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.

The movie Birdman is favored to pick up several major Academy Awards Sunday night, but it will not be taking home the Oscar for best original score. That's because it was declared ineligible for Oscar consideration.

Birdman has one of the year's more distinctive musical scores, propelled by the unaccompanied jazz drumming of Antonio Sanchez, a bandleader and longtime drummer for guitarist Pat Metheny.

Willie Ruff In Conversation: Part I

Feb 21, 2015

In Part I of my interview with the remarkable musician and educator (still teaching at Yale at the age of 83) Willie Ruff, we learn of the early beginnings of his life in music and of how he came to learn to play the French horn. Ruff was for much of his professional lifetime partner with pianist Dwike Mitchell in the Mitchell-Ruff Duo. They were long associated with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Ruff was also a student and disciple of composer Paul Hindemith. In Parts II and III, we will hear of these two important relationships, those with Strayhorn and Hindemith.

Willie Ruff, In His Own Words

Feb 20, 2015

I first heard of Willie Ruff in the mid 1980s when a casual friend gave me a cassette tape of Mr. Ruff playing Gregorian Chant at the Basilica of St. Luke's in Venice. It was not until years later that I ran across his autobiography, “A Call to Assembly.” Ever since then, I've wanted to know more about him. Over the years, I've collected most of his recordings, but have until now never had the opportunity to actually speak with him. I give credit to a snowy day in Connecticut that I finally got the interview I've dreamed about.

Kristian Jaime Photography

San Antonio’s Opera Piccola is mounting its next production, and the three year-old company goes way back in time for this one. I spoke to Opera Piccola’s Music Director Kristin Roach.

“It’s a wonderful, charming story about, a love story but also the intervention of the Gods.”

Those Gods are the Greek ones and the opera is Dido and Aeneas, based on Virgil’s Aeneid.