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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Classical Music
7:45 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Alaskan Composer Wins Pulitzer For 'Become Ocean'

Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams has won the Pulitzer Prize for music with an homage to the sea called Become Ocean.
Evan Hurd Photography

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 2:55 pm

John Luther Adams, whose music is inspired by — and sometimes performed in — natural landscapes, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his symphonic work Become Ocean.

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Arts & Culture
2:10 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Van Cliburn Gold Medal Winner Vadym Kholodenko Coming To San Antonio

Last year’s gold medal winner of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition was Vadym Kholodenko, and he's coming to San Antonio for a performance.

"I am very proud to be one of the Cliburn winners and this competition is very important, actually," Kholodenko said. "It stands as one of the four or five biggest competitions in the world."

Arts San Antonio is bringing Kholodenko to the Lila Cockrell Theater this Thursday, April 17. He’s playing solo, but he’ll also be doing some duets.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:10 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

A Debut Symphony That Embraced The World

Gustav Mahler wanted each of his symphonies to contain a world of emotions and ideas.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 9:55 am

Conducting Gustav Mahler's First Symphony is an exhilarating and demanding task. Although it's one of his shortest symphonies (at about 55 minutes), it is an epic journey that requires countless hours of analysis and examination of the score. Still, it is a thrilling process to peel back and reassemble the many layers of Mahler's music.

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Dance
10:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Bolshoi Director Makes First U.S. Visit Since Acid Attack

Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin addresses the media during a meeting at the Bolshoi Theater. Filin was nearly blinded last year in an acid attack masterminded by one of the company's dancers.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:13 pm

Relations between Russia and the U.S. are at one of the lowest points since the Cold War. But one man is trying to do what he can to build a bridge between the two countries, despite his own personal tragedy. Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, is in the U.S. for the first time since an assailant threw acid in his face last year, partially blinding him.

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Classical Music
10:17 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Rock Guitarists Go Symphonic On New Disc

Credit Universal Music Group

Rock and classical have been mixing together like peanut butter and chocolate since the 1960s. On one side, there were groups like Electric Light Orchestra, ELP, Gryphon, and Yes adding symphonic elements to rock music, and on the other, composers such as Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Ennio Morricone, and George Crumb borrowed the amplified sounds of rock in works such as “Black Angels” (Crumb), “A Rainbow In Curved Air” (Riley), or pretty much the entire output of Glass’ work in the 1970s.

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Music
10:25 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Denied A Stage, She Sang For A Nation

Contralto Marian Anderson sang at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, April 9, 1939, to an estimated crowd of 75,000 people.
University of Pennsylvania

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 1:08 pm

Seventy-five years ago, on April 9, 1939, as Hitler's troops advanced in Europe and the Depression took its toll in the U.S., one of the most important musical events of the 20th century took place on the National Mall in Washington. There, just two performers, a singer and a pianist, made musical — and social — history.

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Shots - Health News
5:30 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Play It Again And Again, Sam

Rick Blaine, the sentimental tough guy in Casablanca, pined for "As Time Goes By."
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 7:57 am

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Classical Music
2:49 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Visit With Renowned Composer John Harbison

John Harbison is pictured at his home in Cambridge, Mass. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:22 pm

In 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Harbison released “Songs America Loves To Sing – Old and New Music for Winds, Strings and Piano,” a compilation of recognizable choral preludes with a twist putting the spotlight on the true meanings of the work. It includes hymns like “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and classics such as “Anniversary Song” — which we know as “Happy Birthday.”

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KPAC Blog
1:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

This Weekend, Ballet San Antonio Pirouettes In Travis Park

Ballet in the Park
Credit Ballet San Antonio

Ballet San Antonio has been taking their dancers out of the halls for public performances recently. I caught up with Ballet San Antonio's President Courtney Barker to find out where they’re headed next, which is downtown’s newly-renovated Travis Park.

“It looks incredible, they did a beautiful job,” she said about Travis Park.

I asked Barker where the dancing itself will take place.

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Classical Music
11:26 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How Do You Sweep The Ivy League? Practice — The Viola. (Really.)

Was playing a much-maligned instrument — or writing about it beautifully — part of Kwasi Enin's secret? (Not that he is playing the 'Archinto' Stradivarius pictured here.)
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:14 am

By now, you may have heard about Kwasi Enin, the impressive young man from Long Island who has been accepted into the classes of 2018 at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale (all eight Ivy League universities) as well as Duke and three campuses of the State University of New York.

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