Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar crowns a new "King" on Sunday

On Sunday, Hollywood's best and brightest gather for the 83rd time as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives their awards of merit, known worldwide as the OSCARS(c).  "The King's Speech" is the front runner to win Best Picture.

Though we're as interested in who's going to win each category as much as the next person, we're particularly excited about this year's crop of nominated composers for Best Original Score.  All this week on KPAC, Nathan Cone and John Clare have been trading ideas about who will win as they sample some of the music for each nominated film.  You can listen to their discussions through the audio links below, which include short excerpts from the nominated scores.

The Social Network: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composers

Inception: Hans Zimmer, composer

Nathan thinks Desplat will take home the gold for "The King's Speech," but John says the Oscar will go to Reznor and Ross for "The Social Network."  Who do YOU think will win?  Let us know in the comments box below.

And if you haven't gotten enough Oscar music, visit NPR Music to listen to a special audio stream curated by Nathan Cone, the staff of KPAC, and you.  Songs and Scores of Oscars Past is online now at NPR's companion music site, and it featured over 100 Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated songs and scores.

Enjoy, and we'll see you at the movies!

--Nathan Cone

Sticking to it and the bumpy road to success

A young American read some of this poetry to Gertrude Stein and was told by the formidable woman "to give up writing completely". She dubbed him the manufactured savage. He caught up with Aaron Copland and after some lessons was told that he was "militantly non-professional", but Paul Bowles didn't give up and succeeded in both disciplines. Also hear piano music from a dramatist who, after a long gestation period, eventually created giant operas! On the Piano his Sunday more musicians who divided their time between different art forms.

The Piano can be heard this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Perlman in the news

Renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, who is playing a recital in San Antonio March 19th, has left his conducting position in Westchester, NY. Read more about the story here.
Perlman will be at Lila Cockrell Theater Saturday March 19th at 7:30pm with pianist Rohan DeSilva.  Tickets are available here.

(Project) Sing Sing Sing!

The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio (CCSA) shines in "Project: Sing!" at Our Lady of the Lake University tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Thiry Auditorium.
Project: Sing! is CCSA’s neighborhood-based satellite program that gives area children the opportunity to sing, learn, share and excel. PS:OLLU is in its tenth season and provides tuition-free programs to over 70 students from San Antonio and Edgewood ISDs.
Singers represent the 10 schools spanning grades 3-6 and receive the same level of curriculum and instruction as CCSA’s core programs. CCSA continues to provide exceptional experiences in choral music education and performance to over 300 children and youth annually.
The programs include five performing ensembles for children and youth ages seven to 18; “Music Together” an early-childhood music program for infants and toddlers ages birth to five; “Big Kids” for youngsters ages five to seven; and Project: Sing! a neighborhood-based satellite ensemble for elementary children in Harlandale, San Antonio and Edgewood school districts.
The CCSA singers who represent San Antonio and the surrounding communities perform in a variety of concerts throughout the city. CCSA's advanced choirs have traveled nationwide boasting feature performances, tours to Europe and Canada and have been featured on NBC-TV's Today Show. CCSA’s ensembles regularly perform with the San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Mastersingers and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio among others.
Auditions for CCSA’s next season’s choir begin May 12-14. For more information, call (210) 826-3447 or visit their website at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anne Kaufman on Irving Berlin's Always

Anne Kaufman, daughter of playwright, humorist and producer George Kaufman, tells of her father's falling out with Irving Berlin after he mocked Berlin's sentimental ballad Always. This is taken from the series American Popular Song, written and produced by James Baker and Kathy Couser for KPAC in 2005. The opening phrase of Always is sung by Bruce Hubbard.

Beautiful evening, gorgeous recording

Janine Jansen has released a new album of French music including Debussy, Ravel, Faure and Messiaen. She also includes some new works by Richard Dubugnon, who she speaks with in this delightful interview:

TPR's John Clare will feature Beau Soir this Thursday on Classical Spotlight and talk with Janine, check it out 1pm on KPAC & KTXI.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Musical Moustache?

In the years before one could have music just spill out of a box at the press of a button, people had to make their own. In Houston there is an orchestra made up of physicians, these doctors had music as a friend and ally during their long years of study. It is not surprising that educators recommend that all students explore music by learning an instrument. In the nineteenth century the amount of time devoted to the arts was much higher than today and many accomplished people were also proficient musicians.

On the Piano this Sunday music of famous people, not well known musicians, but those who are better known for their other accomplishments; in this case literary. Hear "It's not my day job" on the Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on     KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Free Trade Baroque

We guarantee the Coffee Cantata is free trade! (and so is the concert!)
Cellist Frederick Edelen and harpsichordist Christina Edelen will present a concert of music of the French Baroque on Thursday evening, February 24, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church (11 St. Luke's Lane, San Antonio). Special guests include tenor Tony Boutte´ and baroque flutist Colin St. Martin. The concert will feature music by Rameau, Monteclair, and Boismortier and the Coffee Cantata of Nicolas Bernier.
This program is free and open to the public. For more info: 210-828-6425

Thanks to our host Gerald Self for the heads up! Listen to his show, Musica Antiqua Wednesday nights at 9pm (CST) on KPAC & KTXI!

RIP Sidney Harth - Concertmaster, Conductor, Teacher

Read more here:
Violinist and conductor SIDNEY HARTH, was universally acclaimed as one of the world's great artists. His prolific career as a performer and educator has earned him countless honors and accolades, and his numerous recordings have made an important contribution to classical discography.
In a stunning musical and political victory, Harth attained international recognition when he became the first American to be awarded the Laureate Prize in Poland's Wieniawshi Violin Competition in 1957 at the height of the Cold War.
Harth's orchestral career was unparalleled. He served as Concertmaster of the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, both under conductor Zubin Mehta, Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner, and Concertmaster of the Louisville Symphony Orchestra under Robert Whitney, where he was also Assistant Conductor. His solo engagements took him to virtually every musical capital in the world, performing with the major symphony orchestras of North America, Europe, Israel, China, South America, and Russia. Harth was a familiar figure at the leading summer music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Banff Music Festival, the Vancouver Summer Festival, the Grands Interprets dans le Valle du Lot in France, and the popular festivals in Santa Barbara, Maine, Alaska, Texas, and Tennessee.
In tandum with his solo engagements, Harth enjoyed a brilliant career as a conductor. His numerous appointments have included the post of Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Music Director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra of Seattle, and Principal Conductor of the Natal Symphony Orchestra in South Africa. He has served as director of the conducting programs at Mannes College of Music in New York, the University of Texas in Houston, and the Hartt College of Music at the University of Connecticut in Hartford. He served as Director of Orchestral Activities at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Sidney Harth's notable academic career was marked by his appointment as the Andrew W. Mellon Permanent Professor of Music at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was also the Music Department Head, and Professor of Violin at Yale University for 17 years.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yo Yo Ma - winner

The White House and President Obama will bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the country's highest civilian honor -- on 15 individuals, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The awards, which will be presented today, are intended to honor individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Other recipients include former President George H. W. Bush, slugger Stan "the man" Musial, German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis; Natural Resources Defense Council co-founder John Adams; poet Maya Angelou; investor Warren Buffett; artist Jasper Johns; Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein; humanitarian activist Tom Little, who was killed in Afghanistan; civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez; Boston Celtics NBA legend Bill Russell; nonprofit leader and former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith; and AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney.
Read more about it here.
Yo-Yo Ma will be performing with the Silk Road Ensemble next month, March 31st. Find out more here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Romance of Irving Berlin and Ellin MacKay

One final valentine on this St. Valentine's Day. The romance of Irving Berlin and Ellin MacKay was unlikely. But one should never underestimate the power of love, and love songs such as those written by Irving Berlin.

SA Symphony: This one goes to eleven

More details about the San Antonio Symphony 72nd Season 2011-12:

October 14 & 15, 2011
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Alexander Gravylyuk, piano

Barber The School for Scandal Overture
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in D minor
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S.124
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, Op.35

October 28 & 29, 2011
Paganini Rhapsody
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Bernd Glemser, piano

Pärt Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43
Liszt Totentanz, S.126
Schumann Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op.61

November 4 & 5, 2011
SLL Salutes America
Laurie Auditorium
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor

Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing brings his favorite American popular music to the POPS, including works by Bernstein and Gershwin.

November 11 & 12, 2011
Brahms Sings
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers, John Silantien, director

Brahms/Glanert Four Serious Songs, Op.121
Brahms A German Requiem, Op.45

November 18 & 19, 2011
Rachmaninoff 2
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Kolja Blacher, violin

Mozart Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K.492
Berg Violin Concerto
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op.27

NOVEMBER 25-27 and DECEMBER 2-4, 2011
The Nutcracker
Performed by Ballet San Antonio
Majestic Theatre
Ken-David Masur, conductor

December 16 & 17, 2011
Holiday POPS
Majestic Theatre
Ken-David Masur, conductor

January 13 & 14, 2012
Beethoven 1 & 3
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor

Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Op.62
Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op.21
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op.55, “Eroica”

January 20 & 21, 2012
Beethoven 2, 4 & 5
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor

Beethoven Symphony No. 2, in D major, Op.36
Beethoven Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op.60
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

January 27 & 28, 2012
Beethoven 6 & 7
8 p.m., Majestic Theatre
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor

Beethoven Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op.68, “Pastorale”
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op.92

February 10 & 11, 2012
Beethoven 8 & 9
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Vocal soloists TBA
San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers, John Silantien, director

Beethoven Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op.93
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op.125, “Choral”

February 12, 2012
Beethoven 9 Sunday Matinee
3 p.m., Majestic Theatre
NOTE: Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 3 p.m. Symphony No. 9 only, not part of Classics series

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op.125, “Choral”

February 3 & 4, 2012
Broadway Rocks
Laurie Auditorium
Ken-David Masur, conductor

Broadway rocks with your Orchestra and stars from “The Great White Way” in high energy selections from Broadway blockbusters, such as Mamma Mia, Tommy, Rent, The Lion King, Hairspray and The Phantom of the Opera!

March 2 & 3, 2012
The Sea
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Latica Honda-Rosenberg, violin

Wagner Overture to The Flying Dutchman
Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op.77
Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Op.33a
Debussy La mer

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Renée Fleming
7:30 p.m., Majestic Theatre
Special Event (not part of Classics series)
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Renée Fleming, soprano

March 9 & 10, 2012
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony
Majestic Theatre
George Daugherty, creator and conductor

Bugs Bunny is back! This new production is the sequel to the original Bugs Bunny on Broadway that was one of the biggest POPS hits of recent years. Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, features a new fusion of on-screen Looney Tunes and live symphony orchestra accompaniment, and spotlights some of the original cartoon treasures of Bugs Bunny on Broadway, while adding an enlarged “cast” of Warner Bros.’ animated characters and cartoons to this celebrated melding of classical music and classic animation.

March 23 & 24, 2012
Nancy Zhou Returns
Ken-David Masur, conductor

Nancy Zhou, violin
Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, Marguerite McCormick, director

Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite I
Corigliano The Red Violin: Chaconne
Ravel Tzigane
Liszt Dante Symphony
April 13 & 14, 2012
Bach, Handel & Vivaldi
8 p.m., Majestic Theatre
Patrick Duprè Quigley, conductor
Tess Wakim, soprano and Reggie Mobley, countertenor
San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers, John Silantien, director

J. S. Bach. arr. Stokowski Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Vivaldi In furore iustissimae irae, RV 626
J. S. Bach Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Handel Zadok the Priest
Handel Chandos Anthem No. 4: O Sing Unto the Lord, H249b
Carpentier Te Deum

April 20 & 21, 2012
Fiesta POPS
Majestic Theatre
Ken-David Masur, conductor

May 4 & 5, 2012
Mozart in Old Style
Barry Douglas, conductor and piano

Rossini Overture to La Cenerentola (Cinderella)
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466
Górecki Three Pieces in Old Style
Haydn Symphony No. 104 in D major, “London”

May 18 & 19, 2012
Stars Wars and other Space Odysseys
Laurie Auditorium
Michael Krajewski, conductor

Michael Krajewski and the Symphony Pops will boldly go where no orchestral pops concert has gone before! Space has inspired some of the greatest symphonic film music and Star Wars, Star Trek, and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial are just a few of the thrilling scores that will transport you to a special place filled with fun and fantastic music.

May 25 & 26, 2012
Alondra conducts Copland

Alondra de la Parra, conductor
Mikhail Simonyan, violin

Khachaturian Concerto for Violin
Copland Symphony No. 3

June 1 & 2, 2012
Bruckner Blockbuster
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor
Olga Scheps, piano

Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S.125
Bruckner Symphony No. 7 in E major

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grammy Winners 2011

Congrats to the winners:
Best Classical Album: Verdi Requiem
Crossover Album: Tin, Christopher: Calling All Dawns
Contemporary Composition: Michael Daugherty
Vocal Performance: Cecilia Bartoli
Small Ensemble Performance: Jordi Savall & Hesperion XXI
Chamber Music Performance: Parker Quartet
Solo Instrumental Performance: Paul Jacobs
Soloist Performance: Mitsuko Uchida
Choral Performance: Chicago Symphony Chorus/Muti
Opera Recording: Saariaho L'Amour de Loin
Orchestral Performance: Nashville Symphony
Producer of the Year: David Frost
Best Engineered Album: Tie - Daugherty & Porter

(presented 2/13/11)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Greatest Opera Pianist Ever?

Franz Liszt may have only composed one opera, but he is associated with many of the greatest operas of all time through his many opera paraphrases. During this Liszt Year the Piano will explore many of the facts of this amazing artist. Up first, Liszt at the Opera with performances that conjour up skating, the Mute of Portici by Auber and we finish with the barn storming Danse Infernale from Robert le Diable where the ghosts of naughty nuns consort with the Devil.

Amazing performances and thousands of notes, on the Piano, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making beautiful music together

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we wanted to share some Classical bon bons for you...the Top Ten Classical Music Couples:
10. James & Jeanne Galway (flutists) [pictured left]
9. Ertan & Kimberly Torgul (violinists)
8. John Corigliano & Mark Adamo (composers)
7. Robert & Clara Schumann (composers/pianists)
6. Martha Argerich & Charles Dutoit Stephen Kovacevich (pianists)
5. Zhou Long & Chen Yi (composers)
4. Pinchas & Eugenia Zukerman & Amanda Forsyth (violinist & cellist)
3. Benjamin Britten & Peter Pears (composer & tenor)
2. David Mollenauer & Stephanie Key (cellist & clarinet)
1. Augusta Read Thomas & Bernard Rands (composers)
Host John Clare spoke with Gusty and Bernard about being married composers - hear the interview here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Classical Valentines - Top Ten

This Monday is St. Valentine's Day. You're in luck because there is a very romantic concert at UTSA with Ricardo Cobo. He'll perform this weekend with the San Antonio Symphony, but will stay in town and woo audiences with Latin American selections Monday evening starting at 7:30pm.  Find out more about his recital here.

We thought we'd share some modern classical music favorites for your Valentine's Day as well, Host John Clare's Top Ten modern songs for your valentine:
10. Samuel Barber The Lovers listen
9. John Adams Eros Piano listen
8. Philip Glass Modern Love Waltz listen
7. David Diamond Romeo & Juliet listen
6. Bernard Rands Canti d'amor listen
5. Daron Hagen Love in a Life listen
4. Torsten Rasch Mein Herz Brennt listen
3. Olivier Messiaen Garden of Love's Sleep listen
2. Augusta Read Thomas Love Songs listen
1. John Cage A Valentine Out of Season

What are your romantic favorites? Let us know in the comments!

A night at the opera

The San Antonio Opera has announced the opera company’s 2011-2012 Season. Maestro Enrique Patron de Rueda will be at the helm of the San Antonio Opera Orchestra and they also welcome new chorus director Kristin Roach.
The 2011-2012 season kicks off on September 30 - October 2, 2011 with Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet directed by returning stage director Cynthia Stokes. Mexican soprano Maria Alejandrez, a 22-year old recent champion of Plácido Domingo’s worldwide competition Operalia is cast as Juliet, and international tenor Richard Troxell performing the role of Romeo. Local favorite Timothy Jones will play the important character of Friar Lawrence.
On February 17-19, 2012, Mozart’s Don Giovanni will be a co-production with the Baltimore Lyric Opera. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.
The last production of the 2011-2012 Season is Rossini’s The Barber of Seville scheduled for June 29 - July 1, 2012. The role of Rosina will be played by Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera, Figaro is played by Jeremy Kelly and Count Almaviva will be played by Brian Stucki. The opera is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
With a history and tradition of educating our city’s young children and young adults, the San Antonio Opera continues its Opera4Kids programs for in-school performances, Free Dress Rehearsals in collaboration with the Opera Guild of San Antonio and an outreach program with performances outside of San Antonio.
Season subscriptions are now available for purchase at the 30% discounted rate if purchased or renewed by April 1, 2011. More information is available from the opera Box Office at 210-225-5972 or visit They are also on Facebook and Twitter @SAOpera.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Composer Milton Babbitt

Host John Clare shares his interview and memories of the late Milton Babbitt. Read it here, including an unedited interview, outtakes and video.
More about Milton from his publisher G Schirmer: The compositional and intellectual wisdom of Milton Babbitt influenced a wide range of contemporary musicians. His broad array of distinguished musical achievements in the dodecaphonic system and important writings on the subject generated increased understanding and integration of serialist language into the eclectic musical styles of the late 20th century. Babbitt was also renowned for his great talent and instinct for jazz and his astonishing command of American popular music. His All Set, for jazz ensemble, reveals an extraordinary compositional flexibility, uniquely American and vintage Babbitt.
Babbitt, born on 10 May 1916 in Philadelphia, studied composition privately with Roger Sessions. He earned degrees from New York and Princeton Universities and was awarded honorary degrees from Middlebury College, Swarthmore College, New York University, the New England Conservatory, University of Glasgow, and Northwestern University. He taught at Princeton and The Juilliard School.
An extensive catalogue of works for multiple combinations of instruments and voice along with his pioneering achievements in synthesized sound made Babbitt one of the most celebrated of 20th-century composers. He was a founder and member of the Committee of Direction for the Electronic Music Center of Columbia-Princeton Universities and a member of the Editorial Board of Perspectives of New Music. The recipient of numerous honors, commissions, and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize Citation for his "life's work as a distinguished and seminal American composer," Babbitt was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
There are also great resources from NPR, American Music Center and more.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Land of Hope & Glory….and Pianos!

British composer Muzio Clementi may have been the Father of the Pianoforte, so says his gravestone in Westminster Abby, but not a lot of piano music was composed in Britain in the 19th century. However in the next century an explosion of creativity in music took place.

On the Piano this Sunday hear music of impressionists like Bax, Delius and Cyril Scott to composers we mostly identify with the orchestra like Britten and William Alwyn. Hear a proper slap up of 20th century British piano music this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Exciting seasons

The New York Philharmonic held a press conference this afternoon and announced their 2011-12 season, including an online stream from WQXR.

KPAC was happy to receive a note about the San Antonio Symphony's 2011-12 season in the mail today (dated February 1st) as well!

Fleming appears in San Antonio
March 2012 for a special concert!
Highlights for the SA Symphony include Renee Fleming (March 7, 2012 at the Majestic) as a special event, a Beethoven Festival (January 13-February 11, 2012) with all the Symphonies and Coriolan Overture, Brahms Requiem & Four Serious Songs in November 2011, San Antonio violinist Nancy Zhou (March 2012) and Barry Douglas plays piano & conducts in May 2012.

Star Wars returns to the Pops series, as well as a not so Pops concert of American Music with Sebastian Lang Lessing, and Bug Bunny at the Symphony with George Daugherty.

Only living composers appear to be John Corigliano and Arvo Part.  The season will start in October 2011 with Scheherazade and end in June 2012 with Bruckner Blockbuster.

Season subscribers will have a chance to renew first, between now and March 4th with special discounts...other season tickets will be available in the spring and single tickets in the fall.
Find out more about your San Antonio Symphony online at and on Jack Fishman's blog

This summer KPAC & KTXI air select San Antonio Symphony concerts from this season, 2010-11!