On Saturday night, a panel of judges, including WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras, named Rochester's Classical Idol in the 3rd Annual Contest to benefit the Rochester Oratorio Society.
The First Prize winner was soprano Jacqueline Noparstak of New York City. She walked away with $1,500 and the chance to solo with the ROS. Second Prize and $1,000 went to baritone Evan Jones, and the Third Prize winner was soprano Elena O'Connor, who earned $500 for her performance of Rachmaninoff's mournful art song "Ne krasavica pri mne." Jones won the Audience Favorite Award.
The winners, with accompanist Richard Volpe:
Mozart turned 250, and you couldn't turn around without banging your shins on another recording of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Mendelssohn turns 200 and...not so much.
I just finished an article for the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra's newletter about musical entrepreneurship. I soon found myself being reminded of how we musicians "do it" to make a living.
Simon Pontin draws funky cartoons. Julia Figueras sews her kids' clothes for the first day of school and Halloween.
The deejays you hear on Classical 91.5 are incredibly artistic people on -- and off -- the air.
My friend, classical host Gerry Szymanski, entered his photographs in a public contest which ends in three days, and some of the shots are quite good. You'll have a chance to decide which of Gerry's pictures might be included in a future coffee table book if you click here.
Jack Ertle plays piano. Jeanne Fisher sings alto. Ruth Phinney crochets. I can play "Chopsticks" with my toes. I'm not sure what John Andres and Marianne Carberry do for fun, but it's bound to be something surprising. Music lovers tend to be especially creative people.
As you well know.
Last week, flutist Bonita Boyd came to WXXI to perform on a live, in-studio show, Backstage Pass. To promote her appearance, I pulled out her excellent CD of Niccolo Paganini’s 24 Caprices, Op. 1, a set of mind-bogglingly difficult violin solos Boyd plays deftly on the flute. Looking at the CD cover, I wondered, what’s with the old car? The expanse of leg? The sexy smile? Paganini, a randy charmer, would most heartily approve.
9:59 a.m. Friday, November 16th. Backstage Pass, WXXI's live studio music show, airs in about 3 hours.
Host Julia Figueras is still not sure what guests Juliana Athayde and William Preucil will be playing. Since the two violinists had a student-teacher relationship, Julia decides to focus the interview on the subject of mentoring. 10:15 a.m. Julia shows her list of interview questions to intern Hannah St. Marie.