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

“Mompou is evoking in music the silence…and the silence is music.”  

When guitarist Rafaella Smits visited Rochester, she played and spoke about music by Catalan - French - Spanish composer Federico Mompou (1893-1987).

I think it’s fair to say Mompou is one of the composers with a “cult” following – he’s not mainstream famous, even among those who routinely listen to classical music, yet his music is beloved and revered by those who are in the know.  

Stephanie Marsh

It's been a great season of Live from Hochstein - with everything from Brahms to brass, world premieres, wind quintet favorites, and Radiohead played by the Eastman Cello Ensemble (along with music by David Liptak, Caleb Burhans, and Arvo Pärt. You can hear this season finale show here: 

You can also listen to the rest of this spring season online through Soundcloud here

Garden Delights

May 9, 2017
Brenda Tremblay

After the snow melts and the mud subsides, Rochester’s public gardens will take your breath away!  Here are some of my favorite gardens and music for your strolling pleasure.

Steinway

“I know a professor who painted a piano…”

“WHAT? That damages the sound! How could he? Was it an old junker?”

“Actually, it was a Steinway…”

 - Conversation backstage before an orchestra concert last week

You can cause some damage if you just start slapping paint on a piano in any old way. The frame of the piano affects the sound and resonance of the entire instrument.

It’s another thing if you are a trained artist, commissioned by Steinway to create one of their limited edition or special pianos.  There are some absolute beauties that have been created over the years, and one recent one - called "Pictures at an Exhibition" is particularly stunning. 

5 Classical Pieces to Ring in the (Earth Day) Season

Apr 17, 2017

This is a guest post from Claire Caverly, a member of the Empire Film Music Ensemble (EFME). EFME will be performing an Earth Day centered concert, TERRA, on Earth Day, April 22, at 6PM at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation. TERRA is a multimedia experience exploring humanity’s changing relationship with the Earth through music, film, lighting, and photography. More information can be found at empirefilmmusicensemble.com.

While it doesn’t come with ribbons or bows, Earth Day is one of the most important holidays of the year  - but also one of the most forgotten. The earth is our home, but modern, on-the-go lifestyles don’t leave much time for environmental awareness. In order to raise eco-consciousness, we at Empire Film Music Ensemble have been hard at work preparing our upcoming Earth Day concert, TERRA. To help you get in the spirit of going green, here are five classical pieces to listen to in honor of Earth Day.

 

Most musical groups have a mission – like the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (To inspire, educate and engage our community through the art of music). 

There are a few ensembles who aim to do even more – something beyond the already laudable musical missions of most groups. Here are a few orchestras with extra-musical missions that I have come across over the past few months that I thought you might enjoy knowing.

Former Eastman School of Music Arts Leadership Program intern Bridget Kinneary is currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in German.  She is using her passion for teaching and classical music to make connections and encourage positive social change around the world.  As part of her semester abroad, she recently had the opportunity to travel to Belize to work with the National Youth Orchestra.

Read Bridget's travel blog here.

rpyo.org

As we're wrapping up our celebration of Music in Our Schools Month, here is one more entry in our guide to community music groups. 

 

Although I started this series of posts thinking of adult musicians who wished to get back into playing and singing (or start something new), we had a few requests to list opportunities for students. 

 

Poetry for Peace: Rochester Connections

Mar 24, 2017

  The Rochester Oratorio Society and the University of Rochester Humanities Center have been commemorating the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I with a series of discussions on history, poetry, and music. The musical focus for these events is a performance of Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams (March 24th, 7:30pm, Hochstein Performance Hall). 

Before the concert, you can learn more about what Rochesterians experienced as the United States became involved in World War I. Historian Dan Cody will share stories, artifacts, and pictures in a talk at 6:30pm in the Chapel at Hochstein. In this guest post, Cody sets the scene for how Rochester mobilized for the Great War. 

Every year around the world, musicians gather and celebrate the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with performances, focusing on bringing his music to places that it is not normally heard. The project is called “Bach in the Subways."  This year, for Bach’s 332nd birthday, there are several performances in Rochester.

 

 

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