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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First Listen
8:40 am
Mon March 31, 2014

First Listen: Valentina Lisitsa, 'Chasing Pianos'

Valentina Lisitsa's new Chasing Pianos features Michael Nyman's music for the Oscar-winning film The Piano.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:06 am

Music is an aural medium, but the two musicians represented on this album have careers defined, at least in part, by visuals. Valentina Lisitsa, the 44-year-old Ukrainian-born pianist, revived her stalled career by uploading videos of herself playing Chopin to YouTube. After millions clicked, she landed a record deal.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
12:37 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Gets Quizzed On Ron Perlman

Dr. Scott M. Lieberman AP

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:25 am

Violinist Itzhak Perlman has played for presidents and the Queen of England, but the high point of his career is obviously for him to be right here, playing the NPR news quiz.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're no Hellboy." Three questions for Izhak Perlman about actor Ron Perlman from Hellboy, Beauty and the Beast and Sons of Anarchy.

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History
6:59 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Helen Keller's Glimpse Of Beethoven's 'Heavenly Vibration'

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:27 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Classical Music
8:59 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years

The Kronos Quartet (from left): David Harrington, John Sherba, Sunny Yang and Hank Dutt.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:18 am

Kronos Quartet is celebrating 40 years of playing music together — and to mark the occasion, they're playing a celebration concert at Carnegie Hall in New York tomorrow night. Since their founding, the San Francisco-based string quartet has become one of the most visible ensembles in classical music. The players have done it by championing new and underheard music, and by coming up with a business model that was unheard of for a chamber group four decades ago.

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Classical Music
9:14 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Kronos Quartet At 40: Songs We Love

Over four decades, the Kronos quartet (from left, John Sherba, Sunny Yang, Hank Dutt and David Harrington) has premiered more than 800 pieces.
Jay Blakesberg

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:12 pm

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KPAC Blog
4:12 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Vocal Group Brings The Sounds Of Eastern Europe To Hunt, Texas

Voci di Sorelle, an all-women San Antonio singing group, is taking their show to the hill country.

“There are currently nine singers. It’s all a capella music," said founder Ruth Moreland. "We’ve been doing concerts all across Texas for the last ten years.”

Voci di Sorelle performs a lot in San Antonio, but Sunday, March 13 30, their free 3 p.m. performance is in Hunt, TX, which is west of Kerrville.

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KPAC Blog
12:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Local Player In The Pit For 'Wicked' At The Majestic

Peter Rubins.
Courtesy photo

You may have seen "Wicked" at the Majestic recently, but did you know that several of the orchestra members are San Antonians? Peter Rubins is one of them and plays French horn with the San Antonio Symphony, but this month he’s one of nine local players also playing with the orchestra for their production of "Wicked."

"There are a lot of moving parts in a production of this size," Rubins said.

I asked him if "Wicked" was particularly challenging music.

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KPAC Blog
9:14 am
Mon March 24, 2014

"Fantasia" Video Game Mixes Bruno Mars And Mussorgsky

Credit Harmonix/Disney

Here at KPAC, we’re excited about discovering new music, and we’ve found that video games, like cartoons and movies before them, are a great way to introduce kids to classical music. Disney is taking the lead this year with a new game for Xbox based on their classic animated film “Fantasia,” called “Fantasia: Music Evolved.” In the game, players "enter the magical realm of Fantasia, selected by the legendary sorcerer Yen Sid, to hone their musical and magical prowess as his new apprentice."

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Deceptive Cadence
9:40 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

John Adams' Psychedelic Oratorio Gives Voice To 'The Other Mary'

Composer John Adams.
Margaretta Mitchell

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:36 am

For the millennium, in 2000 American composer John Adams completed a compelling, large-scale oratorio based on the nativity story called El Niño. Now he's composed a companion piece, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a Passion oratorio mounted with his usual collaborator, the stage director and librettist Peter Sellars.

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KPAC Blog
12:57 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Prepare To Be Blown Away By The String Trio Coming To Boerne

Time for Three.
Amanda Reynolds

The Boerne performing arts series continues on Tuesday and I caught up with one of the performers, Zachary De Pue from the band Time for Three, a band whose music is difficult to classify. De Pue said all the members attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

“And we met there and jammed together outside of our classical studies and training," he said. "Each one of us, in addition to classical music, had a background in different styles.”

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