Arts

Deceptive Cadence
5:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Making Music To Be Useful, And For The Living

Peter Grimes, on June 17, 2013 in Aldeburgh, England." href="/post/making-music-be-useful-and-living" class="noexit lightbox">
A singer takes the stage during the first performance of "Grimes on the Beach," an outdoor production of Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes, on June 17, 2013 in Aldeburgh, England.
Bethany Clarke Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 6:20 pm

Composer Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago today, and the occasion is being marked by performances of his music around the world, from Carnegie Hall in New York to Memorial Hall in Tokyo.

Britten was a central figure of 20th-century classical music: He was a conductor, pianist and festival producer, as well as a composer. His best-known works include the opera Billy Budd, his War Requiem and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:18 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Hear What Happened At Boston's Symphony Hall After JFK's Assassination

Conductor Erich Leinsdorf has the Boston Symphony Orchestra play the funeral march from Beethoven's Third Symphony after breaking the news of John F. Kennedy's death.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:43 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:33 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Consumed By Violence, With Hope For Peace: Britten's 'War Requiem'

Benjamin Britten takes a cup of tea during rehearsals for his War Requiem at Coventry Cathedral, in Coventry, England in May, 1962.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to composer anniversaries but this year, marking 100 years since the birth of Benjamin Britten, has been absolutely fascinating for me. I am now living proof that such centenaries can indeed change the way we look at a composer and provide us with opportunities to explore their breadth and depth. In Britten I have found a new hero, a musically surprising and multi-dimensional citizen of the world.

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Music Interviews
5:04 am
Thu November 21, 2013

The Orchestral Recipe, From The Pilgrims To Today

Food and music mingle in Pieter Claesz's Still Life with Musical Instruments (1623).
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 6:55 am

If you're going to be cooking Thanksgiving dinner next week, you've probably already started gathering the traditional ingredients — but your ingredients are most likely very different from those that made up the first Thanksgiving meal in 1621. (Marshmallows with those sweet potatoes, anyone?)

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Music Videos
8:03 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Britten Goes Back To Brooklyn With Nicholas Phan

Tenor Nicholas Phan and harpist Sivan Magen perform at a group house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:21 pm

Composer Benjamin Britten, whose 100th birth anniversary falls on Nov. 22nd, is so deeply associated with his native England that he's on a new 50-pence coin issued by the Royal Mint.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:02 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Act Like You Know: Benjamin Britten

A portrait of the composer Benjamin Britten from 1948.
Denis De Marney Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:57 pm

British composer Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago this Friday, Nov. 22. Before you ask "Benja-who?" consider this: Did you see Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom last summer, or Pedro Almodovar's Talk to Her back a decade or so ago? (Well, maybe you have to be an art-house denizen for those.

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Arts
9:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Dr. Danielle Cumming

Dr. Danielle Cumming

Dr. Danielle Cumming (guitar instructor at Salisbury University) has an international resume, and multiple

events coming up this fall, as well as pre-planning the Spring Guitar Festival.   She plays a bit for us, and talks with Kara Dahl Russell about her upcoming performances.  A “tiny desk concert” from WSCL 89.5.

  Guitar in the Gallery

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Deceptive Cadence
9:13 am
Sun November 17, 2013

'The Biggest Jazz Riff Ever Written:' Jeremy Denk's 'Goldberg Variations'

Jeremy Denk played Mozart at Carnegie Hall Wednesday with the San Francisco Symphony.
Eric Thayer for NPR Music

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:01 am

In the classical music world right now, many eyes are focused on Jeremy Denk.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:11 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Remembering 'Holy Minimalist' Composer John Tavener

John Tavener's ethereal music was influenced by the Russian Orthodox traditions.
Simone Canetty-Clarke Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 7:47 pm

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Classics in Concert
10:34 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Carnegie Hall Live With The San Francisco Symphony

The elegant conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony in a live performance from Carnegie Hall on November 13, 2013.
Eric Thayer for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:03 am

Last March, when the San Francisco Symphony was slated for an East Coast tour, including a stop at Carnegie Hall, the musicians went on strike. Fortunately, the labor dispute was settled in 18 days — a blink of an eye compared to the recent drawn-out disruptions in Minnesota and Detroit. Still, it left New Yorkers hungry for the San Francisco Symphony's brand of tonal luminescence and programming bravado, nurtured by forward-thinking conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

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Classical Sessions
3:20 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Paul Lewis: Confronting Schubert's Nightmare

Pianist Paul Lewis is drawn to the late piano sonatas by Franz Schubert.
Josep Molina Harmonia Mundi

Pianist Paul Lewis came to Boston to make his recital debut on Jan. 12. The evening before, at this performance he gave at WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio, he told the audience he suddenly realized there was a certain magic in that date. It had been exactly 20 years earlier — Jan. 12, 1993 — when the great pianist Alfred Brendel came to London's Guildhall School of Music & Drama to do a master class. "I thought he'd tell me to do something else with my life," Lewis remembered with a laugh.

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Arts
11:47 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Classics for a Cause

Classics for a Cause

James M. Bennett students and pianists Kaya Manizade (Sr.) and Kieran Murphy (Jr.) have planned a dual recital to benefit the SWAC Instrument Barn. The Instrument barn is an organization which distributes instruments to low-income students aspiring to play in band or orchestra through Salisbury Music and Instrument Store (925 Eastern Shore Drive, Salisbury, MD).

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Deceptive Cadence
3:13 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

And You Think You're Having A Bad Day

Pianist Maria João Pires realized in a shock onstage that she'd been booked to play another piece of music altogether.
YouTube

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Deceptive Cadence
2:28 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Bach Unwigged: The Man Behind The Music

This rare portrait of Bach, by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, hung in John Eliot Gardiner's home during World War II.
courtesy of William H. Scheide, Princeton, N.J.

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 9:51 pm

Johann Sebastian Bach has been a central figure in the life of British conductor John Eliot Gardiner since he was a youngster. On his way to bed, he couldn't help glancing up at the famous 18th-century portrait of Bach that hung in the first floor landing of the old mill house in Dorset, England where Gardiner was born.

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Music Interviews
6:35 am
Sun October 27, 2013

From 'Crouching Tiger' To 'Secret Songs': Composer Tan Dun's Next Move

Chinese composer Tan Dun's latest work, Nu-Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, was inspred by an ancient language spoken in a remote area of Tan's home province of Hunan.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:24 pm

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Books News & Features
5:48 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein

Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, shown here conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra in 1963, was a legend in American music. Letters to and from Bernstein have been compiled into The Leonard Bernstein Letters, a new book edited by Nigel Simeone.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Leonard Bernstein was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like West Side Story, as well as symphonies and ballets. He was a teacher and television personality — his Young People's Concerts introduced generations of children to classical music.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Soothing The Savage Beat: When Electronic Artists Conjure Classical

Electronic artists such as Mason Bates (pictured above), Aphex Twin and Tiësto have blended classical music into their dance beats.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:19 am

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Deceptive Cadence
11:23 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Get To Know Ned Rorem, Now That He's 90

Composer Ned Rorem in 1953 in Paris, where he lived for nearly a decade and wrote his infamous Paris Diary.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:52 am

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Music Interviews
5:03 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

LA's Own 'Amazing And Unique Instrument' Turns 10

An Angeleno revels at 10 Times The Party, a celebration of Walt Disney Concert Hall's 10th Anniversary, on Oct. 5 in Los Angeles.
David Livingston Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 12:23 pm

If you were listening to NPR 10 years ago this week, you might have heard this enthusiastic proclamation: "The wait is finally over for architect Frank Gehry, for the musicians and staff of the LA Philharmonic, and for all of Los Angeles. Tonight, for the first time in public, the orchestra plays its magnificent new instrument: Walt Disney Concert Hall."

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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Superdupertitles At Silicon Valley Opera

Pablo Helguera for NPR

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, on Twitter @nprclassical, or on Facebook at NPR Classical.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:12 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

A Debt Ceiling Playlist: 5 Songs To Push Your Mind To The Brink

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (center), and Speaker of the House John Boehner are three key lawmakers in the government shut down and debt ceiling crisis.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

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Music Interviews
5:15 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The Minds Behind 'Einstein On The Beach' Talk Shop

A scene from the revival of Einstein on the Beach.
Los Angeles Opera

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 1:15 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
12:00 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Next On The Verdi Channel

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, on Twitter @nprclassical, or on Facebook at NPR Classical.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:58 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Verdi's Requiem With The Chicago Symphony

Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Todd Rosenberg Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:43 am

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Deceptive Cadence
2:54 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Verdi's Operas: A Vigorous Soundtrack To Human Nature

Giuseppe Verdi's operas have an uncanny ability to probe into our contemporary psyche.
Leemage Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:09 pm

Two hundred years ago today, in a small northern Italian village, a couple named Verdi — tavern owners by trade — welcomed the birth of a baby boy who would later change the face of opera forever. And, whether we recognize it or not, on the bicentennial of his birth, Giuseppe Verdi is still vital.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:28 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

What Is Classical Music's Women Problem?

Australian conductor Simone Young, the outgoing artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera.
Klaus Lefebvre Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:36 am

Close your eyes, and you may think that this is 1913. In the past few days, the classical music community has been set aflame by recent comments from three prominent male conductors who are — steel yourself — actually saying that women are not capable of standing on the podium.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:03 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Act Like You Know: Giuseppe Verdi

Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth.
Getty Images/DeAgostini

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:52 am

It's that time of year again when freshly steamed curtains are rising on opera stages across the country, introducing another new season of performances. And this time, one composer will be popping up more than usual — Giuseppe Verdi.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:36 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Guest DJ Angela Meade: Hitting The Big Time With Help From Verdi

Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera.
Marty Sohl Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:23 pm

Most opera singers work their way to the big league by singing bit parts in regional opera houses. Not soprano Angela Meade. She landed on top instantly with her professional debut in the lead soprano role of Giuseppe Verdi's Ernani at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2008.

It was a dream come true. The star soprano took ill and the understudy, Meade, was suddenly shoved into the spotlight. The press said she sang "like an old pro from start to finish."

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Music Interviews
12:03 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Returning To Music, Tested By Loss

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander's new album is titled Claws & Wings.
Angelo Merendino Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:06 pm

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.

"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."

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