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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Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Opera San Antonio Looks Ahead

Credit Chris Eudaily/TPR

After a successful production of his family opera "Fantastic Mr. Fox" at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, Opera San Antonio's Artistic Director Tobias Picker shares his plans for the future of the young company.  

Nathan Cone: For this first season, what are your hopes? And then what would you like to do in the future?

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Deceptive Cadence
9:01 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

The Case Of The Stolen Stradivarius

The Lipinski Stradivarius is worth between $5 million and $6 million. Only about 650 Strads, made by master luthier Antonio Stradivari, survive today.
Courtesy of Frank Almond

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 5:52 pm

Stradivarius violins are so important that they come with their own biographies. Several hundred of them survive today, and they're so prized, you can trace their lineages through the musicians who played them over the centuries.

The instruments have been valued at prices ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million. That kind of money attracts a lot of nonmusicians, like investors — and thieves.

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Classical Music
12:36 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

The San Antonio Symphony Like You've Never Seen Or Heard Them

Sebastian Lang-Lessing
San Antonio Symphony

A couple of upcoming performances by the San Antonio Symphony will put them in a very different light.  First we start with a kind of interstellar light.

“We are going to be presenting 'Star Trek: Into the Darkness' in the Majestic Theater on October 17th and 18th.”

David Gross is the symphony’s CEO, and yes, you heard right. They’re presenting a Star Trek movie.  

“The San Antonio Symphony will be presenting the full orchestral score live” he said.

The movie will play on a big screen minus the music that will be played live by the symphony.

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Classical Music
10:36 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Anna Netrebko Finds A New Voice As Lady Macbeth

Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth in Verdi's "Macbeth" at the Metropolitan Opera.
Marty Sohl Metropolitan Opera

Soprano Anna Netrebko has been aiming toward this moment for years. On Saturday, October 11, the Met’s popular “Live in HD” cinecast series opens with Netrebko singing Lady Macbeth in Giuseppe Verdi’s adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy. 

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Music Interviews
9:21 am
Mon October 6, 2014

The Maestro And The Liberator: Gustavo Dudamel's Cinematic Debut

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor of the LA Philharmonic since 2009, composed the score for the new Simón Bolívar biopic The Liberator.
Vern Evans Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 11:19 am

A film opened in the U.S. this weekend about the life of Simón Bolivar, the military leader who helped free much of Latin America from the Spanish Empire. Libertador, or The Liberator, tells that story with the help of rousing music by a first-time film-score composer: Gustavo Dudamel.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

WATCH: Protesters Disrupt St. Louis Symphony With 'Requiem For Mike Brown'

Protesters unfurl banners during a performance of the St. Louis Symphony.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 4:59 pm

A Saturday performance of the St. Louis Symphony was disrupted by demonstrators protesting the killing of Michael Brown, the black, unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

"Justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all," protesters sang, before asking the audience, "Which side are you on, friend? Which side are you on?"

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Remembrances
11:25 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Remembering Margaret Stapp, Who "Answered The Call"

Margaret Stapp, in December 2012.
Credit TPR

A longtime TPR volunteer, and instrumental element of KPAC’s birth in 1982, passed away on September 10, 2014. Margaret Stapp was 91. As the wife of KPAC founder Wilford Stapp, she was there at the beginning when the station signed on in November, 1982. For many years Margaret served as “pledge captain” during the twice yearly fund drives.

“She was extravagant in her commitment of time and her talent,” says Joe Gwathmey, TPR’s first General Manager.

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Arts & Culture
10:40 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Looking Over Camerata San Antonio's Eclectic New Season

Ken Freudigman
Credit Camerata SA

Camerata San Antonio begins its fall season this weekend, and  I spoke to Camerata Music Director Ken Freudigman recently about that season. We ended last time with November 20th’s 'Clarinet and Strings' program.

“The next program is the Camerata Recital; that’s in December," he said. "This is where it features one member of the group and this year it’s Martha Long. She’s our principal flute of the symphony, and we’re just delighted to work with her.”

In January Camerata joins in with the San Antonio Symphony’s yearly Festival, which focuses on a specific composer.  

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Music News
3:23 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Tuning Pianos In The Digital Age

Piano tuning courses are still taught at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. (Courtesy North Bennet Street School)

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 1:54 pm

Does anyone tune pianos any more? And how?

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson went to the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Mass., which offers nine-month courses in piano technology.

He met Debbie Cyr, who tunes instruments and also instructs students at the school. It turns out that there is still a demand for piano tuning as many of those who practice the profession decide to retire.

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Arts & Culture
2:50 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

"Fantastic" Simulcast At The Tobin Center

Fantastic Mr. Fox on the Big Screen
Laura Alpin

It happened last Saturday night--the first Tobin Center for the Performing Arts simulcast, a really interesting sidebar function to the state-of-the-art hall. But first I'd like to introduce you to someone.

"My name is Inga Cotton.”

Inga is a mom, but she does something else, too.

“I’m also a mom blogger. My blog is called San Antonio Charter Moms.”

That blog has a big focus.   

“I just really like to expose my kids to culture.”

Which brings us back to the Tobin Center from last Saturday night. Inga details what was going on.

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