JPR Classics

Classical music posts.

The 2020 WFMT Radio Network Opera Series returns to JPR on Saturday, May 16th with a stellar array of recent productions from Europe and Chicago.

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

Apr 1 W Giuseppe Verdi: String Quartet
Apr 2 T Auguste Enna: Hans Christian Andersen Overture
Apr 3 F Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco*: Concerto da camera

Apr 6 M André Cardinal Destouches*: Les élémens
Apr 7 T Georg Druschetzky*: Oboe Quartet in C major
Apr 8 W Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite from “The Bolt”
Apr 9 T Georg Matthias Monn*: Cello Concerto
Apr 10 F Gabriel Fauré: Masques et Bergamasques

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven and JPR’s Classics and News Service is celebrating! Starting in April, the hosts at JPR will be showcasing the many masterpieces of Beethoven.

Classics listeners, you might be stuck at home for the next few weeks waiting for the COVID-19 threat to wane, but there’s some good news: You’re not alone! Whether you listen to JPR on your radio in Southern Oregon or Northern California, or our streaming service, we’re doing it together. JPR has listeners in France, Japan, and all across the USA, and our love of music is one thing that unifies us. 

Cantus is a Minnesota-based all-male vocal ensemble known for their wide-ranging repertoire and beautiful blend of voices. The 8-piece ensemble is known for their distinctive approach to working without a conductor, prefering a chamber-music approach to their performances.

Coronavirus Concerns Stymie Live Music Performances And SXSW

Mar 5, 2020

On Wednesday night in Switzerland, the French violinist Renaud Capuçon and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra played a full concert — to an empty hall.

Their performance, which was canceled after the Swiss government prohibited all gatherings of 1000 or more people, was broadcast by Swiss public television and radio. It's just one of the ways that performers and organizations worldwide are grappling with the uncertainties of the coronavirus, and how to handle large gatherings of audiences in close quarters.

One of the senior elected officials at the union that commissioned an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against opera star Plácido Domingo has resigned.

A New Piano Concerto For The People

Feb 28, 2020

Sometimes old recipes, newly tweaked, can yield astonishing results. Consider the concerto: It might be a 400-year-old formula, calling for a soloist to perform with — and often battle against — an orchestra. But occasionally, a brand new concerto arrives that offers old-fashioned thrills.

In a sharp turn from the public apology he issued two days ago, opera star Plácido Domingo offered a new statement on Thursday regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

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

Mar 2 M Bedrich Smetana*: Wallenstein’s Camp
Mar 3 T Federico Moreno Torroba*: Concierto en Flamenco
Mar 4 W Antonio Vivaldi*: Violin Concerto in D major
Mar 5 T Heitor Villa-Lobos*: String Quartet No. 1
Mar 6 F Clara Wieck Schumann: Soirées musicales

Union Says Plácido Domingo Engaged In 'Inappropriate Activity'

Feb 25, 2020

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

The union representing opera performers, choral singers and dancers says that according to an independent investigation it commissioned, opera megastar Plácido Domingo engaged in "inappropriate activity" with women both "in and outside of the workplace."

Revisiting Beethoven's Beloved, Radical Symphonies For His 250th Birthday

Feb 25, 2020

This year marks the 250th birthday of one of the most revered composers who ever lived: Ludwig van Beethoven, who was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1770. Beethoven wrote hundreds of piano sonatas, overtures and chamber pieces, but truly made his mark with his nine symphonies.

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This August will mark 100 years since women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. To celebrate, the New York Philharmonic has commissioned compositions by 19 women for an initiative it calls Project 19, which had its first concert earlier this month.

It is not a secret that the Academy Awards have historically struggled with gender diversity. Though generally critics point to the lack of women nominated in major categories like best director, a critical part of the ceremony itself has also traditionally overlooked women: the Oscars' 42-piece orchestra.

Remembering Peter Serkin, The Searching Pianist

Feb 3, 2020

Peter Serkin, a pianist who navigated a distinctive course through classical music with thoughtful interpretations of both standard repertoire and bracing new compositions, died Saturday morning at his home in Red Hook, N.Y. at age 72.

The cause of death, announced by his family, was pancreatic cancer.

Serkin came from a prestigious family of musicians. His father, the celebrated pianist Rudolf Serkin, and his maternal grandfather, the violinist and conductor Adolf Busch, embodied old-world traditions — to reverential acclaim.

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

Feb 3 M Felix Mendelssohn*: String Quartet in E flat major
Feb 4 T George Walker: Cello Sonata
Feb 5 W Lodewijk Mortelmans*: Morning Mood
Feb 6 T William Grant Still: Suite for Violin and Piano
Feb 7 F Erkki Merlartin*: Marionettes Suite

We've been starting this new year off with genres of music you might not listen to, or that you say you're not a fan of — so far, we've covered jazz, country and deep house.

Violinist Emily Bruskin and her cello-playing sister Julia Bruskin founded the Claremont Trio in 1999 at Juilliard.  The third member of the group (pianist Andrea Lam) joined in 2012. The ensemble is the only piano trio ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

Max Richter: Tiny Desk Concert

Jan 24, 2020

Half way through this performance of Max Richter's achingly beautiful On The Nature Of Daylight, I looked around our NPR Music office and saw trembling chins and tearful eyes. Rarely have I seen so many Tiny Desk audience members moved in this way. There's something about Max Richter's music that triggers deep emotions.