Classical | Texas Public Radio

Classical

Texas Public Radio Classical Music blog and other stories.

When Menzi Mngoma decided to get a job as an Uber driver, it was mostly out of necessity. The 27-year-old has a fiancé, kids and his parents to support, and his life's passion, opera, wasn't paying the bills. But he was also making a bet. "You need to be well-connected to go overseas," he told NPR. Though he's currently based in Durban, South Africa, Mngoma dreams of becoming an international musical sensation; he thought that driving Uber might help him make connections with people who could further his career.

For centuries, composers have drawn inspiration from the oldest melody-makers in the world: birds. Take, for instance, the piece “Summer Has Arrived” from the mid-1200s. It features musical references to the cuckoo bird, a species that would continue to inspire Handel, Beethoven and Mahler hundreds of years later. Nashville Public Radio’s Kara McLeland has more on the history.

Jack Morgan

From Jazz to chamber music to a heroic exhibit, the Weekend is here along with a few ideas of how to celebrate.


U.S. Navy

Two San Antonio natives returned to Texas last spring as the U.S. Navy Band made an appearance at Jackson Auditorium on the Texas Lutheran University campus. Texas Public Radio was there on March 1 with our microphones to capture the concert, which included patriotic melodies, classic American composers such as Leonard Bernstein, and virtuosic repertoire from Dmitri Shostakovich and Antonio Bazzini.

July 1, 2019 was supposed to be the day that the prestigious music school Westminster Choir College [WCC], in Princeton, N.J., was sold to a for-profit company that is based in Beijing and partly owned by the Chinese government.

Josh Kohanek

The Mid-Texas Symphony is presenting its new conductor to the communities it serves. Her name is Akiko Fujimoto, and you may remember her.


Augustin Hadelich's latest album of violin concertos offers two unlikely bedfellows. The tuneful, romantic classic by Johannes Brahms bumps up against the modernist mayhem of György Ligeti. The album, titled simply Brahms, Ligeti: Violin Concertos, also proves to be a compelling introduction to one of today's best, but still undervalued, violinists.

June 28 marks the 50th anniversary of an event that proved to be a catalyst for a simmering gay-rights movement. On that day in 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. Now a new opera, Stonewall, at the New York City Opera, dramatizes that historic moment.

Anlo Sepulveda

Pianist and composer Justin Sherburn has enjoyed a long career as a touring musician with Austin bands like 8 ½ Souvenirs and Okkervil River, but now finds himself in front of the big screen with his ensemble Montopolis, performing original soundtracks to silent classics, and now creating a series of multimedia productions highlighting the natural wonders of the Lone Star State.

McNay Art Museum

Escape this weekend's summer heat and dust by appreciating a new take on chamber music, take a stroll through pop culture history or welcome an ambitious new orchestra.

 

Pages