Jeff Lunden http://wrti.org en Collecting Money For Songwriters, A 100-Year Tug Of War http://wrti.org/post/collecting-money-songwriters-100-year-tug-war A hundred years ago, the Italian operatic composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/90063951/giacomo-puccini" target="_blank">Giacomo Puccini</a> was having lunch in New York with Victor Herbert, the leading composer of operettas in this country. Then, the band in the restaurant began playing music from Herbert's current hit, <em>Sweethearts</em>. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 15:26:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 7000 at http://wrti.org Collecting Money For Songwriters, A 100-Year Tug Of War Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan? http://wrti.org/post/oppression-opera-could-womans-courage-change-pakistan Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.<p>"For retribution, the village council decided that Mukhtar should be gang-raped by four of the men of this clan," Sankaram says. "And what is supposed to happen for a woman after this has taken place is that, not only has she shamed herself, she's brought dishonor to the rest of her family, as well. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:38:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 6893 at http://wrti.org Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan? New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come http://wrti.org/post/new-owner-promises-handmade-steinways-years-come For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.<p>Great pianists need great pianos. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 19:08:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 6823 at http://wrti.org New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein http://wrti.org/post/energetic-intimate-letters-reveal-private-leonard-bernstein <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15234027/leonard-bernstein" target="_blank">Leonard Bernstein</a> was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like <em>West Side Story</em>, 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.<p>But that was the public man. A new collection of letters written both by and to Bernstein is being published this week. Sun, 27 Oct 2013 09:48:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 6616 at http://wrti.org Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors http://wrti.org/post/chronicle-death-foretold-new-york-city-opera-shuts-its-doors This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 20:45:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 6518 at http://wrti.org Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors New York City's 'People's Opera' May Face Its Final Curtain http://wrti.org/post/new-york-citys-peoples-opera-may-face-its-final-curtain There are a lot of operas that end with heroines on their deathbeds, singing one glorious aria before they die. That's what happens at the end of <em>Anna Nicole,</em> the controversial new work that New York City Opera is presenting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in September. But the company's artistic director and general manager, George Steel, says it could also be City Opera's last gasp.<p>"The issue is this: We don't have any credit, we don't have any working capital, and so we are managing our cash incredibly carefully," Steel explains. Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:05:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 6447 at http://wrti.org New York City's 'People's Opera' May Face Its Final Curtain Singing The Praises Of Pre-Dawn Walks http://wrti.org/post/singing-praises-pre-dawn-walks Minnesota-born composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/17003773/maria-schneider" target="_blank">Maria Schneider</a> has called New York home for more than 30 years, and she knows how to find nature in the middle of the city. Because her new album is called <em>Winter Morning Walks</em>, we walked to her favorite bird-watching spot in Central Park on a chilly February morning.<p>"This part right here in the Ramble and this Azalea Pond area is just teeming with warblers," Schneider says. "On a good day, you can see 18 warbler species in the morning, maybe even more. Wed, 03 Apr 2013 19:28:38 +0000 Jeff Lunden 5355 at http://wrti.org Singing The Praises Of Pre-Dawn Walks Anonymous 4 Marks A Milestone Year Performing Medieval Music http://wrti.org/post/anonymous-4-marks-milestone-year-performing-medieval-music As of this year, the vocal group <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15182954/anonymous-4" target="_blank">Anonymous 4</a> has been introducing modern audiences to medieval music for a quarter century. When the all-female quartet asked <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/120995816/david-lang" target="_blank">David Lang</a> to help mark the occasion by writing them some music, he didn't need any convincing. The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was already a big fan.<p>"I really like the fact that they had dedicated themselves to keeping alive this music from 800 years ago," Lang says. Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:29:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 4841 at http://wrti.org Anonymous 4 Marks A Milestone Year Performing Medieval Music The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden http://wrti.org/post/peony-pavilion-vivid-dream-garden <em>The Peony Pavilion</em> is one of China's most famous operas, but uncut performances of this romantic 16th century work can take more than 22 hours. Chinese composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15167564/tan-dun" target="_blank">Tan Dun</a>, who's best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film <em>Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon</em>, has adapted the work into a compact 75 minutes. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 4819 at http://wrti.org The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden John Williams' Inevitable Themes http://wrti.org/post/john-williams-inevitable-themes For more than 50 years, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15003640/john-williams-composer" target="_blank">John Williams</a>' music has taken us to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG5OsfOuEy0" target="_blank">galaxies far, far away</a> through adventures <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bTpp8PQSog" target="_blank">here on earth</a>, made us feel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O15x-B8PgeE" target="_blank">giddy joy</a> and occasionally <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvCI-gNK_y4" target="_blank">scared us to death</a>.<p>He might be the most recognized contemp Sat, 10 Nov 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 4706 at http://wrti.org John Williams' Inevitable Themes