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.

Libby Day

Fall season for Youth Orchestras of San Antonio opens this week. Music Director Troy Peters told us that the program he has planned has a lot to do with the Tobin Center itself, where it’s happening on Sunday.

“It’s an amazing place to make a big sound. We’re going to play Saint Saens’ organ symphony.  It’s a spectacular piece. It blows the roof off the place.”

To do so they’ll use the Tobin’s little-known in-house organ. It's a great big thing that is mostly kept far below the stage, but to bring out and set up, takes several stage hands hours to execute.

In 1972, composer Steve Reich wrote a piece that — theoretically — anyone can play. No instruments are required for “Clapping Music” other than the human body. The music is produced by two performers, each clapping the same rhythm in 12/8 time. After repeating the phrase eight times, one performer shifts his or her rhythm by one beat. This same process is repeated 12 times, creating an interlocking series of patterns that tickle the ear with polyrhythmic delight. It sounds simple, but it’s hard to pull off.

It was 30 years ago today that a single American hostage was killed by terrorists during the hijacking of a cruise ship by pro-Palestinian terrorists in the Mediterranean Sea. Leon Klinghoffer's death was the inspiration for a controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, composed by John Adams, with a libretto by Alice Goodman and directed by Peter Sellars.

Full House Productions

The hills are alive with the sounds of music. Those hills are the ones around Kerrville where the Symphony of the Hills is based. Here’s Artistic Director Gene Dowdy on their upcoming concert:

"We’ve themed it Heroes: Real and Imagined. All the music is inspired by or influenced somehow by acts of heroism, heroes or even just ideals."

Dowdy details the concert's contents: