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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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New York's Metropolitan Opera, armed with technology, today's top singers and a captive, home-bound audience is, in spite of them, struggling to make opera relevant. The company's new streaming series, Met Stars Live in Concert, while a valiant endeavor, can't seem to shake off opera's fusty, aristocratic trappings.

One of America's most beloved and resourceful pianists has died. Leon Fleisher was 92 years old. He died of cancer in Baltimore Sunday morning, according to his son, Julian.

The pianist's roller coaster career began with fame, moved to despair and ended in fulfillment.

Composer Max Richter has scored soundtracks and had his music placed across film and television, including recent Hollywood movies such as Mary Queen of Scots, Hostiles and Ad Astra. But Richter's also a composer who's not afraid to take on political issues in his music.

Richard Castillo conducting the Lone Star Philharmonic.
Nathan Felix

One of San Antonio’s area symphonies is trying to jumpstart its season.  That symphony is the Lone Star Philharmonic, and its Artistic Director is Richard Castillo. He's just launched a Twitter presence and christened its first project.


Nathan Cone / TPR

When the San Antonio-based Agarita ensemble performed at the Tobin Center in mid-June, it marked the first time live music was performed before an assembled audience in South Texas since the coronavirus pandemic shut down music venues in mid-March. In June, cases of COVID-19 were just beginning to spike in San Antonio.

Two controversies broke out this week regarding accusations of anti-Black racism in classical music. One involved two high-profile international soloists, pianist Yuja Wang and violinist Leonidas Kavakos. The other features less prominent individuals — a group of academics — but it also points to the slowness of the classical music community to take up difficult conversations about race and representation.

Editor’s Note: This audio contains disturbing police tape from the moments when Elijah McClain was arrested. 

Black musicians and protesters have gathered at violin vigils across the country for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died in police custody.

In April 1945, Madame Roos wrote a letter to French authorities describing her piano she was hoping to get back. Roos, who was 72, was Jewish and her piano had been stolen when Nazis emptied her apartment in Paris.

A similar fate befell many of the 75,000 French Jews deported to concentration camps during World War II.

"It would take me too long to list piece by piece what was taken," said the letter, which only showed the author's last name. "But it seems to me if my piano is still in Paris, perhaps my furniture is, too."

SOLI Chamber Ensemble

Like most other music groups, SOLI Chamber Ensemble has been sidelined by COVID-19. But they're finding their musical way through the cultural wasteland that is the coronavirus.  


The UTSA Music Department’s original plan for a spring production didn’t go as expected but the group worked out an interesting alternative.

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