WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
9:13 am
Sun November 17, 2013

'The Biggest Jazz Riff Ever Written:' Jeremy Denk's 'Goldberg Variations'

Jeremy Denk played Mozart at Carnegie Hall Wednesday with the San Francisco Symphony.
Eric Thayer for NPR Music

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:01 am

In the classical music world right now, many eyes are focused on Jeremy Denk.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:03 am
Sun November 17, 2013

A Young Brit Takes On The American Songbook

Anthony Strong.
Thibault Stipal Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 11:24 am

The so-called "Great American Songbook" is made up of popular songs that made your grandparents and parents dance. They were written for movies and Broadway musicals by composers like Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, and others.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:11 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Remembering 'Holy Minimalist' Composer John Tavener

John Tavener's ethereal music was influenced by the Russian Orthodox traditions.
Simone Canetty-Clarke Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 7:47 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:08 am
Mon November 11, 2013

No Need To Cook The Books: Booker Ervin's Debut LP Reissued

Booker Ervin on the cover of The Book Cooks, his debut album.
Courtesy of Bethlehem Records

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 1:42 pm

Tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin came to New York in 1958. Pianist Horace Parlan heard him and invited Ervin to sit in one night with a band he worked in. That's how Ervin got hired by bassist Charles Mingus, who featured him on albums like Blues and Roots and Mingus Ah Um.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:00 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

Can I Kick It? Organ Master Lonnie Smith Can

Dr. Lonnie Smith's In the Beginning, a new album that reimagines the artist's older, out-of-print work, is out now.
Susan Stocker Courtesy of the artist

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:08 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Amir ElSaffar Navigates Uncharted Blue Notes On 'Alchemy'

Amir ElSaffar's new album is called Alchemy.
Nicole LeCorgne Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:01 pm

Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar grew up near Chicago, playing jazz trumpet. In the early 2000s, while in his mid-20s, he began investigating the music of his Iraqi heritage, studying in Baghdad and with expatriate musicians in Europe. Then he began combining the two.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:25 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Halloween Video Fright: Five Versions Of That Terrifying Toccata And Fugue

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 10:43 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:24 am
Mon October 28, 2013

From 'Crouching Tiger' To 'Secret Songs': Composer Tan Dun's Next Move

Chinese composer Tan Dun's latest work, Nu-Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, was inspred by an ancient language spoken in a remote area of Tan's home province of Hunan.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:24 pm

Chinese composer Tan Dun has written an opera for Placido Domingo and his works have been performed by the some of the world's greatest orchestras. In addition to writing music for the Beijing Olympics, he wrote the Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:48 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein

Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, shown here conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra in 1963, was a legend in American music. Letters to and from Bernstein have been compiled into The Leonard Bernstein Letters, a new book edited by Nigel Simeone.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Leonard Bernstein was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like West Side Story, as well as symphonies and ballets. He was a teacher and television personality — his Young People's Concerts introduced generations of children to classical music.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:43 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

LA's Own 'Amazing And Unique Instrument' Turns 10

An Angeleno revels at 10 Times The Party, a celebration of Walt Disney Concert Hall's 10th Anniversary, on Oct. 5 in Los Angeles.
David Livingston Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 12:23 pm

If you were listening to NPR 10 years ago this week, you might have heard this enthusiastic proclamation: "The wait is finally over for architect Frank Gehry, for the musicians and staff of the LA Philharmonic, and for all of Los Angeles. Tonight, for the first time in public, the orchestra plays its magnificent new instrument: Walt Disney Concert Hall."

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