Classical Classroom

By Dacia Clay

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Description

There's a rumor going around that classical music is hoity toity. At Classical Classroom, we beg to differ. Come learn with classical music newbie Dacia Clay and the music experts she invites into the Classical Classroom.


Episode Date
Classical Classroom, Episode 116: John Luther Adams Swims Through “Become Ocean” (rerun)
[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.92" src="https://classicalclass.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/JLA-too-1000x560.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_code _builder_version="3.0.92"][/et_pb_code][et_pb_text admin_label="Show Notes" _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] Since parts of our fair city of Houston and basically the entire state of Florida look an awful lot like the ocean right now, we thought it would be a good time to revisit this Classroom episode about John Luther Adams' Become Ocean, a powerful piece about the many personalities of water and the ocean. Big, big love to our fellow Houstonians who were affected by Harvey, and lots of love to our neighbors in Florida and everyone else dealing with the impact of Irma. You are in our thoughts. MTFBWY.
In December of 2015, pop singer Taylor Swift donated $50,000 to the Seattle Symphony because she loved their recording of John Luther Adams’ 42-minute work, Become Ocean. In this episode, Adams reveals his own pop culture roots, and credits Frank Zappa for getting him into classical music. He talks about his work as an environmentalist, what led him to write Ocean, and swims us through a piece so awesome that critic Alex Ross called it, “the loveliest apocalypse in musical history.” [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built="1" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Music in this episode Text" _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] Music in this episode:
  • Dark Waves. John Luther Adams
  • Ecuatorial. Edgard Varèse.
  • Songbirds: Woodthrush. John Luther Adams.
  • Become Ocean. John Luther Adams. Performed by the Seattle Symphony.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Show Credits Text" _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] Audio production by Todd “Swifty” Hulslander with “Blank Space” by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Apr 10, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 116: John Luther Adams Swims Through “Become Ocean” (rerun)
[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.92" src="https://classicalclass.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/JLA-too-1000x560.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_code _builder_version="3.0.92"][/et_pb_code][et_pb_text admin_label="Show Notes" _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] Since parts of our fair city of Houston and basically the entire state of Florida look an awful lot like the ocean right now, we thought it would be a good time to revisit this Classroom episode about John Luther Adams' Become Ocean, a powerful piece about the many personalities of water and the ocean. Big, big love to our fellow Houstonians who were affected by Harvey, and lots of love to our neighbors in Florida and everyone else dealing with the impact of Irma. You are in our thoughts. MTFBWY.
In December of 2015, pop singer Taylor Swift donated $50,000 to the Seattle Symphony because she loved their recording of John Luther Adams’ 42-minute work, Become Ocean. In this episode, Adams reveals his own pop culture roots, and credits Frank Zappa for getting him into classical music. He talks about his work as an environmentalist, what led him to write Ocean, and swims us through a piece so awesome that critic Alex Ross called it, “the loveliest apocalypse in musical history.” [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built="1" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Music in this episode Text" _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] Music in this episode:
  • Dark Waves. John Luther Adams
  • Ecuatorial. Edgard Varèse.
  • Songbirds: Woodthrush. John Luther Adams.
  • Become Ocean. John Luther Adams. Performed by the Seattle Symphony.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Show Credits Text" _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] Audio production by Todd “Swifty” Hulslander with “Blank Space” by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Apr 10, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 41: Pretty Pattern Preludes With Karim Al-Zand (rerun)
34:31

Composer Karim Al-Zand teaches about tiny pieces of music by which classical music newbies can get to know a composer’s style.

Aug 15, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 48: The Texas Tenors Teach Tenor Types (rerun)
33:34

What types of tenor would a tenor type teach if a tenor type could teach tenor? JC Fisher and John Hagen of the Texas Tenors tell all...about tenor voice.

Aug 07, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 63: The Trumpet Lesson (with video)
24:17

It’s a bird dying! No! It’s our host, playing the trumpet! George Chase and Jason Adams of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra teach you all about the trumpet while giving Dacia a lesson.

Jul 25, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 173: Mozart’s Death Demystified (No Really!), With Robert Greenberg
28:34

Great Courses professor Dr. Robert Greenberg demystifies the death of Mozart - for reals this time! Spoiler alert: the cause of death will totally underwhelm you.

Jul 17, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 69: The Kids Are Alright, With Missy Mazzoli (RR)
35:30

Worried about the future of classical music? Listen to this chat with composer and performer Missy Mazzoli and turn that frown upside down.

Jul 10, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 70: Piano Vs. Orchestra, With Jon Kimura Parker
35:28

A behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be a guest soloist with an orchestra with Jon Kimura Parker.

Jun 27, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 172: Pine On Paganini
28:17

Learn about about virtuoso from a virtuosa. Rachel Barton Pine schools us on Paganini.

Jun 19, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 72: You Don’t Know Fifth! With Emily Reese
40:06

Think you know Beethoven 5? Think again! Emily Reese schools us all.

Jun 12, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 171: Strange Loop, With Jessica Meyer
45:17

Violist, composer, and educator Jessica Meyer has a unique story in the classical music world; it starts with a viola, and ends with a viola, but goes a lot of unpredictable places in between. Hear the story of her creative journey from focused specialist to Renaissance woman, and hear some of her incredible music along the way.

Jun 05, 2017
Classical Classroom, MusicWorks Ep. 169: How Music Chased Down Gaelynn Lea
46:47

Gaelynn Lea, of Tiny Desk Contest and the Murder of Crows fame, talks about the musical journey she seems to have had no choice in taking - in a good way.

May 15, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 83: Nico Muhly Speaks Volumes About Listening To New Classical Music
25:56

How is listening to new classical music different than listening to classical classics?

May 08, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 26: Ragging On Chopin With Richard Dowling
37:05

How ragtime killed the classical star.

Apr 26, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 168: Third Coast Percussion Plays At 1.21 Gigawatts
25:04

Sean Connors of Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion talks about what being in a percussion-only ensemble is all about.

Apr 17, 2017
Classical Classroom MusicWorks, Ep. 167: Craig Hella Johnson, Activism In Classical Music (Part 2)
33:43

Composer Craig Hella Johnson talks about his Grammy-nominated choral work, "Considering Matthew Shepard," and about activism in the classical music world.

Apr 10, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 166: A Fool For Renaissance Music Talks Period Instruments
17:47

A special guest talks about and (sort of) plays instruments (allegedly) from the Renaissance period.

Apr 02, 2017
Classical Classroom MusicWorks, Ep. 165: Amanda Gookin – Activism In Classical Music (Part 1)
42:41

Cellist Amanda Gookin talks about using classical music in activism, and her Forward Music Project. Part 1 of a two-part series about activism in classical music.

Mar 27, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep 118: Alisa Weilerstein On The Romance Of Rachmaninov
24:12

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein’s gives an introduction to the music of Sergey Rachmaninov.

Mar 20, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 164: Going Out On A High Note, With Cypress String Quartet
24:54

Cypress String Quartet cellist Jennifer Kloetzel talks about the quartet's (really for real) final recording of Brahms, and why they recorded it as a sextet.

Mar 13, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 163: MusicWorks – The Starkland Story
40:51

Tom Steenland is the one-man-DIY-band behind the most punk rock of classical music labels, Starkland Records. Hear the story of Starkland, plus some great music in this episode.

Mar 06, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 162: I Got You Babe – Collaborative Piano With Madeline Slettedahl
38:57

There are no accompanists here. Only people making musical magic together. Marilyn Horne Song Competition winner Madeline Slettedahl gives a lesson on the varieties of collaborative piano.

Feb 27, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 161: Sweet Secret Sacred Songs, With Jason Oby
26:34

Houston Ebony Opera Guild's artistic director teaches about the African American Spiritual, its ingenious secrets, and it's history in the classical music world

Feb 21, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 160: There Is No Spoon, With George E. Lewis
24:26

Dr. George E. Lewis explodes definitions of classical music while exploring landscapes, languages, and electronics.

Feb 13, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 159: Transcending The Étude Transcendentally, With Kirill Gerstein
18:04

Pianist Kirill Gerstein talks about how Liszt turned a training exercise into high art (and he uses lots of skiing metaphors for some reason).

Feb 06, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 158: Matt Haimovitz Makes Overtures To Bach
25:42

Cellist Matt Haimovitz on Bach and commissioning new works that reach Bach in time. #BachPuns

Jan 30, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 157: Music For The (Chinese) New Year With Shih-Hui Chen And Katie Chen
27:17

Hear a different kind of classical music in this Chinese New Year episode. Shih-Hui Chen and Katie Chen talk nanguan.

Jan 23, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 156: Words And Music, With Dale Trumbore
46:00

Composer Dale Trumbore talks about setting poetry to music, music to poetry, and everything in between.

Jan 16, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 155: Prog Rock Bartok, With Chiara String Quartet
13:10

The Chiara String Quartet talks about Bela Bartok, ethnomusicology, prog rock, and their recent album, Bartok by Heart.

Jan 10, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 154: Music Of The Coen Bros. Films, With Craig Cohen (Pt. 2)
35:51

Part 2 of a our 2-part special on the music of the Coen brothers' films with Craig Cohen.

Jan 02, 2017
Classical Classroom, Ep. 153: Music Of The Coen Bros. Films, With Craig Cohen (Pt. 1)
36:31

Part 1 of a our 2-part special on the music of the Coen brothers' films with Craig Cohen (no relation!).

Dec 26, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 33: Cracking “The Nutcracker” – Michael Remson and Shelly Power
36:21

We take a crack at understanding this holiday classic with Shelly Power of Houston Ballet Academy and Michael Remson of AFA.

Dec 19, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 152: Emerson String Quartet. 40.
26:31

The Emerson String Quartet turned 40 this year. Violinist Eugene Drucker talks about what's changed and what's remained the same in his band.

Dec 12, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 151: Band Of Outsiders – Jason Vieaux And Julien Labro
21:41

Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro on the classical guitar, the bandoneon, and the music of Tears for Fears.

Dec 05, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 150: Sportsing With Tchaikovsky – Jennifer Koh
21:34

Violinist Jennifer Koh on playing the hard stuff (Tchaikovsky), plus a new show intro!

Nov 21, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 149: Beethoven In A Nutshell, With The Cypress String Quartet
20:16

The Cypress String Quartet do Beethoven in a nutshell, and talk about their breakup.

Nov 14, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 148: The Magic Of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, With Houston Youth Symphony
33:32

Learn about not one, but TWO amazing things in this episode:

The Houston Youth Symphony, an organization that's been making music an important part of young peoples' lives for 70 years, and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," the symphonic poem written by the French composer Paul Dukas that Walt Disney brought to the masses in the movie Fantasia. Michael Webster, artistic director and conductor of the Houston Youth Symphony, and HYS bassoonist Derek Marcum play examples and take us through the entire magical piece. If you're in Houston, you can catch Michael, Derek, and the rest of the Houston Youth Symphony playing Beethoven's 9th to mark their 70th anniversary on November 13th. Learn more here.

Music in this episode:

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice," by Paul Dukas, performed by the Houston Youth Symphony

Clarinet examples by Michael Webster

Bassoon examples by Derek Marcum

Audio production for this episode by Mark "Guardian of the Mixing Board" DiClaudio and Todd "Groot" Hulslander with witty comebacks by Dacia Clay.

Nov 07, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 147: Happy Birthday Ned Rorem! With Daron Hagen
38:47

Composer Ned Rorem turned 93 on October 23rd. In honor of Rorem and his amazing career, composer Daron Hagen, Rorem's friend and former student, teaches a crash course in the music and life of Ned Rorem. Hear how his music has evolved over time, and about the life events that have precipitated creative growth and change. The amount of ground-breaking that Rorem has done in his life, both socially and creatively, is frankly more than one podcast can contain. But we give it our best shot anyway.

Music in this episode (all by Ned Rorem): “Early in the Morning” “Air Music” “String Symphony” Audio production by Todd "Todd-ry" Hulslander with eyebrow-raising from Dacia Clay and help from Mark DiClaudio.

PS, If you enjoyed this episode with Daron Hagen, you can also hear him in an episode of Classical Classroom about Benjamin Britten and his opera Billy Budd!

Oct 31, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 146: Get Out The Note! Politics In Music With Victoria Bond
38:46

Waaaay back in episode 102, composer and conductor Victoria Bond taught us about the first woman to run for the U.S. presidency, about whom Bond wrote the opera Mrs. President. On this, the first day of early voting for the U.S.'s 2016 election, Bond is back to teach about what turns out to be a tradition in classical music: music based on true political events. Learn about the pieces throughout history that are... about history, go vote, and then learn about the upcoming performance of Bond's opera.

Music in this episode: By Victoria Bond: Mrs. President "Soul of a Nation," from Four Presidents Ludwig van Beethoven’s Third Symphony Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh John Adams’ Nixon in China Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem and War Requiem Krzysztof Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima Georges Bizet's Carmen Audio production by Todd "Electoral College" Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio and yeas and nays from Dacia Clay.

Happy voting everyone!

Oct 24, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 66: When Classical Music Strikes, With Pierre Jalbert
28:04

Producer Todd has been wandering around somewhere in the woods for the past week. We think he's found his way out, but while he readjusts to civilization, please enjoy this episode from the Classical Classroom vault!

......................................................

“You gotta hear this one song. It’ll change your life.” – Pierre Jalbert to me*.

Have you ever heard a piece of music that truly moved you? Has a piece of music actually changed the course of your life? Ravel and George Crumb wrote pieces of music that played huge roles in the life of a young Pierre Jalbert. He talks about these two pieces of music, how he encountered them, how they work, and how they are woven into the fabric of his life and work.

Audio production in this episode by Todd “Toots” Hulslander with angry Footloose dancing from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
- Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F major, fourth movement, played by the Emerson String Quartet
- George Crumb: Black Angels, “God-music”, played by the Miro Quartet
- Pierre Jalbert:
-- Visual Abstract, for chamber ensemble: II. Dome of Heaven (from the CD Chamber Music)
-- Icefield Sonnets for string quartet

*Actually, Pierre didn’t say this to me. But, Natalie Portman says it to Zach Braff in the movie Garden State about a song by the Shins called “New Slang“, which is, actually, a darn good song.

Oct 17, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 145: Cartoon Classical Confidential With Richard Scerbo
32:35

This is serious, people. Classical music has a long and meaningful history in cartoons that is no laughing matter. Just kidding! There is a really long history, but it is hilarious, and so is this episode. Richard Scerbo, Director of the National Orchestral Institute and Festival and founder and artistic director of the DC-based and Grammy-nominated Inscape Chamber Orchestra, takes us on a tour of that history. Find out the practical, social, and financial reasons behind Looney Tunes use of classical music, and how cartoons both poked fun at the music and made it fresh for new audiences. Hear examples of the classical music the cartoons draw from and examples of how the music was rearranged to suit the needs of Porky and Bugs. And, um, that's not all, folks.

Music in this episode:
- The Bartered Bride (Dance of the Comedians) by Bedrich Smetana
- "Zoom and Bored" (Warner Bros. cartoon featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner)
- Hungarian Rhapsody No2 by Franz List
- "Rhapsody in Rivets" (Warner Bros. cartoon)
- "A Corny Concerto" (Warner Bros. cartoon narrated by Elmer Fudd)
- The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II
- Tales from the Vienna Woods by Johann Strauss II
- "Ride of the Valkeries" from Die Walküre by Richard Wagner
- "Kill the Wabbit" from What's Opera, Doc? (Warner Bros. cartoon featuring Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny)

Audio production by Mark "The Martian" DiClaudio and Todd "Tweety" Hulslander with onomatopoeia by Dacia Clay.

Oct 10, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 144: Britten’s Herring With Isaiah Bell And Chris Mayell
58:52

In an epic Classical Classroom, tenors Isaiah Bell and Chris Mayell (who, among many other things, co-host the Overthought podcast) walk through the entirety of Benjamin Britten's opera, "Albert Herring". It is an incredible journey, not for the faint of heart, nor for the anti-Canadian. Discussed: townies, queer theory vs. non-queer theory interpretations of the opera, Sid and Nancy (no - not them - the other Sid and Nancy), and Ron Swanson. 

Music in this episode (all from Naxos and Decca recordings of 'Albert Herring'):
- "Right! We’ll have him!” (Bedford/Barstow)
- “Albert the Good!” (Britten/Fisher)
- “Sounds like Sid serenading” (Bedford/Barstow)
- “Heaven helps those who helps themselves" (Bedford/Barstow)
- "In the midst of life is death" (Britten/Fisher)

Audio production by Todd "Overtodd" Hulslander with meaningful encouragement from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

Oct 03, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 143: Electro-Acoustic Chamber Music With The Living Earth Show
40:45

Fun fact: "Gilmore Girls" scripts are almost twice as long as other TV shows of comparable length. In this regard, this is the "Gilmore Girls" of "Classical Classroom" episodes. Andy Meyerson and Travis Andrews of the Living Earth Show teach all about electro-acoustic chamber music, sure, but they do a lot more. In addition to talking about the composers and works they commission, and about experimental classical music in general, you are guaranteed to hear boiling water used musically, and at least one verbal treatise on Lars Ulrich of Metallica. Take notes, people. This is pure gold.

By the way, the Living Earth Show will be releasing a new album in late October called Dance Music. You'll preview music from that album in this episode. Check them out here: www.tles.bandcamp.com

Music in this episode:
- "Helpless," from Garage Days Re-Revisited by Metallica.
- "Enter Sandman," from Metallica by Metallica.
- Performed by the Living Earth Show:
-- Family Sing-A-Long and Game Night (composed by Nicole Lizée)
-- The Bell, The Ball, The Bow-Tie, & The Boot (composed by Jonathan Pfeffer)
-- Tassel (composed by Anna Meredith)

Audio production by Todd "Stevie Ray Todd" with keyboards by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Sep 26, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 142: The Art Of Song, All About Art Song With Mark Abel
33:08

Mark Abel's life infuses his music, and music has been his life. He's been a classical musician, a punk rocker, a reporter, and a classical musician and composer again. In this episode, Abel talks about "art song," a very particular kind of classical music where song and poetry intersect. Learn about its history, its composers, and hear some of Abel's own work.

Music in this episode:
- "Roll Over Beethoven," The Beatles 
- "Mr. Tambourine Man," The Byrds 
- "A Love Supreme," John Coltrane 
- "Marquee Moon," Tom Verlaine/Television 
- "Crazy Rhythms," The Feelies 
- "La vie anterieure'," Henri Duparc. Gerard Souzay, baritone; Dalton Baldwin, piano.
- By Mark Abel: 
-- Los Angeles from The Palm Trees are Restless
-- Excerpts from Premonition – from The Dark Eyed Chameleon
-- La sonnambula – from Terrain of the Heart

Audio production by Todd "Hell" Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio and abiding by Dacia Clay.

Sep 19, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep. 141: Happy 100th Birthday, National Parks! With Adventurer-Composer, Stephen Lias
34:03

Composer Stephen Lias didn't necessarily mean to become an "adventurer-composer." He was minding his own business as a perfectly normal composer, having his music played by soloists and ensembles, and working as a Professor of Composition at Stephen F. Austin State University. In his free time, he liked to go on adventure trips, backpacking and kayaking. Little did he know that one day soon, his two loves would merge and that he would become Stephen Lias, Adventurer-Composer! His whole life would be changed, and he would become Composer-in-Residence at many of the United States' National Parks. 

Find out what that means, and more about Stephen's story in this adventure-filled episode of Classical Classroom! And by the way, did you know that it's the United States National Park Service's 100th birthday? Go hug a National Park today!

Music in this episode (all by Stephen Lias):
- River Runner Lajitas
- Crown of the Continent
- Gates of the Arctic (with Boulder Philharmonic)
- Range of Light – Vernal Falls

Audio production by Todd "Grand Tetodd" Hulslander, with spelunking by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Sep 12, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 45: Daniel Roumain’s Violin Vs. THE Violin (RR)
29:41

That’s not a violin – it’s a woodbox! Daniel Bernard Roumain talks about creative appropriation in classical music. The Haitian-American composer’s creative world was cracked open when he realized that everything – including the definition of “violin” – was ripe for reinterpretation. As a kid in garage bands, he took the decidedly uncool violin and made it his own. As a classically trained musician, he brings classical music together with hip hop, rock, bluegrass, and other genres to create his signature sound. We talk about DBR’s creative journey and about how innovators like John Cage have changed classical music by adding an important ingredient to the genre: imagination.

Audio production by Todd “T-Dawg” Hulslander with super disco breaking by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
- Lots of woodbox improvisation by Daniel Bernard Roumain
- “Sonata No. 2” from Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano by John Cage, played by Boris Berman
- “Sonata for Violin and Turntables, Part 1” from Woodbox Beats & Balladry by Daniel Bernard Roumain

Sep 05, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 82: (Rerun) Branford Marsalis Gives Classical Music Jazz Hands
31:24

Branford Marsalis. Photo by Palma Kolansky. Courtesy of the artist's website. Our summer music festival series is over, and we are frankly a little sleepy now. So this week, while we nap, we are bringing you some old gold from the vault. It's one of our faves, featuring Branford Marsalis. If you don't love it, too, we will be both shocked and appalled. ------------------------------------- Branford Marsalis' stark 2014 solo album In My Solitude includes jazz... Read More

Aug 29, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 140: Summer Music – Music Academy Of The West! Follow The Leader With Frank Huang
24:51

In our second annual Classical Classroom Summer Music Festival Series, we hit the (sound)waves at the Music Academy of the West in sunny Santa Barbara, California!

All good things must come to an end, and...here we are. The final installment of our summer music mini-series features New York Philharmonic concertmaster (who used to be Houston Symphony concertmaster), Frank Huang. He talks about the job of a concertmaster, and about his own story of a life in two cities with two orchestras. Frank also discusses first being a student and then being a teacher and visiting artist at the Music Academy of the West, and he talks about what he's been doing at the MAW festival this summer. At the end of the interview, we kidnap him and bring him back to Houston. It's an action-packed thrill-ride! JK. There's no kidnapping. That's illegal! But we think you'll enjoy the conversation anyway.

Music in this episode:
- "We're Going to Be Friends," by the White Stripes. From White Blood Cells.
- String Sextet in D minor "Souvenir de Florence", Op. 70 by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Audio production by Todd "Triple Double" Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio and three-wheel motion by Dacia Clay. Copious thanks to the Music Academy of the West for all of their help with this mini-series and for letting us crash their summer music festival, with special thanks to Kate Oberjat (oh-bur-yacht) who has not missed a spot and who’s done an awful lot, and to Emma Levine, Barbara Hirsch and Anthony Paggett. Thanks to Scott Reed, Richie Hawley, Matthew Sinno, Jeremy Denk, Bill Williams, Matthew Aucoin, Cynthia Phelps, Thomas Hampson, and Frank Huang without whom these interviews would have been monologues. Thanks to KCRW in Santa Barbara and to engineer Kathryn Barnes. 

May the Force be with you on your way back to school!

Aug 22, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 139: Summer Music – Music Academy Of The West! Finding Our Voices With Thomas Hampson
28:55

In our second annual Classical Classroom Summer Music Festival Series, we hit the (sound)waves at the Music Academy of the West in sunny Santa Barbara, California!

Library of Congress "Living Legend" and Grammy Award-winning baritone Thomas Hampson has reached a point in his life and career at which one might use the term "venerable" to describe him. "Wise" is another word that music journalists probably throw down when talking about him. And they would not be wrong. But even Thomas Hampson got his start somewhere. In this interview, he talks about his classical music beginnings at the Music Academy of the West, and about conveying the grand meaning of music as a teacher to young people in master classes there now.

Music in this episode (all performed by Thomas Hampson):
Three Songs Op. 10: No. 1, Rain Has Fallen by Samuel Barber
Sechs Lieder aus "Lotosblatter," Op. 19, 6 Mein Herz ist stumm, mein Herz ist kalt by Richard Strauss
Vier Lieder, Op. 27: 3. Heimliche Aufforderung by Richard Strauss.

Audio production by Todd "Toddsong" Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio and lipsyncing by Dacia Clay. Thanks to the Music Academy of the West for their help with these interviews, especially to Emma Levine and Kate Oberjat, who's quite frankly, done a lot.

Aug 15, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 138: Summer Music – Music Academy Of The West! Sympathy For The Viola With Cynthia Phelps
36:46

In our second annual Classical Classroom Summer Music Festival Series, we hit the (sound)waves at the Music Academy of the West in sunny Santa Barbara, California!

Laugh all you want at the viola - Cynthia Phelps, the New York Philharmonic's Principal Viola, ignores the haters. She doesn't even bother to hold up a hand and tell them to talk to it. She just produces beautiful music on the viola and lets it speak for itself. In the fourth installment of our MAW series, learn all about the viola, why people make fun of it, and why they are wrong, so wrong. Phelps introduces us to the instrument's repertoire, and talks about what she's been doing to spread the gospel of the viola at the Music Academy of the West this summer.

Music in this episode:
- Duo for Violin and Viola in G, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Performed by the Grumiaux Trio. Philips.
- String Quintet Op. 39 in A minor, Alexander Glazunov. Performed by Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble. Chandos. 
- Harold in Italy, Hector Berlioz. New York Philharmonic (Cynthia Phelps, viola), Lorin Maazel conducting. Deutsche Grammophon.
- Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, Ralph Vaughan Williams. Performed by New Zealand Symphony Orchestral, James Judd conducting. Naxos.
- Concert Piece for Viola and Piano, George Enescu. Cynthia Phelps, viola; Judith Gordon, piano. Cala Records.

Audio production by Todd "Two-Bit" Hulslander with staying gold by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. Thanks to the Music Academy for their help with this series, and special thanks to Kate Oberjat (oh-bur-yacht) who we appreciate a lot. Thanks also to Cynthia Phelps' manager, Elizabeth Dworkin, and to Pamela Walsh at the New York Philharmonic for their help.

Aug 08, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 137: Summer Music – Music Academy Of The West! The Second Nature Of Matthew Aucoin
22:56

In our second annual Classical Classroom Summer Music Festival Series, we hit the (sound)waves at the Music Academy of the West in sunny Santa Barbara, California!

The third installment of our MAW series features composer, conductor, and pianist, Matthew Aucoin. Aucoin is a resident at that Music Academy of the West, and a sort of serial residentialist elsewhere (like the Peabody Essex Museum and soon, the Los Angeles Opera). He talks about what a "residency" is, how it informs a composer's creative process; plus, he gives us a sample of what he's been busy creating while at the Music Academy.

Music in this episode:
- Selections from Matthew Aucoin's "Second Nature", performed at the Music Academy of the West

Audio production by Todd "The Bartered Todd" Hulslander with pirouettes by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. Thanks to the Music Academy for their help with this series, and special thanks to Kate Oberjat (oh-bur-yacht) without whom this series would simply not.

Aug 01, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 136: Summer Music – Music Academy Of The West! Being Present With Bill Williams
37:42

In our second annual Classical Classroom Summer Music Festival Series, we hit the (sound)waves at the Music Academy of the West in sunny Santa Barbara, California!

The second installment of our MAW series features trumpet player, performance coach, and educator, Bill Williams. Williams initially spent his career as principal trumpet for orchestras like San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Barcelona. But when performances began to induce anxieties and other distractions, he started seeking ways to regain focus. As it turns out, Bill wasn't alone: many musicians perform in spite of the fear of doing so. Williams' research led him to meet sport psychologist Dr. Don Greene. Eventually, Williams honed a series of techniques to help improve musicians' focus, and with it, their performance. In this episode, Williams talks all about common mental blocks that come up for classical musicians and how he now spends much of his time helping people overcome them, one psychological bear at a time.

Music in this episode: 
- “Pipeline” as recorded by the Ventures
- Glen Gould: Bach Goldberg Variations
- San Francisco Symphony Mahler Symphony No. 5

Audio production by Todd "Triple Lutz" Hulslander with perfect landing by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio. Many thanks to the Music Academy for their help with this series - especially to Kate Oberjat, whose name rhymes with "clover yacht," and who has helped us an awful lot.

Jul 25, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 135: Summer Music – Music Academy Of The West! Ragging On Jeremy Denk
30:58

It's time for the second annual Classical Classroom Summer Music Festival Series! This year, we hit the (sound)waves at the Music Academy of the West in sunny Santa Barbara, California.

In the first installment of our MAW series, pianist Jeremy Denk talks about teaching the enormousness of Beethoven to young artists, ragging classical music, whether or not classical music today exists outside the bounds of style, and about what makes the Music Academy of the West unique to him. Throughout the MAW Summer Series, we'll also hear from the Academy's president and CEO Scott Reed, faculty clarinet Richie Hawley, and viola fellow Matthew Sinno about the festival experience from their perspectives. It's going to be rad.

Music in this episode:
- "Pipeline" as recorded by the Ventures
- "Pilgrims Chorus," Tannhäuser, Wagner. (from Youtube)
From Jeremy Denk’s recital:
- Stravinsky, Piano-Rag-Music
- Byrd, The Passinge Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian 
- From My Ladye Nevells Booke of Virginal Music
- Lambert, “Pilgrim’s Chorus” from Tannhäuser (after Wagner)
- Bach,English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808, Gigue
- Mozart Gigue In G Major, K 574 
- Tea For Two by Art Tatum

Audio production by Todd "Two-Shirts" Hulslander with overlording by Dacia Clay.

Thanks to the Music Academy of the West for their help with this series, especially to Kate Oberjat, the coolest coordinator in the West, for her assistance with basically everything. 

Jul 18, 2016
Classical Classroom, MusicWorks, Ep 134: Classical Out Of The Blue, With Jherek Bischoff
34:00

How strange (and awesome) it is to be Jherek Bischoff at all. This composer, arranger, performer, and producer began his musical journey playing prog rock on bass guitar. After spending years of his youth on a boat, which his family sailed around the world playing music with locals as they went, he toured and recorded with indie rock and experimental bands. Then one day, he heard a piece of classical music that changed his life forever. Suddenly, he found himself composing for chamber groups and orchestras, learning a whole new musical and cultural language. Hear all about his journey into classical music, his interview with Terry Gross, and his new album (which was born inside of a cistern), in this episode.

Music in this episode from Bischoff's upcoming album Cistern (release: July 15, 2016). For more about his new album, visit www.jherekbischoff.com

Audio production by Todd "Tiramisu" Hulslander with doggy paddling by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Thanks to George Heathco for the MusicWorks theme music. For more about his music: www.soundcloud.com/george-heathco

Jul 11, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 133: Final Fantasy And The Evolution Of Video Game Music
38:53

Video games have come a long way since Pong, and so has their music. The electronic bleeps and blorps of ye olden days have evolved into composed musical scores that have their own fans and are performed by major symphony orchestras nationwide. Final Fantasy, one such game with a musical score that - as illustrated in this episode - draws on the classical music tradition, will soon be performed (again) by the Houston Symphony. Lesley... Read More

Jul 04, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 132: Tchaikovsky’s Dilemma, With Mei-Ann Chen
34:38

When you hear the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, pretty much the last thing that comes to mind is self-doubt (Hello?! The man wrote actual cannons into his music!). But as conductor Mei-Ann Chen explains, the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture took him years to write because he was deeply self-critical. And his opinionated mentor, Mily Balakirev, didn't help the situation. Learn all about Tchaikovsky's creative process and about one of the most romantic pieces of music ever written... Read More

Jun 27, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 131: Totally Totentanz With Tamara McCoy
38:08

The Classical Minds Festival and Competition just took place here in Houston, and though the festival is all about classical guitar, Dr. Tamara McCoy was there on piano. She stopped by the Geary Studio at Houston Public Media to record and teach about Franz Liszt's Totentanz. As it turns out, the only thing harder than playing the piece was writing it — it took Liszt almost 20 years. Learn all about the piece, the inspiration behind... Read More

Jun 20, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 130: The Eye Of The Opera, With David Hanlon
30:46

If you've never lived through one, David Hanlon's chamber opera After the Storm is a good place to begin to understand what "hurricane" really means. The opera premiered with Houston Grand Opera's HGOco via their Song of Houston initiative this May. In this episode, composer Hanlon talks about conducting research for the opera, which included investigating Galveston's 1900 Storm, about capturing the awesomeness of a massive hurricane in a chamber opera, and about living through a monster storm himself. Hunker down and gather... Read More

Jun 13, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 129: On Countertenors And Gender In Opera – With John Holiday
34:57

“All I have is a voice.” ― W.H. Auden"I was never particularly fond of my voice." — David BowieCountertenor John Holiday says that he's never wanted to emulate anyone else's voice, and that instead, he's tried to find and be true to his own. And the unique sound that he belts out will make you believe that he alone can produce anything like it. But as it turns out, there's a whole history behind voices like... Read More

Jun 06, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 30: The Rite Of Spring With Ana María Otamendi
35:15

Allegedly, as of this posting, there are still about three weeks of spring to go. But in Houston, spring has already died of heat exhaustion. That's why we decided to bring back this episode about Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. The episode was originally recording in the fall of 2013. This all totally makes sense. We think. Then again, it's really hot, so this could be faulty logic. In any case, this is a great episode from the Wayback... Read More

May 30, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 128: British-style Brass Bands Are Shiny! With Robert Walp
27:50

British-style brass bands are of the people, for the people, and by the people. They're made up of unpaid citizens who get together to play classical music just because they love to. They have this crazy working class history that dates back almost 200 years to British industrialization. At competitions, fans express allegiance to their local brass bands with the same passion that they do sports teams. And many of the musicians are one life choice... Read More

May 23, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 127: Respighi
37:39

Ottorino Respighi wasn't a native of Rome, but he got there as quickly as he could. And then he set to writing lots of music about the place. Conductor Franz Anton Krager and Houston Symphony Principal Trumpet Mark Hughes teach all about Respighi, some of his Roman tone poems, and why he was a master of orchestration. Krager and Hughes will be performing Respighi together at the Texas Music Festival on June 11. It's going to be fantastico!Music... Read More

May 16, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 38: Stringed Life, With Enso String Quartet
29:00

We've retrieved an episode from the Classical Classroom Wayback Machine for Chamber Music Month! Please, by all means, enjoy. ------------------------------------------- The Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet puts the "class" in this episode of Classical Classroom. We discuss where string quartets come from, why the instruments in a quartet go together so well, what sets Enso apart from other string quartets, and what it's like to play live (which apparently sometimes includes hitting yourself in the face... Read More

May 09, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 126: Choose Your Own Jungian Adventure, With Rodney Waters
01:17:56

We are endorsing this Classical Classroom guest — Rodney Waters — to replace the Most Interesting Man in the World, and not just because of his amazing beard. He's a musician, a humanitarian, a photographer, and he's currently training to become a Jungian analyst. In this Choose Your Own Adventure episode (listen for details), Rodney first explains Jungian theory, archetypes, myths, and fairy tales, and then walks us through pieces of classical music that exemplify those things.... Read More

May 02, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 125: The Actualization Of Beethoven, With Simone Gramaglia
21:32

We could just as easily have called this episode, Growing Up Beethoven, or Build-A-Beethoven, or Beethoven: From Boy to Boss, but "actualization" is more accurate. As violist Simone Gramaglia of Quartetto di Cremona explains, like any artist we study in hindsight, Beethoven's creative development has distinct, identifiable periods. Unlike other artists, as he evolved, Beethoven moved increasingly away from rules and conventions, and into something transcendent: a full expression of his own unique creative vision. What I'm trying... Read More

Apr 25, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 46: Todd Reynolds Defines “Classical Music” – Sorta
31:46

Today - that is April 18th 2016 - much of our fair city of Houston is underwater. There was a big scary flood, the power's out, the roads are lakes, and we, the Classical Classroom team, literally can't get to the station to access the files we need to post our new episode. We tried to cobble together an ark, but it turns out that's a whole thing. However! Through sheer grit, determination and the power... Read More

Apr 19, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 124: Hélène Grimaud Wades Into The Deep End Of “Water”
20:49

Hélène Grimaud's recent release on Deutsche Grammophon, is a true "concept album." Flowing with water themed music from the classical repertoire it also bathes us with new musical bridges and transitions from composer and producer, Nitin Sawhney."What inspired the idea to record this album is really the fascination that so many composers of the 19th and 20th centuries seem to have had with the element of water," Grimaud states.In this episode, Hélène and Dacia surf... Read More

Apr 11, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 85: Mandolin Man, Avi Avital
20:29

While we are cooking up new episodes for your enjoyment, please enjoy this delicious dish from our archives. Don't miss Avi's recent in-studio performances at WQXR, btw! -------------------------------------------According to Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Avi Avital, while the bass is not bad, it’s more about that mandolin. Which is also what this whole episode is about! Avi tells all: Where did the mandolin come from? Who composes for it? Why does he advocate for such a strange instrument? And how... Read More

Apr 04, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 37: George Heathco On Louis Andriessen And Alt-Classical
37:52

Louis Andriessen is one of the most important contemporary composers you've (probably) never heard of. His work isn't widely played because he's written many pieces for varieties of ensembles that don't exist. In fact, specially created ensembles have sprung up because of Andriessen's pieces, including the famous British ensemble, Icebreaker. Guitarist, composer, and co-founder of Liminal Space Contemporary Music Ensemble, George Heathco, teaches us all about Andriessen and his contributions to the alt classical movement.... Read More

Mar 28, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 123: Rachel Barton Pine On Bach Sonatas And Partitas
23:05

Happy Bach's 331st birthday! To celebrate, we had a partita party with violinist Rachel Barton Pine. (What's a "partita," you ask? Listen and learn, my friends.) Rachel explains Bach's sonatas and partitas and what makes them unique, and walks us through several examples from her new album Testament, which she released on March 21st to coincide with Bach's bday. Also discussed: What Bach means to her personally, and whether one needs to wear a beret when playing... Read More

Mar 21, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 122: Meet The Sirota – Nadia Sirota On New Classical Music
35:09

Nadia Sirota is a busy lady. She's a violist and recording artist, she's a member of yMusic, Alarm Will Sound, and ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), she commissions work from new composers, she collaborates with classical and rock music makers (Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Jónsi, and Arcade Fire to name a few) and she's the host and co-producer of Q2 Music's contemporary classical music podcast, Meet the Composer. In this episode of Classical Classroom, Sirota talks about new classical music,... Read More

Mar 14, 2016
Classical Classroom, MusicWorks, Ep 121: John From Downton Abbey
31:08

Masterpiece's Downton Abbey came to an end last night after six seasons. In this tell-all exposé, Scottish composer John Lunn talks about his years with the Crawley family, what Lord Grantham really thought of Branson, and his thoughts on Thomas Barrow's perpetual bad attitude. Okay, okay — not exactly. But Lunn does talk about how he got into writing for TV, how it's different than writing operas and violin concertos, and about being part of the Downton team for six... Read More

Mar 07, 2016
Classical Classroom MusicWorks, Ep 120: A Musical Life, Indeed – With Hugh Sung
34:54

  Hugh Sung is a modern classical music renaissance man: He's a podcaster, a techie, a pianist who's collaborated with people like Jennifer Higdon and Hillary Hahn, an author, an inventor, a former Curtis Institute Professor who now teaches online. Sung has crafted a life — and a career — that keeps him close to his passion and that constantly engages his busy mind. In this MusicWorks episode, learn how and why Hugh does it, and... Read More

Feb 29, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 119: Harping On The Harp With Beyond Pluck
32:58

 Beyond Pluck is a harp duo, comprised of Paula Bressman and Rachel Miller. In addition to the classical repertoire, they also like arranging pop songs for the harp, working with scientists and artists, touring clubs as well as concert halls, and long walks on the beach. In this episode, Paula and Rachel talk about the history of the harp and how it works, its repertoire, conjuring fairies, and why anyone would want to play something so... Read More

Feb 22, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 19 & 20: Nixon In China And John Adams With Michael Remson
46:57

  In honor of Presidents Day, we are rerunning not one, but TWO very presidential episodes of Classical Classroom. Originally, our discussion with AFA’s ‎executive and artistic director Michael Remson was so epic — spanning John Adams’ entire Nixon in China opera — that we divided it into two episodes. For your listening pleasure, we’ve merged the two episodes into one here. So, go get some apple pie, your whittling tools, and a glass of whiskey... Read More

Feb 15, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 118: Alisa Weilerstein On The Romance Of Rachmaninov
24:18

  Start your Valentine's Day week with cellist Alisa Weilerstein's introduction to the music of Sergey Rachmaninov. Who was this romantic man, and what makes him different from all the other guys - I mean, composers? Weilerstein walks us through Rachmaninov's Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano. Plus, she talks about her musical relationship with performing partner, pianist Inon Barnatan, and what it's like to be part of a long-term creative duo. Music in this... Read More

Feb 08, 2016
Classical Classroom, Ep 117: Alban Berg “motif-ates” The Dover String Quartet
30:45

 This week, Dacia Clay has the Dover String Quartet; violinists, Joel Link, Bryan Lee; violist, Milena Pajaro-Van De Stadt; and cellist, Camden Shaw into the studio. They listen to a recording of their own concert from the night before when they played Alban Berg's String Quartet Opus 3 for the Chamber Music Houston series.  They introduce Dacia to the twelve-tone system of music composition, and she lives to talk about it. They also discuss serialism, Schoenberg,... Read More

Feb 01, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 115: Awakening John Williams’ “Force” With Brett Mitchell
58:29

This episode is full of spoilers - not just spoilers about The Force Awakens, but about future Star Wars episodes. Okay - they could be future spoilers. Right now, they're just our attempts at trying to find the Easter eggs hidden in John Williams' new score. This may be the nerdiest and most epic episode of Classical Classroom to date. Brett Mitchell, Associate Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, is your guide through the... Read More

Jan 18, 2016
Classical Classroom, MusicWorks, Episode 114: Mozart In The Jungle Author Blair Tindall
35:14

When oboist, journalist, and author Blair Tindall wrote her memoir, Mozart in the Jungle, she tells us, she didn't necessarily not think it would become a TV show. But she did stop to marvel at the fact that playing the oboe could lead to buying a dress for the Golden Globes. Last night, the Amazon series based on her book won two Golden Globes: One for Best TV Comedy or Musical, and one Best Actor in a TV Comedy or... Read More

Jan 11, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 113: Rufus Wainwright On Composing Traditional Opera For A Modern World
16:19

Happy New Year, everybody! Get ready for an astonishing onslaught of awesome, a veritable juggernaut of wow, from Classical Classroom in 2016 (John Luther Adams! The Force Awakens! Alisa Weilerstein!), starting with this episode featuring Rufus Wainwright. You may know Rufus Wainwright as a singer-songwriter, a piano man, a dude who hangs out with Elton John and Joni Mitchell. But as it turns out, he also writes classical music and opera. In this episode, he talks... Read More

Jan 04, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 112: The Ugly Christmas Sweaters Of Classical Music, With Alecia Lawyer
32:07

It's four days until Christmas. Chances are, you've heard a lot of beautiful music. If you're looking for more of that, you've come to the wrong place. Welcome to Jingle Hell, where bad songs are born, and good songs come to die. Alecia Lawyer, founder, artistic director, and principal oboist of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) talks about the worst musical offerings of the season, and what makes them so bad. Songs that include entire... Read More

Dec 21, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 31: The Music Of Hanukkah (Chanuka? Hanuka?) With Cantor Benjamin Matis
31:46

2013 was - I think we can all agree - a magical year. It was the year of the arthouse film Sharknado, the year of the Harlem Shake, and the year that Justin Bieber was separated from his pet monkey. But more important than any of those moments? Thanksgivukkah happened. Learn all about this phenomenon, about the history of Hanukkah, and about the music of the holiday in this Classical Classroom episode from the vault.-------------------------------------------------Happy... Read More

Dec 14, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 111: The Franchomme Episode, With Louise Dubin
38:27

Chances are, unless you happen to be a cellist, you've probably never heard of Auguste Franchomme. But back in the day, he was one of the most celebrated musicians in Paris, he was besties with Chopin, and he hung out with people like Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, and the Rothschilds. He was a teenager when he won the Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatoire, and he was solo cellist in King Louis-Philippe’s Musique du Roi. So,... Read More

Dec 07, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 47: 500 Megatons Of Tuba With Øystein Baadsvik
38:17

 Hope all of you in the States enjoyed your Thanksgiving. We took some time off to enjoy ours, so this week, we're giving you old gold. Øystein was recently in Houston, and because our stars didn't align, we weren't able to record a new episode with him. (Øystein, come back anytime, buddy!) To make up for that, we give you this rerun. Learn 100% more about the tuba in this episode than you've ever known! Norwegian... Read More

Nov 30, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 110: Starting From Scratch – Bryce Dessner, Aron Sanchez, & So Percussion
48:02

Knowing how a piece of classical music came to be is often a bit of a guessing game. What inspired Bach to write the Goldberg Variations, or Beethoven to write his 9th Symphony? Context clues, letters, composers' notes help us put the story together; we fill in the rest with our imaginations and mythology. But no more! In this episode of Classical Classroom, you'll hear the entire story of a piece of modern classical music, Music for... Read More

Nov 24, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 109: Storytelling With Music – Richard Scerbo, Inscape Chamber Orchestra
32:47

Richard Scerbo. Image courtesy of his website.How do you tell a story without words? Why, with music of course! Richard Scerbo, founder and artistic director of DC-based Inscape Chamber Orchestra, explains how - and why - composers use music to tell tales. Walk through two very different kinds of musical "stories" in this episode. Watch out for dancing puppets and swamp ghosts.All music in this episode performed by Inscape Chamber Orchestra:- Excerpts from their new... Read More

Nov 16, 2015
Ep 108: The Love Episode, With Anne Akiko Meyers
17:39

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Photo by VANESSA BRICEÑO-SCHERZER / CHRISTIE STOCKSTILL.This episode contains pretty much everything: Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday, Plato's Symposium, music by living composers, the Great American Songbook, and most importantly, love, baby.All music in this episode from Anne Akiko Meyers' new album, Serenade: The Love Album.Audio production by Todd "Tickle Me Elmo" Hulslander with high-pitched cackles by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.For more about Anne Akiko... Read More

Nov 09, 2015
Ep 107: Sometimes Menotti, Sometimes Me Nice – With Lynda McKnight
34:51

Lynda McKnight. Courtesy of the UH Moores School website.It's a Menotti two-fer! Lynda McKnight from Houston's Opera in the Heights teaches all about the composer Gian Carlo Menotti and two of his short operas, The Medium (not the Patricia Arquette kind), and The Telephone (not the Lady Gaga kind). Learn about this versatile 20th century composer and these two drastically different operas. Also, zombies.By the way, Opera in the Heights is staging a Medium and... Read More

Nov 02, 2015
Ep 106: Bach Halloween Spooktacular With Keith Weber
23:06

What?? Two episodes in one week? That's right. We made you a treat: Go with us on a field trip to the Moores School of Music Organ Recital Hall at the University of Houston where we meet up with Keith "Creepy" Weber and the colossal, two-story Beckerath Organ that lurks in the hall. Learn all about Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and why it's the soundtrack for all things macabre in this episode,... Read More

Oct 29, 2015
Ep 105: Matt Haimovitz On “The Gospel” Of Anna Magdelana
23:02

Cover of cellist (and - we suspect - part-time lumberjack), Matt Haimovitz's new CD. Courtesy of Oxingale/Pentatone.Cellist Matt Haimovitz has grappled with Bach's Cello Suites for decades. He first recorded them in 2000. He's dedicated his new second recording of the Suites to Anna Magdalena, Bach's second wife, who copied Bach's manuscripts. Haimovitz talks about how Anna Magdalena's transcriptions became his spirit guide on a quest to gain a greater understanding of the Gospel of... Read More

Oct 26, 2015
Ep 104: Catalyst Quartet On Stringing Gould And Goldberg
24:54

The Catalyst Quartet: (clockwise from top) Karla Donehew-Perez, Jessie Montgomery, Paul Laraia, and Karlos Rodriguez.Bachtoberfest continues! Catalyst Quartet members Karla Donehew-Perez and Karlos Rodriguez talk about famously eccentric (eccentrically famous?) performer and composer, Glenn Gould, his recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations, and Catalyst's Gould-inspired arrangement of the Variations. Discussed: breakfast, order out of chaos, and who this "Goldberg" person was.Music in this episode: "Aria da capo" from Gould's 1955 and 1981 recordings, and from the Catalyst... Read More

Oct 19, 2015
Ep 23: Bach’s Materials – The World Inside An Invention With Kurt Stallmann
31:07

 Continuing with our Bachtober celebration, we revisit this oldie but goody with Kurt Stallmann. Bach's Invention No. 1 contains an entire universe of music as we learn in this episode with Kurt Stallmann, Associate Professor of Music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. It gets metaphysical up in here, you guys.Audio production by Todd "Birthday Boy" Hulslander, with happy claps of approval by Dacia Clay.Music in this episode includes:Johann Sebastian Bach, Invention No. 1 in... Read More

Oct 12, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 103: Yundi. Chopin. Preludes.
17:41

This Classroom teacher needs only one name: Madonna! JK! But he's also a world-famous musician: Pianist Yundi teaches about Chopin's preludes, all of which he recently recorded on his new album, aptly entitled Frédéric Chopin: Complete Preludes. Where did these preludes come from? Why are they each so different? Yundi teaches all of this and more in this episode. All music in this episode from Yundi's new album. Audio production by Todd "A Confederacy of... Read More

Oct 05, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 102: Women’s History! Scandal! Intrigue! Opera! With Victoria Bond
46:57

The first woman who ran for the U.S. presidency did so in 1872. Never heard this story? Thankfully, composer and conductor Victoria Bond has written an opera about this woman's life. Hear the incredible, true, titillating tale and learn about opera AT THE SAME TIME! Sex, scandal, alliteration! All in this episode. All music in this episode is from Victoria Bond's opera, Mrs. President. Audio production by Todd "Trusty Sidekick" Hulslander with quick draws by... Read More

Sep 29, 2015
Ep 101: ZOFO, The Twenty Finger Orchestra
26:46

Eva-Maria Zimmerman and Keisuke Nakagoshi make beautiful music together as the musical duo ZOFO. On the same piano. At the same time. Why do they do this? What is this strange art form? And what does it all have to do with Terry Riley?! Learn all about piano four hands in this episode. Music in this episode is all from the CD ZOFO Plays Terry Riley: Etude from the Old Country Half-Wolf Dances Mad in... Read More

Sep 21, 2015
Classical Classroom, EP 100: Party Time!
50:14

Time to celebrate our 100th show. It's been quite a "Journey." We toot some horns (mostly our own)and reminisce with some previous show flashbacks. We also meet some of the most famous classical music composers as they join in the festivities. 'Cause there ain't no party like a Beethoven doing Jagerbombs party. Party on Ludwig! Party music from the best DJs in the biz: Italo House Pavarotti/Bocelli/Jovanotti REMIX #6 2015 by dj SRONYX el toro loco... Read More

Sep 14, 2015
Classical Classroom, Ep 1: Chris Johnson Teaches Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (RERUN)
12:45

Revisit Classical Classroom's very first show! Classical music announcer Chris Johnson compares two very different recordings of the same piece. Gut strings, basso continuo, and the Baroque period are discussed. Audio production by Todd "Teacup" Hulslander and Chris Johnson. Music used in this episode includes: Vivaldi's Four Seasons Concerto, "Autumn" by: Itzak Perlman violin solo, London Philharmonic Fabio Biondi solo violin, Europa Galante  

Sep 07, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 2: Angela Mitchell Teaches Bel Canto Aria (With Bonus Material)
26:57

Angela Mitchell. Photo by Roger Mastroianni. Courtesy of the artist's website. Since the U.S. has been celebrating its beginnings this week, we thought we'd go back to ours. We hope you enjoy this throwback. And! Because we were in the holiday spirit, we added a little present for you at the end of the show. We hope you enjoy it. And that Tchaikovsky doesn't turn over too hard in his grave when you play it.... Read More

Jul 06, 2015
Classical Classroom Short: Dis-concerted
11:30

Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane in an episode of "Frasier". By source WP:NFCC#4. Licensed under Fair Use via Wikipedia. What's it like to be a classical music novice at a classical music performance? Host Dacia Clay goes to a rock show and a classical concert and compares the experiences. The parallels are telling. The disparities are despairing. What's the deal?? We hope you'll become part of this discussion! Email your concert experiences to dclay@houstonpublicmedia.org. PS, To... Read More

Apr 27, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 42: Amy Bishop On Awesome Female Composers
34:12

Houston Public Media's Amy Bishop. Still from a video by Adam Clay. Producer Todd thought he needed to take a "vacation" with his "family" last week, so we are giving you this month-appropriate rerun before returning next week with a slew, a treasure trove, a veritable cornucopia of new episodes. Meanwhile, sit back, relax, and learn about these great women of classical music. - Dacia-----------------------------------------It's Women's History Month up in the Classroom! Houston Public Media's... Read More

Mar 23, 2015
28 Classical Music Moments In Black History
11:59

Each day during February, we posted a "Classical Music Moment in Black History" on our Facebook page to show the contributions of black artists to classical music throughout history. We've collected our twenty-eight February entries in this article. By the way, these entries were originally part of an episode of the Classical Classroom podcast (audio included below). Composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges. In the mid-to-late 1700’s, Chevalier de Saint-Georges was an Afro-French composer who was also France's best fencer. After... Read More

Mar 06, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 21: Joel Luks On The Fierce And Foxy Flute
38:23

Joel Luks. Photo by Nicole Clarfield. Courtesy joelluks.com. Okay. So our HAL 9001 hasn't come in yet, and you're getting another rerun episode. But dang - it's a good one! And! We have so much new stuff we can't wait to share with you once HAL arrives. Stick with us! <3, Your friendly Classical Classroom production team -------------------------------------------------- All about the flute!! Joel Luks, CultureMap Houston editorial staffer and columnist, and classically trained flutist, teaches... Read More

Jan 26, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 28: Tchaikovsky’s Musical Biography, “Pathetique” – Harbinger Of Doom
36:34

Michael Webster. Photo courtesy of the Shepherd School of Music website. The HAL 9000 that we use to produce these little gems has met an untimely demise. Fear not! We've got a brand new HAL 9001 on order. Until next week, please enjoy this old gold from the Classroom vault. --------------------------------- Was Tchaikovsky's Symphony VI (aka "Pathetique", aka "Suicide Symphony") a suicide note or did he die of cholera, per the Official Word? You decide... Read More

Jan 12, 2015
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: The Mysterious Mystery Of Mozart’s Death (Rerun!)
07:03

Detail of Johann Nepomuk della Croce's portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Public domain. Okay, I lied last week: Producer Todd is still working on the new Two Star Symphony album (for which we are pretty darn excited). But! Never fear: We have unearthed a timely gem from the vault to keep you busy until next week, when we will really for real have a new episode for you. Please enjoy! PS, The info about the... Read More

Dec 08, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 39: Conductor James Gaffigan On Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5
29:09

Conductor James Gaffigan. Photo by Mat Hennek. Courtesy of Mr. Gaffigan's website. (Producer Todd is off recording Two Star Symphony's new album right now (sweet!), so we have unearthed some old gold for you from the vault. Please enjoy this repeat of our class with conductor James Gaffigan. We'll be back next week with another spankin' new episode.) Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 is dramatic, cinematic, erratic, sarcastic, and full of existential longing - according to... Read More

Dec 01, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 9: Amy Bishop’s tone poem journey (Rerun)
35:51

In this episode, Classical 91.7's Saturday Morning Music host and contra dancer extraordinaire, Amy Bishop takes Dacia on a journey with Smetana, Strauss, and Gershwin to learn about tone poems, invoking a surprising number of mermaids and mimes. Audio production by Todd Hulslander with "insightful" suggestions from Dacia Clay. Music used in this episode includes: Smetana's "The Moldau" from Tchaikovsky/Smetana, Chesky CD65 Richard Strauss' "Death and Transfiguration" from Metamorphosen, Tod Und Verklarung, Deutsche Grammophon 410 892 Gershwin's... Read More

Sep 15, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 4: Leitmotif In Star Wars – Brett Mitchell
31:41

In this episode, conductor Brett Mitchell — Assistant Conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra, man of too many accolades to mention, and former Assistant Conductor of the Houston Symphony — talks about John Williams' use of leitmotif in the score to the original Star Wars movie. Listen, you must. Audio production by Todd "Tatooine" Hulslander, with use of the Force by Dacia Clay. For more about Brett Mitchell: www.brettmitchellconductor.com

Sep 08, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 17: History of REEEEMIX!! with Daniel Webbon
33:54

August is Arts Appreciation Month! During August, Houston Public Media Arts and Culture is paying tribute to art forms that have inspired other art forms. We thought this Classical Classroom rerun fit with that theme perfectly, hence the rerunning. The remix has been alive as long as the Beastie Boys' "License to Ill". JK! It's been around for as long as music. Learn how composers have been inspired by, paid tribute to, given tips of... Read More

Aug 18, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 10: Oboe As X-treme Sport – Alecia Lawyer
24:57

Producer Todd is "out of town on vacation" this week, so we are bringing this oldie-but-goodie out of the vault. Hope you enjoy it! If you do, check out Classical 91.7's River Oaks Chamber Orchestra broadcasts every Wednesday in August. Go here for more info. In this episode, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra's Artistic Director, founder, and principal oboist, Alecia Lawyer takes Dacia inside the mind of an oboe player. In this strange world, people grow their... Read More

Aug 04, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture
05:33

In this special 4th of July edition of Classical Classroom Research Presentations, Dacia ponders why Americans listen to Russian music on their Independence Day. She uncovers the [not really that] secret history of how one man and his love of pyrotechnics made Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture the theme music for America's most patriotic celebration. Written, produced, and otherwise manhandled by Dacia Clay. Music used in this episode includes: - Pyotr Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Boston Pops Orchestra,... Read More

Jun 30, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 52: Inside A Boléro With Howard Pollack
31

Ravel's Boléro. Next to most of the soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi, it's possibly the most repetitive piece of music ever written, amiright (respect, Philip Glass)? As it turns out, I am wrong, so wrong. In fact, Boléro is a piece built entirely around change. Howard Pollack, professor at Moores School of Music, author, lecturer, and guest on BBC specials and NPR shows like Morning Edition and Fresh Air, is our tour guide through this amazing piece of music by... Read More

Jun 23, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 49: Extended Preview
07:27

Since it's the end of National Chamber Music Month, we thought it would be fitting to give you a taste of our upcoming episode, featuring Norman Fischer. Norman plays cello in the Fischer Duo, and is on the Board of Directors at Chamber Music America, the group who invented National Chamber Music Month. The full episode will be coming your way Monday, June 2nd! Audio production by Todd "Totaled Todd" Hulslander with catering by Dacia... Read More

May 30, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 24 – Back By Popular Demand, You do what for a living?! Chamber music with WindSync
21:03

Dacia Clay is either presenting a case to the Supreme Court or having a pint in Adams Morgan, I can't remember which. Anyway, she has not shown up to work, so we are going to re-run a previous show about chamber music. What's that? It is National Chamber Music Month? Well now, that just works out, doesn't it? Enjoy...  --Todd Chamber music, performing live as a group, and how movement informs music! In this episode,... Read More

May 19, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Seriously, What IS Chamber Music?
05:37

May is National Chamber Music Month! Oh, what? You're not excited? Maybe that's because you don't know exactly what chamber music is yet. Which means you should probably listen to this research presentation to find out more about it. Then you, too, can get excited about a form of music that's had an effect on everything from symphonies to garage bands. Whoo chamber music!! Audio production by Todd "T Bone" Hulslander with apoplectic paroxysms of... Read More

May 05, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 40: Simone Dinnerstein goes Bachpacking
28:40

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein talks all about her educational initiative, Bachpacking, and her community initiative, Neighborhood Classics, Bach Inventions, and how Led Zeppelin is more like Bach than Jay Z. Audio production by Todd "Toddsy Turvy" Hulslander with yips of joy from Dacia Clay. Music in this episode:- Bach Inventions, played live by Simone Dinnerstein, and from her new album, J.S. Bach: Inventions & Sinfonias- "Suit and Tie", from the 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake, feat.... Read More

Mar 07, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: It’s Black History Month!
11:58

Audio production by Todd "Troubled Island" Hulslander with barely audible suggestions from Dacia Clay.Thanks to MusicLab intern Princeton Miles for lending his dulcet tones to this episode. Thanks also to St. John Flynn and Daniel Webbon for their contributions to our timeline, and to Daniel for his music research minioning.Music in this episode includes:- Ludwig van Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 9 (Kreutzer Sonata)- Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast- William Grant Still, Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American"-... Read More

Feb 22, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Classical Music Rivalries!
11:26

Audio production by Todd "Mr. T" Hulslander, with a mean left hook from Dacia Clay and jabs by MusicLab intern, Daniel Webbon. Music used in this episode includes: - "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" by Bill Conti from the Rocky soundtrack - "Lithium" by Nirvana from Nevermind - "Hypnotize" by the Notorious B.I.G. from Life After Death - Overture from The Barber of Seville by Giachino Rossini - Sinfonia Veneziana: Allegro assai by Antonio... Read More

Jan 18, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 29: Wesley Horner on the intimate conversation of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony
22:31

Audio production by Todd "Toddtastic" Hulslander with deep, brooding glances from Dacia Clay. Music we used in this episode: - Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, 2nd movement Also, I couldn't help noticing that during our conversation, Wes and I started to sound a little like "NPR's Delicious Dish":

Nov 15, 2013
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: The mysterious mystery of Mozart’s death
07:02

Music used in this episode includes: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's... La clemenza di Tito, K. 621 Requiem Mass in D minor K. 626 Introitus: Requiem aeternam Sequentia: Lacrimosa dies illa Communio: Lux aeterna For more information about the Mozart Festival radio series, go to www.themozartfestival.org. Classical 91.7 will be broadcasting the series throughout the month of October. For more information about our broadcast, go to www.classical917.org! Resources: "After Mozart’s Death, an Endless Coda" New York Times... Read More

Oct 04, 2013
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Censored Classical Music – the most dangerous music in the world!
08:15

Written, produced, and viciously redacted by Dacia Clay. Music used in this episode includes: - Gregorian chant by Hildegard von Bingen - Claude Debussy, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune - Alessandro Scarlatti, La Giuditta - George Gershwin, "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess - Dmitri Shostakovich, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - Sergei Prokofiev, New Year's Eve Ball Waltz, from the opera War and Peace - Richard Wagner, "Die Walküre" - Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5... Read More

Aug 08, 2013
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Why we listen to Russian music on an American holiday
05:31

In this special 4th of July edition of Classical Classroom Research Presentations, Dacia ponders why Americans listen to Russian music on their Independence Day. She uncovers the [not really that] secret history of how one man and his love of pyrotechnics made Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture the theme music for America's most patriotic celebration. Written, produced, and otherwise manhandled by Dacia Clay. Music used in this episode includes: - Pyotr Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Boston Pops Orchestra,... Read More

Jul 03, 2013