WRTI Picks from NPR Music

A Blog Supreme from NPR Music
10:47 am
Mon May 7, 2012

To Revive A Jazz City, A Philadelphia Musician Stages A Festival

Ernest Stuart, founder of the Center City Jazz Festival, performs during a mid-afternoon set with his quartet.
Patrick Jarenwattananon NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:02 pm

From the first downbeat of the first Center City Jazz Festival in Philadelphia, you could hear history in the air — and maybe history being made.

The Wade Dean Enspiration, a gutsy young quintet, led off the festival with "Gingerbread Boy" by Jimmy Heath, one of Philly's many homegrown jazz legends. It was 1 p.m. last Saturday, and the dim carpeted room upstairs at Fergie's Pub was starting to fill up.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:27 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Fireworks From Cuba, And Schubert That Grooves: New Classical Albums

The new album by The Knights, A Second of Silence, celebrates Schubert and more modern but like-minded composers.
Ancalagon Records

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 7:37 pm

Although it always seems fashionable to forecast the downfall of classical music, enterprising musicians both young and not so young continue to make deeply satisfying recordings. For this visit to weekends on All Things Considered, I was delighted to uncover the little known (at least in this country) Jorge Luis Prats, a terrifically talented Cuban pianist whose once uncertain career appears to be resurging — at 55, he has signed a handsome record deal. Then there's The Knights, a young chamber orchestra with a postmodern take on Schubert.

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First Listen
6:14 am
Mon May 7, 2012

First Listen: Jeremy Denk, 'Ligeti/Beethoven'

Jeremy Denk's new album, Ligeti/Beethoven, comes out May 15.
Dennis Callahan

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 10:11 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Deceptive Cadence from NPR Music
6:01 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Meet Your New Piano Idol: Behzod Abduraimov

Behzod Abduraimov.
Benjamin Ealovega

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 7:03 pm

There's a new superstar pianist on the horizon: Behzod Abduraimov. Haven't heard of him yet? That's not surprising — at just 21, this native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan has kept a very low profile so far. He's spent the past five years in the U.S., but not at a big-name school like the Curtis Institute (like Lang Lang or Yuja Wang, for example) or at Juilliard, where he was accepted as a student. Instead, he went to study with Stanislav Ioudenitch Park University in Salt Lake City Parkville, Missouri, where he's still enrolled.

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Deceptive Cadence from NPR Music
7:35 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: May 4, 2012

Domingo Pl — er, Placido Domingo.
Sheila Rock courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 8:38 am

  • I'm not sure how the Daily Mail arrived at the unfortunate headline "An Unlikely Fan: Why Opera's Biggest Star, Domingo Placido Is Crazy For Lady Gaga." The obvious hed goof aside, it's not like Domingo gives La Gaga effusive praise: "I think Lady Gaga has a very good voice. Absolutely. She has a wonderful voice.
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In the News
6:38 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: April 20, 2012

Composer Meredith Monk.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 5:16 pm

  • Twenty-one American performing artists, including composer/singer/choreographer/force of nature Meredith Monk and clarinetist/composer Don Byron, have been named as part of the first class of
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Titanic: Voyage To The Past
10:46 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Remembering The Titanic's Intrepid Bandleader

Portraits of Wallace Hartley (top center) and the other musicians aboard the Titanic, published after the ship sank in 1912.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 5:17 am

This weekend marks the centennial of the Titanic disaster. One hundred years ago Saturday, the ship that, as legend had it, "God himself couldn't sink," struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. It was about 20 minutes to midnight on April 14, 1912. Two hours and 40 minutes later, the Titanic was gone.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:37 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: April 13, 2012

'60 Minutes' recently traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to talk to the musicians of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste — the Kinshasa Symphony.
courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 5:10 pm

  • Remember the video we had last month of the incredibly inspiring orchestra in Kinshasa? 60 Minutes also got hep to them and went to the Democratic Republic of Congo to do a report.
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A Blog Supreme
10:23 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Why Tax Day Is Even Worse For Musicians

The contradictions between art and business are set into relief by the U.S. income tax code.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:05 pm

Tomorrow is the income tax filing deadline in the U.S., and jazz musicians in particular know it. The overwhelming majority of jazz musicians are freelance performers (and often freelance teachers, composers and other music-related service providers). But the informal aesthetics of the jazz world often extend to its business practices as well, with its handshake deals and cash payments. That makes it quite difficult to keep track of income and expenses when it comes time to report to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 19th
8:24 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

'Violins Of Hope': Instruments From The Holocaust

Amnon Weinstein prepares a violin from the Holocaust for exhibit. He began restoring the violins in 1996 and now has 30 of them to display in an exhibit called Violins of Hope.
Nancy Pierce

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 10:28 am

Amnon Weinstein first encountered a violin from the Holocaust 50 years ago. He was a young violin maker in Israel, and a customer brought him an old instrument in terrible condition and wanted it restored.

The customer had played on the violin on the way to the gas chamber, but he survived because the Germans needed him for their death camp orchestra. He hadn't played on it since.

"So I opened the violin, and there inside there [were] ashes," Weinstein says.

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