JPR Classics

JPR Classics is a place to come for all things classical in the State of Jefferson.  We'll honor our rich classical heritage while looking to the future, showcasing inspired performances by the next generation of classical musicians. The classics live on JPR!

Vintage Nordic Folk Tunes, With Strings Attached

Dec 6, 2017

Classical music has never lived in a bubble. For centuries, it's always found common ground with folk music.

Enter, the Danish String Quartet.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

James Levine, a legendary conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager in Illinois for a period of several years in the 1980s.

The Healing Sound Of A Broken Orchestra

Dec 1, 2017

In a cheerful rehearsal room at Temple University, a few dozen professional musicians inspect the instruments that they'll be playing to debut an audacious piece of music by a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.

The composition is called "Symphony For a Broken Orchestra" and, fittingly, these instruments are all broken.

Featured Works for December – First Concert
(*Indicates December birthday)

Dec 1 F Agathe Backer-Grøndahl*: Suite for Piano

Dec 4 M Antonín Dvorák: The Hero’s Song
Dec 5 T Víteslav Novák*: Eternal Longing
Dec 6 W Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 38; “Prague”
Dec 7 T Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Handel
Dec 8 F Franz Xaver Dussek*: Sinfonia in B flat major

The Tree That Rocked The Music Industry

Nov 30, 2017

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Dan Katz has two cellos. The better one — the one he prefers to play with the orchestra — is 200 years old and has rosewood tuning pegs. When the orchestra went on an 11-concert European tour in January, he purposefully left it home.

"I worry with that instrument about international travel now, because of those pegs," Katz said after rehearsing for a performance of Schubert's Ninth Symphony earlier this month.

John Adams might be called the "documentarian" among American composers. His works have traced the birth of the atomic bomb, President Nixon's trip to China and the 9-11 attacks. Now, Adams turns to the California Gold Rush.

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

On Saturday, December 2nd, JPR's Classics & News Service will begin the Metropolitan Opera's 87th season of Saturday matinee broadacsts with Verdi's Requiem. All broadcasts begin at 10am except Wagner's Parsifal on February 17th which starts at 9am.

It is an important moment in the life of a symphony orchestra when a new conductor is selected — not just to lead the orchestra, but to create the programs, hire the artists and more. In short, to be the music director.

In Washington, D.C., the choice was made with astonishing harmony.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renowned Baritone, Dies At 55

Nov 22, 2017

Imagine a dinner party that never ends. The guests can't leave. That's the premise for Luis Buñuel's classic 1962 surrealist film The Exterminating Angel. It might seem an unlikely subject for an opera, but that's just what London-born composer Thomas Adès has brought to New York's Metropolitan Opera.

The Hebrew Psalms have inspired composers for thousands of years.

Now, New York's Lincoln Center is presenting The Psalms Experience, a festival of choral settings of all 150 Psalms by 150 different composers. It includes nine U.S. premieres.

Featured Works for November – First Concert
(*Indicates November birthday)

Nov 1 W Frédéric Chopin: Variations on “Là ci darem la mano”
Nov 2 T George Frideric Handel: Concerto Grosso in D minor
Nov 3 F Saverio Mercandante: Omaggio a Bellini

The best film scores walk a delicate line: They help propel the story, guide an audience's emotions and are also often a distinct character, with a role and voice as important as any actor's — but they also have to do all that without getting in the way, or drawing too much attention.

Review: GVSU New Music Ensemble, 'RETURN'

Oct 26, 2017

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Pianist Glenn Gould rocketed to fame in 1955 with his startling and original take on Bach's Goldberg Variations. Gould's fans were treated to a remake of Goldbergs in 1982, when he released a slower-paced rendition just before his untimely death. But it's that first, rapid fire 1955 recording that continues to captivate audiences.

It was 100 years ago this week that Russian violinist Jascha Heifetz made his American debut at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1917. Considered by many to be one of the greatest violinists in history, he was just 16 years old at the time. NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with commentator Miles Hoffman about that appearance and the career that followed.

William Eggleston's Secret World Of 'Musik'

Oct 22, 2017

In the art world, William Eggleston is a revered photographer. In the music world, he's virtually unknown. But now the 78-year-old Memphis native, celebrated for legitimizing color photography in the 1970s, has just released his very first album, simply titled Musik.

An Old Danish Dance In The Key Of Melancholy

Oct 8, 2017

Classical and folk music continue to intermingle in fascinating ways. The intersections stretch back far beyond Bach, who cleverly slipped a German folk song into his Goldberg Variations. Later, composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók combed the countryside, collecting tunes from villagers.

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