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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First Listen
11:41 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

First Listen: Augustin Hadelich, 'Sibelius, Adès: Violin Concertos'

Violinist Augustin Hadelich pairs a classic concerto with a contemporary one on this new album.
Rosalie O'Connor

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:54 am

Looking for a new violinist to fall in love with? Meet Augustin Hadelich, the 29-year-old Italian-born son of German parents. On his new album, to be released March 11, he pairs two searching, seemingly disparate violin concertos — one classic and one contemporary.

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Music News
1:23 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

And The Oscar Goes To ... Mr. 'Star Wars' Or Arcade Fire?

William Butler of Arcade Fire: not the most typical contender for Best Original Score.
Jason Oxenham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:13 pm

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World Music
3:32 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Renowned Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia Dies At Age 66

Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía is pictured in 2007. (Cornel Putan Alin/Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:37 pm

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack today in Cancun, Mexico, while on the beach with his children.

The 66-year-old guitarist vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco music and helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself, during a time when the music was largely being ignored by mainstream popularity.

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Classical Music
1:33 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Menuhin Competition Comes to Austin

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:27 pm

The Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists is kind of a big deal. It's been called "the Olympics of violin," which is apt, as it's a worldwide competition that brings together the best young talent in its field.

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KPAC Blog
5:19 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Austin Baroque Orchestra Heads To Fredericksburg For 'Haydn Go Seek'

Austin Baroque Orchestra
Justin Cole Photography

Fredericksburg will soon host a rare music performance. Austin Baroque Orchestra Music Director Billy Traylor described them this way:

“We’re a period instrument orchestra so we perform music from the 17th and 18th century on replicas of instruments from that time," Traylor said.

This comes from a time before metal strings and before wind instruments had valves. If you listen to the audio package above, you can hear the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and it is different. 

I asked Traylor about their upcoming concert in Fredericksburg.

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KPAC Blog
11:22 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Symphony Of The Hills Presents A Show Of "Storm And Stress" In Kerrville

Symphony of the Hills
Full House Productions

The Symphony of the Hills plays Thursday night in Kerrville. I spoke to Jay Dunnahoo, conductor and artistic director of the symphony to find out more about the concert with an interesting title.

“Storm and Stress—Symphonic Adventures," Dunahoo said. "As the title implies, there are some storms and there is some stress. We built this theme around the pieces they’re playing.”

The pieces they’re playing are stormy and stressful, but in a good symphonic kind of way.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:33 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Gil Shaham And When The World 'Got Much Smaller, Much Faster'

Star violinist Gil Shaham, whose newest recording project surveys the wildly different violin concertos of the 1930s.
Luke Ratray Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:02 pm

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Alice Herz-Sommer, Pianist And Holocaust Survivor, Dies At 110

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:02 pm

Renowned concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, once thought to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor, has died at age 110. Her story is told in the Oscar-nominated film, The Lady in Number 6.

KPAC Blog
2:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

World Music Symposium Features Eastern European Flair

Ruth Moreland.
John Clare TPR Arts

There’s a unique training opportunity coming up for singers in San Antonio.

“I’m not sure there’s ever been a world music symposium in San Antonio before, so Benissimo Music is collaborating with Trinity University and we’re going to put on this wonderful two-day event" said Benissimo Music's Ruth Moreland.

Moreland said there will be master classes and they are bringing in Balkan music specialist Eva Salina Primack.

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KPAC Blog
2:45 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Renee Fleming To Open San Antonio Symphony's 75th Anniversary Season

Renee Fleming will help open the San Antonio Symphony's 75th anniversary season.
Andrew Eccles Decca

I talked to the San Antonio Symphony's Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing today and asked what many in the arts community are wondering: who will be the focus of next year’s music festival?

“Richard Strauss,” revealed Lang-Lessing.

“For me it was just a natural way to celebrate the 75th anniversary with a Strauss festival," he said.

It's the San Antonio Symphony’s 75th year of playing and to get that anniversary started right, he had another big announcement.

“We open with Renee Fleming, so I’m very thrilled that this works out,” Lang-Lessing said.

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