Friday, March 26, 2010

Spotlight on Kuster

Sharon Kuster, principal bassoonist of the San Antonio Symphony, solos with the orchestra in Mozart's bubly Concerto for Bassoon. CEO Jack Fishman spoke with Kuster about playing:

Returning to sing

From the Hampshire Chronicle:
Charlotte Church (left) decided to return to the spotlight after realising she had made a habit of stealing the mic in karaoke bars.
The 24-year-old has been enjoying a quiet life with rugby player Gavin Henson and their two children - Ruby, two, and 10-month-old Dexter - but is returning to the limelight by bringing out an album and judging Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
She told The Guardian: "I'd just been at home child-rearing etc and I knew I wanted to get back into music - I missed singing."
She added: "Every time we'd go out I'd end up in a karaoke bar and I'd completely steal the mic ... I thought, it's getting a little low rent Charl, come on now, you should probably do this again professionally.
"We're pretty cushty little hermits in Wales. So I was like, 'Shall I do this album, shall I do this show? Do I really want to be back in the public eye?' But then I decided, 'B****r it, I've gotta sing.'"
Charlotte has been working on her new album and feels it's a big improvement on her Crazy Chick pop debut.
She said: "I've been songwriting a lot recently, because I had stuff to say and because there's a little part of me that wants to be a poet, but also because nobody really writes songs for my range.
"When I listen back to ... Tissues And Issues, that was kind of my first try at writing, and I think ahhh! So little! And I might think that of this album in 10 years' time. But I don't think so. I think it's a hell of a lot better."

The Envelope please...

The contestants have played their best and the judges have cast their ballots and the winners of the 2009 San Antonio International Piano Competition have been determined. On the Piano this Sunday afternoon we hear some highlights from the finals competition and announce the winners. To celebrate, performances from the Winner's Recital recorded at Travis Park United Methodist Church. Hear the Piano Sunday afternoons at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Latin Music Awards

Joan Sebastian, Anthony Santos and Tommy Torres were named Songwriters of the Year at the 18th annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards held March 23 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Armando Manzanero and Jorge Luís Piloto received special ASCAP honors for career achievement, "El Amor" was named Latin Song of the Year, Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing received the Publisher of the Year award, and the inaugural Independent Publisher of the Year award was presented to Premium Latin Publishing. The songwriters and publishers of ASCAP’s most performed songs in Latin Music in 2009 were also honored during the invite-only awards ceremony, which is one of the most attended and celebrated events in the Latin entertainment community.

Univision’s radio personality Carlos Alvarez hosted the all-star gathering, which included Nuestra Belleza Latina 2009 winner Greydis Gil as a special guest presenter, and featured live performances by some of today's hottest stars and emerging artists, including Spanish singer/songwriter Shaila Dúrcal, Nicaraguan salsa romantica singer/songwriter Luis Enrique, Mexican singer/songwriter Mónica Vélez, Venezuelan singer Carlos Baute, Colombian singer/songwriter Wilfran Castillo, and Argentinean singer/songwriter/producer Alejandro Lerner. Among the honorees and luminaries in attendance were Maria Conchita Alonso, Marco Antonio Solís, Alexander Acha, Armando Ávila, Amerika Jiménez, Carlos Marmo, Xabier y Edgar Semper (Mambo Kingz), Wise, Diana Reyes, Luz Rios, Jose Manuel Figueroa, Pete Astudillo, Oro Norteño and Larry Hernandez.

Grammy Award-winning songwriter/performer Joan Sebastian, Aventura's lead singer and songwriter Anthony Santos, and songwriter, arranger and producer Tommy Torres shared Songwriter of the Year honors. This is the first time that ASCAP has had a three-way tie in the Songwriter of the Year category, representing the growing popularity and diversity of Latin music. This is the fifth time that Sebastian has been named Songwriter of the Year, and the first time that Santos and Torres have received this honor.

The evening was highlighted with special presentations to two of Latin music's most successful songwriters of our time – Armando Manzanero and Jorge Luís Piloto.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams and ASCAP Vice President, Membership Group – Latin Alexandra Lioutikoff presented Armando Manzanero with ASCAP's Latin Heritage Award in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to Latin music. As part of the tribute, Manzanero was honored in song by Argentinean singer/songwriter/producer Alejandro Lerner. Past recipients of the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award include Antonio Aguilar, Celia Cruz, Ricardo Montaner, Ednita Nazario, Franco de Vita, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Olga Tañón and Ricardo Arjona.

Paul Williams and Nicaraguan salsa romantica singer/songwriter Luis Enrique presented Jorge Luís Piloto with ASCAP's Golden Note Award in recognition of his extraordinary songs which have enriched Latin music worldwide. Piloto was ASCAP’s very first Latin Songwriter of the Year in 1993. To celebrate his friend's career achievements, Luis Enrique performed a selection of Piloto's songs. Past recipients of ASCAP's Golden Note Award include Omar Alfanno, Joan Sebastian, Jose Feliciano, and Victor Manuelle.

ASCAP Senior Vice President, Domestic Membership Randy Grimmett and Alexandra Lioutikoff presented two Publisher of the Year awards. Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing received the Publisher of the Year award for their 36 award-winning songs. This is the eleventh time that Sony has received this honor. The inaugural Independent Publisher of the Year award was presented to Premium Latin Publishing who had six of the most performed songs in Latin music in 2009.

"El Amor," written by Tito ‘El Bambino’ and Joan Ortiz Espada and published by Perfect Latin Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing and T Bambino Music, was named Latin Song of the Year.

Awards were also presented throughout the evening in the following categories: Pop, Tropical, Regional Mexican, Urban, and Television.

For the complete list of winners, visit:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So what is yours?

Tell us in the comments section, what is your obsession!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eye on the prize

Congrats to Herr Gielen!
The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation has named conductor Michael Gielen (left) as the winner of its 2010 Music prize, worth €200,000. The prestigious international award, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Music”, honours a composer, performer or musicologist each year for his or her exceptional contribution to the profession. The distinguished list of previous winners includes Benjamin Britten, Mstislav Rostropovich, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim and Anne-Sophie Mutter.
German-born Gielen was director of Frankfurt Opera and general music director of the City of Frankfurt for 10 years from 1977, where he worked to transform music theatre traditions. Prior to this he was music director of the Royal Swedish Opera and the Orchestre National Belgique, and principal conductor of the Netherlands Opera. His commitment to contemporary and avant-garde styles was cemented during his tenure as chief conductor of South West German Radio from 1986-1999. He is recognised by the Foundation as “one of the few conductors who have not only served, but helped to form and change musical culture”.
The award ceremony, due to take place in Munich on May 5, will for the first time include performances of commissioned works by this year’s three Foundation Composer’s Prize winners – Pierluigi Billone, Arnulf Harrmann and Oliver Schneller. In total the Foundation is set to fund more than 80 projects from 16 countries in 2010, granting €2.3m in awards and commissions.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The last in the Series...

This Sunday the Piano comes to the end of the recordings from
finals of the 2009 SAIPC. The impressive performances continue with Sergei Prokofiev's War Sonata No. 8, there are some country dances of Alberto Ginastera, elegiac variations of Haydn and the commissioned work by Joan Tower, Ivory & Ebony.

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

host, Randy Anderson

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CAM-ing it up

This Wednesday, don't miss clarinetist Stephanie Key playing Key Fragments by Tim Kramer at High Wire Arts, 326 W Josephine at 7pm. Here she is playing the solo work at Ruth Taylor last week:

And then don't miss a performance Thursday, March 18 for CAM/Symphony at 7 p.m. at David Shelton Gallery with David Delambre and Karen Stiles, violins.
Next week, Musical Offerings plays for Contemporary Art Month. Their program features Martha Fabrique playing shakuhachi, a Japanese wooden flute. If you're not familiar with it, take a look and listen here:

Then catch Musical Offerings next Wednesday, March 24th at 7:30pm at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Prokofiev Sonata #7

This afternoon you can hear Frederic Chiu play Prokofiev's Piano Sonata #7 on KPAC around 5:30pm (Central Time), and we thought you might enjoy this artwork and recording of Lorin Hollander:

Plus tonight and tomorrow, Andrew Armstrong plays Prokofiev;s Piano Concerto #1 with the San Antonio Symphony!

Armstrong times two

There's a chance to hear Andrew Armstrong play twice on the San Antonio Symphony's program this weekend - not just the two performances, but to hear him in Prokofiev AND Schumann. Here is an interview with Jack Fishman and Armstrong:

More great performances left!

One thing that can be said about the most recent San Antonio International Piano Competition is there was no lack of great contestants. On the Piano this Sunday another performance of Alberto Ginastera's Sonata No. 1. There is also a Ballade of Chopin, a taxing virtuoso Etude called Superstar by Aaron Jay Kernis and a rarity in the concert hall, Johannes Brahms First Piano Sonata.

Hear it all on The Piano, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Classical Spotlight

Tonight SOLI Chamber Ensemble presents PREMIERE at Blue Star Contemporary Art Gallery. Check out Stephanie Key from Tuesday night's concert:

That's at 7:30pm tonight with a preconcert talk with all three composers starting at 7pm.

Tomorrow and Saturday, March 12 & 13, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. in the Majestic Theatre
The SA Symphony is joined by Gregory Vajda, conductor & Andrew Armstrong, piano. The program includes:
Mozart Symphony No. 38, “Prague”Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1
Schumann Introduction and Allegro appassionato
Shostakovich Symphony No. 9

SACMS presents the Jupiter String Quartet with Roger Tapping in:
Haydn Quartet in F minor, Op. 20, No. 5
Golijov Yiddishbbuk: Inscriptions for String Quartet (1992)
Brahms Quintet in G Major, Op. 111
They play at Temple Beth-El, located at 211 Belknap Place, Sunday afternoon at 3:15 PM.

The Olmos Ensemble features Anne Epperson & Warren Jones in Two Hands, Four Hands, and a Horn. The program includes
Johannes Brahms Piano pieces from Opus 117
Franz Schubert Fantasie for piano, four hands
Ludwig Van Beethoven Sonata for Horn and Piano
Tuesday evening at 7:30, March 16 at First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, 7150 IH-10 West

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Barber 100

Today is the 100th birthday of American composer Samuel Barber. Samuel Barber's music, masterfully crafted and built on romantic structures and sensibilities, is at once lyrical, rhythmically complex, and harmonically rich. Born March 9, 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Barber wrote his first piece at age 7 and attempted his first opera at age 10. At the age of 14 he entered the Curtis Institute, where he studied voice, piano, and composition. Later, he studied conducting with Fritz Reiner.
At Curtis, Barber met Gian Carlo Menotti with whom he would form a lifelong personal and professional relationship. Menotti supplied libretti for Barber's operas Vanessa (for which Barber won the Pulitzer) and A Hand of Bridge. Barber's music was championed by a remarkable range of renowned artists, musicians, and conductors including Vladimir Horowitz, John Browning, Martha Graham, Arturo Toscanini, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Jennie Tourel, and Eleanor Steber. His Antony and Cleopatra was commissioned to open the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in 1966.
Barber was the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the American Prix de Rome, two Pulitzers, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His intensely lyrical Adagio for Strings has become one of the most recognizable and beloved compositions, both in concerts and films ("Platoon," "The Elephant Man," "El Norte," "Lorenzo's Oil").

Here is one of my all time favorites, his First Essay for orchestra:

When I was a young man, I spent a summer learning Barber's Violin Concerto and loved it. Here is a wonderful performance from Anne Akiko Meyers:

I'm also a big fan of his Piano Concerto, especially the 2nd movement:

I met and interviewed John Browning in Las Vegas, shortly before his death. He was playing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, but of course shared stories about Barber. Browning shared while there weren't snags about the music (completed very close to the premiere!) they was a problem with the piano - they couldn't get the piano through doors in the new Lincoln Center!

I invite you to investigate all of Barber's works:
Op. 1, Serenade for string quartet (1928) (also arr. String orchestra, 1944)
Op. 2, Three Songs (1927-1934)
Op. 3, Dover Beach (Baritone and String Quartet) (1931)
Op. 4, Two Interludes for piano (Violin Sonata now destroyed/lost) (1931-1932)
Op. 5, The School for Scandal (Overture) (1931)
Op. 6, Cello Sonata (1932)
Op. 7, Music for a Scene from Shelley (Tone poem) (1933)
Op. 8, Two pieces (The Virgin Martyrs, Let Down the Bars, O Death) (Choral) (1936)
Op. 9, (First) Symphony in One Movement (1936)
Op.10, Three Songs (1935-1936)
Op.11, String Quartet (1936) (Adagio for Strings (arrangement of 2nd movement, 1938), Agnus Dei (choral arrangement, 1967))
Op.12, (First) Essay for Orchestra (1937)
Op.13, Four Songs (1937-1940)
Op.14, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1939)
Op.15, A Stopwatch and Ordnance Map (Choral) (1940)
Op.16, Reincarnations (Choral) (Mary Hynes, 1937; Anthony O'Daly, The Coolin, 1940)
Op.17, Second Essay for Orchestra (1942)
Op.18, Two Songs (1942-1943)
Op.19, Second Symphony (1944)
Op.19a, Night Flight (arrangement of 2nd movement of Second Symphony) (1964)
Op.20, Four Excursions for piano (1942-1944)
Op.21, Capricorn Concerto (1944)
Op.22, Cello Concerto (1945)
Op.23, Medea (Ballet) (1946) (orchestral suite, 1946)
Op.23a, Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance (1953)
Op.24, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Soprano & Orchestra) (1948)
Op.25, Nuvoletta (song) (1947)
Op.26, Sonata for Piano (1949)
Op.27, Melodies Passageres (song) (1950-1951)
Op.28, Souvenirs (Ballet) (1952)
Op.29, Hermit Songs (1953)
Op.30, Prayers of Kierkegaard (Soprano, Choir & Orchestra) (1954)
Op.31, Summer Music for woodwind quintet (1955)
Op.32, Vanessa (Opera) (1957)
Op.33, Nocturne for Piano (Hommage to John Field) (Piano) (1959)
Op.34, Wondrous Love: Variations on a Shape-note Hymn (organ) (1958)
Op.35, A Hand of Bridge (Chamber opera) (1959)
Op.36, Toccata Festiva for Organ and Orchestra (1960)
Op.37, Dei Natali (chorale preludes for Christmas) (1960)
Op.38, Piano Concerto (1962)
Op.38a, Canzone for flute (or violin) and piano (1958)
Op.39, Andromache’s Farewell (Soprano & Orchestra) (1962)
Op.40, Antony and Cleopatra (Opera) (1966)
Op.41, Despite and Still (five songs) (1968)
Op.42, Two Pieces (Twelfth Night, To be Sung on the Water) (1968)
Op.43, The Lovers (Baritone & Orchestra) (1971)
Op.44, Fadograph of a Yestern Scene (1971)
Op.45, Three Songs (1972)
Op.46, Ballade for Piano (1977)
Op.47, Third Essay for orchestra (1978)
Op.48 (posth.), Canzonetta for Oboe and String Orchestra (1977-78)
Three Sketches for piano (1923-24)
Suite for Carillon/Allegro, Dirge, Legend (1931)
God’s Grandeur (1938)
Commando March for Orchestra/Band (1943)
Intermezzo from "Vanessa" (1958)
Easter Chorale (1965)
Mutations from Bach for brass choir and timpani (1967)
Skorvatch est Mort (1968)
Songs without opus number (mostly from student and early years)

written and compiled by John Clare

Monday, March 8, 2010

MTS in the running

Last Saturday the Mid Texas Symphony Running Team were on the go, and performing along the route! TPR's John Clare caught up with them in Flatonia:
They are well balanced as well, as you see their violinist fiddling while riding his unicycle:

Here is an excerpt of them playing a trio by Anton Reicha:

Mid Texas Runners from John Clare on Vimeo.

Here is their support van, decorated:

No word from David Mairs yet :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Opera in San Antonio

A Brief History of Root Vegetables is a new, three-act comic opera by UTSA professor David Heuser. The opera is a 21st-century farce; think Gianni Schicchi crossed with Monty Python, combined with Arrested Development, sprinkled with the Marx Brothers, and topped off with the frenetic story-telling style of authors such as David Eggers.

A Brief History of Root Vegetables will be performed at the University of Texas at San Antonio Buena Vista Theatre on Friday, March 5 (7:30pm) & Sunday, March 7 (3:00 pm), 2010 performed by the UTSA Lyric Theatre, William McCrary, director, with the UTSA Orchestra, Eugene Dowdy, conductor. For tickets, call (210) 458-5685.

Enjoy this scene from Act 1:

Heuser: Brief History from John Clare on Vimeo.

The contestants are in the backstretch...

On this Piano this Sunday you can hear more finals action from the recent San Antonio International Piano Competition. There are 5 distinguished contestants left and they play late music of Beethoven and Brahms at the height of their creativity, as well as the competition test piece, Ivory & Ebony by Joan Tower. The Piano this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Classical by the dozen

There's lots to see and hear this week in South Central Texas! Listen to Classical Spotlight every Thursday at 2pm to find out about the scene in and around San Antonio on KPAC & KTXI! This week, we learn about Symphony of the Hills:
March 4 & 7, 2010 Thurs. 7:30 pm & Sun. 2:30 pm
For the Young and Young at Heart
Michelle Adam, soloist
Corigliano Pied Piper Fantasy
Doppler Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise
Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Patterson Little Red Riding Hood for Narrators and Orchestra

San Antonio Opera announces the 75th anniversary production of George Gershwin’s masterpiece, Porgy and Bess. Tickets can be purchased at all TICKETMASTER locations or by calling 1-800-982-2787. For more information call the San Antonio Opera box office at 210-225-5972 or visit The performance takes place Friday, March 5, 2010, 7:30 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium

A Brief History of Root Vegetables is a new, three-act comic opera by UTSA professor David Heuser. The opera is a 21st-century farce; think Gianni Schicchi crossed with Monty Python, combined with Arrested Development, sprinkled with the Marx Brothers, and topped off with the frenetic story-telling style of authors such as David Eggers.
A Brief History of Root Vegetables will be performed at the University of Texas at San Antonio Buena Vista Theatre on Friday, March 5 (7:30pm) & Sunday, March 7 (3:00 pm), 2010 performed by the UTSA Lyric Theatre, William McCrary, director, with the UTSA Orchestra, Eugene Dowdy, conductor. For tickets, call (210) 458-5685.

Camerata San Antonio
March 5 Boerne at 7:30 p.m.
March 7 at Travis Park UMC in San Antonio at 3 p.m. Ken-David Masur, baritone
Melinda Lee Masur, piano
Britten Three Divertimenti
Finzi By Footpath and Stile, Op. 2
Elgar Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84


March 6, 2010 Saturday ROUND TOP
Reservations online festivalhill dot org or call 979-249-3129
1:30 pm Tony Morris & Renata Green, flute
4:00 pm Minneapolis Guitar Quartet
8:00 pm Cem Duruoz
A buffet dinner will be offered at 6:15 pm in the Dining Hall of Menke House.
An after performance evening reception at 10:00 pm in Kafe Kaffeine.

Sunday, March 7, 2010—3:00 p.m.
Travelin’ Shoes: Songs and Spirituals This concert of American spiritual music includes a collection of songs written by Shaker women and arranged for Voci di Sorelle by director, Ruth Moreland.
Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio, Texas

HOT Concert Band "Native America"
Sunday, March 7, 2010 3PM
Thiry Auditorium Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, Texas 78207
Featuring: San Antonio Brass performing Eric Ewazen's "Shadowcatcher"

Music From St. Mark's recital – Kristin Roach & soprano Melody Rich It's about the life and songs of Italian/American composer Pietro Cimara. Sunday, March 7th at 4:00 p.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 315 E. Pecan 78205. Concert and parking are free

Pops Concert: “So the Story Goes...”
It’s Story Time! From the pages of Ogden Nash, Lewis Carroll, and others, the Pops Concert is classic “music of the narrative” -- songs that tell the stories with music to provide amusing and dramatic emphasis. Add “Oedipus Tex,” a western melodrama with a Texas flair, and you have an afternoon’s entertainment.
Singers invite you to participate in their book collection for Haven for Hope. Bring new or gently-used books (children’s or adult) to the Pops concert as we share our love of reading with the San Antonio “Haven for Hope” community.
online at For further information call 210-228-4147
Sunday, March 7, 2010, 4:00 pm St. George Maronite Church

The Redeemer Fine Arts Series presents “A Baroque Project,” in collaboration with Maestro Ken-David Masur and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio on Sunday, March 7th at 7:00 pm at the Magik Theatre. The orchestra will consist of musicians from the San Antonio Symphony, as well as local high school and college students. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. The program will feature J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 45 in E Major, selections from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, and Telemann’s Orchestral Suite in G Minor. Call 930-4480 or visit for more information.

SOLI Chamber Ensemble presents Premiere! Monday, March 8 – Gallery Nord Tuesday, March 9 – Trinity University, Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Thursday, March 11 - Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
7:00 pm Pre-concert talk 7:30 pm Concert Isaiah Putman: Systemic Secrets and Animal Space Stations Timothy Kramer: Cycles and Myths Timothy Kramer: Key Fragments
Diego Vega: Divertimento

Academy Awards

Be sure to tune in this afternoon and tomorrow at 3pm for our final look at the Oscars 2010 nominees for best score. We were also happy to hear about these awards:
The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the sixteen recipients of this year's awards in music, which total $170,000. The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members: Robert Beaser (chairman), Bernard Rands, Gunther Schuller, Steven Stucky, and Yehudi Wyner. The awards will be presented at the Academy's annual Ceremonial in May. Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Academy Awards in Music
Four composers will each receive a $7500 Academy Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice. Each will receive an additional $7500 toward the recording of one work. The winners are Daniel Asia, David Felder, Pierre Jalbert, and James Primosch.

Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond Award
The Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond award of $10,000 is given to a promising mid-career composer. This year the award will go to James Lee III.

Goddard Lieberson Fellowships
Two Goddard Lieberson fellowships of $15,000, endowed in 1978 by the CBS Foundation, are given to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts. This year they will go to Philippe Bodin and Aaron J. Travers.

Walter Hinrichsen Award
Paula Matthusen will receive the Walter Hinrichsen Award for the publication of a work by a gifted composer. This award was established by the C. F. Peters Corporation, music publishers, in 1984.
Charles Ives Fellowships
Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, bequeathed to the Academy the royalties of Charles Ives' music, which has enabled the Academy to give the Ives awards in music since 1970. Two Charles Ives Fellowships, of $15,000 each, will be awarded to Anna Clyne and Michael Djupstrom.

Charles Ives Scholarships
Six Charles Ives Scholarships of $7500, given to composition students of great promise, will be awarded to Shawn Brogan Allison, Jesse Benjamin Jones, Eric Nathan, Clint Needham, Jude Vaclavik, and Roger Zare.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Piano fort

There's no "e" at the end of our title, because we're talking about an amazing collection of pianos! Take a look and listen (excellent audio!) of this charming article on a Central Massachusetts man and his pianos:
Then be sure to tune in for The Piano Sunday afternoons at 5 with Randy Anderson.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

McViolin? O'Fiddle?

Our amazing coworker Pam Toth has done it again for the holidays, here is her latest creation for the KPAC studios for St. Patrick's Day March 17th:
Don't miss the blarin' of the green with KPAC & KTXI on and leading up to Wednesday, March 17th!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Orchestras collect

More than 150 Orchestras in 41 states (numbers increasing daily) will participate in Orchestras Feeding America, a large-scale national food drive that will take place during the month of March (see the MidTexas Symphony or San Antonio Symphony). For the second consecutive year, musicians, volunteers, and staff from member orchestras of the League of American Orchestras will collect and donate food to their local food assistance agencies or food banks within Feeding America’s network of more than 200 food banks and 63,000 agencies. Last year 250 orchestras from all 50 states donated more than 200,000 pounds of food.
For more information about Orchestras Feeding America, including a list of participating orchestras, please visit the League’s website
“Last year orchestras heeded the call to help their neighbors with the passion and dedication that they have long shown in making music for their communities,” said Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. “This year, when the need is even greater, we are seeing the same passion and even more resourcefulness in building partnerships to help alleviate hunger.”
Among those partnerships, the South Carolina Symphony Orchestra and the Harvest Hope Food Bank have created a fundraiser for the food bank in addition to the usual activities of a food drive. The Union United Methodist Church and its youth group have adopted the Quincy Symphony Orchestra (Canton, MO) food drive as a service project.
Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America, said, “After the success of last year’s Orchestras Feeding America food drive, we are thankful for the incredible support and commitment from the League of American Orchestras and their constituency. The need for food assistance has never been greater and Feeding America is thrilled that orchestras and musicians nationwide are coming together to help support those in need within their community.”
49.1 million Americans, of which 16.7 million were children, lived in food insecure households in 2008, according to the most recent USDA study. Each week approximately 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance from an agency served by a Feeding America member. This is a 27 percent increase over the 4.5 million reported served weekly in Hunger in America 2006.
About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, its network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit, and

TLU Guest Composer

Ricky Ian Gordon is a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater.
His unusual ability to find the musical core of a poem or lyric and express that essence in an appropriate musical style, has given his songs great appeal to singers of all styles and persuasions. Mr. Gordon’s songs have been performed and or recorded by such internationally renowned singers as Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Andrea Marcovici, Melanie Helton, Harolyn Blackwell, Betty Buckley, Margaret Lattimore, Stephanie Novacek and Mary Philips, among many others.
His accomplishments in musical theater are also very notable, with shows such as My Life with Albertine, Dream True, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Only Heaven and Morning Star having been successfully performed. In 2010 a new musical, Sycamore Trees, will debut with the Signature Theater.
“A Recital and Conversation with Ricky Ian Gordon” will feature students from the studio of Professor Shaaron Conoly, head of vocal studies at the Texas Lutheran University School of Music. The recital will begin at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 2, in Ayers Recital Hall of the Schuech Fine Arts Center on the TLU campus.
On March 3, Gordon will perform his compositions along with guest artists Lori Bade, Rachel Fry, Laurie Jenschke, John Seesholtz, and Laurel Thomas. “In Recital: Ricky Ian Gordon & Guest Artists” will begin at 7 p.m., also in the Ayers Recital Hall of the Schuech Fine Arts Center on the TLU campus.
Learn more at
Host John Clare will speak with Gordon while in Seguin and post here on the KPAC Blog!

Dazzling Texas Talent moves into the Finals

Last year 16-year-old Thomas Steigerwald, a student at San Antonio's Musical Arts Centers of San Antonio, was one of only a few Texans featured on "From the Top," the National Public Radio program for young classical musicians. Now he's climbed another pinnacle in the world of pre-collegiate classical pianists. He is one of only seven top teen pianists in the U.S. who have reached the finals of the national championship sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association.

To reach this prestigious level, Thomas competed and won over several hundred other young pianists. He won first prize at the Texas state level, then first prize at the South Central Division of Music Teachers National Association, and now he is recognized as one of the seven best young pianists in the entire country! Championship finals are set for March 20-22 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Thomas competing against six challengers from Michigan, New York, Washington, Virginia, California, and Iowa.

Hear Thomas play at

Steigerwald in the KPAC Studios playing Balakirev's Islamey:

Oscar Music

When we say Oscar do you think of "the grouch"? Schumsky? Meyer? Madison? While those folks are a puppet, violinist, bologna and a messy sportswriter, we're talking about the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, otherwise known as the "Oscars".
Each afternoon in the 3pm hour this week, host John Clare will be joined by Program Director and Cinema Tuesdays Curator Nathan Cone for a discussion about this year's nominees for best score!
Monday we'll talk about Avatar.
Listen to our discussion here: mp3

Hommage a Chopin

Today is what Chopin said and believed was his birthday, March 1st. Two hundred years later, audiences still love his music. You might have been lucky enough to hear Benedetto Lupo play his First Piano Concerto this last weekend with the San Antonio Symphony, or heard a gaggle of performers play his masterworks at McAllister Auditorium at San Antonio College last Tuesday.

Be sure to check out the celebrations is Warsaw today (starting at 1pm Central):

Here are some great destinations also for Chopin and his music -
University of Chicago’s digital library of early editions:

IMSLP Chopin scores:,_Frederic

Nice site about Chopin:

IMDB Movies and TV shows with Chopin:

Chopin Foundation:

We'll be featuring Chopin alot today and look forward to hearing about your favorite Chopin - leave a note in the comments!