KPAC Blog | Texas Public Radio

KPAC Blog

The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. Scroll down for feature writings about the music played on air as well as other interviews and essays about classical music. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

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NOW PLAYING on KPAC 88.3 FM:

SOLI Chamber Ensemble

For 25 years, the award-winning SOLI Chamber Ensemble has been in the vanguard of contemporary music in South Texas. Over the years, they’ve premiered more than 60 commissioned works from new and emerging composers, including Ned Rorem, Robert X. Rodriguez, Steven Mackey, and many others.

Welcome to Major Themes, a monthly feature in which classical music experts recommend a must-hear recording based on what's happening at classical stations and programs around the country. This month, we checked in with friends in Minnesota, Ohio and New York, plus the host of Performance Today. Here are their top picks.

Elgar: Enigma Variations; Leonard Bernstein conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra (DG)

Two of the country's oldest and most venerated music institutions, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, are beginning their seasons with a change in artistic leadership. Both organizations are grappling with 21st century issues of bringing new audiences in and convincing them that centuries-old music forms are central to their lives today.

Despite being one of the first and oldest forms of popular music, opera sometimes struggles to connect with 21st century audiences. However, Anthony Roth Costanzo is breaking down the genre's stodgy stereotype and making opera more accessible — taking his distinctive sound to the masses, from a sixth-grade classroom in the Bronx to NPR's own Tiny Desk.

©Esther Haase / DG

On her previous album, “Wonderland,” Alice Sara Ott explored the music and myths of Edvard Grieg and his native Norway. Now “Nightfall,” which Ott calls “one of the most personal recordings” she has made, gathers music by three composers who lived and worked in France.

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