Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

"Such a blessing"

37 minutes ago

This month I was stymied by the challenge to recall my earliest connection with classical the home, yes I suppose.  I recall Spike Jones (1940s!) and Broadway shows, and no specific classical stuff comes to mind.  When Brenda played the "Largo" from the New World Symphony, that hit the nerve, so here is a tribute to my music teacher in backwards, 1950s, James Island, South Carolina. 

I was in 4th and 5th grades.

Michelle Martorell

Beginning in March, Music In Our Schools Month, the Eastman School of Music will launch Eastman to Go (formerly Music for All), a series of community events throughout Rochester. Eastman to Go will provide several visits to elementary through high school classrooms, libraries and retirement communities. Eastman to Go focuses on community outreach and all events are free and open to the public.

It's like hugging a goat...”


  That's one of the things that really caught my attention when talking over the phone to Shahin Monshipour, of International Culture and Arts Network (ICAN) about the upcoming celebration of Nowruz, Persian New Year, at St. John Fisher this weekend.


She was talking about the Ney-anban, the Persian bagpipe. The “bag” part of this instrument is often made from a goat and a sheep, so when you playing it, you are in a sense, hugging a goat.

 It happened one day in 9th Grade Choir at East High School.

It was the spring of 1965 and our music teacher Mr. W. had just introduced us to some new music that we would perform later that year.

Mr. W. instructed us to watch him very closely as he demonstrated the fine technique of breathing just before he started to sing the first note. He opened his mouth and let out a big gasp. Mr. W. caught his dentures from falling out!

Dream Season

Mar 2, 2018
Suzi Gorman

After my recent conversation on Connections with Evan Dawson talking to Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director Ward Stare and CEO Curtis Long about the RPO’s 2018-2019 season, I started thinking, "What if I were in charge?  What would be my dream season for the RPO?"

“When out walking, I have a habit of going along with my head down, deep in thought (imaginary conversations or worries, or problems) and suddenly “coming to”, and looking around at the landscape and sky, I realize what unspeakable beauty I am missing.

A fine morning – an undefined feeling of change is not exactly a “Vorfrühling” hint, but of something not quite winter.”

Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 1, 1939


"...having to work from a manuscript or reading an unknown score, analyzing and “hearing” it in your head before you pick up your instrument helps enormously in learning how to create an interpretation based solely on your own intuition, musical knowledge and the information in front of you. Curiosity, reading and listening to as much music as possible also leads to new ideas and provides endless sources of inspiration."

Getty images

I love figure skating!  With the Winter Olympics on, here's your very basic guide to Western classical music AND some breathtaking spins, too.

Singing to Power

Jan 31, 2018
Leonardo da Vinci

“Don’t be born a woman if you want to have your own way.”  - Nannina de’ Medici

For some 15th century wealthy women, performing was a political duty.

Bernard Herrmann: The Man Who Wrote So Much

Jan 25, 2018

He captured love, loss, and all the things that go bump in the night. But who is the man behind the music of America’s favorite classic films?