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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Arts & Culture
9:09 am
Fri September 5, 2014

The Tobin Center For The Performing Arts Is Now Open!

Tobin stage.
Jack Morgan TPR Arts

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opened to the public Thursday. People pushed vacuums, roaring over the new carpets as I entered the H-E-B Performance Hall. I spoke to San Antonio Symphony General Manager David Gross.

“All right, it’s come down to this, what do you think?” I said.

“We're very, very excited," Gross replied. "This is a game-changing moment for the arts in San Antonio.”

The McNay Museum’s William Chiego agreed.

“The colors and the shape and the amount of space is just beautiful,” Chiego said.

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KPAC Blog
2:36 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

SAMA Matisse Exhibit Gets A Copperleaf Sendoff With French Salon Music

Credit Jack Morgan / TPR

Matisse ends his run at SAMA, but he’s not going away quietly. Rather than let him just slink away, they're throwing a goodbye party.

“The evening is entitled 'au revoir, Matisse,' ” said Ruth Moreland, music director of the Copperleaf Quintet. "And there’ll be all kinds of wonderful things going on at the museum, and Copperleaf will be performing a concert of French salon music in the third floor exhibition gallery, which is where they have all of Matisse’s art books.”

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Music Reviews
12:48 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Nicola Benedetti Comes Home For A "Scottish Fantasy"

Credit © Simon Fowler / Decca

After a decade of music-making, including albums focusing on Italy, Mendelssohn and the movies, violinist Nicola Benedetti finally comes home on “Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy.” Max Bruch’s four-part “Scottish Fantasy” is paired on this release with a collection of folk melodies, familiar tunes, and songs of lyricist and poet Robert Burns.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:03 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Glenn Gould In Rapture

Gordon Parks The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 8:15 am

What's going on here, I can only guess, but here's what you're about to see: In the video below, the great musician Glenn Gould, supreme interpreter of Bach, is sitting at his living room piano on a low, low chair, his nose close to the keys. He's at his Canadian country house in his bathrobe.

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KPAC Blog
3:04 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

YOSA Teams With Children's Chorus For Sept. 14 Tobin Performance

Troy Peters, Music Director, YOSA
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts continues to roll out events. At mid-month it’s featuring Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Here’s YOSA’s Music Director Troy Peters with the program's layout.

“A performance of "Peter and the Wolf," featuring YOSA and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. And we’ll surround that beloved family classic with a bunch of music exploring the cultural heritage of San Antonio,” he said.

Peters explained the reason for the wide program schedule in addition to "Peter and the Wolf."

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KPAC Blog
1:23 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Ballet Getting Tempo Right For Tobin Opening

Ballet San Antonio prepare for opening night at the Tobin Center.
Jack Morgan TPR Arts

Sebastian Lang-Lessing is gearing up for Thursday night’s opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Thursday I was at the last Ballet San Antonio rehearsal before the move into the Tobin and Lang-Lessing had acoustics on his mind.  

“There are two aspects to acoustics: There is the one, hearing on stage, but then there is the more important issue, how is the listening experience for the audience," he said. "And there are a lot of halls that are difficult onstage and wonderful in the hall. And there are other halls that are great onstage and bad in the hall.”

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Deceptive Cadence
12:48 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Great Expectations: A New Season Of New Music

Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain receives its world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in the coming season.
Ken Howard Santa Fe Opera

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:57 pm

Musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen once quipped: "The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition." But it's tough to see much gloom when faced with the diversity of premieres and provocative programming around the country in the 2014-2015 season.

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KPAC Blog
12:15 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Ballet San Antonio Making Last Minute Tobin Preparations

Credit Alexander Devora

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens Thursday night. Last Thursday I watched the last pre-Tobin practice of Ballet San Antonio.

Dancers took it all in, clearly ready to make adjustments. Afterwards, I spoke to Ballet San Antonio Artistic Director Gabriel Zertuche and I asked how long it has been to get to this point.

“You know, we’ve been rehearsing for about five weeks: preparing the dancers, coaching them, getting them ready with choreography, and style, and those type of things," Zertuche said.

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Music News
6:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Taking The Tuba Above And Beyond The Low End

On a new record called Connections: Mind the Gap, tuba player Bob Stewart sums up his career with a showcase of the instrument's versatility.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:33 am

On a hot, humid afternoon, Bob Stewart has called a rehearsal at his Harlem apartment. Six musicians are in a circle in the living room — on one side, trumpet and trombone; on the other, cello, viola and violin; and in the middle, the elephant in the room — Stewart's tuba.

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KPAC Blog
11:05 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ballet San Antonio's "Black Swan" Talks Opening Night At Tobin Center

Sarah Pautz
Credit Alexander Devora

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens in grand style next Thursday but this Thursday I spoke to to Sarah Pautz, principle dancer for Ballet San Antonio, who has a lot on the line that night.

As you’d expect, she’s a slight, delicate-looking person. But that look is deceptive. She’s muscular, determined and focused. The opening program on Thursday is a series of excerpts from popular productions, such as "Swan Lake."

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