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

Carmen on Ice!

Dec 21, 2017

In case this wondrous and magical bit of art has somehow escaped your notice I felt it was important to take some time to share this with you: Carmen on Ice.

This TV movie made in 1990 follows the story of the opera Carmen and uses Georges Bizet's beloved music. Carmen on Ice stars some of the leading figure skaters of the time: Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano, and Brian Orser.  The skaters don't sing their roles, but they do still convey the drama, passion, and wit of the story and the interactions of the characters through their performances. Despite the ridiculousness of the whole idea, it's pretty captivating. 

Rosewood and Marimba Futures

Dec 15, 2017

Classical musicians have long been wary of traveling abroad with instruments made from rare materials – especially rosewood, a “tonewood” used in many instruments including cellos, clarinets, and guitars. The trade of rosewood has long been regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but new regulations passed in 2016 have tightened restrictions even more, requiring extensive permits and examinations when traveling with instruments containing rosewood.

Read more about the reasons for these regulations here.

Most musical instruments contain less than 20 pounds of regulated rosewood, but this is still enough to worry traveling musicians, whose instruments might be confiscated to ensure that their rosewood tuning pegs were not obtained through illegal means. The musicians hit the hardest by these regulations: marimbists.

Photo by: Pavel Vaan & Leonid Semenyuk

Dmitri Hvorostovsky was an amazing opera singer.  He had such a voice and dramatic stage presence, and he was charming, handsome, and distinctive.

I am just one of many who count him among my favorites and mourn his passing. I’m struggling to write anything of substance to explain how intensely I love his performances, and the tears that I’m shedding at the death of someone I didn’t actually know in person – just admired so very much.  

Mark Grube

It takes a village to eat all the leftovers.  That's according to an informal survey of WXXI hosts and friends.  Need fresh ideas for your holiday?  Taste and see. 

Fried Oysters

This recipe comes from awesome WXXI volunteer and singer Eric Logan.

Percussion Road Trip - Eastman at PASIC

Nov 15, 2017
Photo by Ken Yanagisawa

Catherine Cole is a graduate student in percussion at the Eastman School of Music, who is currently interning with WXXI through the Eastman Arts Leadership Program. 

You can watch her performances here online

This past weekend, I attended the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), held in Indianapolis. PASIC is a four-day gathering of percussionists and drummers from all over the world to present research, attend clinics, and hear the world’s best musicians in concert. This year’s PASIC was particularly special to me because I had the opportunity to perform with my classmates in the Eastman Percussion Ensemble in a Showcase Concert. We were one of three collegiate ensembles who were awarded a PASIC concert slot after winning the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition for 2017.

  Connoisseurs of modern music, Polish culture enthusiasts, and Twin Peaks fans – take note:

Songs of the Valiant: Expressing Honor through Music

Nov 10, 2017

  This is a guest blog post by members of the Empire Film Music Ensemble, who you may have heard playing The Little Theatre before our Classical 91.5 Presents...movie screenings. This post by Claire and Grant reflect their thoughts on the music they will be playing tonight for Veteran's Day.  

The Other Haydn - Michael Haydn in Salzburg

Nov 6, 2017

  Michael Haydn's music will be performed this week in the inaugural concert of Ensemble PeriHIPsous – Rochester’s new “period” orchestra. These days, Michael Haydn is not quite as well-known these days as his older brother Franz Joseph Haydn - so musicologist and Ensemble PeriHIPsous founder Michael Ruhling has agreed to share some stories of this other Haydn here for our edification and reading enjoyment. 

Violinist Wendy Toh and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra give the world premiere performance of a violin concerto by Zoe Wang this Wednesday at 8pm in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.  We were able to catch up over email about the music and their other projects as graduate students at the Eastman School of Music.  Enjoy!

Water Musics

Oct 5, 2017

  WXXI is hosting open house events for both teachers and students this week - with lots of fun and educational activities - inspired by the program Splash and Bubbles, which  encourages children to explore the natural undersea world and features endearing and humorous characters on fun-filled adventure.

There will be lots of great activities and information on about caring for our waterways, understanding more about life under the water, and other connections to science, education, nature, and art in our community.  

Streams, fountains, rivers, the ocean, and other aquatic phenomena have fascinated classical composers for centuries. To go along with all the other ways of exploring and understanding this part of our environment, here are just a few examples of music inspired by water in its many forms.

Pages