Thank you for your support for Classical 91.5 during our fall membership campaign. Behind the scenes, we are planning all kinds of special broadcasts on WXXI-FM, including Pegasus Early Music performing Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, recorded in concert at the Hochstein Performance Hall this past spring.
I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Rochester Classical Idol winner Kathryn Lewek (taped in early August 2015) on a bunch of topics: playing a desperate woman in Candide, working with opera director Francesca Zambello, why her teacher Robert McIver says she's "still a baby," and what she appreciates now about her time at the Eastman School of Music. ~ Brenda
When Garrison Keillor recently profiled American poet John Ashbery on the Writer's Almanac, he only said that Ashbery was "born in Rochester, New York" and "grew up on his family's fruit farm near Lake Ontario." That made me curious. I wondering out loud on Classical 91.5 FM where that farm might be, and several listeners e-mailed specifics. Sue of Williamson, New York wrote:<
Noal Cohen is a musician, jazz historian, and record collector living in Montclair, New Jersey. A retired chemist, he co-authored "Rat Race Blues: The Musical Life of Gigi Gryce" with Michael Fitzgerald. He is David Diamond's nephew and offers a unique perspective on what it was like living with the acclaimed American composer. I'm so pleased that he agreed to this exclusive online interview. ~ Brenda Tremblayï»¿
The reason? This handsome dog will be missing owner Bob Sneider, the hardest-working jazz guitarist during The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. He (Bob) hosts jam sessions every night with his Trio, among other things. I caught up with Bob on the interwebs.
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With the Jazz Festival here again, this must be a crazy and fulfilling time for you. How do you prepare for those late night jam sessions?
There is no preparing for the jam sessions. Years of practicing and developing a repertoire of several hundred songs and flexibility to play them in other keys / tempos helps. Physically, I am a gym rat. I go to the gym every day during the fest. Swim and cardio vascular stuff. That helps with endurance. Being mentally alert and thinking about planning the sets and working the list of sitters-in is key. I do not drink at all â€” just water and coffee.
This RPO season has been special for many reasons. The level of talent that's appeared with our city's orchestra has been exceptional; guest artists included pianists Stephen Hough and Jeremy Denk (two of my idols) and returning artists Jon Nakamatsu and Christopher Seaman. And Midori! I think you will love hearing this season on the radio and via wxxi.org.
Itâ€™s a pleasure producing these concerts for you. If youâ€™re interested in digging deeper, you'll find extended interviews conducted by WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras On Record. When you're traveling this summer, stream the performances anywhere at wxxi.org or via the WXXI app.
Please help spread the word to the music lovers in your life -- then listen and enjoy.
With warmest wishes for beautiful summer and fall seasons,