Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:08 am
Classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić first studied guitar at the age of 8 in his home country of Montenegro, formerly part of Yugoslavia. At 14, Karadaglić was invited to play at a concert hall in Paris, and he later traveled to Italy to meet classical guitarist David Russell, who advised him to enroll at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (center), and Speaker of the House John Boehner are three key lawmakers in the government shut down and debt ceiling crisis.
A scene from the revival of Einstein on the Beach.
Credit Los Angeles Opera
The epic avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach, a collaboration between composer Philip Glass, director Robert Wilson and choreographer Lucinda Childs, is being revived for the first time in two decades.
Two hundred years ago today, in a small northern Italian village, a couple named Verdi — tavern owners by trade — welcomed the birth of a baby boy who would later change the face of opera forever. And, whether we recognize it or not, on the bicentennial of his birth, Giuseppe Verdi is still vital.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:36 am
Close your eyes, and you may think that this is 1913. In the past few days, the classical music community has been set aflame by recent comments from three prominent male conductors who are — steel yourself — actually saying that women are not capable of standing on the podium.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:52 am
It's that time of year again when freshly steamed curtains are rising on opera stages across the country, introducing another new season of performances. And this time, one composer will be popping up more than usual — Giuseppe Verdi.
In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.
Most opera singers work their way to the big league by singing bit parts in regional opera houses. Not soprano Angela Meade. She landed on top instantly with her professional debut in the lead soprano role of Giuseppe Verdi's Ernani at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2008.
It was a dream come true. The star soprano took ill and the understudy, Meade, was suddenly shoved into the spotlight. The press said she sang "like an old pro from start to finish."
Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.
"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."
Ethel performs its Documerica program, featuring photos from Environmental Protection Agency archives, and music by composers including Vietnam veteran Kimo Williams, at the Park Avenue Armory in 2012.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:08 am
Not unlike childbirth, the odyssey of fits and starts that preceded the completion of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles hurt like hell at the time. But today, 10 years later, Angelenos marvel on a daily basis at architect Frank Gehry's dazzling offspring: the incandescent beauty of its billowing metallic sails, especially at dusk, in L.A.'s famed purple-pink fading light; its iconic status as an architectural symbol of the city and its warm and vibrant acoustics.
This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. It's the place where exciting young singers like Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo made their New York debuts and where innovative productions of new operas premiered.
Musician Emily Bear has composed more than 350 pieces for the piano. She's recorded six albums, performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and worked closely with her mentor, music legend Quincy Jones. And get this: She's 12.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:52 pm
Loud music can lead to hearing loss. But it's not just rock musicians and their fans who are at risk.
In classical orchestras, horn players are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage from the tunes they and their colleagues play.
Some studies have found that horn players are blasted with some of the loudest sounds in the orchestra. The levels are so high that many countries' occupational health regulations would limit exposure like that to a half-hour a day, some studies have found.
How do you make a piano sing? Italian-born pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi tackles the question on his new album, The Rascal and the Sparrow, a tribute to Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf, two titans of French song who each died 50 years ago. Pompa-Baldi shared his thoughts on the project in this email chat with NPR Music's Tom Huizenga.
Like Leonard Bernstein himself, there is absolutely nothing predictable about the music he wrote. None of the three amazing works Bernstein labeled as "symphonies" in any way resemble a conventional orchestral symphony.
This week's artune is ripped from the headlines. More controversy for Russia and its official position on homosexuality: A new government-funded film — and its government funders — deny that Tchaikovsky was gay.