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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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This month, KPAC is celebrating thirty years of broadcasting. Our hosts are having some fun sharing "30 lists" - artists, music, movies, and recordings you might enjoy, that help shape the sound of your classical oasis.

As the curator of Texas Public Radio’s film series, Cinema Tuesdays, I spend a lot of my free time enjoying movies, and their soundtracks.  Soundtracks make up a small but important section of our library at KPAC. Because we connect to movies on such a personal level, film scores often come with built-in emotional attachment. Below is a list of some of my favorites. While this is by no means a ‘best of’ list, these are the records I enjoy spinning most often on my CD player and iPod. I created a Spotify list, linked below, so you can listen to all of the tracks in a playlist, and in the article, each track is linked to Amazon when available so you can download a song or album for yourself. Have fun listening!

Click here to listen to the list on Spotify.

During this 30th year anniversary, I have had several people ask me if it has felt like thirty years, and the answer is yes and no. When I think back to all the improvements to the station and the additions to the library it does feel like three decades, but in time spent presenting this great music, it hasn’t seemed that long at all.

Another question that comes up is, ‘What was it like to get the station on the air?’

News coming across the web that American composer Elliott Carter has passed. At 103, he just received honors from France, world premieres around the globe, and a new recording of his Cello Concerto.

Ernesto Tamayo

This month, KPAC celebrates thirty years in broadcasting. Our hosts are having some fun sharing "30 lists" - artists, music, movies, and recordings you might enjoy and help shape the great sound of your classical oasis.

Kicking things off is Afternoon Host John Clare with 30 Great Violinists! (They are in no particular order, and were chosen keeping in mind the artist was available to be heard on Spotify)

Click here to listen to these violinists on Spotify

Few classical musicians these days are serious improvisers — aside from organists and early-music practitioners. But pianist Gabriela Montero is absolutely fearless when it comes to creating a new piece, right out of the air, right on the spot. At her concerts she takes requests from audience members. They can suggest a song for her to improvise on, or simply a topic of interest.

Wikipedia Commons

If ever the term ‘opposites attract’ were applied to an opera, it should applied to Jules Massenet’s Thais. Two of the unlikeliest of characters will carry on an extended, obsessive and sublimated non-affair affair. It will inspire some of the composer’s most popular music, the Meditation for violin and orchestra, though the work as a whole has never quite become part of the repertory. It falls between two of his most well known works Werther and Cendrillion.

Richard Stoltzman is a legendary musician, winning Grammy Awards, playing chamber music, new music and concerti around the world. He's also famous for his jazz, playing with greats like Woody Herman, Mel Torme, and Chick Corea. This weekend, Stoltzman will share his artistry with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Philharmonic.

COSA

After a journey of five years, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio makes their first concert appearance at Pearl Stables.

Conductor Carlos Izcaray will lead works by Mozart, Wagner, Monteverdi, Varese, J.C. Bach and Ives. The program is called "The Perennial Contest."

James Baker

It would be well beyond facts to make the claim that every comedian is also inherently musical. However, I expect the exceptions would be a meager number when compared to those comedians who are, or in the case of comedians of yesterday, were endowed with significant musical abilities. Consider Steve Martin, today as much musician/banjo player as comedian. Even the recently departed Phyllis Diller played piano, apparently well enough in her younger years to consider a career in music. And what about Charlie Chaplin, who wrote music for his films?

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