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
12:36 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Flamenco Master Ron Radford Comes To Kerrville

Tuesday night there’s a music experience set for Schreiner University in Kerrville featuring the flamenco guitar music of Ron Radford.

“Flamenco is the music of the people, the music of the peasants. It’s the blues of Spain," said Kathleen Hudson, who teaches English at Schreiner University.

"He [Radford] was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship that took him to Spain to study music with the gypsies" she said. “He’s also really committed to education and learning, and when you put those two things together you just get an amazing performance."

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Classical Music
11:18 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Why Opera Matters

Marc Scorca
Dario Acosta

The McNay Art Museum's Tobin Distinguished Lecture Series presented Marc Scorca, speaking on January 30, 2014. The title of his presentation is "Why Opera Matters."

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Classical Music
11:10 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Classical Couples: Sweethearts Sharing The Stage

Soprano Ailyn Perez and tenor Stephen Costello met in music school. Now married, the couple sings together around the world — as in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet at Opera Philadelphia in 2001.
Kelly & Massa Photography Opera Philadelphia

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:36 am

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KPAC Blog
2:18 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

YOSA & SAY Si Recreate 'Pictures At An Exhibition'

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
John Clare

The upcoming Youth Orchestras of San Antonio concert on Monday night promises something big and unusual.

"We have collaborated with SAY Sí, this wonderful, after school, year-round arts program for high school students, to create new art inspired by [Modest Petrovich] Mussorgsky’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition,' " said YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.

SAY Sí does with arts largely what YOSA does with music, gives young people a creative outlet. Peters explained exactly what they're doing with SAY Si.

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KPAC Blog
1:51 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

With Dvorak Festival Finished, Lang-Lessing Talks About How It Went, What's Next

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Dvořák Festival is done and I checked in with San Antonio Symphony Music Director  Sebastian Lang-Lessing to see how it went.

“The objectives were basically we were able to enlarge our partner groups, including opera."

Lang-Lessing noted that Dvořák provides a good continuity from last year’s Brahms Festival.

"And third it is touching a composer who is from Europe but changed the American music history dramatically in a very good and inspiring way," he said.

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Classical Music
8:57 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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Soundtracks
5:38 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

'Philomena' And The Power Of A Quiet Film Score

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the film Philomena.
Alex Bailey Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:53 pm

In the 1950s, Philomena Lee was a naive Irish teenager who got pregnant, gave birth in a convent, and was forced by the nuns to sign away her parental rights. The 2013 film Philomena is based on what happened five decades later, when Lee went looking for her son with the help of a journalist. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena is up for several Academy Awards, including one in an unlikely category.

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NPR Story
3:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

'Japanese Beethoven' Admits Fraud

Mamoru Samuragochi, a celebrated Japanese composer known as the "Japanese Beethoven" because he composed some of the country's most well known music after losing his hearing, is sending shockwaves throughout his country on Wednesday after admitting to using a ghostwriter. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images)

Mamoru Samuragochi is known as the “Japanese Beethoven” because he composed some of the country’s most well-known music after losing his hearing. But it turns out he didn’t really write much of that music.

Samuragochi admitted on Wednesday he had a ghostwriter. That ghostwriter is now coming forward, and is suggesting Samuragochi might not even be deaf.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson from Tokyo.

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Music News
4:53 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Violin Worth $5 Million Makes A Safe Return Home

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Police in Milwaukee have recovered a Stradivarius violin and arrested three suspects in its theft. The instrument, said to be worth approximately $5 million, was stolen in a brazen armed robbery from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra late last month. Mitch Teich of WUWM in Milwaukee reports on the violin's recovery.

Deceptive Cadence
4:14 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Seen The 'Brokeback Mountain' Movie? Now Watch The Opera

Tom Randle (left) and Daniel Okulitch star in the opera Brokeback Mountain.
Javier del Real Teatro Real

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:24 am

In 2006, at the 78th Academy Awards, the film Brokeback Mountain captured three Oscars and the attention of movie fans everywhere. That two handsome stars — Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal — played the lead roles helped propel the film's popularity.

But the tale of star-crossed sheepherders who fall in love on a rugged Wyoming mountain originated long before the film, as a tightly focused short story by Annie Proulx that was published in the New Yorker in 1997.

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