Temple University's Dance Department has commissioned a new work to be performed by world-renowned, Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris Puremovement. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the piece was created for a site-specific performance beneath the mural in North Philadelphia for which it is named.
Born in Bologna in 1879, Italian violinist, violist, conductor and composer Ottorino Respighi moved to Rome in 1913. He became internationally recognized for his trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the fountains, pines, and festivals of the city.
WRTI's Susan Lewis considers The Pines of Rome, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She spoke with organist Michael Stairs and Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel.
Listen to Michael Stairs' and Samuel Caviezel's interviews with Susan Lewis as part of the Intermission Features during The Philadelphia Orchestra concert broadcast on WRTI on Sunday, March 24th at 2 pm.
Philadelphia’s Jennifer Higdon is among the most frequently performed living American composers. Now 50, the successful, unpretentious, and endlessly creative Higdon is adding an opera to her extensive repertoire. It’s a joint commission of The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia based on Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel Cold Mountain. Higdon’s family moved from Atlanta to east Tennessee when she was an adolescent– about 40 miles, she says, as the crow flies from Cold Mountain. That geographic proximity fueled her insight into the characters she’s recasting in operatic form.
Higdon’s partner, Cheryl Lawson, runs Lawdon Press, the company that publishes and distributes Higdon’s works. Among her most-performed compositions is blue cathedral, a tone poem she wrote after the death, from cancer, of her brother Andrew Blue Higdon. Her works have been recorded on dozens of CDs and performed around the world.
Earlier this year the Temple University Symphony Orchestra was nominated for two Grammy awards. Now, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the ensemble is preparing to debut a newly commissioned piece by a Grammy-winning composer.
In a program that also features Samuel Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard, featuring the combined Temple choirs, and Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony, the Temple University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Luis Biava will perform the world premiere of Reflections on the Mississippi by Michael Daugherty at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Sunday, March 24 at 4 pm. Information Here. WRTI will broadcast the concert in the near future.
The man known as Q turned 80 on Thursday. Tune in on Sunday, March 17th at 7 pm to hear a few of his big band recordings from the '50s including his first with Lionel Hampton's band in 1951. Other birthdays this week: Les Brown, Grover Mitchell, and the 94th anniversary of Nat Cole's birth. You'll hear him with the Basie band, plus a few new releases.
WRTI presents Symphony in C under the baton of Music Director Rossen Milanov on March 17th at 4 pm. Written when Mendelssohn was only 17, his Midsummer Night's Dream Overture was the first "concert overture" - a work not intended to introduce a dramatic presentation, but to represent, complete in itself, a literary work, or story, or place.
Pianist Emanuel Ax on Crossover with Jill Pasternak, March 17, 2013
This week's Crossover guest is one of the most well-known pianists in classical music - Emanuel Ax. Mr. Ax is a multiple Grammy winner in both solo and chamber performances, and has enjoyed a career that has spanned over four decades.
Emanuel Ax was born in Lviv in western Ukraine in the summer of 1948, and raised in Poland. His first piano teacher was his father, who started him on the keyboard at age 6. At 7, he started official studies at the Miodowa School in Warsaw, eventually winding up in Winnipeg, in Manitoba, Canada when the family moved there two years later. There he studied piano in school, and as a member of the Junior Music Club of Winnipeg.
In 1961, the family moved once again to New York City, where Mr. Ax began studies at Juilliard under Mieczyslaw Munz, eventually winning the Young Artists Award in 1973. He came to prominence in 1974, after winning the first Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. He followed that in 1975 with the Michaels Award for Young Artists, and the Avery Fisher Prize in 1979. From there, he has embarked on a career that has taken him around the world, performing solo, and with some of the most prominent chamber ensembles and orchestras in classical music.
Since 1973, Mr. Ax has been Yo-Yo Ma's main duo recital partner. He also formed a quartet with Ma, Jaime Laredo and Issac Stern, releasing several CD's for Sony/CBS before Stern's death in 2001 adjourned the ensemble.
Emanuel Ax's latest CD is called, "Variations: Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann," on the Sony Classics label. The pianist points out that each of these sets of Variations is unusual, “each revolutionary in its own way.” He has also discovered that they go very well together in a concert program. Now, surely to the worldwide delight of fans of virtuoso classical piano performance, he presents them together on a recording as well. In the world of the pianist, says Mr. Ax, “we’re so centered on the sonata style. What’s nice sometimes is to look at other ways to deal with structure, other ways to deal with expression, other ways to deal with forming your thoughts.”
Emanuel Ax will perform on Tuesday March 19th at 8 pm at the Leffler Performance Center at Elizabethtown College, as part of the Gretna Music series. Tickets and information here or call 717-361-1508.
Listen for Jill's conversation with pianist Emanuel Ax, and music from his latest CD, "Variations: Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann," on Crossover, Saturday morning at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical web stream at wrti.org.
Time's marching on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 17th at 10 pm. Whether it's the change of clocks or seasons, something is trying to get our attention. Former Take 6 member Cedric Dent arranges the gospel song Somebody's Knocking at Your Door for piano, Margaret Garwood sets Tombsongs for choir, and Leonardo Balada puts an amplified classical guitar through its paces, with orchestra, in Persistencies.
New-music standout Zeitgeist rips through Chris Gable's game-show send-up Beat That Clock, and Dick Hensold applauds their three-decade longevity in Zeitgeist Anniversary Tune. Sebastian Currier persistently works his own tune in Variations on "Time and Time Again" for flute and piano.