Latest Classical from NPR Music

Deceptive Cadence
5:15 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Dazzling Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig Dies Suddenly

Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, of the Empire Brass Quintet, was acclaimed for his lustrous tone and virtuosity.
Columbia Artist Management

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 9:48 am

Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, praised for his beautiful tone and virtuosic style, died Monday afternoon at his home in West Stockbridge, Mass. The cause of death, according to his long-time manager Mark Z. Alpert, was a heart attack.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

Philip Glass photographed in New York City in 1980.
Jack Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 6:23 pm

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Bang On A Can Riffs On John Cage

On the Bang on a Can All-Stars' new album, Field Recordings, composers riff on a range of recorded sounds.
Peter Serling Bang on a Can

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 5:36 pm

Life changed a lot after that day in 1877 when Thomas Edison spoke "Mary had a little lamb" into a contraption he called a phonograph and discovered he could reproduce sound. Back then, tinfoil cylinders captured just a few flickering moments. Today Wagner's entire Ring cycle fits on a 16GB flash drive.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Get Out And Hear Some New Music This Summer

Music director and conductor Marin Alsop leads the orchestra at the Cabrillo Festival, which has championed new music for 53 seasons.
R.R. Jones Cabrillo Festival

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 2:35 pm

Now that the weather, at least in much of the country, has turned from polar to pollen vortex, it's time to start mapping out musical road trips. This year bodes well for exploring contemporary work. There are new-music meccas like California's Cabrillo, where all the music is current. At other festivals, like New York's Mostly Mozart, the classics mingle with the contemporary — this year spotlights 55-year-old British composer George Benjamin. And still others, like the Bard Festival, offer rare glimpses into forward-thinking composers from the mid-20th century.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

From Ballrooms To Concert Halls, Mexico Kept This Cuban Style Alive

Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. It's here that well-dressed couples dance to danzón.
Courtesy of Betto Arcos

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 10:54 am

The Salón Los Angeles is the oldest dance hall in Mexico City. The classic 1930s ballroom is located in a working-class neighborhood near downtown, and every week, it sees dozens of well-dressed couples of all ages moving to an orchestra of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and percussion instruments.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:21 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Philip Glass On Legacy: 'The Future ... It's All Around Us'

"I'm more and more coming to the idea," composer Philip Glass says, "that it's the lineage and the connection to the past and the connection to the future — that is the real connection."
Eamonn McCabe Redferns

When composer Philip Glass started performing his own music, a lot of people didn't know what to make of it. Some people thought it sounded like the needle of a record was stuck in a groove, repeating over and over again. Some people thought it was simplistic. Some thought it was a joke. Glass says that in the '70s, audience members threw things at him while he was performing.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:28 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Hilary Hahn Marches Through Mozart

Violinist Hilary Hahn.
Michael Patrick O'Leary Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:03 pm

When you're all grown up, you — at least theoretically — put away childish things. But there are exceptions, as violinist Hilary Hahn proves in her latest recording project.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Wed April 1, 2015

A Sale Is Booming: Rare Stradivarius Drums Up For Auction

Timpani are also called kettledrums. These instruments crafted by Antonio Stradivari were, for a time, more kettles than drums.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 10:40 am

Museum curators, instrument dealers and some of the world's most esteemed musicians will be clutching paddles today at Cloiduff's auction house in New York. They're gathering for what is expected to be an eight-figure sale of perhaps the rarest instruments ever to appear at auction: a pair of lovingly restored Stradivarius timpani.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:45 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Anonymous 4 With Bruce Molsky: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny Desk Concert with Anonymous 4 on March 4.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 5:18 pm

It was December 1990 — more than a year before the first Anonymous 4 album was released — when NPR invited four slightly shy women into our studio to sing 13th-century Christmas music. Back then, we already knew the manifold beauty of their sound, its purity and accuracy, was something unique.

Now, some 25 years and 21 albums later, the a cappella vocal quartet is calling it quits at the end of 2015. But not before one final visit to NPR.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:56 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Cross The Arctic With The Kronos Quartet

The Kronos Quartet.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:07 pm

Dogs barking, wind howling, ice crunching, then the sudden "ch-ch-ch-ch" of a sawing beat: That's composer Derek Charke's opening salvo in his transporting piece Cercle du Nord III.

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