VPR Classical

VPR Classical is Vermont's statewide classical music station. We bring you the broad world of classical music with a strong local connection: local hosts throughout the week, live performances, news about events in your community, and more.

VPR Classical hosts, clockwise from the top left: Kari Anderson, Walter Parker, James Stewart, Linda Radtke and Peter Fox Smith.

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Boston Symphony Orchestra | BSO At Tanglewood | Chamber Music Society Of Lincoln Center | Chicago Symphony Orchestra | Exploring Music | From The TopMetropolitan Opera | The Met Live In HD | New York Philharmonic | Performance Today | Saturday Matinee | SymphonyCast | VSO On VPR Classical

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12 hours ago

We celebrate Tchaikovsky's May 7, 1840 birthday by listening to some exceptionally beautiful singing: Tchaikovsky opera excerpts sung by extraordinary artists who performed almost exclusively in Russia: Konstantin Lisovsky, Sergei Lemeshev, Vitali Kilchevsky, and Pawel Lisizian, among others.

Listen Saturday, May 7 at 12 noon.


Glover Community School 8th grader Asom Hayman-Jones is featured in May’s Student Composer Showcase.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor

Mozart: Serenata notturna, K. 239
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73

Listen Wednesday May 4 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

The music of Richard Wagner marked a growing “crisis” in Romantic harmony marked by the so called, "Tristan Chord". This is the opening harmony of the prelude to Wagner’s 1859 opera Tristan and Isolde. Never before has one group of four notes rocked the musical world so completely.

Fernando Baez / www.olgakern.com

Pianist Olga Kern will play the Grieg Concerto with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Saturday evening.  She visits Walter Parker for a chat on Friday morning.

Listen Friday April 29 at 11 a.m. and online now.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture  (Raymond Leppard, conductor)
Dvorak: Symphony No. 6 in D, Op. 60  (Anthony Princiotti, conductor)

Broadcast Wednesday April 27 at 8 p.m.

Franz Lehár

Apr 26, 2016

We celebrate the April 30, 1870 birthday of Franz Lehár with excerpts from his operettas as sung by Marta Eggerth, Fritz Wunderlich, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Jarmila Novotna, and Richard Tauber.

Listen Saturday, April 30 at 12 noon.

U.S. Public Domain

It only takes a few notes to recognize the main theme of John William's score to the film “Star Wars." The Star Wars franchise has become a cultural touchstone all around the world. The original 1977 film is a marriage of a universal mythological tale, told with fantastic artistry.

The sets, costumes, characters, special effects and (of course) the music all work together to create one experience. The film has truly become a prime example of the aesthetic ideal championed by Richard Wagner, “Gesamtkunstwerk” or total, universal art.


Apr 18, 2016

On this anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, we hear excerpts from vintage recordings of Verdi's Otello, with such singers as Placido Domingo, Jon Vickers, Tito Gobbi, Lawrence Tibbett, and Tiana Lemnitz.

Listen Saturday, April 23 at 12 noon.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64  (Anthony Princiotti, conductor)

Broadcast Wednesday April 20 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

Even mentioning the name Wagner spawns a dramatic response. He’s one of those figures that’s either loved or hated. It’s been said that more ink has been spilt on the works and life of Richard Wagner than almost another composer. His operas and his essays, his philosophy and his spirit, stand as pillars of German Romanticism.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Marriage of Figaro Overture  (Anthony Princiotti, conductor)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Broadcast Wednesday April 13 at 8 p.m.

L'amico Fritz

Apr 11, 2016


Pietro Mascagni was not a one-opera composer. L'amico Fritz contains some of his most beautiful music. We hear excerpts that feature Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Mafalda Favero, and Tito Schipa.

Listen Saturday, April 16 at 12 noon.

April means many things: the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, National Poetry Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, and the first full month of Spring. This weekend, Reuben Jackson returns to VPR Classical for a program of works celebrating poetry, rebirth, jazz, and wonder.

Timeline: Franz Liszt

Apr 11, 2016
U.S. Public Domain

When I say the words “rock star," what comes to your mind? Perhaps you picture guitars, stadiums and teeming mobs of adoring fans flocking to their favorite band or musician. In many ways, composer and pianist Franz Liszt was Europe’s first “rock star." 

His fans, mostly women, would rush the stage at his performances desperate to grab a bit of his clothes or a lock of his long hair. One writer actually called the phenomenon, “Lisztomania."

We hear excerpts from Donizetti's La fille du régiment, with Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti, "King of the High C's."

Listen Saturday, April 9 at 12 noon.

photo: Kathy Chapman / CM Artists

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Abduction from the Seraglio Overture  (Sarah Hicks, conductor)
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15  (Peter Serkin, piano; Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Broadcast Wednesday April 6 at 8 p.m.

Sam Beste is an 8th grader at Edmund’s Middle School in Burlington, and April's Student Composer Showcase on VPR Classical.

U.S. Public Domain

The modern piano is a masterpiece of acoustic design and engineering; 88 keys with the ability to play all of the notes a musician could possibly reach simultaneously, and a sound that can fill a concert hall by itself. Inside, the metal frame is holding 18 tons of tension as the strings are struck over and over again by large hammers. Each key triggers a complex mechanism allowing the performer to easily control the volume of the note simply by touch. We see and hear the piano so often that we’ve forgotten just how unique an instrument this keyboard has become.

We hear two non-operatic works by Giacomo Puccini: his Preludio sinfonico and the Messa di Gloria.

Listen Saturday, April 2 at 12 noon.