Crossover

Saturday, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Join Jill Pasternak every Saturday for her weekly interview show spotlighting notable music and musicians from the classical and jazz worlds - and the periphery as well!  Totally un-scripted and spontaneous, Crossover sounds like nothing else on the dial -- more like friends chatting over coffee than a broadcast interview.

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Crossover
3:58 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Piano Virtuoso Emanuel Ax on Crossover

Pianist Emanuel Ax

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.” 

Listen for Jill's conversation with pianist Emanuel Ax, and music from his 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.

Crossover
9:19 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin: A Complete Musician

Marc-Andre Hamelin
Fran Kaufman

A complete musician. That's what the Canadian publication La Presse said about our good friend and returning Crossover guest, pianist and concert artist Marc-Andre Hamelin.  Here's the actual quote:

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Crossover
6:21 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

The Magic of Vox Ama Deus on Crossover

Valentin Radu is artitsic director and conductor of the Philadelphia-based ensemble Vox Ama Deus.

Two returning guests are featured on Crossover this week. Maestro Valentin Radu of the Philadelphia musical performance organization Vox Ama Deus is with us, as is the stellar British pianist Peter Donohoe.

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Crossover
3:40 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Tenor Richard Troxell: "So In Love" with Jazz

Tenor Richard Troxell Singing the National Anthem on Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles in 2011

Returning guest, tenor Richard Troxell, can sing opera like no one's business.  Whether Rodolfo, Don Jose, Pinkerton, Romeo or Turiddu, he's a master.  Even at the ballpark singing the National Anthem, or just kidding around with Jimmy Fallon, his voice shines.  But jazz-pop?  

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Crossover
4:27 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Anonymous 4: Almost Ready to Retire Their Angelic Vocal Chords

The a cappella quartet Anonymous 4 has been singing mostly medieval music together for more than a quarter of a century.

It's been said that when you hear the vocal group Anonymous 4 perform, you're listening to the music of angels or something that can't possibly come from our world. In a word, unearthly. Unfortunately, that sound won't be around much longer, as the group has decided to retire their angelic vocal cords with the 2015-2016 season.  

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Crossover
2:37 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Star Soprano Diana Damrau Scratches An Itch

Diana Damrau, Forever: Unforgettable Favorites from Vienna, Broadway and Hollywood

Soprano Diana Damrau usually sticks with her forte of mainstream opera. Indeed, she's made her name in such demanding roles as Mozart's Queen of the Night, Strauss' Zerbinetta, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi's Violetta. But not long ago, she had this itch that needed scratching. And scratch she did, to excellent result.

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Crossover
4:04 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Listening to Chanteuse Anna Bergman: An Exercise in Sophistication

Cabaret singer Anna Bergman

Every so often, we like to check in with artists who've appeared on Crossover in the past to find out what they're up to. This week's returning guest is Anna Bergman, cabaret singer, concert artist, chanteuse.  

Listening to Ms. Bergman is an exercise in sophistication. From Francis Poulenc to Carole King, and everything in between, she performs opera, operetta and the so-called Great American Songbook, thrilling audiences worldwide with every bit of it.

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Crossover
6:00 am
Sat November 15, 2014

A Love Duet: Tenor Stephen Costello and Soprano Ailyn Perez

Soprano Ailyn Perez and tenor Stephen Costello met as students at AVA.

First they were students at AVA. During their studies, they were companions. Eventually they performed together on stage.  Then came love, and later, the altar. All because of opera. And we can say, "We knew them when."

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Crossover
4:59 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Versatile Excellence: Pianist Jonathan Miles Freeman

Many times, when you come across someone described as "versatile," you find they can certainly do a lot of different things, but each only adequately. Jonathan Miles Freeman, piano, is not one of those people. Freeman does everything, and he does it excellently.

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Crossover
9:03 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Highlights from the 2014 Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

'The Lady in Number 6' traces the life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest pianist and the oldest known living Holocaust survivor until she passed away at 110, just days before the film about her life was chosen for an Academy Award.

The 2014 Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, a signature program of Philadelphia's Gershman Y, runs November 1st through the 16th. The festival will showcase 17 films from eight countries, in seven different venues across the city.

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