WRTI Picks from NPR Music

NPR's Song Travels
1:37 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Listen: Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet on NPR

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of the leading performers on today's classical-music scene. He has more than 40 albums to his credit, including interpretations of the classical repertoire, as well as music by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Bill Evans.

Music Interviews
5:00 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

'Initial Here': Jazz Musician Linda Oh Plays Out Her Heritage

Linda Oh's latest album, Initial Here, was released May 22.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 5:48 pm

Jazz bassist and bandleader Linda Oh says her new album, Initial Here, is an exploration of her heritage. She was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, but as a toddler, she moved with her family to Australia.

Oh started taking piano lessons there when she was 4. Music was just a hobby back then, but once her uncle strapped a bass guitar around her neck, that's when she fell in love.

Oh cut her teeth playing bass in both jazz and rock bands all over her hometown of Perth in Western Australia.

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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

I discovered Nina Simone through the back door. I would like to claim that I grew up on her classic songs, like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "Four Women" and "Mississippi Goddam." But I didn't. Like so many of my generation, I found her through hip-hop loops and samples.

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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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