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The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced its 2018/19 season at its fourth annual, free season preview concert Tuesday night in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. 

The event featured the entire orchestra onstage performing selected excerpts, with emcees Music Director Ward Stare and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. 

Eastman School of Music

American mezzo-soprano and Eastman professor of voice Katherine Ciesinski is among the 2018 Grammy winning artists named over the weekend.  She sang a leading role in the Houston Symphony's live recording of Alban Berg's Wozzeck, which won in the Best Opera Recording category.

In these days of wireless earbuds, streams and podcasts, the notion of people gathering to hear a lone classical singer (with a pianist) perform densely structured art songs in a foreign tongue seems almost laughably quaint.

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A Rochester-based composer who teaches at Nazareth College is headed to the Winnipeg New Music Festival this week.  Octavio Vazquez will serve as a guest composer, attending rehearsals, panel discussions, and concerts along such classical music luminaries as Philip Glass. 

Getting to this high point in Vazquez’s career has not been an easy path.  He grew up in the 1970s in Galicia, northwestern Spain, at the end of the rule of the long-reigning dictator, Francisco Franco.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Musician and composer Nils Frahm must feel like a chef who has finally assembled his dream kitchen. Frahm's new album, All Melody (due out Jan. 26), was crafted at Saal 3, a vintage studio space he was offered in an old East Berlin broadcast facility built in the 1950s.

An iconic figure in the art world, both in Rochester and around the world has died.

Wendell Castle died in his Scottsville home on Saturday. That word came Sunday morning from RIT, where Castle was an artist in residence. He was 85 years old.

Wendell Castle was an artist for more than 60 years and is considered a founder of the American Crafts and Art Furniture movements. More than 100  of his works are installed in museums worldwide, and up until recently, was still innovating in his studio in the Rochester area.

In 1983, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto tried a grand experiment. While the singers performed Elektra in German onstage, simultaneous translations in English were projected above the stage. These "supertitles," as they've come to be known, were quickly adopted at opera houses and are now an expected part of the opera-going experience.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180116-can-listening-to-classical-music-improve-your-life

On more than one occasion you have probably turned to classical music for inspiration, community, focus, escape or that emotional space that only music can provide.  But have you ever been able to describe what classical music does for you, or put your finger on the right music for the right moment?

https://www.timesofisrael.com/lahav-shani-29-to-succeed-zubin-mehta-as-head-of-israel-philharmonic/

When Zubin Mehta steps down from the podium of the Israel Philharmonic in 2020 after 50 years leading the orchestra, there will be some pretty big shoes to fill. 

But 29-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist Lahav Shani is ready to take on the challenge.  “It’s a tremendous honor for me to be appointed the musical director of the symphony orchestra and to continue in the path of a mythic figure like Zubin Mehta,” said Shani in a statement to The Times of Israel.

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been immersed in music since her childhood. While she says her primary focus in life is on her career as a musician, it was her rise to fame after winning the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk contest when she also took on a new role - that of a disability advocate and public speaker.  During a recent concert in Rochester at Nazareth College, Lea told Need to Know that the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the arts has given her a new stage to share a powerful message.

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