WXXI Classical Blog

Copland Summer

A few friends sat on a porch in Rochester on a recent cool summer night.  There was music, and beer, and some talk of going hiking. The music varied as different people used Spotify to play Nick Waterhouse, Leonard Cohen, Olivia Tremor Control, Wilco, and whatever else came to mind.

Late at night, late enough to be almost early, one of the denizens of this porch called up Copland’s music for The Red Pony. He then turned to me, the ostensible classical music expert, and asked:  “Why do I like this music? What makes it so good?”

All you ever wanted

A study by the Internet-based market research firm Harris Interactive revealed that 57 percent of Americans ended 2011 with unused vacation time, working, on average, 11 of their allotted days off.  That’s 70 percent of their potential time to relax and spend time with family and friends!

Why do so many of us work rather than rest? 

We might take a cue from classical musicians who find creative ways to combine work and pleasure, especially in the summer months.

Radar screen

You’d think things would slow down a bit during the hot summer months.  But across Western New York, classical musicians are busier than ever with rehearsals, concerts, “noncerts,” and workshops. 

Sirènes

“Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes.”

- Claude Debussy

With hot weather in the forecast, Debussy invites us to cool off at the beach.

Marian McPartland at the Movies - Director interview

Pianist Marian McPartland is a familiar and beloved presence on public radio stations across the country, due to her long-running program Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Documentary filmmaker Huey spent four years chronicling McPartland's life and music, including the radio show and her compositions in the film In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland.

Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society in Rochester

Radio static in the dark. A bandstand shaped like a boom box. Sounds of different stations as this radio wandered the dial. The shadows of the band creating these radio sounds.

Then Esperanza Spalding strolled out onto the stage of Kodak Hall of Eastman Theatre, where she played bass, sang, and led her band through Saturday night's musical journey as part of the Xerox International Rochester Jazz Festival.

Philip Glass on the River in NYC

Composer Philip Glass turns 75 this year, and his birthday is being celebrated with concerts throughout the year, and even a singalong

Nicholas DiCarlo, a friend from West Virginia living in New York City, posted an invitation to a free, outdoor Philip Glass retrospective along the river in Rockefeller Park on Wednesday. I couldn't make it across the state to join him, but he kindly shared his pictures from the concert and wrote up a few thoughts.

Legato

Legato    adv. & adj. Abbr. leg.

From the Top presents its first International program

From the Top’s first international show in Bogotá, Colombia last week was a collaboration with the Batuta National Foundation (Colombia’s national youth music program) and the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia (Colombia’s national youth orchestra), and was one of the most inspiring and rewarding journeys we have ever experienced.