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You can listen to all of the past Classical 94.5 interviews on our soundcloud page.


Chautauqua Opera Trilogy matches 18th century to today's headlines

Chautauqua Opera's General & Artistic Director, Steve Osgood, walks us through the big "Opera Trilogy" weekend, July 25, 26, 27 of 2019 with THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO in a new version as ¡Figaro! (90210), and THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES, all inspired by the playwright Beaumarchais who participated in both the French and the American Revolutions. Quite a character who lived in quite a turbulent time, his stories resonate with audiences today. WNED Classical's Peter Hall found out more.

BPO cellist Hew, composer Mallonee, conductor Weber on "Andromeda" premiere

Buffalo based composer Caroline Mallonee's compositions are often inspired by science, such as her previous collaboration with BPO 'cellist Feng Hew and conductor Chris Weber's Camerata di Sant'Antonio string orchestra called "Whistler Waves" (an atmospheric phenonmenon). The triple threat is back with "Portraits of Andromeda" Sunday evening, May 5, 2019 (details below). With such other compositions illustrating Newton's Three Laws of Motion or "The Butterfly Effect," Mallonee has poured a lifelong fascination with science into her original compositions. Following up on the successful 2012 "Whistler Waves" collaboration with the chamber sized string orchestra directed by Christopher Weber, in 2015 she expanded the score for large orchestra where it was recorded by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta for their "Built for Buffalo 2" CD on the BPO's house label "Beau Fleuve." And now, a new commission has brought the team back together.

In this conversation, the three talk about the myth of Andromeda (chained to a rock but rescued by Perseus) and her presence in the heavens, how 'cellist Hew and composer Mallonee worked together (lots of email), and why the venue (St. Anthony of Padua church) is the right venue for this concert.

Mallonee is based in Buffalo, earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from Yale School of Music, and her Ph.D from Duke University. Feng Hew has been the BPO’s Associate Principal Cellist since 1999. Christopher Weber is the founder, Artistic Director, and principal conductor of the "Camerata di Sant'Antonio" whose home base is once again in the acoustically superior St. Anthony of Padua church located directly behind Buffalo's City Hall.

The concert, titled "East Meets West" will also include works by "Eastern" composers Zhou Long and Yoshimatsu, Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness, and "Western" composers Mallonee, Copland, and Mercury. That's Freddie Mercury and the concert will end with a string orchestra arrangement of "Bohemian Rhapsody," the symphonic rock song made famous by Freddie Mercury's group Queen.

BOOK OF MORMON'S Jacques C. Smith talks about the life of a Broadway star

In the touring musical THE BOOK OF MORMON at Shea's Performing Arts Center April 30 to May 12, 2019, Jacques C. Smith plays Ugandan villager Mafala Hatimbi who helps the Mormon missionaries adjust to life in Africa, all the while trying to protect his daughter Nabulungi from the local warlord. In this conversation he talks about life on the road, how he got his start, and compares his television career (for example in the prison series OZ) with Broadway.

UB Alum Sean Ryan in RENT, based on LA BOHEME, at Shea's this week.

UB Alum and Dance Captain for the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT (the musical about NYC in the late 1980s based on Puccini's opera LA BOHEME) Sean Ryan is at Shea's with RENT from March 26 through March 31, 2019. Shea’s has announced that Sean Ryan will lead a dance master class on Friday, March 29, 4:00-5:30 PM in the Shea’s 710 Theatre Lobby. This program is for ages 10 and up and all skill levels are welcome. Sean talks about life on the road, his favorite songs in RENT, and what it means to be a Dance Captain, a Swing, and an Understudy.

Bach, Franck, Organ Music at St. Stan's, and Polonia

Torn Space Theater is known for edgy performances that make one think. So impresario Dan Shanahan thought that Buffalo Toronto Public Media audiences might enjoy exploring some East Side (Polonia) spaces in a new light and then watching some performance art which will raise questions about the spaces we inhabit.

Founded by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola, Torn Space Theater puts on events that push the envelope, often aesthetically innovative performances in collaboration with actors, composers, sculptors, video artists and designers and often in unusual settings. In their upcoming event, the spaces are not necessarily unusual, but may be new to many, during LIGHT/STATION a "meditative walk-through performance" that leads from the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle (Torn Spaces "home") through the historic Polonia neighborhood where sculpture, sound design, light sculpture, and live performance guide the audience to the towering St. Stanislaus Church for a private organ concert with Kristin Gainey playing music by two of the greatest organ composers ever - Bach and Franck. The walks are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 16 through 18, 2019 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at 612 Fillmore Avenue (near Paderewski).

There is a dinner option following the walks (call 812-5733 for details) or one can come back to 612 Fillmore at 7:30 p.m. for MAN MADE EARTH featuring the performance group 600 Highwaymen asking the question "How do the structures that we make push us together or keep us apart?" There is also a Saturday, November 17 2:00 p.m. matinee of this performance piece.

WBFO's Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall had conversations with both Dan Shanahan and organist Kristin Gainey.


Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell remembers that he first performed Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor with the BPO conducted by Semyon Bychkov back in March, 1986. He was only 18 years old. Now, 30 years later, he returns to play that same concerto with JoAnn Falletta and the BPO on Saturday night, September 17, 2017. In this conversation with WNED Classical's Peter Hall, he explains why he loves that concerto, and talks about a few things he's learned over time

Cellist Mark Kosower
Cellist Mark Kosower

Most violinists start at age 3. Cleveland Orchestra Principle Cellist Mark Kosower was half that age when he began and this student of the great Janos Starker will bring his talent to Kleinhans Music Hall to play Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme with JoAnn Falletta conducting the BPO, Saturday, October 15, 2017 at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. In a recent conversation with WNED Classical's Peter Hall, Mark Kosower talks about the piece he'll be performing.

Stratford Summer Music Festical
Stratford Summer Music Festival

Why are Mozart's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO and Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE so different? CBC Radio Host and Stratford Summer Music Festival lecturer Robert Harris speaks with WNED Clssical's Peter Hall about this, touching on Beethoven and opera overtures as well. Robert Harris will speak at Stratford on Wednesday, August 17, 2017 at 11:15 a.m. at the University of Waterloo, Stratford campus.

Robert Harris
Robert Harris

CBC radio host and lecturer Robert Harris speaks in this podcast about the last of the great Broadway creators - Stephen Sondheim. Recorded last year around Canada's Stratford Festival for Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake for SWEENEY TODD

Esin Gunduz and Megan Kyle
Esin Gunduz and Megan Kyle

Esin Gunduz, voice, and Megan Kyle, oboe and English horn (and violin!), will perform a concert this July, 2017, of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque works re-contextualized through contemporary improvisation techniques and the unique sonic environment of Silo City. They spoke with WNED Classical's Peter Hall about the sound worlds opened up by these pieces, and by the extreme resonance of the silos, which will be further explored in improvised material. The result is an immersive concert experience in which early music and new sounds are intertwined, reverberating in a post-industrial cathedral! For sound clips visit @sensodivoce.

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