Classical 91.5

On Record

Barbara Allen: newschool.edu

This week with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, it's all about dance...and the one piece on the program that isn't a ballet will be performed with the Rochester City Ballet! RPO Music Director Ward Stare, St. Louis Symphony Concertmaster David Halen and, appropriately, Barbara Allen, the Principle Harp for the American Ballet Theatre, all joined Julia Figueras to talk about playing for dancers, finding the perfect instrument, and the internal language of orchestras.

Marcelo Lehninger, Music Director in Grand Rapids, has returned to guest conduct your Rochester Philharmonic. On  the table are two French works, and two Russian pieces, one of which--Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1--will feature Tchaikovsky Competition Gold Medalist Andrei Ionita. Marcelo and Andrei discussed the program with Julia Figueras, with musings about the genius of Shostakovich and why Andrei ultimately chose the cello over the piano.

Michael Christie has returned to our fair city to conduct your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Mozart's final symphony, the Jupiter. As he began to plan the line-up, Mr. Christie had an idea: what if we presented the Vivaldi in the style of concerts of that era?  So this week, the RPO, Michael Christie, and Concertmaster/soloist Juliana Athayde will be giving you Vivaldi plus.  How will that play out?                              

It was Beethoven's gift to the world: a hope for universal peace and joy--and work to unify us all. And it worked: hundreds of years later, his Symphony No. 9, the Choral, is one of our most beloved pieces in the canon. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare spoke to WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about this grand work and and the piece he paired it with for this week's RPO concerts: Wagner's "Prelude and Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare programmed just two pieces for this week's concerts: Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven's masterful Piano Concerto No. 5. Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras welcomed the Music Director and pianist Olga Kern to chat about this evening of fan favorites. But don't be fooled--the Mussorgsky will be performed in an all-new way for our ears:  a compilation of orchestrations by nine different composers.

Christopher Seaman, Conductor Laureate of your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, is back in town for his annual date with the band. Joining him this time around is pianist Joyce Yang for an evening that will include a Beethoven overture, a Sibelius symphony, and Mozart's dramatic and mysterious Piano Concerto No. 24. Maestro Seaman and Miss Yang chatted with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about the complexities of Mozart, the heroics of Sibelius, and the experience of accompanying a dance company...from the stage.

The next Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concerts have a distinctly Spanish flair, with works by Spaniards and pieces inspired by that sunny country. WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras chatted with RPO Music Director Ward Stare about mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (who will be featured) and the program, which includes a piece that made the maestro squirm the first time he heard it.

wardstare.com

The 2017-18 season for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is just about to start.  Round 1 has two pieces inspired by literature surrounding a great and beloved piano concerto. RPO Music Director Ward Stare talked with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about "Don Juan" by Richard Strauss (a favorite of Ward's), Grieg's sweeping Piano Concerto in a-minor (which will feature Inon Barnatan), Prokofiev's "Cinderella," and why Shostakovich kept a fully packed suitcase by the front door.

Your Rochester Philharmonics Orchestra closes out the season with a partially-staged production of Puccini's much loved opera "La Boheme." RPO Music Director Ward Stare brought director Grant Preisser, along with Inn Dukach (Mimi) and Harold Meers (Rudolfo) to talk with Julia Figueras about the performance. Along the way, there was much laughter, and a few very touching moments...not unlike the opera itself.

The RPO can be heard Monday nights at 8pm on WXXI Classical 91.5. 

In 2002, Juliana Athayde and Fabien Gabel were both in the Aspen Summer Music Festival. Fifteen years later, they'll take the stage together--he as guest conductor of your Rochester Philharmonic, and she as soloist in Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2. Together, they chatted with WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras about the magic of Debussy, the earthiness of Bartok, and what took Juliana so long to get to that concerto.

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