WRTI Picks from NPR Music

Author Interviews
5:42 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

Remembering George Szell, Powerhouse Conductor

Michael Charry was the "sorcerer's apprentice" to celebrated 20th-century conductor George Szell. For the last decade of Szell's tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, Charry was an assistant conductor.

Now, Charry has captured the power of Szell's artistry — as well as his tempestuous personality — in a new biography called George Szell: A Life of Music.

Charry vividly recalls Szell testing him on how many notes he could find in a chord when he first auditioned for the job.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:35 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: July 6, 2012

Soprano Evelyn Lear, circa 1965.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 1:32 pm

  • American soprano Evelyn Lear — whose roles ranged from title role in Berg's Lulu to Mozart to Sondheim — died at age 86 Monday at a nursing home, though the cause was not announced. (Her late husband of more than fifty years, the bass-baritone Thomas Stewart, died six years ago.)
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The Record
3:07 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like Nina Simone

Nina Simone, 1969.
Jack Robinson Courtesy of Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 7:59 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
9:42 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Why Is There So Much Britten In 'Moonrise Kingdom'?

The cast of Moonrise Kingdom.
courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 12:20 pm

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Jazz Interview
4:56 pm
Sat June 23, 2012

Matt Wilson: 'I Hear Melody In All Rhythm'

Matt Wilson plays drums in the jazz ensemble Arts and Crafts.
Jimmy Katz

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 5:42 pm

By day, jazz drummer Matt Wilson teaches his craft at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. By night, he practices it with legends like Lee Konitz at storied venues like the Village Vanguard.

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Music Interviews
4:03 pm
Sat June 23, 2012

Cassandra Wilson: 'The Guitar Is My Heart'

Cassandra Wilson explores geography, as well as a lifelong relationship with the guitar, on Another Country.
Marco Glaviano

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 7:31 am

Cassandra Wilson was once described by Time magazine as "America's best singer." Wilson was born in segregated Mississippi — also the birthplace of the blues — but she's always been on a journey to explore other sounds and influences.

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Deceptive Cadence from NPR Music
4:47 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: June 22, 2012

Gustavo Dudamel applauds the youngsters of Scotland's Big Noise Orchestra after their Thursday performance in Stirling.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images
  • This week, Gustavo Dudamel was in Scotland to visit Raploch, Stirling, the "former haunt of notorious crime-clan ­matriarch Big Mags Haney and once so educationally deprived it was dubbed a 'higher-free zone.'" It now is the home of Big Noise, a classical music project for kids run by Sistema Scotland.
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A Blog Supreme from NPR Music
12:13 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Six Creative Presenters Finding New Audiences For Jazz

The New York City club Smalls has made its shows available via live webcast and records some of them for an in-house record label.
Michelle Watt Courtesy of Smalls

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:42 pm

Recently on A Blog Supreme, pianist and blogger Kurt Ellenberger expressed doubt that audiences for jazz can continue to grow, writing that audience development is "a tall order that seems insurmountable." Although this alarm bell has been sounded by jazz writers for at least seven decades, musicians stubbornly seem to keep on playing, and new fans keep on discovering the music.

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WRTI Spotlight
7:19 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Bankrupt At Home, Philly Orchestra Looks To China

The Philadelphia Orchestra, which declared bankruptcy last year, has been performing in China, where it is looking to develop new streams of revenue.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:17 pm

The Philadelphia Orchestra has just wrapped up a 10-day visit to China, its seventh trip to the country over the past four decades.

But this trip was different.

The orchestra is preparing to come out of bankruptcy, and this tour was about its survival. It hopes to balance its books by building new audiences and new revenues in the world's second-largest economy.

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Jazz Review
12:40 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Tracing The Evolution Of Lost Chicago Jazz

Mike Reed's People, Places and Things.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:29 pm

Drummer Mike Reed put together his quartet People, Places and Things to play music by their 1950s forebears. But it makes sense that, after a few years together, they'd also play later pieces, tracking the evolution of Chicago jazz on a new album titled Clean on the Corner. One dividend of their repertory work is that it inspires Reed to write his own tunes in the same spirit, like "The Lady Has a Bomb."

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