Classical 91.5

Rochester

Gyrfalcon @ Dreamstime.com

February 19 - 21   John Andres hosts.

February 22

We will continue our series of Olympic Mysteries, hearing the same pieces that are inspiring figure skaters competing in Pyongyang. Wake up with The Moldeau by Smetana, a Carmen suite by George Bizet, and early Baroque music by Francesca Caccini.

February 23

Start the day with Olympic strides, played by pianist Tony Caramia, The Rise of Birds by Mason Bates, and a 500-watt oboe concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

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.

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

The Gateways Music Festival in Rochester is getting a big boost in the effort to expand its offerings.

That festival, whose mission is to support professional classical musicians of African descent, has been awarded a $300,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The president and artistic director for the festival, Lee Koonce, says that grant will allow Gateways to eventually add two full-time staff positions.

New studios and classroom spaces are coming to the Eastman Community Music School.

That’s because the school announced it has received $2.8 million to renovate Messinger Hall

Currently, Associate Dean of the Eastman Community School Peter Kodzas says that space isn’t designed to host a music school. The school is spread out across the Eastman block on Gibbs Street.

Guitarist Thomas Viloteau just finished his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music about a week ago, and now this week, he will be heard on the radio across the country, as a Young Artist in Residence on Performance Today.

You can hear him on Performance Today on Saturday morning on WXXI Classical 91.5

Michael DuPre

You'll want to spend time with this dear man.    He was an army medic during World War II in the Battle of the Bulge, and he's not just a wonderful storyteller.  He's moved thousands of people with his small, simple instrument of choice, the harmonica. 

Pete DuPre’ has been playing the harmonica since he was a child.  He's now 94.  He continues to tell his stories and to make the harmonica sing in churches, nursing homes, schools, at memorials, and for celebrations of all kinds.  

The music director and conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will be around for a while longer.

The RPO announced on Monday that Ward Stare has renewed his contract for three more years, through the end of the 2020/21 season.

The 35 year old Rochester native became the RPO’s youngest-ever music director in 2014.


It's Christmas...in October! It may seem early to be listening to Christmas music, but perhaps it would be something George Eastman would do. The philanthropist is known for his love of music and often listened to his pipe organ while eating breakfast, reading newspapers, or meeting with business associates.

A new album called "An Eastman Christmas" includes 24 holiday tunes played on Eastman's Aeolian pipe organ. It's part of the upcoming holiday celebrations at the Eastman Museum.

We listen to some music and discuss how Eastman's legacy continues to impact the Rochester community. In studio:

  • Jack Garner, retired national film critic for Gannett Newspapers, passionate Eastman supporter, and recipient of the Eastman Medal
  • Bonnie Garner, president of the George Eastman Museum Council and museum trustee
  • Joe Blackburn, George Eastman Museum volunteer organist featured in "An Eastman Christmas," and leading authority on the Aeolian pipe organ
  • Kathy Connor, curator of the legacy collection at the George Eastman Museum


The Rochester Gay Men's Chorus is celebrating 35 years of performances and community activism. The group promotes social change and LGBTQ pride through the choral arts.

We listen to some music and talk to members about how the group has fostered change through its grassroots efforts.

  • Ted Smith, board chair for the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus
  • Thomas Warfield, Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus alumnus    
  • Robert Strauss, artistic director of the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus
  • John Williams, longtime supporter of the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus

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