WXXI Classical Blog

Big Ears

What does "avant-guarde" mean in 2015?  Good question.  This piece on The Newshour caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, it involves the Kronos Quartet still being amazing.  Second, Rochester is absolutely ready for a music festival like this.

The many facets of David Diamond

This morning I sat down to talk with Peter Elliot, a friend and former neighbor of the late composer David Diamond.  At Jines on Park Avenue (with the fabulous mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe eating breakfast only a few tables away!) Peter pulled out a white plastic bag stuffed with treasures: a whimsical letter from David to his kid brother (see picture below), the first Diamond LP he owned, and a fistful of old photos of the composer spending time with the Elliot family on Edgerton Street.

"This is Mr. Copland's House"

During my sojourn to Copland House, I talked with pianist and Artistic and Executive Director Michael Boriskin. In this podcast, you'll hear the story of how a grassroots movement saved Aaron Copland's house, how the composer thought to honor his favorite teacher in his garden, and how the house serves to promote the creation of new music. 

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Aaron Copland

I recently made a pilgrimage to the Copland House north of New York City.  It's pretty much as he left it: simple, rustic, and woodsy.  A little musty.  Watch this space for more, including an interview with the composer-in-residence, Stephen Snowden, and enjoy this scrapbook.



Music of Jennifer Higdon

When Jennifer Higdon came to Rochester as the composer in residence for the 2014 Women in Music Festival, her music was performed on a number of concerts throughout the week, including an “All Higdon Concert” at the Eastman School of Music Hatch Recital Hall.

15 Interesting Facts about David Diamond

Composer David Diamond at the piano
By Bridget Kinneary 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is performing David Diamond's Fourth Symphony this week. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. Here are 15 things you may not have known about David Diamond. 

Outstanding Young Classical Musicians at Sphinx and the National Youth Orchestra of USA

Every week WXXI-FM Classical 91.5 celebrates outstanding young classical musicians on the program From the Top (Sundays at 5:00 p.m.)  But there are so many more outstanding young classical musicians around the world that we don't hear about as often. 

Behind the scenes at the Met

You would think walking into the Metropolitan Opera House would be a serene experience.  But not this past weekend.  A double bill of Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” and Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” had been already canceled because of a blizzard warning.

Having your own Pipedreams?

By: Bridget Kinneary

Nicknamed “The King of Instruments,” The pipe organ is extremely powerful.  When one hears music played by the organ on the radio (i.e. by tuning into Pipedreams Sundays at 8pm), the incredible complexity and sonic variety of the instrument is apparent. Pipedreams is an incredible program; it gives the listener an opportunity not only to listen to a wide variety music played on the organ, but to learn a great deal about the instrument.

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