Friday, December 31, 2010

A Bach Cantata for the First Sunday of the New Year

This Sunday join Ron Moore for the fifth installment of J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio. This cantata is taken from the book of Matthew and starts the New Year with the story of the birth of Jesus and tells of the hope of Salvation. First performed at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, we celebrate the Holidays with a new recording of this Christmas favorite on the very Sunday's Bach intended them. To add a home town touch this recording features the Leipzig based Gewandhaus orchestra and the voices of the Dresden Chamber Choir with soloists, Carolyn Sampson, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Wolfram Lattke and bass, Konstantin Wolff. The music director is Riccardo Chailly.

Bach's Christmas Oratorio heard Sunday afternoons at 2 through January 9th on KPAC & KTXI.

Here's to 2011

Sharing some Chopin and a New Year's greeting from our friend Anya:

Anya Grokhovski / Happy New Year from Musical Bridges Around The World - 2011 from Musical Bridges Around The World on Vimeo.

Degenerate outside influences?

With the advent of the "New Music School" of Liszt and Wagner, Germans felt they were leading the world in music innovation, but was that true? When the arch German pianist Eugene D'Albert played some Debussy in the capital he was hissed for his trouble. On the Piano this Sunday Music from Exotic Berlin, where in the early twentieth century foreign composers were importing adventuresome music - with outside influences. And guess what, some of these new directions were appreciated by the normally conservative Berlin audiences.

Hear Exotic Berlin on the Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tavis Smiley Reports - Dudamel: Conducting a Life

Ever since his appointment to the music directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, there has been considerable buzz about Venezuelan-born Gustavo Dudamel. In fact, Dudamel's work has been under the international spotlight since he began touring and recording with the young musicians of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar in 1999. He has turned many a head while garnering praise from the likes of Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado and Jamie Berstein. Bernstein has stated very publicly that she sees her father (Leonard Bernstein) in Dudamel.

Watch the full episode. See more Tavis Smiley.

Of course, the problem with any of this is the uncertainty of media spin. How much of what we are hearing about Gustavo Dudamel is real and how much is publicist invention? I have to admit that I have taken a wait and see attitude, tempered by a degree of skepticism. After all, this guy Dudamel is only 29 (he turns 30 on January 26, 2011). Let's keep in mind that Bernstein was 39 when he took over the New York Philharmonic; he began his justly heralded Young People's Concerts series the following year.

Watching last night's Tavis Smiley report Dudamel: Conducting a Life, dissolved my doubts about young Dudamel. If there are other "doubting Thomases" out there, I highly recommend that you catch a repeat of Smiley's report. Not only does this put to rest any reservations regarding the maturity of Dudamel, Mr. Smiley's program also shows a way to the future of classical music through music education. This is not necessarily about making more professional musicians. Dudamel's passion, based upon the renowned El Systema devised by Venezuelan economist and musician José Antonio Abreu, is more about rekindling social change and emotional honesty. Yes, it is that profound!

For those reading this in the San Antonio area, there are several more opportunities to watch Dudamel: Conducting a Life on KLRN. Check here for program listings specific to this essential viewing. Not in the San Antonio area, or you just can't catch one of the broadcasts? The Tavis Smiley Reports series is generally made available for online viewing in a timely manner.

¡Viva Musica Classica!

- James Baker

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Bang Bang

Pianist Lang Lang is coming to San Antonio on January 12th for a special concert with the San Antonio Symphony and SLL.
Catch Lang Lang this Friday night with a live concert on PBS (locally KLRN)when he'll play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Houston, we have a performer

Joyce DiDonato just finished up in Europe and is coming to Houston in January to perform in Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie.
She just posted some wonderful videos showing how things work behind the scenes for's both brilliant and sweet, enjoy:

Check out Part two as well here!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas classic in a new performance

Before Warner Bros. figured out that cartoons could reach two audiences simultaneously, the writer Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann was composing stories that had philosophy and life lessons for the parents and for the kids, action and fantasy that borders on the hyperbolic.
One story that Hoffman wrote that will forever be associated with this time of year is Nussknacker und Mausekönig or The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Peter Tchaikovsky took this tale of the helpful god-father Drosselmayer, the evil mouse king and children in peril and turned it into a Christmas classic.

Hear Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker this Sunday afternoon, featuring a new recording with the
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and their music director, Simon Rattle. The curtain rises at 3pm
right here on member supported KPAC and KTXI.

Friday, December 24, 2010

In the Depths of Winter…

Dramatic title, but in South Texas counting on the weather to be appropriate for your Piano show is a bit foolish. Temperature aside it is the cold season and the music on this Sunday's program is about wintery music. First the most thought of music when it comes to the seasons. Antonio Vivaldi struck it big with his Four Seasons and the combination of music and poetry inspired a number of other composers, even if was only to make their own arrangement of Vivaldi's music. To start off the program a modern transcription of this old chestnut for two pianos. Then music Arnold Bax wrote inspired by love and the sagas of Iceland; Winter Legends.

Here them both this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI, no matter what the temperature is.

host, Randy Anderson

Bach's Christmas Story continues

Johann Sebastian Bach composed a great deal of sacred music and these works were to lead the congregation into the spirit of the church year. Advent is the time before Christmas and Bach took six cantatas from the holiday celebrations and combined them into his Christmas Oratorio. This Sunday KPAC broadcasts the fourth part of this work, featuring a new recording with Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. This cantata deals with the birth of Jesus and his naming ceremony. Join Ron Moore this Sunday afternoon at 2 for this spirited performance of this Holiday classic on KPAC & KTXI.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An unlikely combo for Christmas

Happy holidays from all of us at Texas Public Radio!

Listen Thursday afternoon at 1pm on KPAC & KTXI for another unusal Silent Night in the Symphony #2 by Krzysztof Penderecki on Classical Spotlight!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here comes the moon

It was too cloudy this morning in San Antonio to see the lunar eclipse - but there will be two more in 2011!  Here though is a great video time lapse of the event last night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa and the SA Symphony

Clare backstage
This weekend the San Antonio Symphony had special guests, including Saint Nicholas! Host John Clare snapped a few shots of the jolly ol' elf backstage:
Santa with violist Lauren Magnus

We also thought you would enjoy some musicians from the San Antonio Symphony performing carols around the city this last year:

SA Sym: Feliz Navidad from John Clare on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Size isn't everything…

Franz Schubert had great friends and he needed them. His father wanted him to teach school but Franz was built to compose music and what started as a family hobby turned into an all consuming passion. Giving up his teaching job, Schubert turned to his friends and with their help he was allowed, slowly and painfully, to become the artist he knew himself to be.

On the Piano this Sunday more of Schubert's powerful, short piano works, dubbed Impromptus by his publisher. These pieces communicated Schubert's personality as well as any of his nearly one-thousand compositions. This week we pick up with number 6 of the eight composed in 1827. Schubert had his joy of being published tempered with the knowledge that the printer wanted short easy works for the student that would sell. Some, Robert Schumann and music critic Alfred Eisenstein see the second set of "impromptus" as a disguised piano sonata. Whether it is or not, we hear the last three works of the second set and three Klavierstucke or piano pieces composed in Schubert's last year of life that stretch his piano technique to its most demanding. Again, I look for the most persuasive of the recordings available to me and you can hear them on the Piano, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Christmas Oratorio Part III

This Sunday join Ron Moore for the third installment of J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio. This cantata tells of the Three Kings and their journey to Bethlehem. First performed at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, we celebrate the Holidays with a new recording of this Christmas favorite on the very Sunday's Bach intended them. To add a home town touch this recording features the Leipzig based Gewandhaus orchestra and the voices of the Dresden Chamber Choir with soloists, Carolyn Sampson, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Wolfram Lattke and bass, Konstantin Wolff. The music director is Riccardo Chailly.

Hear the Third Sunday of Christmas this Sunday afternoon at 2 on KPAC & KTXI.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best Concerts of 2010

As the year comes to a close, host John Clare thought he would share the best concerts he heard in and around San Antonio.  Besides talking to alot of the musicians before their concerts on Classical Spotlight (Thursday afternoons at 1pm) John goes to their performances as well.  Here are his top picks for 2010:

10 Star Wars: In Concert, ATT Center
9  YOSA, Gold Series Laredo/Robinson
8  P.D.Q. Bach & Peter Schickele:  The Jekyll and Hyde Tour, KPAS
7  Santiago Rodriguez, SAIPC Recital
6  San Antonio Symphony, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
5  Camerata San Antonio, Viennese Masters
4  Berlin Philharmonic Winds, KPAS
3  Lee Trio, SACMS
2  San Antonio Symphony, Meet Your New Maestro
1  SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Texas

What concerts did you enjoy this year? Share them in the comments section below!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Can you guess who?

A lot of fun happening at Wild Kat PR with classical composers - holiday cards!

Ho Ho Horn!

Happy holidays from an amazing horn quartet, Genghis Barbie:

Always room for cello

A few more clips from the fabulous Wendy Warner, live in San Antonio with duo partner Irina Nuzova.

Classical Spotlight Warner Nuzova Rachmaninoff from John Clare on Vimeo.

Classical Spotlight: Warner Nuzova Miaskovsky from John Clare on Vimeo.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Warner Nuzova live in San Antonio

This morning host John Clare joined cellist Wendy Warner and pianist Irina Nuzova for some great selections from their cd, Russian Music for Cello & Piano.

Classical Spotlight: Warner Nuzova Scriabin Etude from Classical Spotlight on Vimeo.

Hear their interview online here:  The duo will be joined by others this weekend for Arabian Nights with Musical Bridges Around the World.

Bach for Moore

Join Ron Moore this Sunday afternoon at 2 for an authentic taste of Christmas from the 1730's with Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio. The Second Day of Christmas starts with the shepherds abiding in the fields. This is the second cantata of Bach's Holiday classic featuring the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Dresden Radio Choir and Riccardo Chailly. Hear it this Sunday afternoon at 2 on KPAC & KTXI.

Be careful for what you wish for…

Franz Schubert; incredibly talented and poor as a church mouse, wanted the chance to make a decent living from his music and finally near the end of his life, he got publishers interested in his music. The down side was his works were to be dictated by sales and Schubert found his publishers wanted simple music that would sell rather than the big Sonata's that Schubert was interested in. So Schubert composed four piano pieces that are at once great music and accessible to the average pianist. Another surprise was in store for our composer, a Bohemian invention the Impromptu, was a big hit with Viennese pianists and the four pieces were published as impromptus.

I am Randy Anderson, even with these checkered beginnings, Schubert's Impromptus are magical and to best enjoy them I have brought together the most musically inclined interpretations I could find. Hear the first 5 impromptus on the Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC &KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Free download for Christmas

Enjoy some holiday cheer from our favorite brass quintet:
A Very Merry Christmas performed by the Canadian Brass featuring Zoë Bentley

Will Dave resist saying STrumpet?

With her new recording, Italian Concertos, already firmly established on Billboard’s classical bestsellers chart, the dynamic British trumpet player Alison Balsom takes another step towards superstardom when she appears tonight on Late Night with David Letterman (CBS-TV beginning 11:35pm; locally in San Antonio at 10:35pm on KENS 5). Balsom, an exclusive EMI Classics recording artist, is scheduled to perform a track featured on her new album: the third movement (Allegro) of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in C minor, arranged for trumpet by Balsom herself.
Balsom recently performed in New York City, following the release of Italian Concertos in October. The Los Angeles Times included the new title in its holiday gift guide, where critic Mark Swed noted, “The young British trumpeter Alison Balsom knocks off high notes like they were going out of style.” Gramophone enthusiastically praised “Balsom’s suave, characterful performances.” New York’s classical music station, WQXR, invited listeners to comment on the new album, stating its own opinion clearly: “It’s not just that she’s blonde, slim, and stylish; it’s the depth of her musicianship that makes her stand out along with the ability to make the solo trumpet seem as natural as a solo violin or cello. Those qualities emerge on Balsom’s new album, Italian Concertos, which focuses on concertos originally composed for violin or oboe by Vivaldi, Albinoni, Tartini, Cimarosa, and Marcello.”
Balsom discusses Italian Concertos in this video, available on EMI Classics’ YouTube channel:

Alison Balsom has achieved an international reputation as one of classical music’s great ambassadors. She has been honored with numerous awards by Classic FM, Gramophone, and Echo Klassik, and in 2009 she became the first ever Briton to be crowned “Female Artist of the Year” at the Classical BRITs. In September 2009 Balsom headlined The Last Night of the BBC Proms, which was viewed by an estimated global audience of 150 million.
Recent and upcoming highlights include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Toronto Symphony, Orchestre National de France, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and La Verdi.
Major international tours in 2010-11 and beyond will bring Balsom into collaboration with I Musici di Roma, Kremerata Baltica, Concerto Köln, the Scottish Ensemble, and her own Balsom Ensemble. Her ever-growing recording catalog for EMI Classics, with whom she records exclusively, has won international critical renown.
Alison Balsom studied trumpet at the Guildhall School of Music, the Paris Conservatoire, and with Hakan Hardenberger.

Monday, December 6, 2010

See the Pictures, Hear the Music

Fantasia amazed and confounded audiences when it was released in 1940. This year, it celebrates its 70th anniversary with a brilliant new restoration for release on DVD and Blu-ray. Along with its sequel, Fantasia 2000, the film remains Disney's "most exciting adventure," and a great way to introduce classical music to young ears.

KPAC's Nathan Cone recently devoured the contents of the Blu-ray edition of Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, and has a review, which you can read here:

Hugh Martin: Songwriter Extraordinaire

Songwriter Hugh Martin was inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame in 1983. Alec Wilder, writing in his essential "American Popular Song: The Great Innovators" in 1972, writes of Hugh Martin: "his talent is clearly one of great invention, sensitiveness, professionalism, discipline, and taste..." Three of Mr. Martin's most successful songs are found in the 1944 movie "Meet Me in St. Louis." Surely there is no hipper Christmas song than "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

The release last month of Hugh Martin's memoir, "Hugh Martin, the Boy Next Door", reminded me of a very dear interview which was part of the 7-part KPAC series "American Popular Song" back in 2004-05. Kathy Couser spoke to Mr. Martin and to Martin's close friend John Fricke. This 13 minute video slide show contains the audio from the original radio program, including Mr. Martin's delightful repartee with Kathy over his humorous song "I'm Tired of Texas."

Season's Greetings - James Baker

Friday, December 3, 2010

Celebratory Bach with trumpets, timpani & Christmas Cheer on KPAC

Johann Sebastian Bach composed only a few Oratorios compared to his contemporary George Handel. One such work is the Christmas Oratorium composed while the musician was at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. To further celebrate the Holidays KPAC will broadcast a new recording of this Christmas favorite on the very Sunday's Bach intended them. To add a home town touch this recording features the Leipzig based Gewandhaus orchestra and the voices of the Dresden Chamber Choir with soloists, Carolyn Sampson, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Wolfram Lattke and bass, Konstantin Wolff. The music director is Riccardo Chailly.

Hear the first installment of this masterpiece for the first day of Christmas this Sunday afternoon at 2 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Ron Moore

The Right Man at the Right Time

Looking through history one can, with the distance of hindsight, see personalities that changed the world around them. After the death of Beethoven in 1827 there where many young musicians that pushed themselves to pick up his mantel and run with it, but the one composer that helped nail down the rules that would guide the young romantics wasn't all that young. Carl Maria von Weber was born in back in 1786 and died a year before Beethoven himself. Weber didn't have the meticulous training of Wolfgang Mozart or the other big names in music. His parents worked and toured with the theatre and their son Carl learned from a wide variety of sources and this coupled with an intuitive grasp of music and drama made von Weber the most exciting artist of his age.

Hear the Roots of Romanticism on the Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

 host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Classical Spotlight: Ho Ho Holidays

Three chances to hear Handel's Messiah this weekend with the San Antonio Symphony:
Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:30pm University United Methodist Church
Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 7:00pm  Coker United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 7:30pm Trinity Baptist Church
Featuring Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor; Teresa Wakim, soprano; Reginald Mobley, countertenor; Derek Chester, tenor; Paul Max Tipton, baritone; and the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers with the University United Methodist Church Choir.  More at

Craig Hella Johnson leads Conspirare here and in Austin with special guests Tom Burritt and Patrice Pike.
Friday, December 3, 2010, 7pm, San Antonio, Laurel Heights United Methodist Church
Saturday, December 4, 2010, 2:30pm and 8pm, Austin, The Carillon
Sunday, December 5, 2010, 2:30pm and 8pm, Austin, The Carillon
Monday, December 6, 2010, 8pm, Austin, The Long Center - Carillon Gala at 5:30pm
Find out more online at

For the third year in a row on stage of the gorgeous Festival Hill Concert Hall, Round Top Music has Tchaikovsky's beloved ballet, The Nutcracker.  Danced by children for children of any age, produced by Ovation (Dancers Workshop) Austin, directed by Dawn Weiss and co-Artistic Directors: Libby Lovejoy, Inga Lujerenko & Kristi Stere.  Saturday December 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm.
Find out about tickets and more at or call 979 249 3129

Candlelight Celebration  - The Chamber Choir and Youth Chorale will present an evening of arrangements and adaptations of seasonal works, both old and new. Program highlights include selections from Benjamin Britten’s classic Ceremony of Carols.
Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm Alamo Heights United Methodist Church
Winter Magic - Start your holiday festivities with a celebration of favorite songs and carols! CCSA’s training and elite choirs will all perform in our most popular celebration of the season – featuring a wide range of selections from traditional favorites to contemporary works. Bring your singing voice as you never know when the audience may join along in song!
Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm
For more, call 210.826.3447 or email

Jubilate!: Music of Christmastide is Voci di Sorelle’s popular annual concert will feature Medieval and Renaissance Music of Christmas and a collection of well-loved carols from around the globe.
Sunday, December 5, 2010—3:00 pm The Union Church Building Kerrville, Texas

SOLI Chamber Ensemble presents For the Record this Monday and Tuesday with the music of David Heuser, Alexandra Gardner, Scott McAllister and Daniel Godfrey. Concert talks are at 7pm each night and meet the performers and composers (!) afterwards.
Monday, December 6, 2010 at 7:30pm Gallery Nord
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:30pm Trinity University's Ruth Taylor Recital Hall
Call 210 485-9330 or go online to for more info.

The San Antonio Brass present a series of Holiday concerts around the area,"Holiday in Brass."
December 6  - St. Mark Presbyterian Church Boerne
December 7 - Abiding Presence LutheranChurch San Antonio
December 9 - St. Luke's Episcopal Church San Antonio
December 11 - First United Methodist Church Missouri CityTx
December 12 - Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church
Find out about their cd and tickets on their website,

Quartus Chamber Players are coming to San Antonio! They are presenting a short lunch time concert as part of Travis Park UMC's 2nd Wednesday @ Travis Park Music Series. 12:15pm-12:45pm
Program includes George Winters' Variations on a Pastoral Theme (1992) for string quartet
Shostakovich's Two Pieces for String Quartet (Elegy and Polka)
Beethoven - Selection from String Quartet Op. 74, "Harp"
Admisson is free! So bring your lunch and head over to Travis Park!

1st Presbyterian Church continues their Mid-Day Noel Concerts
Thursday, December 2, 2010, 12:10 pm - 12:50 pm, Sanctuary
Contact: Tom Dooling at or (210) 226 0215

Classical Grammys

Watch February 13, 2011 for the winners!  Here are the nominees!

95. Best Engineered Album, Classical – An Engineer's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.)
Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina -- Mark Donahue, John Hill & Dirk Sobotka, engineers (Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony Orchestra) [Naxos]
Have You Ever Been...? -- Robert Friedrich, engineer (Turtle Island Quartet, Stefon Harris & Mike Marshall) [Telarc]
Mackey, Steven: Dreamhouse - David Frost, Tom Lazarus, Steven Mackey & Dirk Sobotka, engineers (Gil Rose, Rinde Eckert, Catch Electric Guitar Quartet, Synergy Vocals & Boston Modern Orchestra Project) [BMOP/sound]
Porter, Quincy: Complete Viola Works - Leslie Ann Jones, Kory Kruckenberg & David Sabee, engineers (Eliesha Nelson & John McLaughlin Williams) [Dorian Sono Luminus]
Vocabularies - Steve Miller, Allen Sides & Roger Treece, engineers (Bobby McFerrin) [Emarcy]
- - - - -
96. Producer Of The Year, Classical – A Producer's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.)
Blanton Alspaugh
Corigliano: Violin Concerto 'The Red Violin' (Michael Ludwig, JoAnn Falletta & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)
Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina (Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 (Leonard Slatkin & Detroit Symphony Orchestra)
Tower Of The Eight Winds - Music For Violin & Piano By Judith Shatin (Borup-Ernst Duo)
Tyberg: Symphony No. 3; Piano Trio (JoAnn Falletta & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)
Wind Serenades (Gregory Wolynec & Gateway Chamber Ensemble)

David Frost
Britten's Orchestra (Michael Stern & Kansas City Symphony)
Chambers, Evan: The Old Burying Ground (Kenneth Kiesler & The University Of Michigan Symphony Orchestra)
Dorman, Avner: Concertos For Mandolin, Piccolo, Piano And Concerto Grosso (Andrew Cyr, Eliran Avni, Mindy Kaufman, Avi Avital & Metropolis Ensemble)
The 5 Browns In Hollywood (5 Browns)
Mackey, Steven: Dreamhouse (Gil Rose, Rinde Eckert, Catch Electric Guitar Quartet, Synergy Vocals & Boston Modern Orchestra Project)
Meeting Of The Spirits (Matt Haimovitz)
Two Roads To Exile (ARC Ensemble)

Tim Handley
Adams: Nixon In China (Marin Alsop, Tracy Dahl, Marc Heller, Thomas Hammons, Maria Kanyova, Robert Orth, Chen-Ye Yan, Opera Colorado Chorus & Colorado Symphony Orchestra)
Debussy: Le Martyre De Saint Sébastien (Jun Märkl & Orchestre National De Lyon)
Dohnányi: Variations On A Nursery Song (JoAnn Falletta, Eldar Nebolsin & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)
Harris: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 (Marin Alsop & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)
Hubay: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 And 2 (Chloë Hanslip, Andrew Mogrelia & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)
Messiaen: Poèmes Pour Mi (Anne Schwanewilms, Jun Märkl & Orchestre National De Lyon)
Piazzolla: Sinfonía Buenos Aires (Daniel Binelli, Tianwa Yang, Giancarlo Guerro & Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
Ries: Works For Flute And Piano (Uwe Grodd & Matteo Napoli)
Roussel: Symphony No. 1 (Stéphane Denève & Royal Scottish National Orchestra)
Shchedrin: Concertos For Orchestra Nos. 4 & 5 (Kirill Karabits & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)
Stamitz: Flute Concertos (Robert Aitken, Donatas Katkus & St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra)
Strauss, R: Josephs-Legende; Rosenkavalier; Die Frau Ohne Schatten (Orchestral Suites) (JoAnn Falletta & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)

Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
Brubeck: Songs Of Praise (Lynne Morrow, Richard Grant, Quartet San Francisco & The Pacific Mozart Ensemble)
Cascade Of Roses (Janice Weber)
Gnattali: Solo & Chamber Works For Guitar (Marc Regnier)
If I Were A Bird (Michael Lewin)
Kletzki: Piano Concerto (Joseph Banowetz, Thomas Sanderling & Russian Philharmonic Orchestra)
Porter, Quincy: Complete Viola Works (Eliesha Nelson & John McLaughlin Williams)
Rubinstein: Piano Music (1852-1894) (Joseph Banowetz)
Rubinstein: Piano Music (1871-1890) (Joseph Banowetz)
20th Century Harp Sonatas (Sarah Schuster Ericsson)

James Mallinson
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 (Bernard Haitink, Duain Wolfe, Miah Persson, Christianne Stotijn, Chicago Symphony Chorus & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet (Valery Gergiev & London Symphony Orchestra)
Shchedrin: The Enchanted Wanderer (Valery Gergiev, Evgeny Akimov, Sergei Aleksashkin, Kristina Kapustinskaya, Mariinsky Chorus & Mariinsky Orchestra)
Strauss, R: Ein Heldenleben; Webern: Im Sommerwind (Bernard Haitink & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie (Bernard Haitink & London Symphony Orchestra)
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante (Gautier Capuçon, Valery Gergiev & Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
Wagner: Parsifal (Valery Gergiev, Gary Lehman, Violeta Urmana, René Pape, Evgeny Nikitin, Alexei Tanovitski, Nikolai Putilin, Mariinsky Chorus & Mariinsky Orchestra)
- - - - - - -
97. Best Classical Album – Award to the Artist(s) and to the Album Producer(s) if other than the Artist.
Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - Mariss Jansons, conductor; Everett Porter, producer; Everett Porter, mastering engineer (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) [RCO Live]
Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina - Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer; Mark Donahue, John Hill & Dirk Sobotka, engineers/mixers (Terrence Wilson; Nashville Symphony Orchestra) [Naxos]
Mackey, Steven: Dreamhouse - Gil Rose, conductor; Rinde Eckert; Catch Electric Guitar Quartet; David Frost, producer; David Frost, Tom Lazarus, Steven Mackey & Dirk Sobotka, engineers/mixers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Synergy Vocals) [BMOP/sound]
Sacrificium - Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli; Arend Prohmann, producer; Philip Siney, engineer/mixer (Il Giardino Armonico) [Decca]
Verdi: Requiem - Riccardo Muti, conductor; Duain Wolfe, chorus master; Christopher Alder, producer; David Frost, Tom Lazarus & Christopher Willis, engineers/mixers (Ildar Abdrazakov, Olga Borodina, Barbara Frittoli & Mario Zeffiri; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Chicago Symphony Chorus) [CSO Resound]
- - - - -
98. Best Orchestral Performance – Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra.
Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) [RCO Live]
Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina - Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Terrence Wilson; Nashville Symphony) [Naxos]
Mackey, Steven: Dreamhouse - Gil Rose, conductor; Rinde Eckert (Catch Electric Guitar Quartet; Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Synergy Vocals) [BMOP/sound]
Salieri: Overtures & Stage Music - Thomas Fey, conductor (Mannheimer Mozartorchester) [Haenssler Classic]
Stravinsky: Pulcinella; Symphony In Three Movements; Four Études - Pierre Boulez, conductor (Roxana Constantinescu, Kyle Ketelsen & Nicholas Phan; Chicago Symphony Orchestra) [CSO Resound]
- - - - - - -
99. Best Opera Recording – Award to the Conductor, Album Producer(s) and Principal Soloists.
Berg: Lulu - Antonio Pappano, conductor; Agneta Eichenholz, Jennifer Larmore, Klaus Florian Vogt & Michael Volle; David Groves, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House) [Opus Arte]
Hasse: Marc' Antonio E Cleopatra - Matthew Dirst, conductor; Jamie Barton & Ava Pine; Keith Weber, producer (Ars Lyrica Houston) [Dorian Sono Luminus]
Saariaho: L'Amour De Loin - Kent Nagano, conductor; Daniel Belcher, Ekaterina Lekhina & Marie-Ange Todorovitch; Martin Sauer, producer (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Rundfunkchor Berlin) [Harmonia Mundi]
Shchedrin: The Enchanted Wanderer - Valery Gergiev, conductor; Evgeny Akimov, Sergei Aleksashkin & Kristina Kapustinskaya; James Mallinson, producer (Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre; Chorus Of The Mariinsky Theatre) [Mariinsky]
Sullivan: Ivanhoe - David Lloyd-Jones, conductor; Neal Davies, Geraldine McGreevy, James Rutherford, Toby Spence & Janice Watson; Brian Pidgeon, producer (BBC National Orchestra Of Wales; Adrian Partington Singers) [Chandos]
- - - - -
100. Best Choral Performance – Award to the Choral Conductor, and to the Orchestra Conductor if an Orchestra is on the recording, and to the Choral Director or Chorus Master if applicable.
Bach: Cantatas - Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor; Erwin Ortner, chorus master (Bernarda Fink, Gerald Finley, Christian Gerhaher, Werner Güra, Julia Kleiter, Christine Schäfer, Anton Scharinger & Kurt Streit; Concentus Musicau Wien; Arnold Schoenberg Chor) [Deutsche Harmonia Mundi]
Baltic Runes - Paul Hillier, conductor (Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir) [Harmonia Mundi]
Haydn: The Creation - René Jacobs, conductor; Hans-Christoph Rademann, choir director (Julia Kleiter, Maximilian Schmitt & Johannes Weisser; Freiburger Barockorchester; RIAS Kammerchor) [Harmonia Mundi]
Martin: Golgotha - Daniel Reuss, conductor (Judith Gauthier, Marianne Beate Kielland, Adrian Thompson, Mattijs Van De Woerd & Konstantin Wolff; Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Cappella Amsterdam & Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir) [Harmonia Mundi]
Verdi: Requiem - Riccardo Muti, conductor; Duain Wolfe, chorus master (Ildar Abdrazakov, Olga Borodina, Barbara Frittoli & Mario Zeffiri; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Chicago Symphony Chorus) [CSO Resound]
- - - - -
101. Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra) – Award to the Instrumental Soloist(s) and to the Conductor.
Daugherty: Deus Ex Machina - Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Terrence Wilson (Nashville Symphony)  [Naxos]
Dorman, Avner: Mandolin Concerto - Andrew Cyr, conductor; Avi Avital (Metropolis Ensemble) [Naxos]
Kletzki: Piano Concerto In D Minor, Op. 22 - Thomas Sanderling, conductor; Joseph Banowetz (Russian Philharmonic Orchestra)  [Naxos]
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 23 & 24 - Mitsuko Uchida (The Cleveland Orchestra) [Decca]
Porter, Quincy: Concerto For Viola & Orchestra - John McLaughlin Williams, conductor; Eliesha Nelson (Northwest Sinfonia)  [Dorian Sono Luminus]
- - - - -
102. Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra) – Award to the Instrumental Soloist.
Chopin: The Nocturnes - Nelson Freire [Decca]
Hamelin: Études - Marc-André Hamelin [Hyperion Records]
Messiaen: Livre Du Saint-Sacrement - Paul Jacobs [Naxos]
Paganini: 24 Caprices - Julia Fischer [Decca]
20th Century Harp Sonatas - Sarah Schuster Ericsson [Dorian Sono Luminus]
- - - - -
103. Best Chamber Music Performance – Award to the Artists.
Beethoven: Complete Sonatas For Violin & Piano - Isabelle Faust & Alexander Melnikov [Harmonia Mundi]
Gnattali: Solo & Chamber Works For Guitar - Marc Regnier (Tacy Edwards, Natalia Khoma & Marco Sartor) [Dorian Sono Luminus]
Ligeti: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 - Parker Quartet [Naxos]
Porter, Quincy: Complete Viola Works - Eliesha Nelson & John McLaughlin Williams (Douglas Rioth; Northwest Sinfonia) [Dorian Sono Luminus]
Schoenberg: String Quartets Nos. 3 & 4 - Fred Sherry String Quartet (Christopher Oldfather & Rolf Schulte) [Naxos]
- - - - -
104. Best Small Ensemble Performance – Award to the Ensemble (and to the Conductor.)
Ceremony And Devotion - Music For The Tudors - Harry Christophers, conductor; The Sixteen [CORO]
Dinastia Borja - Jordi Savall, conductor; Hespèrion XXI & La Capella Reial De Catalunya (Pascal Bertin, Daniele Carnovich, Lior Elmalich, Montserrat Figueras, Driss El Maloumi, Marc Mauillon, Lluís Vilamajó &Furio Zanasi; Pascal Bertin, Daniele Carnovich, Josep Piera & Francisco Rojas) [Alia Vox]
Trondheimsolistene - In Folk Style - Øyvind Gimse & Geir Inge Lotsberg, conductors (Emilia Amper & Gjermund Larsen; TrondheimSolistene) [2L (Lindberg Lyd)]
Victoria: Lamentations Of Jeremiah - Peter Phillips, conductor; The Tallis Scholars [Gimell]
Whitacre, Eric: Choral Music - Noel Edison, conductor; Elora Festival Singers (Carol Bauman & Leslie De'Ath) [Naxos]
- - - - -
105. Best Classical Vocal Performance – Award to the Vocal Soloist(s).
Ombre De Mon Amant - French Baroque Arias - Anne Sofie Von Otter (William Christie; Les Arts Florissants) [Deutsche Grammophon]
Sacrificium - Cecilia Bartoli (Giovanni Antonini; Il Giardino Armonico) [Decca]
Turina: Canto A Sevilla - Lucia Duchonová (Celso Antunes; NDR Radiophilharmonie) [Haenssler Classic]
Vivaldi: Opera Arias - Pyrotechnics - Vivica Genaux (Fabio Biondi; Europa Galante) [Virgin Classics]
Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder - Measha Brueggergosman (Franz Welser-Möst; The Cleveland Orchestra) T [Deutsche Grammophon]
- - - - - –
106. Best Classical Contemporary Composition – A Composer's Award. (For a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.) Award to the librettist, if applicable.
Daugherty, Michael: Deus Ex Machina - Michael Daugherty (Giancarlo Guerrero) [Naxos]
Henze, Hans Werner: Appassionatamente Plus - Hans Werner Henze (Stefan Soltesz) [Cybele Records]
Lindberg, Magnus: Graffiti - Magnus Lindberg (Sakari Oramo)  [Ondine]
Pärt, Arvo: Symphony No. 4 - Arvo Pärt (Esa-Pekka Salonen) [ECM New Series]
Shchedrin, Rodion Konstantinovich: The Enchanted Wanderer - Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin (Valery Gergiev) [Mariinsky]
- - - - -
107. Best Classical Crossover Album -- Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.
Meeting Of The Spirits - Matt Haimovitz (Amaryllis Jarczyk, Jan Jarczyk, John McLaughlin, Dominic Painchaud, Leanna Rutt & Matt Wilson) [Oxingale Records]
Off The Map - The Silk Road Ensemble [World Village]
Roots - My Life, My Song - Jessye Norman (Ira Coleman, Steve Johns, Mike Lovatt, Mark Markham & Martin Williams) [Sony Classical]
Tin, Christopher: Calling All Dawns - Lucas Richman, conductor (Sussan Deyhim, Lia, Kaori Omura, Dulce Pontes, Jia Ruhan, Aoi Tada & Frederica von Stade; Anonymous 4 & Soweto Gospel Choir; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) [Tin Works Publishing]
Vocabularies - Bobby McFerrin [Emarcy/Universal]

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Socks’n Undies

The San Antonio Symphony is hosting a clothing drive for Mission Road Ministries, called Socks’n Undies Drive, to benefit Mission Road Ministries.

When: Holiday Pops! - December 17 & 18, 2010 @ 8:00pm
Holiday Family Concert - December 19, 2010 @ 2:30pm
Where: Majestic Theatre – December 17 & 18
Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium – December 19
Tickets are available at the Symphony Box Office or by calling (210) 554.1010 or visiting Patrons can also visit any Ticketmaster location, or call (800) 745-3000 for concert tickets.

Patrons attending either the Holiday Pops concert at the Majestic Theatre on December 17 or 18 or the Family Holiday Special concert at Trinity University on December 19 can donate new, unwrapped socks and underwear. For each item donated, the patron will receive a voucher for two free tickets to future Symphony performances.
Mission Road Ministries especially requests boys underwear sizes 6 – 50, girls underwear sizes 10-16 and ankle height and no-show socks of all sizes. Cash donations will also be accepted.
This charitable drive benefiting Mission Road Ministries marks a new partnership in the San Antonio Symphony’s Community Collaboration program. Other area partner non-profits have included the San Antonio Area Food Bank, the San Antonio Police Department Blue Santa Program, the American Red Cross and the Children’s Shelter of San Antonio. This season, the Symphony partners with Mission Road Ministries, the American Heart Association, the San Antonio Area Food Bank and Sunshine Cottage.
Please support your San Antonio Symphony and Mission Road Ministries as they bring the joy of the holiday season to all of those in need.

About Mission Road Ministries (
Mission Road Ministries is a non-profit organization serving more than 700 children & adults with developmental disabilities each day with residential, day services & vocational programs in San Antonio, helping clients reach independence, productivity & inclusion in the community.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Big guns

The latest "big name" classical performer has been announced for June 2011: In celebration of Mexico's 100th Anniversary, Placido Domingo will perform a romantic concert of opera, zarzuela, tango and Mariachi favorites accompanied by guest artists and a full symphony orchestra. Find out more at SAOpera:

In January, pianist Lang Lang plays Rachmaninoff with the San Antonio Symphony. Information here:
A recital by Itzahk Perlman takes place in March:
Also in March, Yo-Yo Ma comes to town with the Silk Road Ensemble:

Simple gift ideas

Still shopping for that right gift for that person? Didn't find what you wanted on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Check out our suggestions from the KPAC staff for your holiday needs:
There's more to come, as well as the year's best of list and don't forget to check out the KPAC 100:

Stay abreast of holiday concerts this season too on Classical Spotlight, Thursday afternoons at 1pm on KPAC & KTXI.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Composer Award - Grawemeyer

Congratulations to Louis Andriessen for winning the University of Louisville’s 2011 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. He received the award for La Commedia, his fourth opera. This year’s award is $100,000.

He was also Musica America's Composer of the Year 2010.  You can learn more about him and his music here, including a free cd-rom!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Home of the Fighting Turkeys?

Benjamin Franklin thought the Meleagris gallopavo, or Wild American Turkey would be the best avian symbol of our country. He explains in a letter to his daughter…

"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

Since Thanksgiving is the quintessential American Holiday and the turkey isn't quite gone from our refrigerators yet, on the Piano this Sunday we present a U.S. program with American composers, not imitating Europeans, but making music that best exemplifies life in this country.
There is Charles Ives, hard nosed and brilliant, Virgil Thompson's take on American mythology with George Washington and the Cherry Tree and a Texas boy, David Guion and music close to every Westerner's heart.

The Piano, hear it this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Classical Spotlight: Thanks!

Delight your whole family with this cherished tradition — The Nutcracker, performed by the San Antonio Symphony and Ballet San Antonio. Don’t miss this charming classic. It’s a holiday celebration for the whole Family! Starting Friday November 26 to December 5 at the Majestic. Find out more at or

The first concert of our 2010-2011 “Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral” series, this concert will feature Russian artists Mark Cheiket, violin, and Elena Portnaya, piano, performing an entrancing program of all-time violin favorites, from their new CD, Encore! CDs will be available for signing after the concert, during the delicious dessert reception catered by Giovanni’s.
Please visit for more information.

December 2 at 12:10pm First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio presents their first Midday Noel 2010! Join the Mark Little Trio as they perform the Christmas music of the jazz legend, Vince Guaraldi. The Trio appears regularly at Old San Francisco Steak House and includes Little (piano), George Prado (bass) and Kevin Hess (drums). You’ll hear “music of the spirit” that began with his musical foundation "in the church" in Amarillo, Texas, where he was born and raised. Little began piano lessons at the age of four, studying with the director of his church choir. Mastering the music quickly, he played by rote and then, flying in the face of tradition, he expanded with his own versions. Far from putting down her student as a musical vandal, his teacher enthusiastically encouraged him toward further innovation, a path Little has pursued ever since. A Full Lunch will be served in Westminster Hall after each concert for $7.00 and a “Grab & Go” Sack Lunch will be available as you exit the Sanctuary for $3.00.
More at

December 2 the Symphony of the Hills has Rising Stars- featuring Collin Turner, violin; Evana Toll, string bass; and a new composition by young composer Jonathan Willing. Jay Dunnahoo directs. There's more information at

Tenor Donald Braswell II joins Tim Janis for the American Christmas Carol Tour next week. This tour features Tim’s music, choir and singer/songwriter Jim Cole. Next Thursday, December 2nd at Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with The Tim Janis Singers (200 voices) and the 94 piece Tim Janis Youth Symphony Orchestra and special guests Sarah Darling, Emily Bear, Eli Mattson, Jim Cole, Chandler and Ryan Lutz.
There's more at and

The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio (CCSA) is moving uptown! Starting January 20, 2011, CCSA will launch a new training choir outside of Loop 1604 to reach families in Stone Oak and neighboring communities. This ensemble is the latest in a series of new programs designed to reach young artists across San Antonio with the same great experiences that are a hallmark of the organization. Singers will participate in weekly rehearsals that nurture their artistic and personal potential through a comprehensive curriculum of performance and instruction. They will also have the opportunity to develop the confidence, poise, maturity, self-esteem, and self-discipline necessary for success in music and success in life.
Following are the details on CCSA’s new Junior Chorus North (JCN) program:
· JCN is open to boys and girls currently in grades 3-5
· Rehearsals will be held on Thursdays from 4:30 – 6:10pm at Northern Hills UMC, 3703 North Loop 1604 East, starting January 20, 2011. JCN singers will participate in concerts on March 27 and May 1, 2011.
· JCN conductor is Amy Ballenger, CCSA alumna and choral director at Bradley Middle School in NEISD.
· Space in JCN is limited to the first 60 singers to complete registration; no auditions are necessary! Cost for JCN is $165 and includes all materials.
· Registration is available online at or by calling 210.826.3447. Deadline for registration is January 1, 2011.

The Claremont Trio's newest cd is Beethoven & Ravel. Host John Clare recently spoke to Julia and Emily from the Claremont Trio while in NYC.

When sound came rushing in, Charlie Chaplin remained steadfastly a silent comic, producing his two greatest films, City Lights (1931), and nearly a decade after the introduction of sound, Modern Times (1936). By the mid 1930s, Chaplin had over two decades of experience on screen honing his Little Tramp persona. Perhaps because it was my first experience with Chaplin, but Modern Times, although the Tramp’s last appearance on screen, is my favorite Chaplin film. As a romantic comedy, it works well, but as a satire on “modern” life, it works superbly, and still does to this day. And it is deliriously funny.
TPR's Nathan Cone explains Charlie Chaplin was not only a genius filmmaker, but a gifted composer with a new Blu-ray and DVD of "Modern Times." More at:

Find out more about Classical Spotlight and hear the interviews online at:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks Key

This Thanksgiving I want to give thanks for the people with whom I make MUSIC. There are many of them: INSPIRED composers that create, MUSICIANS that realize a composer's dream, people who 'ORCHESTRATE' the means by which we make the music, to the receivers of the music -- the AUDIENCE.

This circle is a GIFT. We share something so beautiful, fulfilling, so RECHARGING. We connect in shared desire to reach out, to COMMUNICATE the soul of the music that touches us so deeply.

The music and people with whom I play have made me WHO I AM today.

I love them all. I owe them all. Thank you for YOU -- all of you!

Stephanie Key
Artistic Director & Founder, SOLI
Assistant Principal Clarinetist, San Antonio Symphony

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks Oboe

If I have a “main” story about gratitude in meeting a musician, it is my longtime friend Warren Jones that I have to talk about.
I started graduate school at the San Francisco Conservatory in the fall of 1974. The graduate school class was small – 20 or so. Many of us had accomplished some good things as musicians, but one of us, Warren Jones, was rumored to be the most significant of us. I didn’t know him at all.
We took a class together that met in the evening. Around dinner time I was in a practice room, working on the Oboe Concerto by Richard Strauss. The door burst open.
“Do you have a piano score for that?”
It was Warren. He’s a good bit taller than me and in those days dressing in ways that I would have to call bold and colorful. I was intimidated to say the least.
“Yes I do,” I said.
“Well let me play it.”
So Warren sat down at the piano in the practice room and started to play the first movement with me. It suddenly made musical sense that it hadn’t made before. Suddenly there was time for all the things I needed to do, breathe, extra time to elongate or emphasize part of a phrase, and much more. Now I knew why Warren had the reputation that exceeded the rest of us by so much.

Now, 36 years later, I have been on the stage performing with Warren more times than I can count. We’ve been close friends ever since that day. Every time I work with Warren, I emerge from the collaboration a better musician.
If I can sum up, in a few words, why he is so wonderful, it is this: He is never in a hurry. There’s always more time in the music than one might think. Tiny adjustments to tempo, a few percent, I mean, are easy for him, in a way that they are not for most of us.
If you want to know more about Warren, look at his website, If you want to hear him play, keep your eye on the Olmos Ensemble concerts. His performance for this season is passed, already, but he’ll be back next season.
The recording I’ve submitted to John Clare with this story is from the Olmos Ensemble’s concert on October 26th. It is the Three Romances, composed by Robert Schumann, for oboe and piano. Schumann wrote something beautiful when writing these and also something treacherously difficult, causing fatigue in an oboist that can really limit the expressive range of the pieces. Warren plays them in such a way as to make room for phrasing and breathing in such a way that the pieces are as easy to play as they could possibly be.
(click on the link below to hear their performance)

Romance 1
Romance 2
Romance 3

Happy listening, Happy Thanksgiving!
Mark Ackerman

Giving Thanks Double Bass

I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to study the double bass under John Schaeffer, retired Principal Bass of the New York Philharmonic. Schaeffer was a demanding teacher who taught me the most important lesson of all—you have to take the responsibility to teach yourself. Even though I don’t play the double bass anymore, he is still one of the biggest influences of my life.
Schaeffer was a great bassist, a real expert on orchestral playing and somewhat of a caricature of a gruff New York Philharmonic musician. Unless he was on stage, you almost never saw him without a big cigar in his mouth. He was opinionated about other musicians and he never minced words about any student’s playing. I once asked him about a legendary bassist of the previous generation who had died before I was born, but with whom Schaeffer had played with when he first got to the New York Philharmonic. His response was, “He was so bad he didn’t even know how to turn the page in the music!”
Schaeffer hated the bureaucracy of The Juilliard School. I’ll never forget registration one year. I finally got up to the head of long line (this is before the era of computerized registration) and met the Registrar. She said, “YOU! You’re one of those Schaeffer students!” I meekly replied, “Yes.” She then said I should tell my teacher to get down to the office and pick up his paychecks IMMEDIATELY. It seems Schaeffer refused to set foot in the administrative offices and the school refused to mail him his check. This stalemate had gone on for more than a year and was disrupting their accounting system!
Another one of his students loved to go to downtown jazz clubs. Schaeffer knew that this student had been out very late the previous night, so he called him at 8 a.m. the next morning. He asked, “Did I wake you up?” The student replied, (barely audibly) “Yes.” Schaeffer yelled, “GOOD, now get up and practice!”
Schaeffer only accepted three students at a time and he never got involved in school politics. He wasn’t the most famous or most popular teacher in New York at the time. But, he was an amazing teacher. Most of my lessons were at his house in Queens. I’d meet him backstage at Avery Fisher Hall after a Philharmonic rehearsal and we would drive out to his house. He had a huge mirror in this studio and we played facing the mirror. I was required to play everything by memory, so I could look into the mirror and analyze my technique. He also required me to solfège (singing with syllables do, re, me, etc.) every piece before I was allowed to play it on the bass. He didn’t want technique to influence the musical interpretation.
We spent an enormous amount of time on etudes and orchestral music. He wasn’t interested in flashy concertos. He said to me, “A bassist’s job is to fart in the right place.” He believed the orchestral repertoire was the most important music to learn. Most of my lessons lasted three hours and we went over and over and over a passage until he was satisfied. He’d ask me, “Is it in tune? Is the tone right? Was the rhythm perfect? What is the phrasing? Is it even? What about the articulation?” All this for a simple passage that most teachers wouldn’t even review in a lesson! We played these orchestral passages over and over again, until I could HEAR the most subtle differences. After a lesson, I’d take the subway back to Manhattan. I was often so exhausted by the intense experience that I’d fall asleep on the train.
Schaeffer had a fantastic collection of old Italian basses and French bows. He was very generous, loaning me instruments and bows for all my years at The Juilliard School. He said he did it because he hated to listen to student’s lousy instruments. But, we knew that wasn’t the real reason. He was trying to teach us very subtle differences in sound. When you regularly play a great 300-year old instrument, you learn to produce sound differently. He had six instruments in his house and another at Lincoln Center, so he could let us learn on a variety of great basses.
So, Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Schaeffer. And thank you for pushing me so hard all those many years ago.

Jack Fishman
Former double bassist and
Currently President & CEO
San Antonio Symphony

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks for Role Models

Throughout a lifetime, we all encounter numerous teachers, some better than others. If we're lucky, we might even encounter a teacher whose lessons linger forever.

I believe most musicians have an inner  voice which we rely upon when the chips are down and we are trying to do something extraordinary. That voice, I believe, is often that of our truest teacher. The voice which always speaks to me at such times is that of Wayne Barrington, my French horn teacher during my years at UT Austin in the late 60s and early 70s. He is my role model and I give thanks each time I hold my horn in my hand for all he gave me . But it's much more than that. Mr. Barrington's lessons were foremost about playing the horn, but many times he also taught discipline, honor and integrity. For those life lessons I give thanks.

In June of this year, a number of Mr. Barrington's former students gathered to honor him for the myriad lessons he offered us over his long years as an educator and role model. I am thankful we had this opportunity to again say thank you to such an extraordinary man. Thank you, Maestro.

-Contributed by James Baker-

Giving Thanks: Dr. Timothy Kramer

I am thankful for the friendship and guidance of former Trinity University professor Timothy Kramer. Kramer, who is now the chair of the Music Department at Illinois College, was one of my favorite professors while I was a student at Trinity.

Although I was not a music major, nor did I even minor in music, I did hang about the department a fair amount. Two of the courses I took were Electronic Music and Music Composition, both taught by Dr. Kramer.

Electronic Music was fantastic because we students got to play with an incredible collection of musical toys, including synthesizers, voltage-controlled oscillators, wave generators, and many, many other noisemakers. And I’ll never forget the first day of Composition class, when Dr. Kramer knocked a music stand over on the floor and asked us “How do you like my piece?” He was illustrating the infinite possibilities that came with the modern definition of music. Creating a framework and rules from which we constructed our pieces was then part of the learning process for us all. Hearing my final project that semester, scored for oboe, piano, double bass, and percussion, performed live, is still one of the great musical joys of my life.

His enthusiasm for innovation and musical experimentation was infectious. Thank you Dr. Tim Kramer!

Nathan Cone, Director of Classical Programming, TU Class of 1995.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Thanks 2010 Teachers

This Thanksgiving, we're sharing thankful classical thoughts. Kenneth Thompson, Executive Director of Musical Arts Centers of San Antonio, Inc. share his thanks:

I am thankful for the teachers who were my leaders and guides through the world of music. They are a part of me on a deep level and I see their influence in everything that I do. I am grateful that they shared their energy, time and wisdom. It was an honor to work with each of you! Thank you Nelita True, Jean Barr, Anna Haun, Anton Nel, Carolyn True, John Weems, Betty Nolting, Chris Wallace and Nancy Wilson!

What music or composers are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments!

About Kenneth: In June of 2000 Kenneth Thompson received the Texas Music Teachers Association’s ‘Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year Award’ for the state of Texas. TMTA is the largest association of private piano teachers in Texas and is affiliated with Music Teachers National Association. In November 2009 Mr. Thompson received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from Musical Bridges Around the World for his work in raising the level of piano teaching in San Antonio.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Boys will be boys

When you ponder other times and places, it is easy to imagine things being more serious and simple than in reality. When I think of the master classes Liszt gave in Weimar; earnest and serious would be my impression of the atmosphere so it was quite a shock to see photographs in the new CD release on Pierian of "Liszt Students play Liszt" where the students are horsing around.
Building a human pyramid and smoking their cheroots, these boys are not philosophers in angst, but students having the time of their lives. Luckily for us some 20 years later when the Welte Mignon recording piano came about Liszt's former students lined up to record the music of their beloved teacher.

On the piano this Sunday more from the Kenneth Caswell collection as "Liszt's students play Liszt". Hear them this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Giving Thanks 2010

This Thanksgiving, we're sharing thankful classical thoughts. Host John Clare shares music and composers he is thankful for:
Composer Steve Stucky hails from Hutchinson, KS and grew up in Waco, TX. A violist and composer, Steve won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005.  We talked soon after, although he had been on my short list of composers for Composing Thoughts.  Later that year, he introduced me to a cellist who was performing in the area and was premiering a work of his.  Elinor and I connected and Steve let us broadcast the premiere! That summer I met up with Steve and Elinor in Itaca where Steve lived.
We became fast friends and have stayed in touch ever since. There were many more trips to Ithaca and we'd meet up in NYC or Dallas.  Currently Steve is chairman of the American Music Center and I was just elected to the board last May.
Steve still visits Texas and we we snapped this photo in Main Plaza downtown last November.  He'll be in Dallas again this week for his Rhapsodies and next May before the Carnegie Hall premiere of his August 4th, 1964.
Steve writes powerful and passionate music that I am grateful for and enjoy studying.
What music or composers are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Classical Spotlight: OLÉ!

Classical Spotlight roves from Round Top to Madrid, plus some Country Roads and Gold from one of today's leading composers!

SASym leaves on a jet plane
A Tribute to the Music of John Denver
November 19 & 20, 2010 8:00 p.m.
San Antonio Symphony
Trinity University's Laurie Auditorium
Michael Krajewski, conductor Jim Curry, singer

Benefit for a great cause
SA Mastersingers Concert for Alzheimers
Friday & Saturday November, 19 & 20, 2010 8 PM
John Silantien conducting Robert Cohen’s Alzeimer’s Stories
First Baptist Church, San Antonio (11/19)
First Presbyterian Church,Kerrville, TX (11/20)

200 & 100 Years celebration
Mexico 2010 November 20, 2010
Youth Orchestras San Antonio & Juventud Sinfonica de Monterrey
Municipal Auditorium 7 p.m.
Tickets required - to get your free ticket, call the YOSA office at 210.737.0097. 
San Antonio's Office of Cultural Affairs presents a festive celebration for the bicentennial of Mexico's Independence movement and the centennial of its Revolution in a concert shared with the Juventud Sinfonica de Monterrey.

Walden Chamber Players, joined by the Trinity Chamber Singers and soloist, Dr. Linda McNeil
Sunday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m. Ruth Taylor Recital Hall
The program, subtitled "Boccherini in Madrid," will feature 18th-century repertoiryincluding several Boccherini quintets, the Turina Oracion del Torero, and vocal works. Enhancing the cultural scope of the afternoon, students from Trinity's Madrid Summer Program and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will offer commentary on Spanish architecture, history, poetry, and daily life between the musical selections.

Schütz happens
Sunday November 21, 2010 at 4:00 pm
The Houston Chamber Choir, The Whole Noyse and Houston musicians perform works by Heinrich Schütz, the Master of Baroque Dresden. The founder of the Academy for Early Music in Bremen (Germany), Dr. Manfred Cordes, will conduct. In 1991 he was awarded his doctorate for his thesis on the relationship between tonality and emotion in the music of the Renaissance. In 1994 Dr. Cordes was appointed Professor of Early Music at the University of the Arts in Bremen, where served as Dean from 1996 to 2005 and was named Rector in 2007.
Reservations on line or call 979-249-3129

Light & Gold
Eric Whitacre has dazzled the composition scene for some time, but makes his conducting debut with a new Decca recording, Light & Gold.  The grammy nominated composer spoke to host John Clare about the new work, and about his project, The Virtual Choir.

New Release: Claremont Trio

Host John Clare recently spoke to Julia and Emily from the Claremont Trio while in NYC.

The Claremont Trio's newest cd is Beethoven & Ravel.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sing Sing Sing

The Mid-Texas Symphony Chorus, a volunteer mixed voice adult choir, will perform the Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah with the Mid-Texas Symphony on December 12, 2010. The Chorus is professionally directed by Aaron Hufty, artistic director of the San Antonio Choral Society. Community members with an interest in singing and who can attend the rehearsals are invited to participate.
Auditions are not required, although prior experience singing is desirable. To make the most of the limited rehearsal time, the music is available prior to the first rehearsal at Edward Jones, 116 S. Moss in Seguin and at Star Awards, 1500 IH 35 West, New Braunfels. A $10 refundable deposit for the music is required. In order to ensure that sufficient copies of the music are available, persons interested in singing are asked to contact the Adrienne Stone, Chorus Master at (830) 303-4813 or (210) 275-4682 or or the Mid-Texas Symphony Office, Pat Schofield, Executive Director at 830-372-8089, 830-629-0336 or
Sunday 14th 2 – 4:30 p.m. Wupperman Theater, Scheuch Fine Arts Center, Texas
Lutheran University
Sunday 21st 2 – 4:30 p.m. Wupperman Theater
Saturday 4th 2 – 4:30 p.m. Wupperman Theater
Saturday 11th 1 - 4:00 p.m. Jackson Auditorium with orchestra
Sunday 12th 1 - 3:00 p.m. Jackson Auditorium
Sunday 12th 4 p.m. Jackson Auditorium

Music Saves Metropolis!

In 2008, a 16mm print of a nearly-complete version of the silent film Metropolis was found in the archives of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Using the best available 35mm prints, and that badly damaged 16mm print, a new digital master was created, and The Complete Metropolis premiered in Berlin in early 2010. Following the film’s American premiere at the Turner Classic Movies film festival in April, 2010, the film toured the country, and is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

How did the restoration team piece together the complete film?  As it turns out, music is what may have saved the movie for future generations.

The Complete Metropolis is accompanied by its original Gottfried Huppertz score, newly recorded for this restoration. Huppertz’ music looks back toward the 19th century harmonically, but matches the modern story well. As it turns out, no shooting script for Metropolis exists. No records detail the cuts made to the film since 1927. But one thing that did survive was Huppertz’s written score. By following the notes in that annotated score, and carefully matching it to 16mm print discovered in Buenos Aires in 2008 that prompted this latest restoration, archivists were able to assemble the most complete version of Metropolis the world has seen since 1927. Even if it were not such a thrilling historical find, this production would still be, as Roger Ebert called it, “the film event of 2010.”

--Nathan Cone