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.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:52 pm
Loud music can lead to hearing loss. But it's not just rock musicians and their fans who are at risk.
In classical orchestras, horn players are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage from the tunes they and their colleagues play.
Some studies have found that horn players are blasted with some of the loudest sounds in the orchestra. The levels are so high that many countries' occupational health regulations would limit exposure like that to a half-hour a day, some studies have found.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:37 am
[Every year, the MacArthur Foundation gives out 24 "Genius Grants" — generous cash prizes for brilliant creators in any number of fields. On Wednesday, less than a week before the release of his new album, Jeremy Denk joined their ranks.]
Promotion can be deceptive; we've all been duped into expecting the latest and greatest this or that, only to be profoundly disappointed, maybe even out some bucks for the CD or online download. That said, and yes it can be regarded a disclaimer, I want to share what looks like the real deal, waiting in the wings, with only the details of the release date still to be determined. Line up behind me for this anticipated new release.
Like Leonard Bernstein himself, there is absolutely nothing predictable about the music he wrote. None of the three amazing works Bernstein labeled as "symphonies" in any way resemble a conventional orchestral symphony.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 10:06 am
Jessye Norman's commanding soprano voice makes her the quintessential operatic diva for many listeners. But she frequently draws inspirations from jazz: She ranks singers like Billie Holiday, Mabel Mercer and Sarah Vaughan high on her list of influences.
Ballet San Antonio is gearing up for their move into the Tobin next year, but first, there's this season.
"We start with Ben Stevenson’s 'Cinderella' and from there we go into 'The Nutcracker' with the San Antonio Symphony," says Ballet San Antonio’s Executive Director Courtney Barker. "We’re going to be having 'Firebird,' which is an exciting ballet with some mixed repertoire of contemporary works. And then finally we’re going to be doing a free community performance at La Villita."
Some of San Antonio's most able musicians play an instrument we all take for granted.
"I can't tell you how many people tell us how, that when they hear our a capella music, it is what they imagine Angels must sound like," said Copperleaf Quintet Artistic Director and singer Ruth Moreland.
Some of the group's new season, which begins September 29, will be performed primarily at the University of the Incarnate Word's Chapel of the Incarnate Word.
The year was 1982, I believe, when I first encountered the Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky. He had come to guest conduct the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City Philharmonic), of which I was a member. I have fond memories of the experience, especially the opening number of the concert, the “Overture to Der Freischutz” by Carl Maria von Weber. The orchestra loved playing for him and gave him terrific performances. I recall going out afterward with a group of musicians and Maestro Karabtchevsky, for drinks.
Camerata San Antonio begins its next season by taking the show on the road. The popular local Chamber Music ensemble made up of San Antonio Symphony players has been dazzling south Texas audiences for the last decade.
Ken Freudigman, who plays cello in the group, dropped by to talk about their coming programs, starting in Boerne and Kerrville.
"We have music from Benjamin Britten, Béla Bartók, we’re doing some music of Dvořák, Hugo Wolf, music of Brahms and Mendelssohn, all throughout the entire year," he said.