WXXI Classical Blog

The 2015 Rochester Classical Idol Vocal Competition

It's a pleasure to support the choral arts in Rochester by listening to inspired singing in the Classical Idol Competition, an annual fundraiser for the Rochester Oratorio Society.  I've been honored to served as the emcee for several years. This year I took a few pictures from the stage.  Enjoy!

Found object

Look what I found backstage the other day when I was hosting "Live from Hochstein." It's a diagram of the set up for a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 at the Hochstein Performance Hall on Sunday, April 19th at 4:00 p.m.

Big Ears

What does "avant-guarde" mean in 2015?  Good question.  This piece on The Newshour caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, it involves the Kronos Quartet still being amazing.  Second, Rochester is absolutely ready for a music festival like this.

The many facets of David Diamond

This morning I sat down to talk with Peter Elliot, a friend and former neighbor of the late composer David Diamond.  At Jines on Park Avenue (with the fabulous mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe eating breakfast only a few tables away!) Peter pulled out a white plastic bag stuffed with treasures: a whimsical letter from David to his kid brother (see picture below), the first Diamond LP he owned, and a fistful of old photos of the composer spending time with the Elliot family on Edgerton Street.

"This is Mr. Copland's House"

During my sojourn to Copland House, I talked with pianist and Artistic and Executive Director Michael Boriskin. In this podcast, you'll hear the story of how a grassroots movement saved Aaron Copland's house, how the composer thought to honor his favorite teacher in his garden, and how the house serves to promote the creation of new music. 

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Aaron Copland

I recently made a pilgrimage to the Copland House north of New York City.  It's pretty much as he left it: simple, rustic, and woodsy.  A little musty.  Watch this space for more, including an interview with the composer-in-residence, Stephen Snowden, and enjoy this scrapbook.



Music of Jennifer Higdon

When Jennifer Higdon came to Rochester as the composer in residence for the 2014 Women in Music Festival, her music was performed on a number of concerts throughout the week, including an “All Higdon Concert” at the Eastman School of Music Hatch Recital Hall.

15 Interesting Facts about David Diamond

Composer David Diamond at the piano
By Bridget Kinneary 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is performing David Diamond's Fourth Symphony this week. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. Here are 15 things you may not have known about David Diamond. 

Outstanding Young Classical Musicians at Sphinx and the National Youth Orchestra of USA

Every week WXXI-FM Classical 91.5 celebrates outstanding young classical musicians on the program From the Top (Sundays at 5:00 p.m.)  But there are so many more outstanding young classical musicians around the world that we don't hear about as often.