Classical 94.5 WNED Interviews

The Erie County Chamber Winds have discovered yet another forgotten woman in music- Ruth Gipps (1921-1999) a British composer, oboist, pianist and impresario – and she figures prominently on their first CD.  They’re holding a “CD launch” concert in the acoustical marvel we know as the Ciminelli Recital Hall on the 3rd floor of Buff State’s Rockwell Hall this Wednesday, April 16th at 7:30.  BSC Wind Director Rick Fleming spoke about Gipps, acoustics, Harmonie Ensembles (and a whole lot more, as only a professor can do!) with WNED’s Peter Hall.

Even in the 18th century, music was being "dumbed down" to make it more acceptable, but this Wednesday Dr. Gerald Gray will be conducting the original, almost overwhelming, almost violent version of Bach's "St. John Passion" on April 16th at 8:00pm at Rosch Recital Hall in the SUNY Fredonia Campus.  WNED's Peter Hall had questions about the meaning of religious music terms and exactly what Bach was intending.

Is stage fright a good thing?  "Yes!" says SUNY Fredonia School of Music guitar professor James Piorkowski who recently spoke to WNED's Peter Hall about guitarist, composer and arranger Roland Dyens leading a master class for SUNY Fredonia School of Music guitar students who will play original compositions by their fellow composition students.  That's at Diers Recital Hall this Tuesday, April 15th at 5:00pm.  Then, Thursday, April 17th at 8:00, Maestro Dyens plays original compositions of his own at Rosch Recital Hall.

After eight years as Concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Ludwig is leaving at the end of this season to pursue an exclusive solo career.  Actually, he's the soloist this weekend at Kleinhans and a few days ago he spoke with WNED's Peter Hall about the history of the Korngold Violin Concerto (remember Heifetz?) and his own musical legacy (which goes back to the teacher of Heifetz, Leopold Auer)!

Erin Freeman of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Janz Castelo of the Buffalo Chamber Players continue their discussion with WNED's Peter Hall concerning the Friday April 11 concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Delaware Avenue at 8:00.  

It's a matter of physics, says violist Janz Castelo, the Artistic Director of the Buffalo Chamber Players.  It's all about listening, says Erin Freeman, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus.  Both organizations team up for "War and Peace: A Concert for Hope" at Westminster Presbyterian Church Friday, April 11th at 8pm.  Janz and Erin tell WNED's Peter Hall how different performing groups can work together.

For every job that Steve Thomas has retired from, he's taken on at least two more, often working with younger people and learning new things.  It's what keeps him invigorated, he told WNED's Peter Hall.  Steve's farewell concert as Music Director of The Amherst Symphony Orchestra is at the Amherst Middle School this Sunday, April 6th at 7:00pm.

You've been to Kleinhans Music Hall but have you ever been on stage with the performers?  At 7:30 this Thursday at "Music in Buffalo's Historic Places" the musicians want you right next to them as they play different "Sequenzas" for solo instruments by 20th century composer Luciano Berio.  Pianist Eric Huebner explains his concept to WNED's Peter Hall.  

The classical guitar is neither easy to play nor to compose for, but at SUNY Fredonia composition and performance students are collaborating and learning from each other, as guitarist James Piorkowski explained to WNED's Peter Hall.

 Bugs Bunny?  Founding member Bill Kanengiser explains to WNED's Peter Hall some sources of inspiration for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet 's unique sound.  The LAGQ comes to SUNY Fredonia's Rosch Recital Hall for a Masterclass on Thursday and a formal concert Friday, April 4th at 8pm.

 

Did cellist Natasha Farny really battle wolves in Brazil?  Well, sort of.  Hear about her recent trip and what she learned "south of the border" in a conversation with WNED's Peter Hall.  Natasha performs this Sunday, April 6th, at 3:30pm at the "Friends of Vienna" concert.

Is getting ready to perform Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo & Juliet" (Friday April 4th at 7:30pm at Shea's) anything like getting ready to be on "Dancing with the Stars?"  Can ballet dancers do "The Electric Slide?"  And what do ballet dancers eat, anyway?  WNED's Peter Hall wanted to know more, and some of the answers from dancer Heidi Halt of Neglia Ballet Artists might surprise you, too.

 

Who is your "guitar hero?" Maybe classical guitarist Jason Vieaux or rock guitarist Erik Clapton.  They themselves would be astounded by what Chinese born Pipa artist Wu Man can do with just ten fingers and four strings.  You’ll be amazed too at this weekend’s BPO concerts.  WNED’s Peter Hall found out more.

A few centuries back, plays had what we call “incidental music” which served the same function that movie music plays in cinema.  In the current run of the play “RED” at “seven-ten Main” abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko listens to a lot of classical music. WNED’s Peter Hall found out why.

 "For sheer sonorous beauty, I think this is the top concert of the year" said JoAnn Falletta about this weekend's concert series at Kleinhans Music Hall, Saturday 3/22 at 8pm and Sunday 3/23 at 2:30.  Sweeping melodies by Barber, Vaughan Williams, and Mahler with special guest soloist Heidi Grant Murphy.  WNED's Peter Hall found out more.

German tenor Jonas Kaufmann can be seen in movie theatres in the encore HD broadcast of Massenet's opera "Werther" Wednesday, March 19th at 6:30pm.  In this extended interview with exclusive web-only content, Kaufmann discussed with WNED's Peter Hall the difference between "operatic" gestures and his more natural style of acting.

 

Many of our listeners gather spiritual strength from classical music.  Has this winter seemed especially long?  Refresh your soul this Sunday, March 16th at 7:00pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with "Jubilant Reflections on the Vernal Equinox."  WNED's Peter Hall spoke with Music Directors Chris Weber and Justin Pomietlarz.

Rochester’s Tamar Greene is a young tenor with the national tour of “The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” on stage at Shea’s through Sunday.  He has three pieces of advice for aspiring singers…. Work Hard, Don’t Give Up, and a third piece of advice you might not have thought of.  WNED’s Peter Hall found out more.

George and Ira Gershwin's opera about life on Catfish Row has been adapted by Pulitzer winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks with music arranged by Diedre L. Murray into the more "Broadway" styled, very high energy "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess."  It's on stage at Shea's Performing Arts Center through Sunday evening, March 16th, and in the cast is Rochester's Tamar Greene, tenor, who spoke with WNED about saying "yes" when opportunity calls.  

The play "Red" about painter Mark Rothko opens this Friday at 8pm. As part of the Burchfield-Penney's "2nd Friday" series, "A Musical Feast" offers music by Rothko's friend, Morton Feldman. Talk about synesthesia. It will be like hearing a painting. Then exciting Ukrainian pianist Dmitri Novgorodsky joins husband and wife Shih-Jian Tsai and Feng Hew in Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No. 1, described by Robert Schumann as "the master trio of the age." WNED found out more.

The organ parts are fiendishly difficult, so you won't get to hear Poulenc's Organ Concerto nor Durufle's Reqiuem very often, but this Sunday at 11:00am, Garrett Martin joins musicians (many from the BPO) along with choir to perform these two works at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Avenue at Summer, in Buffalo.  WNED found out more.

 

The great German composer Beethoven and two South Americans with Italian backgrounds share the stage as violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen joins the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and guest conductor Daniel Hege  Saturday night 3/8 at 8:00pm at Kleinhans Music Hall.  WNED found out more as you'll hear in this interview with exclusive web content.

 A violinist who includes the great Leopold Auer in her musical lineage, Elissa Lee Koljonen teaches a master class this Thursday, March 6th at 7pm at Kleinhans Music Hall.  The public is invited to listen in. WNED's Peter Hall found out more.
 

The SUNY Fredonia Trombone Collective can play music from over 500 years ago to music written today, and you'll hear it this Saturday night February 22 at St. Mary's Church in Medina at 7:00 pm.  WNED spoke with the group's mentor, former BPO Principal Trombonist Carl "Maz" Mazzio.

Legendary conductor Gunther Herbig was born in 1931 and this weekend, even though he's in his 80s, he will conduct one of the monumental symphonies by Bruckner, the 8th, at Kleinhans Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Saturday 2/22 at 8pm and Sunday 2/23 at 2:30.  His "secret of youth?"  Everything in moderation and "always have the feeling that you are just at the beginning of your profession" as he explained to WNED.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is on the road again, but this time only across Pennsylvania Street as they donate their time for a concert to help save the dramatic tower atop First Presbyterian Church.  Paul Ferington conducts inside the church this Friday, February 21st at 8:00.  WNED found out more.

 

 

Valentines Day will bring a singing couple to the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra's concert this February 14th at 7:30 and there will be songs by some of the great American songwriting "couples" including Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, and Gershwin and Gershwin (George and Ira).  Music Director Dr. David Rudge and tenor Chris Wietig spoke to WNED.

Haydn may have invented the form we know as the symphony, but 150 years later, he would never had recognized it.  Two composers who brought Wagner's huge operatic concepts to the concert hall were Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler.  In anticipation of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra playing Bruckner's 8th and Mahler's 4th, Paul Ferington will present a series of lectures, on Wednesday February 12th at noon at the downtown library, at 6:30pm at Orchard Park, and on February 19th at 7:00pm at the Audubon library.  WNED found out more.

When a composer writes a 9th symphony, it's a big deal.  For Mahler, his "ninth" was "Das Lied von der Erde" (The Song of the Earth) but the forces needed to perform it are so huge that it's rarely offered.  Western New York Chamber Orchestra conductor Glen Cortese has figured out how to do it in the intimate Rosch Recital Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus, Sunday, February 9th at 4:00pm.  Heroic Tenor Mark Deaton and Maestro Cortese explain all to WNED.

Composers from the 1960s Creative Associates and young contemporary creative artists are featured tonight at Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall at 7:30pm when Wooden Cities presents a full program of works by Buffalo composers.  It's a free concerts, part of the Muriel Wolf and Albert Steger Endowment.

Van Cliburn Piano Competition medalist Philippe Bianconi returns to Buffalo by popular demand this weekend, Saturday night at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at Kleinhans Music Hall as JoAnn Falletta conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in a program featuring Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Dvorak's Symphony No. 6.  WNED spoke with M. Bianconi.

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin is in Buffalo with two jazz guitarists - Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo - for a 7:30pm concert Thursday evening, January 30th at the UB Center for the Arts.  She spoke with WNED about the Falletta Competition, last year's winner (her student Celil Kaya), and how she blends the classical and jazz sides of her personality.

Wrapping up their 90th season this spring, you'd think that after all these years The Buffalo Chamber Music Society would not have many works left to premier, but that's not the case. The Szymanowski Quartet from Poland performs quartets by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Karol Szymanowski's Quartet No. 2 (for the first time on the series).  The concert is at the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall this Tuesday night, Janaury 28th at 8:00.  WNED found out more from violinist Grzegorz Kotow and cellist Marcin Sieniawski.

JoAnn Falletta has an ear for talent and so for this January's Mozart celebration at Kleinhans Music Hall, she's invited pianist Enrica Ciccarelli to play Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, considered by most to be one of the greatest works by ANY composer for ANY instrument.  The concerts are Friday morning, 1/17, at 10:30 am and Saturday evening, 1/18, at 8:00pm.  WNED found out more.

New England has been a source of great American music, poetry, novels, and also a philosophy embraced by Emerson and Thoreau called "Transcendentalism."  Sunday afternoon, January 19th at 2pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo (699 Elmwood Avenue at West Ferry) Daniel Bassin, the new Music Director after Barbara Wagner presided at the church for over 50 years, conducts a benefit concert to continue Barbara's tradition of presenting music by living composers.  Kyle Gann will be at the church to hear his "Transcendental Sonnets" along with works by Charles Ives.  WNED found out more.

Brahms, Mozart, Debussy - three of the greatest composers for the clarinet are on the program when BPO Principal John Fullam joins clarinetist Myra Engle, her sister, mezzo soprano Elisabeth Engle,and pianist John Mitton.  It's Sunday, January 12th, at 3:00 pm, at St. Matthias Church, 374 Main Street in East Aurora.

The co-directors of the June 2014 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto competition - the Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo - team up with Maestra Falletta Friday morning 12/6 at 10:30am and Saturday night at 8:00pm at Kleinhans Music Hall to perform music by Vivaldi as part of the BPO's "Classical Christmas." The Duo told WNED that the difficulty of guitar concerti can be likened to a hockey stick.

BPC Conductor Erin Freeman re: Handel's Messiah

 

After she conducts an afternoon performance of The Nutcracker at Shea's, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus's new Music Director, Erin Freeman, heads out to OLV Basilica in Lackawanna to conduct Handel's Messiah. As she explained to WNED, Handel used musical forms popular in the countries where he lived: German fugues, Italian duets, and English anthems.

This story is s in conjunction with Dialogue on Disability (wxxi.org/dod)

by Brenda Tremblay

Talented young flutist Catherine Branch lives with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Before coming to Rochester to study at the Eastman School of Music, she spent a year traveling across three continents, commissioning and performing pieces inspired by the challenges of living with physical disabilities. In a conversation with Brenda Tremblay, she tells the story of how music propelled her out of a wheelchair and how she's learning to play her unusual body the way she learned to play her flute.

The combination of three instruments - piano, clarinet, and viola - wasn't just used by Mozart. In fact a number of composers will be represented this Sunday afternoon at the Friends of Vienna concert at 3:30 at the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Avenue. Performing will be Jean Kopperud, clarinet; Eric Huebner, piano; and , who spoke with WNED.

Practice everything slowly, don't develop routines, and maybe don't adopt a puppy the day you fly back from a concert tour in Korea. Good advice from pianist Simone Dinnerstein, on stage at Kleinhans Music Hall this Saturday night as JoAnn Falletta conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic in a program which includes Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2. In this interview with exclusive web content, Ms. Dinnerstein shared insights into her life and music.

A pilot, a philosophical fox, a snake, a rose, and a little prince from Asteroid B-612 who learns that "All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it." Opera Sacra presents Rachel Portman's ("Emma," "Cider House Rules") opera "The Little Prince" based on the book by Antoine de St. Exupery Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23 at 8:00pm at St. Joseph University Church. WNED spoke with Director Reverend Jacob Ledwon.