He won the 2015 GRAMMY for "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" for his album, Play, and he collaborates with musicians in a wide variety of styles. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on classical guitar virtuoso Jason Vieaux.
It’s no secret that a favorite piece of music can evoke profound pleasure and emotion. We've all experienced the “chills” response. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston hears from a neuroscientist about the visceral and culturally conditioned effect of music on the brain.
For over three decades, Dr. Robert Zatorre of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University has researched and broken down the complex set of interactions that occur when we experience sounds strung together to produce a full range of emotions - from the sublime to the soulfully sad.
Does Philadelphia need another orchestra? Well, it now has the 18-member Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, born out of sheer determination by recent Temple University graduates and finishing up its second season with a go-where-it's-needed philosophy. As the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, that includes periodic visits to a North Philadelphia soup kitchen.
It’s an English opera composed in Hollywood by a Russian. Igor Stravinsky saw the paintings and engravings by the 18th-century William Hogarth, depicting the consequences of loose living and licentiousness, centered on the fictional Tom Rakewell.
The English W. H. Auden and the American Chester Kallman then created a libretto that introduced a new character, Nick Shadow—the Devil—who entices Tom with promises of happiness and money. Tom loses everything, and ends up, literally, in Bedlam, the insane asylum, with the faithful Anne Trulove by his side.
American violinist Benjamin Beilman is making his mark in recitals and as soloist in orchestral programs, both at home and abroad. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the 25-year-old Curtis graduate enthusiastically embraces a wide range of music. Beilman performs Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI, Sunday, May 10 at 1 pm.
SL: Benjamin Beilman plays Mendelssohn and other masters of the past and present with equal gusto.
Eric Owens has come a long way from Philadelphia's Central High School. This once-fledging oboe player has evolved into a bass-baritone who has opera productions built around him. One is Opera Philadelphia's current Don Carlo, where he's singing the role of lonely, powerful King Philip, but took time to share trade secrets with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.
In the 1940s, when jazz singer Billie Holiday was at the height of her power and artistry, she always performed wearing at least one white gardenia in her hair. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston visits Drexel University professor and fashion scholar Alphonso McClendon, who looks at the meaning behind that statement and fashion in his book Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation.
The songs, or standards, known to us today as "The Great American Songbook" flourished from the mid 1920s to about 1950. Singer Carmen McRae popularized the term with her 1972 album, The Great American Songbook. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new book on the subject shines light on the role of jazz in the rise, fall, and rebirth of these great American songs.
A native of Bohemia, Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was a minority in the Austrian Empire and in the classical music world. But he had risen to the top of it all when a millionaire patroness hired him to direct the brand-new National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. It would train all students without regard to race or ability to pay. There, in 1893, Dvořák’s eyes were opened to the possibilities of an "American" music.