Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat!

The nights are growing longer and this is the time of year that the ancient Celts grew worried. The dividing line between the light half of the year is ending and winter is approaching. During this transition the gateway is open enough for the spirits of the dead to wiggle through and be-devil the living. This Samhain or to us, All Hallows Eve is a time to reflect on the changes of nature, life and growing old.

This year music to get the festivities started featuring the Devil's favorite instrument, the Violin and our favorite, the Piano. Hear this program Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

And beware of the little beasties that will ring your door bell Sunday night!

host, Randy Anderson

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pierre Boulez Conducts Mahler 7th on Great Performances

PBS's Great Performances will air the Chicago Symphony's recent performance of Gustav Mahler's 7th Symphony this evening (10/27/1010) at 8 o'clock (Central) on local affiliate KLRN-San Antonio. This is a must see event, conducted by Pierre Boulez.

Health issues have forced recently appointed Music Director Ricardo Muti to step down from his Fall concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The disappointment amongst patrons and fans of the CSO is understandable. I was recently in Chicago and had the opportunity to attend a program of Wagner, Chavez and Beethoven. Although I, too, was saddened to miss Muti on the podium, I must say the orchestra still proudly displays its world class virtuosity tempered with immaculate musicianship. I came away mightily impressed. This was not my first time to hear the Chicagoans live, but it might have been the finest concert by the CSO I have been privileged to attend.

What a shame that I had to return to San Antonio just as they announced that Boulez would be coming in a few days later for the Mahler 7th. Both Boulez and Mahler's 7th Symphony loom large for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The musicians love and respect Boulez. His affiliation with the CSO goes back to 1969 and includes 11 years (1995-2006) as the orchestra's principal guest conductor. As far as the Mahler goes, the CSO has a firm reputation as a Mahler orchestra. Years ago, when I took a few private French horn lessons with the orchestra's principal horn Dale Clevenger, Mr. Clevenger mentioned that at that time the orchestra regarded their recording of Mahler's 7th with Georg Solti as the best representation of how they believed the orchestra sounded. This enthusiasm is not only a sonic endorsement, but also an indication of the orchestra's affinity for this particular symphony. This, of course, makes tonight's Great Performances broadcast all the more compelling.

For the record, this Great Performances broadcast will repeat several times, mostly in the wee hours of the morning. Check local listings for details.

Submitted: James Baker

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Halloween

KPAC Host John Clare spent the weekend with the San Antonio Symphony and their Spooktacular Family Concert.  Here he is backstage with conductor Troy Peters in the background. (photo by Jack Fishman)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Who's that in the graveyard?

Halloween is coming and one of the best known symbols of this holiday is the church graveyard. On the Piano this Sunday music that is a special kind of French remembrance, Le Tombeau. These works put you at the graveside or tomb side, if you will, remembering a recently departed friend.

Music as a tribute, remembrance or a fond recollection on the Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love is kinda crazy

Quoting a Mike Sharpe (Shapiro) and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr., song about Halloween in this blog title, and we're promoting a chance to see KPAC afternoon host John Clare with the San Antonio Symphony!

Troy Peters will conduct a program that includes Saint Saens, Williams and Halloween classics like Phantom of the Opera this Sunday for the first Family Concert of the 2010-11 season.  Tune in to Classical Spotlight tomorrow at 1pm for an interview with Troy and John on KPAC & KTXI!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Old Music with New Interpreters...

It happens in Classical Music that one can find themselves going on about immortal performances; the ones we know inside and out. But there are new recordings coming out everyday and with them exciting and new perspectives on old favorites. On the Piano this Sunday three young pianists with bright futures ahead of them. We'll hear Alexander Romanovsky play Rachmaninoff's Corelli Variations, after that the thirty year old Vassily Primakov explores the dark and restless Kreisleriana of Schumann. To cap off the program Ivan Ilic plays an explosive prelude of Claude Debussy.

The Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Classical Spotlight: Wright on!

Camerata San Antonio presents “Brahms Clarinet Quintet” in Kerrville tonight, October 14 @ 7:30pm; in Boerne Friday, October 15 @ 7:30pm; and in San Antonio: Sunday, October 17 @ 3:00pm. The program includes Golijov’s Tenebrae; Frank’s Leyendas - An Andean Walkabout; and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet.
There’s more at

The San Antonio Choral Society begins their season with a concert "Music of the French Cathedral." Aaron Hufty leads music by Faure and Durufle this Friday, 10/15 at 7:30 PM in St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church; and Sunday afternoon 10/17 at 4:00 PM in the First United Methodist Church, Boerne. There’s more info at

This Saturday October 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm Round Top Festival Institute presents Roger Wright, concert pianist. His program includes Mozart’s Fantasy, K.475; Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit ; Frederic Rzewski’s Down by the Riverside and Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues; Poulenc’s Waltz, Improvisations in b and C; and Balakirev’s Islamey. Tickets and info at

Voci di Sorelle performs this Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. in a program called Tapestry: A Concert of World Music. Voci di Sorelle opens the season with an eclectic program of music from five continents performed in authentic languages and styles.
It is at the Union Church Building in Kerrville, Texas. Find out more about this concert online:

Mid Texas Symphony presents “In City and Country” this Sunday, October 17, 2010 at the Civic Center, New Braunfels at 4:00 p.m.. David Mairs, Music Director is joined by Patty Esfandiari, English Horn; and Andrew Gignac, Trumpet in a program including Handel’s Water Music Suite; Smetana’s The Moldau; Copland’s Quiet City and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Find out more at

Classical Spotlight: Piano Recital

Ellen Pavliska performs this weekend. The recital will be held at the Tuesday Musical Club Building which is at 3755 N. St. Mary's Street. It will start at 4:00 PM on Sunday October 17th. The program will include works of Bach, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Brahms. For the Brahms, she will be performing selections from the f minor quintet. At the conclusion of this recital she will be awarded the Artist Award from the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio. This is our highest level of student award.

Ellen Pavliska made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the San Antonio Symphony on March 22, 2009 in a performance of the 3rd Movement of the Concerto No. 2, Op.22, by Saint-Saens at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium. Later that year she performed a solo recital at the San Antonio Tuesday Musical Club. A reviewer from The San Antonio Express News said, “Pavliska captivated her audience with an eclectic program. (Her) Haydn Sonata…had strong dynamics and flawless runs…Pavliska concluded her program with a brilliant rendition of Chopin’s Scherzo in b-flat minor, op. 31.” In 2009 she was awarded the Young Artist Award from Musical Arts Centers of San Antonio.
Ellen began studying piano at the age of 11, winning 2nd place in her first state level competition, The Janice K Hodges Contemporary Piano Competition, at the age of 13. Since then she has placed first in the same competition. In addition to winning the San Antonio Symphony’s Future Stars Competition, Ellen placed 2nd in the Baylor-Waco National Piano Competition, 3rd at the DeBose National Competition in Baton Rouge, 2nd in the San Antonio Jr. Tuesday Musical Club contest, and received an Honorable Mention in the TMTA State Level Competition in Houston. She has also been pleased to perform for the San Antonio Symphony League’s Annual Spring Luncheon and the San Antonio International Piano Competition’s Showcase for Young Pianists.
A dedicated humanitarian, Ellen founded a local organization, Heart Corps for Darfur, to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. She has organized and led several Die-In and Write-In demonstrations, appeared on a morning television show, and has been interviewed by several area newspapers. She facilitated the group’s joining the Genocide Intervention Network, thereby making it the first home school STAND chapter in the United States. She has advocated for peace in Sudan by marching in the nation’s largest Martin Luther King Jr. demonstration in San Antonio, and by marching on the National Mall. With fellow activists, she participated in the Tents of Hope Demonstration in Washington DC and lobbied her representatives. For fun, Ellen enjoys competing in Odyssey of the Mind, a creative problem-solving tournament. Her team has competed in the international arena by twice advancing to the World Tournament. They were proud to have been awarded the highly coveted Ranatra Fusca Award for Extreme Creativity at their Texas State Tournament.
Ellen had the honor of serving on the first Junior Jury of the 2009 San Antonio International Competition, and to perform in SAIPC sponsored Master Classes with Gustavo Romero of the University of North Texas, and Santiago Rodriguez of the University of Maryland. She has enjoyed additional Master Classes with Dr. Angela Cheng of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Dr. Robin McCabe of the University of Washington, Dr. Carolyn True of Trinity University, Dr. Steele Moegle of Louisiana Tech University, and Polish concert pianist, Ewa Kupiec. She was pleased to study with Dr. Kasandra Keeling of the University of Texas at San Antonio and Dr. Brad Beckman of the University of North Texas while on full scholarship for UTSA’s Summer Music Institute; and was privileged to study with Jane Abbott-Kirk while on full scholarship for Baylor University’s Summer Piano Institute.
Ellen has been studying with Kenneth Thompson, Executive Director of the Musical Arts Centers of San Antonio, since 2006. Previously, she received instruction from Dana Clark and Jennifer Hoops.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anne @ Antonio Strad

A nice evening with Anne Akiko Meyers at Antonio Strad Violins...

Celebrating the new release of Seasons...Dreams...

Here is Director of Classical Programming Nathan Cone with Anne:

Thanks to everyone for coming out and our thanks to Antonio Strad for hosting, and to Crumpets Restaurant and Bakery for the snacks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

See you tonight

First, we'll be at Antonio Strad to meet Anne Akiko Meyers and have our cd signed by the Austin-based violinist:

Please join KPAC at 6pm for a meet & greet with Anne Akiko Meyers for her new cd, Seasons...Dreams.

Then it is off to the Tuesday Music Club and their presentation of the Perlman/Schmidt/Bailey Trio:

Tonight at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church, music by Beethoven and Brahms!

Monday, October 11, 2010

RIP Joan Sutherland

Australian soprano Joan Sutherland was described as `La Stupenda', the `Koloraturwunder' or `The Incomparable'. Her career stretched over more than forty years and the many honours she has received all over the world includes the 1979 title of Dame of the British Empire conferred by Queen Elizabeth II.

Sutherland was on the stage since 1947. In Sydney she sang the title role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, followed by performances in Handel's Samson and as Judith in Eugene Goossens' opera of that name. Her European career began in London in 1952 (including the part of Giorgetta in Puccini's Il tabarro at the Royal College of Music) and in the same year she also made her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as the First Lady in The Magic Flute. Before appearing in front of highly critical London audiences in a leading role, as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, she sang the parts of the Priestess in Aida and Clotilde with Callas in Norma. Even at this early stage this exceptionally gifted soprano demonstrated her range as the Countess in Figaro, but she had to wait another year for her next leading role, during which time she sang the Overseer in Elektra, Lady Rich in Britten's Gloriana, Frasquita in Carmen and Helmwige in Die Walk├╝re at Covent Garden and with the company on tour. Her most important parts in 1954 were Aida and Agathe, in addition to which she was still performing smaller roles such as Woglinde and the Wood Bird. Surprisingly this soprano who has for so long tended towards coloratura, originally appeared in Tales of Hoffmann, not as Olympia, but as Antonia and Giulietta; it was fifteen years later (in Seattle in 1970) that she sang all four female parts in Offenbach's opera -- an achievement captured by DECCA in a complete recording made in the following year.

Dame Joan Sutherland has died in Switzerland at the age of 83, according to published reports. She won the 1981 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocalist. In 1988, she wrote her autobiography, A Prima Donna's Progress.
Among her honors are a Companion of the Order of Australia, and the Order of Merit. She is survived by her husband, Australian conductor and pianist Richard Bonynge, whom she married in 1954, and their son, Adam.

They play Lady Gaga too

Horn quartets are fairly rare these days, so imagine the surprise of seeing something in the NY Times about a new horn quartet...and one that not only plays new music but pop music as well!

KPAC's John Clare actually met one of the members this summer at a music festival, small world!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Higdon Hahn on PBS

Tune in tonight, Friday, October 08, 2010, for the PBS NewsHour and hear composer Jennifer Higdon and violinist Hilary Hahn. (Please check your local listings, in San Antonio, it's at 7pm on KLRN)

Jennifer Higdon made headlines this year when she won the Pulitzer Prize for music. But the tune became even sweeter when Hilary Hahn, one of the world’s leading violinists and Higdon’s own student, decided to record the winning concerto. PBS NEWSHOUR Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown traveled to Philadelphia to sit down with them both at the Curtis Institute of Music.

VIDEO is available online now at NewsHour ArtBeat –
Hilary Hahn plays Bach's Sarabande in D minor

Jennifer Higdon speaks with the NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown

A new 85 year old recording?

On the Piano this Sunday I group together a wide range of new music from a musical horoscope of John Tavener to mark the birth of a child. Andre Previn takes that impulse much further by marking all of the birthdays of his children. We will hear Rudolfo Halffter's bagatelles and an homage to pianist Arthur Rubinstein and to end the program authentic Respighi. Is there such a thing? Well at least Ottorino is there at the piano, playing his Fountains of Rome.

The Piano, this Sunday at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Classical Spotlight: Trio, Quintets and so much more!

Lots of places to go and ensembles to see!

Not the Nic Cage Apprentice
The San Antonio Symphony hot off of their Music Director's debut goes with Artistic Advisor Christopher Seaman to a romantic classics start with a program that might remind you of jolly old England or Disney's Fantasia!
October 8 & 9, 2010 8:00 pm Majestic Theatre
Christopher Seaman, conductor Jeffrey Swann, piano
Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2
Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 2, "London"

Remember the popcorn?
Honoring the 50th Anniversary of John Wayne’s movie “The Alamo”, the party is from 6:30 pm – 10:30pm at the Alamo Plaza— in front of the Shrine of Liberty: The Alamo. There will be music and dancing to St. Vincent and the Grenadines & director Brent Watkins. This event has sold out!

It won't take 80 days
This Sunday October 10 at 3:00 p.m. in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Voci di sorelle heads around the world! Their program is Tapestry: A Concert of World Music. They open the season with an eclectic program of music from five continents performed in authentic languages and styles.

From one Society to another
San Antonio Chamber Music Society presents the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center this Sunday at 3:15pm at Temple Beth-El, 211 Belknap Place.
Program is the “Great Quintets” that the CMSLC is touring:
Mozart Viola Quintet, K. 614
Mendelssohn Viola Quintet, Op. 18
Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115

Lots going on next Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010!
First, Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, CCSA, at 5:30pm in Alamo Heights UMC will make their concert season debut along with our youngest singers, the seven- and eight-year old members of the Prelude Choir, on this fall family favorite. Selections include seasonal favorites and folk tunes and the concert finale will feature six of our young singers in a solo spot!
CCSA’s newest faculty member and director of Prelude Choir, Heather Klossner, will also make her concert debut on Tuesday. Admission to Friends and Family is free and includes a post-concert reception.

Dreamy Violinist
At 6pm Tuesday KPAC presents violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and her new album, Seasons...Dreams... at Antonio Strad Violins. There will be a meet & greet and a chance to have your copy of Seasons...Dreams...autographed. Light snacks from Crumpets will be enjoyed too!

Three's not a crowd!
Finally on Tuesday, the Tuesday Music Club celebrates their new season at 7:30 pm with the Perlman/Schmidt/Bailey Trio at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church. PSB plays Beethoven & Brahms, and other selections to be announced from the stage.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Ten Classical Debut Albums

This last weekend, SLL debuted as the @SASym music director. There was lots of excitement and the soldout crowd loved the music!  We thought as were looking for the KPAC Top 100 Classical hits of San Antonio, that we might share our picks for debut albums.  KPAC host John Clare has some listening selections for you, some classical records that deserve standing ovations!

10. Hilary Hahn Bach [listen here]
9. Helene Grimaud Chopin Shumann Liszt (listen here)
8. Lise de la Salle Bach Liszt (listen here)
7. Alarm Will Sound Acoustica [listen here]
6. Julia Fischer Russian Violin Concertos (listen here)
5. Kronos Quartet Music by Sculthorpe, Sallinen, Glass, Nancarrow, Hendrix (listen here)
4. Palladian Ensemble An Excess of Pleasure (listen here)
3. Joyce DiDonato The Deepest Desire (listen here)
2. Gustavo Dudamel Beethoven 5 & 7 (listen here)
1. Janine Jansen (listen here)

What artists do you get excited about? Tell us in the comments below.
We're also going to countdown the Top 100 in San Antonio in sure to let us know your favorites by visiting TPR dot org!
Check out our Top Ten Classical Makeout and Breakup Songs too!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Transitioning back to long pants..

School is back in session - we notice that the shadows are longer during the day and the sun isn't as fierce as it once was, its light is less white and more yellow; easier on the eyes and skin. In San Antonio, where we are closer to the equator than Cairo, Egypt, we understand heat and drought and if there is one season we are not sad to see go it is Summer! Autumn to us is like a mirage that desert dwellers dream of; cooler with less thick air and even some of our South Texas trees respond to this change by having their leaves turning from green to gold to brown and dropping off.

Our high temperature might not be in the seventies yet but, you can celebrate Fall by listening to the Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5. Music inspired by South Texas' shortest season - Autumn.

host, Randy Anderson