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
10:44 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein on Crossover

Alisa Weilerstein. Photo credit: Decca c Robin Thomson

The New York Times calls Alisa Weilerstein the "sovereign of the American cello," and continue, "it’s not technical brilliance that makes Alisa Weilerstein’s recording of Dvorak’s much-loved cello concerto special, though the young American cellist has it in spades. It’s the take-no-prisoners emotional investment that is evident in every bar, but never more so than in the heart-wrenching slow movement, where Ms. Weilerstein’s cello appears to take on human shape."

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Crossover
10:22 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Michael Stairs: The Organist's Organist

Michael Stairs at the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, Verizon Hall. Photo credit: Doug Blackman

When Michael Stairs sits at the organ console, the result is nothing but perfection. He is indeed the organist's organist. Stairs has been organist for The Philadelphia Orchestra since his appointment by Riccardo Muti in 1985. He taught at the Haverford School for 25 years and was beloved by his students. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, he also holds an Artist's Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music.

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Crossover: Feb. 7 at 11:30 AM
2:29 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Remembering the Elegant Pianist Aldo Ciccolini, 1925-2015

The spectacular pianist Aldo Ciccolini passed away on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at age 89. Ciccolini was on the "Crossover Bucket List" of prospective guests for a very long time. And we’re not only saddened by his death, but also that we were never able to speak with him. But we do have the music and wonderful performances of this great pianist.

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Crossover
6:12 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Violinist Nicola Benedetti: Coming Home to Scotland

Violinist Nicola Benedetti's new CD is filled with music from her homeland.

One of our favorite guests - and one of yours, as you've told us - returns to Crossover this week. Violinist Nicola Benedetti discusses her CD, Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy. (This is a re-broadcast from September, 2014.)

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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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