Classical 91.5

Arts and Culture

Rochester will hold its first ROC Women’s Music Fest on July 21. That announcement was made by Mayor Lovely Warren on Friday, who says the festival will feature “powerful female artists, who bring passion and spirit for change as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State.”

The headliners include Joan Osborne, MC Lyte and Meshell Ndegeocello, alongside local artists Mikaela Davis and Teagan and the Tweeds.

From the One Love Peace concert in Jamaica, to the Concert for Bangladesh in New York City, to the song, "We Are the World," music has played a role in uniting people from different backgrounds and raising awareness and funds to support a variety of causes. The upcoming United with Music concert in Rochester aims to do the same. Local musicians with ties to the international community will perform traditional and contemporary music to benefit Refugees Helping Refugees, a non-profit that assists refugees in Rochester as they settle in their new homes.

Our guests discuss how their music has helped unify people around the world, and how music can help bring peace during tumultuous times. In studio:

Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

  The New York Times recently ran a profile of conductor Alan Gilbert and his work as Music Director at the New York Philharmonic.  It's both a good read to understand more of what's going on with the New York Philharmonic, but also to understand the challenges of leading an orchestra these days. 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has started to look for a new President and CEO.

WXXI News has learned that Ralph Craviso, originally brought on as an interim president and CEO for the Orchestra in the fall of 2015, is working to transition out of that role and help the RPO find his replacement.

Craviso’s title changed last year, with the word ‘interim’ removed from his position. At that time, he told us the board had effectively stopped looking for a replacement, while he continued to work on a plan to shore up the orchestra’s financial stability.

If you weren’t paying attention, you might have missed that these guys will be here in the fall:


In the middle of National Poetry Month, we spend some time with poets and their work. We discuss upcoming events, and we talk about poetry's place in the classroom.

  • Craig Morgan Teicher, author of the collection of poems, The Trembling Answers
  • Banke Awopetu, author of Always Want More, and budding poet
  • Albert Abonado, poet and director of adult programs at Writers & Books


When the RPO performs Shostakovich's fifth symphony later this month, they will be performing one of the legendary examples of music as political speech. Stalin thought it was a tribute to his regime; almost certainly, however, Shostakovich had threaded a musical needle and was signaling his solidarity to a suffering public.

That got us thinking: what are some other examples of music as political speech? It spans genres, and it's not always as effective as the creator of the music hopes. Finally, we discuss whether music can move the public, or if music is more effective at simply reflecting the public's mood. Our guests:

  • John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester
  • Lisa Jakelski, associate professor of musicology at the Eastman School of Music
  • Terry Smith, head of the Harley School's Lower School
  • Mona Seghatoleslami, host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5

David Zinman conducting with baton, wearing black jacket and white turtleneck
http://www.davidzinman.org/

Conductor David Zinman will be returning to Rochester, as Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. He is the second person named to this position; the first was opera singer Renee Fleming, whose tenure has included teaching, masterclasses, a public talk, and a collaboration with the Eastman Philharmonia on the premiere of "Letters from Georgia" by Kevin Puts.

Zinman’s activities will include conducting master classes with graduate students, working with the school’s Eastman Philharmonia and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra ensembles, and giving presentations to students. His first visit will occur in February 2017. 

With Heart and Voice: Advent 4

Dec 12, 2016

With Heart and Voice ® Program 1651

Suggested Broadcast: Sunday, December 18, 2016

We’ll look forward to the arrival of Christmas on this edition of With Heart and Voice, as Peter DuBois shares sacred choral and organ treasures of the season.


A drummer from the Rochester area is among this year’s Grammy nominees.  Steve Gadd received a nomination for his album ‘Way Back Home: Live from Rochester,’ which includes music from Gadd’s 2015 appearance at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Gadd studied at the Eastman School of Music.  Several other Eastman alums are among the Grammy nominees in both classical and non-classical categories.  They include:

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