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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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Pioneering British-born conductor, harpsichordist, composer and scholar Raymond Leppard has died. He was 92 years old. With full-bodied performances matched by pioneering scholarship, Leppard helped reintroduce audiences to 16th-century Italian masterpieces by composers including Claudio Monteverdi. But Leppard was also very much a man of his time: he championed — and wrote — contemporary works for both stage and screen.

His death was announced by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where he was Music Director and Conductor Laureate from 1987 to 2001.

How much do (do do do do do) you think opera star Renée Fleming knows about the hit children's song Baby Shark?

Click the audio link above to find out.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Natalia Sun

Get a new perspective on chamber music. Tour the city's newest art museum. And then take a musical tour of Britain. Your weekend is here. 

First off tomorrow night, violist Marisa Bushman says Agarita wants you to listen to chamber music with new ears.

"We're trying to break down the barriers of what people perceive classical music to be. Come see a concert. Immerse yourself in an Agarita and friends performance," she said.

On November 8, singer Anthony Roth Costanzo will take center stage at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting as the star of a new production of Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten. It's a remarkable turn for a celebrated singer who nearly lost his voice to thyroid cancer.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Albany Records

In 1993, composer and violinist Mark O’Connor  wrote “The Fiddle Concerto.” O’Connor, an award-winning fiddle, mandolin, and guitar virtuoso, successfully integrated country fiddling into a symphonic work that, with the help of Warner Bros. Records and classical radio stations hungry for new American sounds, became a crossover hit.

The new movie Joker is a psychological character study of a lonely, disturbed man who turns violent. Dark, chaotic, unconventional — all descriptions that would make sense for a movie about one of the most infamous and unpredictable villains in comic book history. But in fact, director Todd Phillips wanted this Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, to inspire empathy. To give this comic book character human depth, director Todd Phillips brought in a composer who could transform darkness into sensitive musicality.

One of the most prominent composers of the late 20th century has died. Giya Kancheli was from Georgia — and the music he wrote, whether for films or for the concert hall, was full of light, shade and an incandescent longing. He died Wednesday at age 84 in his home city, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Kancheli's death was announced by his longtime record label, ECM; his son, Sandro Kancheli, told NPR that his father had suffered from heart failure for a long time.

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

The embattled opera singer Plácido Domingo resigned Wednesday as general director of LA Opera, the company that he helped found and that he led for more than 15 years. The news broke in the midst of two formal investigations into accusations of sexual misconduct made by 20 women about alleged incidents that took place between the 1980s and the 2016-2017 performance season.

Domingo is also withdrawing from all scheduled appearances there, including a run of Gaetano Donizetti's Roberto Devereux next February and March.

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