radio

This week starts local performances with Lackland Air Force Base's Band of the West, led by Captain Michael Hoerber. The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets are recommended for early seating. (For the San Antonio concerts at Sea World, admission is required to the park, but the concert is free inside.)

The patriotic program includes music of all branches of the military, and span from the Revolutionary War to today. Ensembles include their Concert Band, Dimensions in Blue, Warhawk, and  soloists Ainsley Davis and Jennifer Daffinee.

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KPAC Blog
8:44 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Video: New Harp Release Focuses On American Composers

The latest from Yolanda Kondonassis
courtesy of the artist

Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis grew up in Oklahoma. She made her debut (at age 18!) with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and has since toured worldwide, with every major orchestra. On top of her busy schedule, Yolanda heads the harp department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, and has even written a children's book about conservation (see the related story below).

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Classical Spotlight
11:15 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Church Choirs Preview English Cathedral Residency

Dr. Joseph Causby
John Clare/Texas Public Radio

The St. Mark's Choir and Youth Choir are going to Exeter Cathedral to be choir in residence from July 22-July 28. They will be responsible for singing daily services, with one day off! In total, they will perform 7 services (two on Sunday).

This weekend, Sunday at 4pm, the choirs are presenting a concert entitled, "Exeter in Texas" were they offer a preview of some of the music:

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KPAC Blog
10:11 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Escape The Summer Heat With Classical Destinations In Texas

Project Trio
courtesy of the artist

As arts seasons draw to a close in May and June, musicians and audiences look forward to summer festivals. Locally we'll enjoy the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and Mozart Festival Texas, this July and August, along with the new "Q" chamber music series.

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Arts & Culture
5:50 am
Tue June 18, 2013

YOSA Wins National Award For Programming

Conductor Troy Peters
John Clare TPR

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are receiving the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming today in St. Louis at the League of American Orchestras Conference.

The award rewards programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in contemporary music.

Troy Peters is the music director of YOSA and said new music is a vital element in their effort to give students and audiences exciting musical experiences. Next month YOSA leads their annual summer camp.

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KPAC Blog
11:17 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Mozart Pop Opera Finally Available In The US

Now available on dvd, The Magic Flute

Seven years ago (2006), and with a 27 million budget, Kenneth Branagh made a film version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute (read the film synopsis here.) The Peter Moores Foundation, who do amazing work translating opera into English, commissioned Stephen Fry to make this adaptation, and it remains witty, sexy, funny, passionate, and silly as the original libretto!

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Music Interviews
8:30 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Terence Blanchard Turns A Tragic Champion Into An Opera Hero

Terence Blanchard is one of today's foremost jazz composers.
Nitin Vadukul Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:19 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:45 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Playing Mozart — On Mozart's Violin

Violinist Amandine Beyer holds Mozart's own violin backstage at Boston's Jordan Hall on Monday.
Kathy Wittman Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 12:21 pm

The violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played himself are in the United States for the first time ever. The instruments come out of storage only about once a year at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. The rest of the time, they're kept under serious lockup.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:44 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

A Loaded Bible Story, Tweaked For The Opera Stage

Nathan Gunn and Sasha Cooke star in the new opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene as Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) and the title character.
San Francisco Opera

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Composer Mark Adamo has made beautiful music out of classic books. His Little Women is among the most produced American operas today. He also wrote the words and music for his operatic adaptation of Aristophanes' Greek drama Lysistrata.

His latest work, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, has proved more controversial. The opera, which premieres June 19 at the San Francisco Opera, tells the story of Mary, Jesus and his disciples.

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