Condi and Aretha in Concert

Friday, July 16, 2010

How many of us could've predicted this pairing, Aretha Franklin and Condoleezza Rice singing and playing the classics. Neither of these women is a stranger to classical music. Dr. Rice has performed at the White House with Yo Yo Ma and Ms. Franklin stepped in and covered for Pavarotti at the Grammy Awards in 1998.

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It's Everyone's Music

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Singers from the Metropolitan Opera put on a great show for their first recital of the season, at SummerStage in Central Park. As I sat there listening, I couldn't help noticing how diverse the audience was.  People of every age, ethnic background, gender identification, you name it, all out there enjoying opera on a summer night.

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Varèse and the Cello Theremin: A Love Story

Monday, July 12, 2010

As a cellist, Jonathan Golove is at ease in both the Western classical tradition and in contemporary art music. Since his participation as the cello theremin player in a performance of the Varèse work, Ecuatorial, at the University of Buffalo (where he also teaches cello), Golove has extensively researched this theremin-related instrument. Below, Golove colorfully profiles the relatively obscure cello theremin while describing Varèse's attraction to it.

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He Said, She Said

Friday, July 09, 2010

This week we celebrated the 150 anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth. Throughout the week, I heard several commentators and hosts quoting Mahler. One quote that kept coming up was “My time will come.”

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Why Mahler? Why Not?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Gustav Mahler was born 150 years ago this week and we're celebrating with a week-long "Mahlerfest" on WQXR.org.  Check it out!

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Enjoying the Opera During the Dog Days of Summer

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

This weekend, the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance program draws to a close with fully staged productions of The Magic Flute, Gianni Schicchi and Donizetti’s Rita at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. I distinctly remember the first time I attended one of the Foundation’s summertime performances. It was an extremely hot day and the air conditioned comfort of the theater was absolutely delightful.  It was even better than going to the movies because there was a live orchestra and beautiful sets and costumes. What a way to spend a summer day!

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How Do I Do It?

Monday, July 05, 2010

People ask. How do I get up in the middle of the night to come to work?

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WQXR Rorschach Logo

Saturday, July 03, 2010

WQXR has a new logo. Much thought went into the color, font and musical notation for it. Perhaps you know what the two dots and two lines mean? Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you see it as an emoticon.

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Attracting New Listeners to Classical Music

Friday, July 02, 2010

This week on WQXR we’ve been featuring Eric Whitacre’s choral music on a new Naxos CD. Eric is a young American composer who is taking the world of choral music by storm. Everywhere I go, I hear singers and conductors talking enthusiastically about his music.

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Stephen Collins Foster: America's Bard

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Stephen Foster was a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the Fourth of July. In celebration of his birth, Naomi Lewin created an hour-long program of his music.

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Play Us, We're Yours!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Two wonderful events with WQXR listeners in one day: first, a convergence at the "Play Me, I'm Yours" piano at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. Lots of people turned up to listen -- and to perform!

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For the Love of Music

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Musicians and music lovers have been known to go to extremes for their love of the art form.

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Strange Nostalgia

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I felt it a few years ago at a concert where Robert White and Dick Hyman shared memories of the Golden Age of Radio, the time when Bobby was a child singer and actor and Dick was playing the piano and organ on live radio soap operas. I felt it recently, attending South Pacific, when the orchestra struck up that amazing overture.  And I feel it every time I hear live music at the Naumburg Band Shell in Central Park.

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It’s Not a Song

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I am not a stickler type person. I recognize that the English language is a flexible, ever changing colorful source of communication. BUT, I do have a bit of a pet peeve.

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Let's Reclaim the Word Diva!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Merriam-Webster defines diva (Italian for "goddess") as a prima donna (Italian for "first woman"). The dictionary gives two English definitions for prima donna: (1) a principal female singer in an opera, and (2) a vain or undisciplined person who finds it difficult to work…as part of a team.

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DIY Recycling and Electric Junkyard Gamelan

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Now in its 15th year, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas is a music, theater, and dance festival that takes place in New Haven, CT's historic courtyards, auditoriums and theaters. Festival highlights include a performances by Brooklyn's Electric Junkyard Gamelan, a percussion ensemble that builds its own instruments from found objects, Phillip Glass' performance of his solo piano music and a concert featuring the chamber ensemble repertoire of Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Christopher Rouse. With the festival's "arts and ideas" theme in mind, EJG founder Terry Dame describes the path that led her toward green instrument building.

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Xenakis on Water

Monday, June 14, 2010

Xenakis expert and contemporary music heavyweight Douglas Perkins will be a participating percussionist for Persephassa, part of the sprawling Make Music New York: Xenakis in Central Park happening on Monday, June 21 at the Central Park Boating Lake. It's a full afternoon of outdoor performances by the trailblazing Greek composer, featuring the bombastic Persephassa, for six percussionists, who will surround audience members experiencing the piece in floating rowboats on the lake!

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Rise and Shine and Go to a Concert

Friday, June 11, 2010

This week at a dinner party I met Pam, who left the get-together early. I'm a night owl myself (on the air weekend evenings, after all), but Pam told us that she regularly gets up at 4 am each day. She feels that rising early lets her "own the day," and gives her invaluable time to think and get things done.

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Robert and Clara Schumann

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

This week marks the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann's birth, which we've been celebrating all week long on WQXR. Robert Schumann was well known for writing music and prose--in addition to being a composer, he was also a music critic and journalist. But it's clear that Robert Schumann would not have had nearly the success he did if he hadn't married Clara Wieck, a highly talented pianist and composer who served as his partner and muse.

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Says who?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Finding one’s own voice is a journey that every artist takes. And in most cases the very successful ones are those who are able to cast an artistic shadow that is unmistakably their own.

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