WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:26 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

A New Jazz Suite For Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes

Steve Coleman's new album is called Synovial Joints.
Jeff Fusco John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 6:20 pm

Is there a modern-day equivalent to Duke Ellington? Or Ornette Coleman?

Who are the people today who think differently about jazz — who have created new forms, and expanded the musical vocabulary?

For 30 years, saxophonist Steve Coleman has been pushing the music forward, traveling the world to collect new sounds, rhythms and ideas. Along the way he's mentored many of the most exciting younger artists in jazz — musicians like Ambrose Akinmusire, Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer.

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

3-D Printers Bring Historic Instruments Back To The Future

Sina Shahbazmohamadi places a 3-D printed copy of a recorder foot joint into a measuring device in a lab at the University of Connecticut's Center for Clean Energy Engineering.
Peter Morenus UConn

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

In a recital hall at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, a group of musicians got together to play Jean-Baptiste Singelée's 1857 quartet for saxophones on some very old, very special instruments.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
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 4:39 pm

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. Smedvig was 62.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:08 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

Donald Palumbo became the Met's chorus master in the 2007-2008 season. He sang in choruses all his life, he says, and eventually worked his way up without any formal conservatory training.
Marty Sohl Courtesy of the Met

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:05 am

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Roomful of Teeth's new album is Render, out April 28.
Bonica Ayala Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 2:16 pm

The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically trained singers incorporating Tuvan throat singing, Appalachian yodeling, operatic trills, rhythmic exhalations and whispered speech into music written by some of the most exciting young composers of the 21st century.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:23 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Julia Wolfe Wins Music Pulitzer For 'Anthracite Fields'

Composer Julia Wolfe has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields, an oratorio about coal miners and their families.
Peter Serling

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:03 am

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the New York music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:12 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis.
Linn Records

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:41 pm

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:03 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

In 'Snowy Egret,' A Fierce New Band Takes Flight

Myra Melford's new album is titled Snowy Egret.
Bryan Murray Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:04 pm

Jazz pianist and composer Myra Melford's latest album is a suite of music inspired by the Memory Of Fire trilogy — a three-volume history of the Americas by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

More simply, it's the recorded debut of what she calls a "killer band."

In an interview with NPR's Arun Rath, she explains the genesis of Snowy Egret — the name of both her new album and the group behind it.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
9:23 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Twitter Outrage Takes Toronto, Canceling Two Pianists

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa
Gilbert Francois Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 1:20 pm

Valentina Lisitsa is a pianist whose worldwide reputation was built on social media. She is now experiencing a major backlash due to what she's been writing on Twitter.

It came to a head with the cancellation of Lisitsa's scheduled performances Wednesday night and Thursday night with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which announced earlier this week that she would not be appearing to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the ensemble and Finnish conductor Juka-Pekka Saraste. Both TSO management and Lisitsa have said she will still receive her full fee.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:30 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Violinist Hilary Hahn Remembers Her Earliest Influences

Violinist Hilary Hahn.
Peter Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 6:25 pm

Violinist Hilary Hahn is known for putting together some unusual programs. On her latest album, she pairs Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major with 19th century Belgian composer Henri Vieuxtemps' Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor.

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