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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KPAC Blog
11:01 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Rare Indian Classical Music Performance Slated For San Antonio

There’s a music event heading our way on Friday that’s unlike what we normally hear in San Antonio: The alluring sound of music from India.

“A raga is the melodic form of an Indian classical music," said Rick Henderson, who is putting this concert together and also plays.

"I’m a sarode player; that’s a 25-stringed, fretless lute from North India, in the same family as sitar," he said.

There’s a whole family of classical music native to India, and as Henderson explained, one of its most accomplished violinists is coming to San Antonio.  

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KPAC Blog
3:25 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Camerata Hosting Master Class For High School Musicians

Emily Freudigman.
Carin Lamontagne

It’s almost like an old school musician apprenticeship. We’re talking about a program conducted by Camerata San Antonio, the four-piece chamber ensemble.  First, a reminder of who they are and what they do.

“We perform music from the baroque to today, and we try to keep every program eclectic,” said Camerata’s co-founder and violist Emily Freudigman. Not long ago in the hill country, while conducting a master class, the group realized something.

“Not only do we perform well together, we teach well together,” said Freudigman.

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KPAC Blog
2:04 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

YOSA Taking San Antonio Sounds To Canada

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
John Clare

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio have just two more performances before taking it on the road. YOSA actually comprises several youth orchestras, encouraging kids to find their own musical paths. Music Director Troy Peters gives us the lowdown on the next performance.

“This Sunday we’re going to be offering one of the big masters of the repertoire, Mahler’s First Symphony. But we’re doing it as a guided tour," he said.

Through the orchestra, Peters will do a stop-and-start performance, with explanations to present in-depth musical elements to the audience.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:38 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It)

The vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 will disband after the 2015-16 concert season.
Dario Acosta

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 11:01 am

In 1986, four women gathered in a casual setting to sing through a bit of medieval chant. Little did they know they were launching Anonymous 4, an a cappella ensemble that has spanned nearly 30 years, 20 albums, countless concerts and more than a millenium of music.

Today the group announced that the 2015-16 season will be its last together. But this isn't the first time Anonymous 4 has thought about calling it quits. The group bid a similar farewell in 2004.

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KPAC Blog
3:56 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Following This Week's Performances, Choral Society Hits The Road For Euopean Shows

Credit San Antonio Choral Society / San Antonio Choral Society

The San Antonio Choral Society has a pair of performances this week.  I spoke to Jennifer Seighman, who is the group’s artistic director.

“We have two concerts this week. The first one is Tuesday at 7:30 at the Oblate School of Theology and then we’ll give a second performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Travis Park United Methodist Church,” Seighman said.

She said the selections they’ll be singing are specifically to highlight the human voice.

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Planet Money
4:52 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Episode 538: Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

PATRICK KOVARIK AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 3:40 pm

A trumpet is more or less a trumpet. A clarinet is a clarinet. But violin or a viola... they are different. More like living breathing things. Hand crafted from wood, from a tree. Every one is different. And, you know the story. Antonio Stradivari, was the master. Some say the greatest violin maker to ever live. The Stradivarius is one of the most powerful and expensive brands in the world.

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KPAC Blog
3:26 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Freedom Brass & San Antonio Brass Are About To Make Big Music

Freedom Brass.
Elizabeth Castle

A brassy musical collaboration is about to take place. I spoke with two of their principals to find out what's going on. Master Sgt. Jeff Castle plays trumpet and is in charge of Freedom Brass.

"Freedom Brass is one of the chamber ensembles for the Band of the West," Castle said.

The Band of the West is a series of bands who make up the Air Force's musical wing. I also spoke to John Carroll, who plays trumpet in the San Antonio Symphony and is the executive director of the San Antonio Brass.

It is these two entities that have created a project together.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:10 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Watch Bang On A Can Occupy 'Arthur'

Two of the Bang on a Can All-Stars immortalized on the kids' cartoon Arthur.
Courtesy of 'Arthur'

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 4:56 pm

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KPAC Blog
10:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Weekend San Antonio Chamber Choir Performances Mark A Big Change

San Antonio Chamber Choir.
San Antonio Chamber Choir Facebook

They’re called the San Antonio Chamber Choir, and they're about to go through a major change. But first, Founding Artistic Director Scott MacPherson describes the choir this way.

“ A professional choir of 24 to 32 singers here in San Antonio. We’re in our ninth season. It’s made up of singers from the greater San Antonio and Austin area,” MacPherson said.

As to what's happening, MacPherson said they have not one, but two performances this weekend.

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All Tech Considered
2:26 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen

Revelers play Johann Sebastian Joust.
Brent Knepper Courtesy of jsjoust.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.

Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.

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