VPR Classical

Peter Konerko

Around the world, contemporary opera is having a “moment”, with an incredible amount new opera being composed and performed. The Vermont Opera Project was founded last year in Barre, with the mission of bringing new and rarely-performed operas to Vermont.

A call to artists for theater submissions, a new art exhibit in Windham and a musical about headstones top this week's list of arts events.

The Crisantemi Quartet of Havana are on their first trip to the United States as a group.
Kari Anderson / VPR

The members of Havana's Crisantemi Quartet range between 19 and 22 years old, but the music they play has a much longer history. Trained at the Lyceum Mozartiano de la Habana, and the Havana Arts College, the group pairs traditional classical compositions with high-energy renditions of Cuban folk songs.

Courtesy of Music-COMP

For July's Student Composer Showcase we’ll meet cellist, pianist, and composer Sophie Wood, a recent graduate of Otter Valley Union High School.

Courtesy of Music-COMP

Each month, VPR Classical highlights the work of talented young composers for the Student Composer Showcase. We first spoke with Rachel Schwartz when she was a junior at Harwood Union High School. We'll catch up with Schwartz as she prepares to head to the Crane School of Music in the fall.

Courtesy of APM

In the United States, Memorial Day is often thought of as the unofficial beginning of summer, but its significance to this country runs far deeper. "Dreams of the Fallen: Music of Honor and Remembrance for Memorial Day" seeks to recognize and memorialize, through music and poetry, those who have protected our country – often at great sacrifice – from before its founding to the present.

Broadcast Monday, May 29th at 6 p.m.

The WFMT Radio Network is proud to make the American Opera Series available for broadcast here on VPR Classical. The American Opera Series is designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, filling in the schedule with 29 weeks to complete the year.

This year the American Opera Series features great performances by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Caramoor and Opera Southwest.

Download the entire 2017 schedule here.

Courtesy of Erin Magill

For May's Student Composer Showcase we hear two perspectives on the process of writing music: one from a student composer and the other from the professional mentor helping her shape her works.

VPR

Reuben Jackson returns to VPR Classical for a celebration of composers who had a "profound and enduring impact on a certain nerdy, young music lover growing up in Washington, D.C."

Broadcast April 29th at 10 a.m. and Monday, May 1st at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

Music has always been created with a specific venue in mind. The composer may not know who will be in the audience or how it will be received but they know it has to be played on an instrument or sound system in a place. Throughout all of history, whether it was a church, a ballroom, a dance hall, an opera house or a dive bar, music was written to fill that location.

U.S. Public Domain

In the 20th century no medium affected culture more than film. The music written to accompany the images, story and dialogue has become a huge part of the movie-going experience. In many cases it’s impossible to separate the musical theme from the film itself; the two become one in our minds.

Courtesy of Vermont Chamber Artists

Jessica Pierpont is the artistic director of the newly formed Vermont Chamber Artists, a professional choral group based in Sharon, Vermont. The group has their first-ever concerts this weekend in Sharon and Thetford.

Courtesy of Music-COMP

For April's Student Composer Showcase we'll meet Andrew Kim, an eighth-grader at F. H. Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington.

Timeline: Minimalism

Apr 3, 2017
U.S. Public Domain

The music of the early 20th century was marked by increasing complexity and abstraction. Serialism and the chance practices of John Cage and his followers created an aesthetic that stood opposed to the Romanticism of the century before. In the '60s and '70s a counter-reaction began to emerge as a new group of young composers sought to free themselves from the strict rules of atonalism and serialism and embrace the simplicity of minimalism.

Courtesy of Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

World-renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein sat down with VPR's Walter Parker for a live performance from VPR's Studio One to debut VPR's new Steinway concert grand piano.

Dinnerstein performed works from Philip Glass and Franz Schubert, and discussed working with young musicians and selecting the right instrument.

Every morning, for more than 75 years, American composer Elliott Carter would awaken and go to his studio to write music. Carter and his wife, Helen Frost-Jones, lived in the same apartment in Greenwich Village in New York, since 1945. He was one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, composing over 40 works after the age of 90. Carter’s music encompasses many of the influences and styles that shaped the last 100 years of music.

James Stewart / VPR

Musical labels are useful. The title of a genre or style comes in handy in the record store, on the radio or for streaming services. But these labels can also be problematic and divisive.

James Stewart

In 1952, on a summer day in Woodstock, New York, pianist David Tudor held an outdoor recital of contemporary piano music. During this concert he premiered a new work by composer John Cage. For this performance, Tudor sat at the piano with the lid closed, keys covered for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, split into 3 movements. The results of this performance are still controversial to this day.

Troy's Jacob Dennison is the featured young musician for VPR Classical's Student Composer Showcase.

U.S. Public Domain

In the second half of the 20th century, technology evolved at an ever-increasing pace. The ability to capture a performance and manipulate recorded sound allowed musicians, artists and composers a freedom that they had never experienced before. It all started with the advent and adoption of magnetic tape.

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