Classical 91.5

Arts and Culture

Audrey Whitmeyer-Weathers

What's left on a singer's bucket list after a stellar career at The Met?  How do songs tell one's real life story?  Two world-renowned singers, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and current Professor of Voice, Anthony Dean Griffey will perform a benefit concert Sunday, February 18, at 7 p.m., in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music.  They will collaborate with pianist Russell Miller, Professor of Vocal Coaching and Repertoire.  In a wide ranging conversation with WXXI's Brenda Tremblay, von Stade and Griffey tell stories, talk about the athletic and spiritual challenges of singing,

S. Richards

Last summer, when Musa Ngqungwana made his debut in the title role of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Glimmerglass Festival, he discovered that life had prepared him to play an outsider.  

The bass-baritone was raised by a single mother in what he calls a “ghetto” of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  He says that growing up in apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination that existed in South Africa until 1991, almost guaranteed him a life of poverty and perhaps an early death.

But music saved him.

Monroe County and the City of Rochester are teaming up with a number of local organizations to celebrate the legacy of abolitionist and Rochester resident Frederick Douglass. Douglass never knew the exact date of his own birth, but he eventually determined that he was born in February 1818. Now, 200 years later, the “Re-energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass” project will help the community explore his life and work.

This hour, we discuss Douglass’ legacy and his impact on Rochester, we preview the events and activities tied to the year-long program, and we discuss what Douglass would think about the politics of today. Our guests:

  • Carvin Eison, co-director of the Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass Project; associate professor of journalism, broadcasting and public relations at the College at Brockport; and general manager of Rochester Community Media
  • Bleu Cease, co-director of the Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass Project; and executive director of Rochester Contemporary Art Center
  • Christine Ridarsky, Rochester city historian

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

James Levine, a legendary conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager in Illinois for a period of several years in the 1980s.

Stockholm Early Music Festival

"The instrument Viola organista, one of its kind, was invented and designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1489 and has now, after 500 years of waiting, been built by the Polish musician Sławomir Zubrzycki."

Making the case for performing arts center at Parcel 5

Sep 19, 2017

Those behind a proposal to put a performing arts center and residential tower at Parcel 5 say it will be an economic engine for downtown.

"Years ago in Rochester, we built Midtown, and that changed for many years how people perceived downtown.  This is the next step and it's going to reinvigorate downtown Rochester,"

said Arnie Rothschild, Board Chair and CEO with the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. 

He and Morgan Communities CEO Bob Morgan outlined their plan for a new theater and residential tower at today's Rochester Rotary Club Luncheon.

A New Generation of Hollywood Composers

Sep 18, 2017
The Oscars 2017

There's new blood in the industry of film scores. Composers like Justin Hurwitz ("La La Land") and Mica Levi ("Jackie") are challenging the long-standing traditions of Hollywood film music. Even though these composers haven't broken into the "blockbuster" category of movies, the sounds of Hollywood are changing.


The Memorial Art Gallery is exploring new ways to create provocative portraits of subjects, and in its current exhibition, it’s using video. The MAG is partnering with renowned video artist Charles Atlas on a video installation called “Here she is...v1,” featuring iconic drag performer Lady Bunny.

We discuss the exhibit and talk about the impact of the moving image. Our guests:

  • Charles Atlas, film and video artist
  • Jonathan Binstock, director of the Memorial Art Gallery
  • John Hanhardt, consulting senior curator of media arts at the Memorial Art Gallery
  • Douglas Crimp, professor of art history at the University of Rochester

One of the world's best-known opera stars, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has announced that she will never sing in public again — bringing a long, storied career to a close.

A renowned television and film composer and Eastman School of Music alumnus has won his 5th Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.

Jeff Beal won the award for Original Dramatic Score for Chapter 63 of the Netflix series House of Cards.  This is Beal's second Emmy for his House of Cards scores.  

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