Classical | Texas Public Radio

Classical

Texas Public Radio Classical Music blog and other stories.

Classical music expert Fran Hoepfner (@franhoepfner) joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the dark time in Soviet history, which informs Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture.”

Every Christmas Eve at exactly 3 p.m., the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England plays A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The tradition began in 1918, and for decades it's been broadcast on the BBC and around the world. A commemorative recording of last year's Centenary Service has just been released; it was the last one conducted by Sir Stephen Cleobury, the choir's music director for 37 years, who died just last month on Nov. 22.

Across the country, ballet companies are focused on their seasonal financial mainstay, “The Nutcracker.”

But this season has also brought something less familiar: Most of the country’s major companies are featuring choreography by women. Sharon Basco reports.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Gerald Self works on a harpsichord.
David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

Conductor Sir Thomas Beecham once quipped, “The sound of a harpsichord is two skeletons copulating on a tin roof in a thunderstorm.”  Beecham, however, never heard one of Gerald Self’s harpsichords.


Courtesy Azul Barrientos and Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

Enjoy a unique performance of the Nutcracker. Let a Latin American sound reset your holiday spirit. And then listen to tuba players light up the Riverwalk.  


Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Wisdom In Hindsight.

About Indre Viskontas' TED Talk

How do you decide between two different life passions? After years of struggling to choose, neuroscientist and operatic soprano Indre Viskontas learned that science and opera can inform the other.

About Indre Viskontas

At the height of the Cold War in 1958, Van Cliburn, a curly-headed kid from Texas, won the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He was hugged by Nikita Khrushchev and heralded like Elvis Presley when he returned.

Traditions worth saving still need need practitioners and advocates who are willing to propel them forward. Classical music boasts a long, rich history — about 1000 years — of transformation, adaptation, tumult and triumph. From radical, boundary-bashing composers to brave and bold interpreters, the music has remained vibrantly alive even as prognosticators routinely forecast its demise.

Jack Morgan

Another stressful holiday season is upon us, but catching Midday Noels during your lunch break may offer an oasis from the Christmas chaos. The musical event at First Presbyterian Church on McCullough Street is happening this Thursday and next Thursday.


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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

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