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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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Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. NPR Music's Tom Huizenga recently spoke with Pulitzer-winning composer Steve Reich, who has been keeping busy with the solitary act of writing a new piece from his winter getaway in Los Angeles.

Who: Steve Reich
Where: Los Angeles, Calif.
Recommendation: Keep on working

MCNAY ART MUSEUM’S PICK – Elena Cortez – Tortoises – Pre-K
courtesy San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony holds dozens of free concerts yearly for upwards of 40,000 area students. This year with COVID-19, there was a hitch. The symphony's Jeremy Brimhall explained.


Courtesy photo

This Sunday at 2 p.m., cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform live on the radio, a special broadcast for Memorial Day weekend. Yo-Yo Ma proposed this special performance both in memory of those we have lost during the coronavirus pandemic, and as a tribute to those who are on the front lines.

Rachel Portman has been scoring films since the 1980s, and in 1997 became the first woman ever to win an Oscar for best original score for her work on Douglas McGrath's Emma. Since then, Portman has scored dozens more films and TV shows, but is now stepping away from the screen with ask the river, her first album of music not written for a movie, TV show or stage production.

"There were hardly any female film composers," Portman says of winning an Oscar at that time.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Jennifer Koh

Where: New York, N.Y.

Recommendation: Finding a source of fearlessness and joy


As a musician, I engage with the action of listening to others and the action of physicalizing music.

Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra [BSO] and a popular draw for tourists in the Berkshire Mountains, has canceled its 2020 live performance season due to the coronavirus, the BSO announced on Friday.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

In these days of uncertainty, music can provide a safe haven, an escape, or even a boost of energy. I've found all of that and more in a new recording of the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the second oldest of Johann Sebastian's musical sons, and a composer who continually fascinates me.

U.S. Air Force

Like their civilian colleagues, the 40-50 musicians that make up the Lackland AFB-based U.S. Air Force Band of the West have been performing their duties "off base," literally. Since Monday, March 16, the members have been sequestered at home, awaiting their next duty call as a live ensemble. That doesn't mean they've been resting on their laurels, though. The band members are still very much on active duty, assisting with other needs in the military, and making music while alone, together.

Steve Peterson in his editing suite.
Madison Perington

The San Antonio Symphony is sidelined until their new season in September. Nonetheless they've found a way to continue playing together — in a sense.  They’re not doing it in person, but in video. How it happens starts with this guy.


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