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 193: Bach in the Underground with Cellist Dale Henderson
28:52

To get ready for Bach's March birthday, we bring you the fascinating story of a man on a mission to bring Bach to the people. Bach's music changed cellist Dale Henderson's life. Though the concert hall was a fab venue for sharing this music, Dale wasn't satisfied to stop there. Bach's music, he felt, was for everyone  - not just classical music fans. So he schlepped his cello down into a New York City subway, and started playing "pop-up" concerts (for free). And thus, Bach in the Subways was born. The ongoing project now spans more than 40 countries where hundreds of musicians participate in their own cities' public spaces.

Check out a video of Dale playing Bach at Classical KING FM (home of the Classical Classroom)!

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough

 

Feb 18, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 192: The Hilarious History of Classical Music with Igudesman and Joo
39:55

Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo make up the classical music comedy duo, Igudesman and Joo. And though they will crack you up with their performances (which you can watch on their YouTube channel along with millions of other viewers), when they talk about why they do what they do, the two musicians become surprisingly serious. They firmly believe that classical music was always meant to be fun. In this episode, they talk about the history of humor in classical music (even Beethoven was funny!), the forces that conspired to make it stuffy, and what they're doing to change that, including their upcoming performance, The Clone, with Yuja Wang. 

Music in this episode:

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough

Feb 11, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 191: Talkin' About the Blues (Dialogues) with Rachel Barton Pine
28:20

Violinist (and veteran Classical Classroom guest) Rachel Barton Pine talks all about her Music by Black Composers initiative, a project that's been in the works for 15 years, and the companion album she recently released called Blues Dialogues, Vol. 1. She discusses why projects like this are important, especially in the classical music world, advocacy vs. cultural appropriation, and talks about the great music on the album.

Music in this episode:

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Feb 04, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 190: Piazzolla Party! with the Neave Trio
20:52

Astor Piazzolla was a bandoneon player and a composer in Argentina who lived during the 20th century. He changed both classical music and tango music by bringing the two together. The Neave Trio, who recently came out with an album of Piazzolla's work, teaches all about who he was and how his genre-hopping changed music. 

Music list:

 

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Jan 28, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 76: MusicWorks - How Sonya Got Her Opera On (Rerun)
30:40

We love it when Classroom alums get recognized for their awesomeness. Such is the case for soprano Sonya Yoncheva. In addition to receiving the Opera Award by the Chilean Art Critics Circle, Sonya is on the cover of the Metropolitan Opera's wall calendar this year. We thought this was a great occasion to rerun her episode of Classical Classroom and to say, "You go, gworl."

--------------------

In our first MusicWorks episode (that's our storytelling-centered subseries), soprano Sonya Yoncheva tells the story of how she happened upon her passion – singing opera – by being true to herself (and listening to her mother) and by practicing her buns off. This put her in a position to be ready when she got that call from the Met to fill in at the last moment. And the rest, as they say, is in the podcast.

Audio production by Todd “Totally” Hulslander with awesomeness by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Giacomo Puccini: La Boheme – Donde lieta usci
  • Charles Lecocq: Les Cent Vierges, Act III, No. 10 Je soupire et maudis le destin
  • Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata – Sempre libera
  • Claudio Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea – “Pur ti Miro” (Sonya Yoncheva & Max Emanuel Cencic)
  • W. A. Mozart: Il Re Pastore – “L’Amero saro costante” (Sonya Yoncheva & Marc Minkowski)
  • Charles Gounod – Faust Final Trio – Anges Purs – Sonya Yoncheva, Joseph Calleja & Bryn Terfel

Learn about composer George Heathco’s piece, “ReGifting Lions”, part of our MusicWorks intro, and oh-so-much more about him at www.georgeheathcomusic.com.

  

Jan 21, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 189: Once More with Healing feat. Brooklyn Rider
34:19

String quartet Brooklyn Rider has a new project called Healing Modes which they're currently touring. While they were in Seattle, we coaxed them into the KING FM studio with the promise of snacks. Just kidding! They came in willingly like most of our guests. In this episode, they talk about Beethoven's Opus 132, the piece at the center of this project, and about the 5 new pieces they commissioned to play alongside it. They also talk about why music is healing, and why we need it to do its magic now.

Music in this episode: 

 

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Jan 14, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 188: Paddling to the Sea with Third Coast Percussion
34:19

Third Coast Percussion makes amazing music by hitting stuff. Okay - it's a little more complicated than that. But the Grammy-winning ensemble does spend a lot of time, both at Home Depot and with percussion mentors from other countries, searching for things to hit, bash, tap and so on. Their latest project, Paddle to the Sea, is a beautiful and moving distillation of all of that searching and bashing - one that has a rich history, dating back to a children's book of the same name from 1941. In this episode, Third Coast's Sean Connors and Peter Martin talk about Paddle to the Sea and what exactly a percussion ensemble is.

Music in this episode:

 

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

  

Jan 05, 2019
Classical Classroom, Episode 187: Rachel Barton Pine Talks Bruch and Elgar
32:59

What do Max Bruch and Edward Elgar have in common? Violinist Rachel Barton Pine! In this episode, RBP talks about the two composers and their very different violin concertos. Discussed herein: Did Edward Elgar invent Post It Notes? How is Max Bruch like Milli Vanilli and Iron Maiden? And, who was the mystery woman to whom Elgar dedicated his violin concerto (hint: it wasn’t his wife!)? And so much more.

Music in this episode:

 

 

Special thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Dec 31, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 112: The Ugly Christmas Sweaters Of Classical Music, With Alecia Lawyer (RERUN)
34:22

It's Christmas Eve. 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 scales? Check. Songs with completely bizarre lyrics that we sing along with anyway? Check. Wookiees? Yeah. This episode has all of that and oh so much more. Listen if you dare! And, uh, merry Christmas. You're welcome.

Music in this episode:

 

  • “Dominick the Donkey.” Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell.
  • “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.” John Rox. Performed by Gayla Peevey.
  • “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Randy Brooks. Performed by Elmo and Patsy.
  • “White Winter Hymnal.” Written and performed by Fleet Foxes. From their self-titled album.
  • “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” By John Frederick Coots. Performed by the Cheeky Monkeys.
  • “Ding​-​a​-​ling​-​a​-​ring​-​a​-​ling.” Written and performed by Sufjan Stevens. From Silver and Gold.
  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Frank Loesser. Performed by Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone. From the Elf movie soundtrack.
  • “Vader Did You Know?” Vic Mignogna.
  • “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?).” From Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.
  • “Mary, Did You Know?” Lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene. Performed by Pentatonix.
  • Greensleeves. London Festival Orchestra.
  • “Joy to the World.” Isaac Watts.
  • “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Performed by the Bach Choir.
  • “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Performed by Celtic Woman.
  • “Good King Wenceslas.” John Mason Neale.
  • “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Performed by Sandi Patty.
  • “The Cherry-Tree Carol.” Performed by King’s College Choir.

 

 

Audio production by Todd "Good King Wencelastodd" Hulslander with two eyes made out of coal by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

 

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Dec 24, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 186: Kim Kashkashian on the Persistence of Bach
24:07

We know what you're thinking: Another episode about Bach?! That's what we said! In fact, in this episode we ask Grammy-winning violist Kim Kashkashian to explain why classical musicians play and record the same music repeatedly, and specifically, why it's often the music of Bach. Her answer is totally fascinating! We also address the elephant in the room, i.e., whether or not it would have been okay with Bach that she played his Cello Suites on viola on her new album.

Music in this episode:

 

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Dec 17, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 185: On Discovering Hidden Classical Gems with Marc-André Hamelin
29:14

Marc-André Hamelin is many things: a renowned pianist, a composer, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a record collector of major proportions. The hands-on, no robots or algorithms, no safety net, digging in dusty bins in record shops variety. In fact, hunting for classical music diamonds in the rough is part of his creative process, and he loves bringing lesser-known works that he finds out into the light before audiences. In this episode, Hamelin talks about how (and why) he finds music that's new to him, about a few pieces he's found that he loves, and gives advice on how you, too, can go a-(record)hunting.

Music in this episode:

 https://youtu.be/ZlrHX8muIYA

 https://youtu.be/qnzjGbhPpfI

Aurea Carmina Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough

 

Dec 10, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 184: Working Hard with Hilary Hahn
23:01

Violinist Hilary Hahn has achieved more at just 39 years old than most of us will in a couple of lifetimes: multiple Grammy awards, 1594 concerts (so far), 20+ albums, 2 episodes of the Classical Classroom podcast, 2 kids, and a talking violin case. In this episode, Hahn talks about how much practice it actually takes to be her, her #100daysofpractice challenge on Instagram, and about how much work went in to her latest album, Hilary Hahn Plays Bach: Sonatas 1 and 2 Partita 1

Music in this episode:

 

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough

Dec 03, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 183: All-Star Ashley Bathgate's Primer on New Classical Music
42:07

If you've ever wondered how playing bowls of water is related to traditional classical music, this is the episode for you. Cellist Ashley Bathgate (of Bang on a Can All-Stars fame) was classically trained at Yale University School of Music, educated in the structured musical worlds of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. But today, she moves in a tangent universe of the classical music world, filled with effects pedals, prepared instruments, living composers, and sometimes members of indie rock bands. In this episode, she talks about what took her on this path, and in doing so, gives a legit primer on contemporary classical music [<-- working title]. 

Music in this episode:

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough

Nov 26, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 182: Fantastic Bell - Joshua Bell on Max Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy"
22:45

Sometimes composers just make stuff up. That is the lesson that Grammy-winning, super duper famous violinist Joshua Bell teaches in this episode of Classical Classroom. He also talks about how this is not just okay - it can be great, as it is in the piece "Scottish Fantasy" by composer Max Bruch. Learn about who Bruch was and where this piece came from (spoiler alert: not Scotland).

Music in this episode:

 Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

 

Nov 19, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 181: The Magicians - Daron Hagen on Orson Welles
44:32

Composer, conductor, and librettist Daron Hagen recently created a new magic trick: An opera that's not an opera about the director Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) but not necessarily about Orson Welles which may be performed in a different way every time it's performed and, according the website, "may, in fact, not exist at all, except as a set of options." 

Hagen's opera Orson Rehearsed has a lot to teach us about the use and usefulness of operatic structure and about the creative process. Welles, who was an actual magician, loved the process of creating. Hagen makes that process part of the performance of Orson Rehearsed by placing each performance in the hands of an appointed person (the opera's "Magician") who makes decisions about the opera from a set of sound collages that they can dictate the order and placement of as it's happening. And it all takes place in the last hour of Orson Welles' life, as Hagen has envisioned it. 

Honestly, you're just gonna have to listen, people.

Music in this episode:

Live recording of Chicago performance of his opera

 

 Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

 

 

Nov 12, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 180: Icelandic Music History 101 with Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir
31:48

Cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir is from the once-isolated island country of Iceland, a land of ice and snow and geothermal power and awesome music. In this episode, Sæunn tells the unique history of Icelandic classical music (or "music," as they call it there), including how the long-term relative isolation of the country lent to its unique approach to music, and tells what Bjork's favorite food is. Just kidding! But she does talk about Iceland's important composers and musical luminaries and says a lot of really cool-sounding Icelandic words. 

Music in this episode:

 Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

 

Nov 05, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 179: The Miro Quartet on Beethoven's Opus 131, an Autobiography
18:51

Life isn't always puppies and kittens (she stated sagely). Sometimes, it can be downright tough - maybe your family is falling apart and you're a famous composer and you're going deaf. We've all been there, amiright? In this episode, John Largess and Joshua Gindele, members of the Miro Quartet, talk about Beethoven's Opus 131 string quartet and that it's one example of how composers use the string quartet to tell their own stories. They also talk about what was going on in Beethoven's life that he may have been working out in this piece.

Music in this episode:

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

 

Oct 29, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 178: Anne Akiko Meyers on Working with Superheroes
26:01

Arguably, Anne Akiko Meyers is darn admirable herself. The violinist has scads of fans. She's been Billboard's #1 classical artist. I mean, she's been on Morning Edition AND All Things Considered. But in this episode, Meyers is the fan rather than the star. She tells stories about getting to work with composers she idolizes, and what happened when she did - and didn't - dare to ask them to do things differently. Valuable life lessons, people.

Music in this episode:

 

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Oct 22, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 177: Sharon Isbin on Spanish Art Song, TM, and Everything Else
26:29

 

Hold on to your hats, people: This episode with multi-Grammy Award winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin covers a lot. Because how often do you get to talk to Sharon Isbin?? Learn about everything from the David Lynch Foundation and Transcendental Meditation, to Spanish art song, to astronauts, and how Isbin got started playing guitar at the age of 9. It's a veritable cornucopia of information. (Side note: Are any cornucopias not "veritable"? Do fake, poser cornucopias exist?)

Music in this episode:

 

 

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Oct 15, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 176: Composing Music for Film About Music with Jono Hill
26:41

Composer Jono Hill was given a unique task: to compose the score for a film about a classical musician. The movie As Far as the Eye Can See (directed by David Franklin and written by Paden Fallis) follows Jack Ridge, a now 40-year-old former Van Cliburn Competition winner who is more or less hiding out on his family's land in Texas. In this episode of Classical Classroom, Hill talks about the unique process of composing for film, and about the special challenges of composing for a movie with classical music at its center.

Music in this episode:

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

 

Oct 08, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 175: The Unsolved Mysteries of Women Composers with Angela Draghicescu
46:33

Pianist Angela Draghicescu never meant to become a classical music investigator. But a simple desire to play good music led her to an unavoidable conclusion: some very important composers were grossly underrepresented in classical music repertoire. But...why?, she wondered. Authorities seemed stumped and inquiries into the whereabouts of these composers' work turned up only dead ends. And thus began Angela's emotional journey to find answers. That search resulted in the creation of her project, Women Who Score. It also took Classical Classroom down a terrifying rabbit hole full of twists, turns, and questions as we, too, tried to find out what happened to the music of women composers throughout history.

Music in this episode:

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

Oct 01, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 174: Critiquing Anne Midgette
45:35

Anne Midgette, chief classical music critic at the Washington Post, recently wrote an article that caught our attention called, "A beginner’s guide to enjoying classical music. No snobs allowed." We figured that she must have been listening to Classical Classroom, so we invited her on to chat. In this episode, Midgette discusses the pointers in her article (gems such as, "Classical music can do things no other music can"), talks about her own circuitous path to classical music critic stardom, and recommends some pieces of music to get you on your way to learning to love classical music more.

Music in this episode:

 

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.

 

 

Sep 24, 2018
Raiders of the Lost Podcast: The Classical Classroom drama
05:23

The Classical Classroom is back! But from where?? Hear host Dacia Clay recount the epic, harrowing tale behind the show's hiatus in this teaser episode. New full, real episodes will be out any day now. Dacia will be asking even more, even dumber questions about classical music. Come learn with us. Again.

Sep 14, 2018
New Season of Classical Classroom Starting September 2018
01:43

Classical Classroom is finally coming back. Dacia Clay will be asking even more, even dumber questions about classical music to really smart people like Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Hillary Hahn, Miro Quartet, Jono Hill, Anne Akiko Meyers, and many, many more. 

Sep 14, 2018
Classical Classroom, Episode 64: RERUN - Journey To The Symphony’s Center
42:22

We just heard that Classroom guest Peter Boyer is up to some big stuff (go Peter, it’s your birthday…):

First, the National Symphony Orchestra – that’s the orchestra in residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. – will be playing Peter’s work Rolling River (Sketches on “Shenandoah”) on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on September 3, 2017;

And also, on September 9th, in an “It’s a Small Classical Music World After All” moment, Classroom alum Brett Mitchell will be conducting the Colorado Symphony and soloist Renee Fleming in a performance of Peter’s New Beginnings.

In honor of this news, we decided to rerun Peter’s episode. Enjoy!

Why do composers write symphonies? What goes into writing a symphony? If it has three movements, is it still a symphony? I mean, really: What IS a symphony anyway?! Grammy-nominated composer and conductor Peter Boyer answers all of these questions and more by taking us deep into his Symphony No. 1. From making dots on a page, to recording the piece with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, this is a tell-all of one composer’s creative process. Come along, won’t you? Goood. Goood…

Music in this episode:

Peter Boyer, Symphony No. 1. Played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Naxos 8.559769.

Peter Boyer, the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road, London

Audio production by Todd “Twitchy” Hulslander with quasi-spiritual guidance from Dacia Clay.

Aug 21, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 41: RERUN - Pretty Pattern Preludes With Karim Al-Zand
34:31

Greetings listeners! We’re rerunning this episode of the podcast in honor of Karim Al-Zand’s recent premiere of the new work, “The Prisoner,” at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California. The piece was inspired by the writings of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. 

This episode is about something else: pattern preludes.

Pattern preludes are enigmas inside of conundrums wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. No – wait. That’s not right… Pattern preludes, according to composer Karim Al-Zand’s website, are, “…pieces constrained by a single idea (usually a rhythmic or textural ostinato) through which a composer expresses a narrowly focused thought. Patterning is especially well-suited to preludes, which are by convention short, concise and introductory.” Bach, Chopin, Debussy, and others wrote pattern preludes. These little pieces function as a tool by which classical music newbies can get to know a composer’s style. Learn aaall about them in this episode!

Music in this episode:

  • Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier C major prelude book 1
  • Chopin’s C major Etude, Op 10, No.1, played by Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Chopin/Bach, played by Kana Mimaki
  • Al-Zand Pattern Prelude No. 1 (after Bach), played by DiLiberto
  • Schumann Album Leaves Op. 124, No. 17, played by Denes Varjon

Audio production by Todd “Titters” Hulslander with alliteration from Dacia Clay.

Aug 15, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 48: RERUN - The Texas Tenors Teach Tenor Types
33:34

How, exactly, does one know that he is a “light lyric tenor,” or a “Spinto tenor,” or a “dramatic tenor”? Is there like, a Tenor Task Team? Two members of the Texas Tenors – JC Fisher and John Hagen – teach the types of tenor to us. We also learn about “classical crossover” music and why it is a gateway drug, turning innocent classical music newbies into addicts by the thousands.

By the way, if you like this episode, check out the Texas Tenors on Houston Public Media TV 8 Monday August 7, 2017 (local PBS show times here).

Music in this episode:

  • “La donna è mobile”, by The Three Tenors, from the Three Tenors in Concert, Los Angeles (1994)
  • “Celeste Aida”, by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Giuseppe Giacomini
  • Tosca, by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Luciano Pavarotti (James Levine on piano)
  • Otello, by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Placido Domingo
  • “Principe più non se” from La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, performed by Juan Diego Florez with Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • “Vesti la Giubba” from Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, performed by Luciano Pavarotti
  • La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini, performed Andrea Bocelli
  • “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Franco Corelli
  • “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, performed by the Texas Tenors

Audio production by Todd “Tenortastic” Hulslander with scads of squillo from Dacia Clay.

Aug 07, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 63: RERUN - The Trumpet Lesson
24:17

This episode does double duty: teaches you all about the trumpet and trumpet playing, while carrying out the secondary mission of Classical Classroom, i.e., the humiliation of the show’s host. Trumpet players George Chase and Jason Adams of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra teach former trumpet player Dacia a trumpet lesson. Along the way, they say all kinds of important things about the history of the instrument. Plus, there are duck calls!

Music in this episode:

  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major Mvt. 3 -Bach played by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
  • Duo No. 1 by Chris Gecker played by George Chase and Jason Adams

Audio production by Todd “Ah!” Hulslander with running and hiding by Dacia Clay.

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

The story of Mozart’s death has, over the years, taken on an awful lot of…story. Extant theories regarding how he died number in the hundreds and are still emerging. Even yours truly did an episode of Classical Classroom to try to get to the bottom of the whole thing. In this episode, Dr. Robert Greenberg, a music historian and bestselling creator of courses for the Great Courses and the Teaching Company (and now, for Robert Greenberg Music), explains the facts that we know that we know about how Mozart died. Plus, we explore why it’s so hard for us to accept that incredible human beings like Mozart can, and do die, of totally boring, normal causes.

Audio production by Todd “Wolfie” Hulslander with suspicious eyeballing by Dacia Clay.

Jul 17, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 69: RERUN - The Kids Are Alright, With Missy Mazzoli
35:30

Classical music: the future frontier. These are the voyages of the podcast Classical Classroom. It’s mission: to explore strange new music – Sorry. I’ll stop. Where was I? Right! Composer, performer, and Mannes College of Musiccomposition faculty member, Missy Mazzoli talks to us about the future of classical music, from the future, aka, New York. Also talked about in this episode: Beth Morrison, Schoenberg, David Little, pillow fights, Lars von Triereighth blackbirdRichard Reed ParryBryce DessnerVictoireAbigail Fischer, “bands” vs. “ensembles”, operatic voice, and streaming music.

PS, If you’re in the Houston area, Missy’s opera, Song from the Uproar, will be making its premiere here at Da Camera in March of 2015. For more info, click here!

Audio production of this episode by Todd “Tisk Tisk” Hulslander with buckets of help from Dacia Clay.

All music in this episode was composed by Missy Mazzoli.

For more about Missy Mazzoli: www.missymazzoli.com

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

Pianist, Shepherd School of Music professor, and recording artist Jon Kimura Parker – or as we like to call him, Captain Jon Solo – talks about the hidden world of the guest soloist. From the singular experience of performing with an orchestra in one ear and a concert hall in the other, to rehearsal times that will give you stage fright just hearing about them, it’s a behind-the-scenes tell-all exposé of concertic proportions. (That’s a word. We swear.)

Music in this episode was recorded live with Jon Kimura Parker in the Geary Performance Studio at Houston Public Media except for:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 C-Dur, op. 15 played by Martha Argerich and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • P.D.Q. Bach: Concerto for Two Pianos vs. Orchestra, S. 2 are better than one (P.D.Q. Bach).

Audio production by Todd “The Tobogganator” Hulslander with a running start by Dacia Clay.

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

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine loves playing challenging music (and apparently, being on Classical Classroom, as this is her third time on the show). So it makes sense that she would want to play the musical equivalent of running a marathon for her latest album: Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices. In this episode, Rachel talks about who Paganini was. As it turns out, he was much more than just a classical music proto-goth with what some thought was a supernatural ability to play the violin.

Music in this episode:

  • Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini –  Nikolai Lugansky, Sakari Oramo City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Breaking The Rules: Pagan Annie Richard Greene, Jon Kurnick, Denny Seiwell
  • All other music from Bel Canto Paganini by Rachel Barton Pine 

Audio production by Todd “Sheriff Harry S. Truman” Hulslander with from Dacia Clay.

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

This show is from the Wayback Machine, and Emily has done a lot since this. She currently does a podcast called Level with Emily Reese for one, and she runs a company called Joon Media. (I’ll post what she was doing at the time of our interview below.) What I remember most about this interview is 1) having my mind blown about Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and 2) Emily’s laugh, which I think you’ll agree is pretty great.

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Beethoven’s Fifth. We’ve never done a show on it because everybody knows it! Right? Emily Reese, on air host for Classical Minnesota Public Radio, host of Top Score (part of the Infinite Guest podcast series), and creator of MPR’s Learning to Listen, says that we are wrong, so wrong! Emily takes us through the entire symphony, which, as it turns out, is completely surprising and amazing. Plus, we play drinking games! Or at least give you some to play.

Music in this episode:

  • Symphony No. 5, Ludwig van Beethoven. Played by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. Archiv.

Audio production by Todd “The Tower” Hulslander with fear of heights by Dacia Clay.

Jun 12, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 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.

Music in this episode (all written and performed by Jessica Meyer):

  • “Source of Joy”
  • “The dappled light just beyond her skin…” 
  • “But Not Until” (viola and cello duo feat. Andrew Yee)
  • “Released”

Audio production by Todd “Electrotodd” Hulslander with unplugging by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

Jun 05, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 170: Fabien On Felix (Mendelssohn, That Is)
31:02

Conductor Fabien Gabel came to Houston to conduct the Symphony in a program of pieces by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. In this episode, he gives a primer on Mendelssohn, talks about what a “Fingal’s Cave” is, and gives the world’s first audible eye roll at the use of the term “Suicide Symphony” (re: Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique). Also discussed: the difference between love and obsession with regard to Mexican food.

Music in this episode:

  • Mendelssohn, The Hebrides, Op. 26 “Fingal’s Cave,” Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Mendelssohn, Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Rudolf Serkin
  • Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor Op. 74, TH.30 (Pathetique), Czech Philharmonic 

Audio production by Todd “Todd’s Cave” Hulslander with Indiana Jones-ing by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. 

May 30, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 52: RERUN - Inside A Boléro With Howard Pollack
42:03

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 Airis our tour guide through this amazing piece of music by a very subtle and sneaky composer.

Music in this episode:

  • “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Boléro by Maurice Ravel as performed by Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Charles Dutoit

Audio production by Todd “Treble Clef” Hulslander with bass clef by Dacia Clay.

 

May 22, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 169: MusicWorks - How Music Chased Down Gaelynn Lea
46:47

Violinist/fiddle player Gaelynn Lea came to Houston fresh off of performing at South by Southwest and spent some time with the Classical Classroom(and Skyline Sessions – check out her video performances!). She talks about how music has gradually become her life. From first finding an instrument that was right for her body as a kid (she has a rare condition called Brittle Bones Disease that means she’s got different physical challenges than others), to meeting and collaborating with Alan Sparhawk (of the band Low), to winning the Tiny Desk Contest and selling her home to go on tour.

Music in this episode:

  • Violin Partita, No 1 in B Minor
  • “Gentle,” by Low from Ones and Sixes
  • Plus, music performed by Gaelynn Lea

Audio production by Todd “Turnt Up” Hulslander with dinosaur acts by Dacia Clay and help from Mark DiClaudio.

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

Note: This episode was originally posted on April 13, 2015.

This week [see above], composer Nico Muhly is premiering a brand new work, How Little You Are, in Austin. He talks about the classical (or, concert) music world’s premiering process, and about how and why listening to classical music golden oldies is different than listening to a new work, about the inspiration for his new piece, and of course, about Prince.

Music in this episode:

  • Mozart: Magic Flute. Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
  • Bach: Magnificat. 
  • Stravinsky: Petrouchka. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra.
  • Joni Mitchell: A Case of You (from Blue)
  • Prince: A Case of You (from A Tribute to Joni Mitchell)
  • Nico Muhly: Sensational Calligraphic Scribble / Amor Nos Une / Room Song (from Object Songs)
  • Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi (from Koyaanisqatsi – Life Out of Balance motion picture score)
  • Nico Muhly: Mothertongue Pt. 1: Archive (from Mothertongue)

Audio production by Todd “TIE fighter” Hulslander with lightsaber skills by Dacia Clay. Editing by Mark DiClaudio.

May 08, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 40: RERUN - Simone Dinnerstein Goes Bachpacking
29:49

Simone Dinnerstein just came out with a new album called Mozart in Havana. While we weren’t able to sync up our interview schedules this time around, we had to at least give her a shout out with this rerun because she is awesome. She may be coming to a city near you!

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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.

Music in this episode:

Audio production by Todd “Toddsy Turvy” Hulslander with yips of joy from Dacia Clay.

May 01, 2017
Classical Classroom, Episode 26: RERUN - Ragging On Chopin With Richard Dowling
37:05

Concert pianist and entrepreneur Richard Dowling illuminates some of Chopin’s pieces by “ragging” them on the piano. It’s a lesson in classical music and ragtime all rolled up in one, topped with live performances, and served with a side of fries.

Music in this episode includes live performances by Richard Dowling of:

  • Frederic Chopin, Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9 No. 2
  • Ethan Uslan, Chopin’s Knocked Urn
  • Frederic Chopin, “Revolutionary” Etude in C Minor, Op. 10 No. 12
  • Joseph Lamb, Ragtime Nightingale
  • Claude Debussy, Golliwogg’s Cakewalk (not performed by Mr. Dowling)

Audio production by Todd “Toddry” Hulslander with sarcastic slow claps of approval from Dacia Clay.

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

Percussion is almost anything that we say ‘yes’ to playing.” – Sean Connors 

Wait. A percussion-only ensemble? Is that, like, a fancy drum circle? Sean Connors of the Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussionexplains that this is not too far off. But the operative word is “fancy.” As Connors describes it, percussion ensembles are the mad scientists of the music world. Any object in the world is a potential instrument. And when they’ve run out of objects, they invent more. (Fun fact: Third Coast sometimes works with actual scientists at the University of Notre Dame where they are ensemble in residence.) Learn all about the crazy world of percussion ensembles and hear some amazing music in this show.

Music in this episode:

  • Mallet Quartet: III (Fast), by Steve Reich, from Third Coast Grammy performance with Ravi Coltrane
  • Wild Sound, mvt 4, by Glenn Kotche (Arduino and marimba versions)

Audio production by Todd “Neil Peart” Hulslander with air drumming by Dacia Clay and video production and general other assistance by Mark DiClaudio.

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

Craig Johnson wrote a beautiful piece of music that commemorates a tragic event: the brutal beating of a young gay man. The piece asks listeners to consider Matt Shepard, the person who lived through the event, and to consider the life Shepard lived prior to the beating. In this episode, part 2 of our 2-part series on activism in classical music, Johnson talks about his Grammy-nominated choral work, “Considering Matthew Shepard.” He also talks about the strong and effective tool that classical music can be in bringing people together and in shedding light upon dark places.

Music in this episode:

  • Music from “Considering Matthew Shepard,” by Craig Hella Johnson
  • By Johann Sebastian Bach
    • B Minor Mass
    • Prelude in C major from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier
    • St. Matthew Passion

Audio production by Todd “Hella” Hulslander with assistance from Dacia Clay and Mark DiClaudio.

To learn more about Conspirare, go here. To learn more about the Laramie Project, go here.

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

It’s the first of April and we are welcoming a special guest (believe us: you will know him when you hear him). He introduces us to a fascinating mix of early music and Renaissance era instruments and performs examples of how each sounds.

Music in this episode:

  • Songs From The Labyrinth, by Sting
    • Walsingham – John Dowling, composer /perf – Edin Karamazov and Sting
    • Come Again – John Dowling, composer/ perf – Edin Karamazov and Sting
  • The Art of the Bawdy Song, Baltimore Consort featuring Merry Companions
    • Pox on you for a fop
    • Cuckolds all a-row
    • I gave her cakes and I gave her ale

The blame and audio production credit for this episode lie with Todd “Totally Redonk” Hulslander, with assistance from Mark DiClaudio and head shaking from Dacia Clay.

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

“When somebody shows you who they are, believe them.”

That’s one of cellist Amanda Gookin’s favorite quotes. And through the Forward Music Project, she’s decided to show people who she is, and who women and girls are. Learn Amanda’s story (which includes many digressions from, and returns to, the classical music world), and learn why she decided to aim all of her disparate passions at one target. Hear the innovate pieces that she’s commissioned in what she calls a “giving project,” which seeks not only to bring awareness to causes that benefit women and girls, but to donate money to those causes.

Music in this episode (all from the Forward Music Project):

  • “For Edna,” by Leila Adu
  • “Stray Sods,” by Amanda Feery
  • “Swerve,” by Jessica Meyer
  • “Memories lie dormant: they are reviled before they are revealed,” by Morgan Krauss

Audio production by Todd “Take 5” Hulslander with pick up sticks by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. Thanks much to George Heathco for the use of his music in our intro!

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

Happy birthday, Rachmaninov!

Because Rachmaninov’s birthday and our Spring Break lined up so nicely, it’s obviously the perfect opportunity to repeat this episode. Back next week with more of the usual (i.e., heavy metal car racing stories with lots of explosions).


Cellist Alisa Weilerstein’s gives an 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 episode is all from Weilerstein and Barnatan’s CD, Chopin and Rachmaninov Cello Sonatas:

  • Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Opus 19. Sergey Rachmaninov.

Audio production by Todd “Toight like a toiger” Hulslander with grrrr aargh’s from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

If you enjoyed this episode with Alisa Weilerstein, check out her other Classical Classroom episode – all about the Aspen Music Festival and playing solo cello.

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

For starters, this episode was recorded on Groundhog’s Day. Which is pretty perfect considering that this is the second time we’ve had the Cypress String Quartet on the show to talk about a “final” recording. Cypress cellist Jennifer Kloetzel swears that this really is the quartet’s final final recording and assures us that this is not just a clever publicity gimmick. (Although for the record, if it was, we would gladly play along.) Kloetzel tells us why, for their final final recording, the group went with a composer they’d never recorded before (Brahms), why they recorded the album live in front of a studio audience, and why they played as a sextet rather than a quartet. Also discussed: whether or not one has to have Jedi training to record at Skywalker Sound, and whether Jennifer and Zuill Bailey had a cello battle in the studio.

All music in this episode from the Cypress String Quartet’s Brahms: String Sextets Op.18 and Op.36.

Audio production by Todd “Marmot” Hulslander with shadow-siting by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

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

It all started because Tom Steenlandreally dug the music of composer Tod Dockstader. He wanted the rest of the world to hear it, too. And so began the (thus far) 25-year DIY project born out of Steenland’s passion for innovative sound that is Starkland Records, a label that specializes in experimental music, alternative classical, and the avant-garde. Since the label started in 1991 (AKA, the Year Punk Broke), Steenland has almost single-handedly propelled Starkland’s motor, doing the bulk of the work for the label himself, including the minutiae like graphic design. And, to top all of that, Starkland is a non-profit label and has worked directly with nearly 100 composers. Learn about this unicorn among labels in our Classical Classroom MusicWorks story.

Music in this episode from Starkland, including music by Tod Dockstader, Phillip Bimstein, and more.

Audio production by Todd “Dockstader” Hulslander with robot sounds from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. Thanks muchly to composer George Heathco for the use of his music in our MusicWorks intro!

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

Collaborative pianist Madeline Slettedahl came to the Classical Classroom to describe the nuances of her trade. What’s it like to play one instrument that’s sometimes a stand-in for a whole orchestra? How is playing piano with a vocalist different than playing with an instrumentalist? Doesn’t she like the glory of playing solo piano better? And why can’t we call her an “accompanist” anymore? Madeline graciously answers all of our ridiculous questions and more. Also included: lots of fun and lots of made up words.

By the way, Madeline and baritone Ben Lowe recently won the The Music Academy of the West’s 2016 Marilyn Horne Song Competition. As part of their winnings, they’re kicking off a nationwide tour that starts in March and includes Houston! Stay tuned to our social media for more information.

Audio production by Todd “Toxic” Hulslander with hungry eyes from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. 

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

All of us have heard spirituals before – those sometimes jubilant, sometimes sorrowful songs created by African American slaves. But have you really heardthem? As it turns out, these deceptively simple songs sometimes carried hidden messages, signals, and directions. Dr. Jason Oby, artistic director of the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, teaches all about this ingenious and soulful musical invention that was born out of oppression and necessity. He also talks about the spiritual’s connection to classical music, and the music of Roland Carter, who, among many things, arranges spirituals.

Music in this episode:

  • “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” feat. Jason Oby and Moses Hogan (piano)
  • “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” feat. Jessye Norman
  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” arranged by James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson, feat. Roland Carter
  • “Hold Fast to Dreams,” by Roland Carter

Audio production by Todd “Telekinesis” Hulslander with levitation from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

To learn more about the Houston Ebony Opera Guild and their performances – including their upcoming Annual African American Music Gala celebrating the work (and birthday!) of Maestro Roland Carter – check out their website.

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

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends; it is only yourself.

– from The Matrix

Dr. George E. Lewis is the Neo of the classical music Matrix. He doesn’t have a great deal of use for preconceived notions of genre and form and he doesn’t have a lot of time to worry about definitions. That’s because he’s pretty darn busy making music and art. In addition to chairing the Composition Area at Columbia University, he’s a composer, an electronic performer, an installation artist, a trombone player and a scholar. In this episode of Classical Classroom, Dr. Lewis pauses for a moment to talk about his experimental classical music, and about what he’s been doing at Rice University with the James Turrell Sky Space using the things Houston is best known for: its crazy weather and its diverse people.

Music in this episode :

  • “Anthem” performed by Wet Ink Ensemble from Relay, by George Lewis
  • “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” by James Brown from Sex Machine (live at Bell Auditorium, Augusta, Georgia)

Audio production by Todd “Typical Todd” Hulslander with digitization by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

By the way, in this episode, Dr. Lewis talks about an art installation that he worked on with artist Carroll Parrott Blue for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston called Whispering BayouAmong the many cool things about this piece, in it, Lewis and Blue used recordings of Houstonians representing many of the 145 languages that are spoken in the city. Learn more here in this short video from Houston Public Media’s Arts InSight.

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

Liszt’s Transcendental Études are such popular pieces that pianists Kirill Gerstein and Daniil Trifonov put out recordings of them within a month of each other during 2016. Which made Classical Classroom ask, “What’s with the étude, dude?” In this episode, Gerstein teaches what an étude is, and why Liszt’s are “transcendental,” using lots of skiing metaphors. Also included: a piano smackdown.

All music in this episode from Kirill Gerstein’s recording, Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139.

Audio production by Todd “Twilight” Hulslander with full moon transformation by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

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

It’s entirely possible that cellist Matt Haimovitz has forgotten that composers other than Bach exist. On his last visit to Classical Classroom, he talked about Anna Magdalena’s (Bach’s second wife’s) transcriptions of Bach’s Cello Suites. On the visit before that, Matt and Christopher O’Riley talked… oh wait – that was about Beethoven. But still! The guy’s obsessed! And we’re glad he is. In this episode, Haimovitz talks about his CD Overtures to Bach, on which he commissioned 6 contemporary composers to essentially build an aural bridge from our time to Bach’s. Learn about Bach and hear amazing new music in this episode. 

All music in this episode from Matt Haimovitz’s Overtures to Bach

Audio production by Todd “Mr. Robot” Hulslander with poorly executed fake hacking sequences by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

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

Late last year, composer and Shepherd School of Music professor Shih-Hui Chen helped bring something called “nanguan” music to Houston. Specifically, she and Asia Society Texas brought the Lâm-hun-koh/Gang-a-Tsui Nanguan Music and Theater Troupe to perform this special kind of traditional Chinese music. We somehow squeezed all of the members of the troupe into our studio, including musician and ethnomusicologist Katie Chen, for this episode. Katie and Shih-Hui talk about nanguan music and some of Shih-Hui’s contemporary pieces that the troupe were to play at their Asia Society performance. We saved this episode for Chinese New Year (shout out to the Year of the Rooster!) which starts on January 28th. You’re welcome!

Music in this episode:

  • Traditional Nanguan pieces:
    • Traditional piece
    • Pushing Away The Pillow
  • Shih-Hui Chen pieces:
    • Returning Souls
    • A Plea to Lady Chang’e 

Audio production for this episode by Todd “I’m not Todd” Hulslander with meandering by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio. 

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

Music and poetry go together like inhaling and exhaling, or like gasoline and matches, or like Sherlock and Watson, or like Parker and Stone, or like a hammer and a nail. Et cetera, et cetera. In this episode, composer Dale Trumbore talks about setting poems and prose to music, and about the relationship between poetry and music. There are exercises within, so get out your paper and your pencils.

Music in this episode:

  • As Vesta was from Latmos Hill Descending (The King’s Singers, Royal Rhymes and Rounds)
  • The Road Home (Dale Warland Singers, Harvest Home)
  • Threshold of Night (Conspirare, Threshold of Night)
  • In the Middle by Dale Trumbore
  • Timor et tremor (The Sixteen, The Earth Resounds)
  • Spiritus Mundi, by Dale Trumbore

Audio production by Todd “Twitty” Hulslander with indispensable input from Dacia Clay and assistance by Mark DiClaudio.

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

The celebrated classical music composer Béla Bartók was really into folk music. I mean, really into it. Not like, hitchhiking-with-beat-up-acoustic-guitar, playing-open-mic-nights folk music. More like, invented-an-analytic-study-of-folk-music-and-created-the-field-of-ethnomusicology-in-general folk music. Hyeyung Yoon, Greg Beaver, and Jonah Sirota of the Chiara String Quartet talk about how Bartók brought the collection and analysis of folk music into his work as a classical composer. They also talk about why playing Bartók’s music “by heart” was important on their latest CD.

All music in this episode from the Chiara String Quartet’s CD, Bartók by Heart.

Audio production by Todd “Stranger Todds” Hulslander with Demogorgon slaying by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

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

Welcome to part 2 of our holiday indulgence: a walk through the music of the Coen Brothers films with Craig Cohen of Houston Matters. We pick up our where our last conversation ended (with 1994’s The Hudsucker Proxy), and move on to the sparse music of Fargo. Hear a little Mozart, a fake bluegrass band, wind used as an instrument, and even the vocal stylings of an X-Wing fighter pilot. 

Music in this episode:

  • From Fargo (the movie): Music by Carter Burwell
  • From The Big Lebowski: Featuring Mozart’s Requiem
  • From O Brother Where Art Thou?: Soundtrack curated by curated by T-Bone Burnett, featuring the bluegrass stylings of fake band, the Soggy Bottom Boys
  • From No Country for Old Men 
  • From A Serious Man
  • From Inside Llewyn Davis: Soundtrack curated by curated by T-Bone Burnett, featuring vocals by Oscar Isaac, aka Poe Dameron

Audio production by Todd “A Serious Todd” Hulslander with talking in a Fargoaccent by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

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

Okay, so it’s a little bit of a departure from our typical classical music fare, but it’s the holidays so we’re indulging in some serious fun: Craig Cohen, host of our mothership’s daily public affairs program, Houston Matters, walks us through the music of the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, better known as the Coen Brothers. In part 1 of our epic conversation, you’ll learn about the musical mastermind behind the brothers’ films, Carter Burwell. You’ll also hear a little melodramatic Khachaturian, and, of course, some yodeling. 

Music in this episode:

  • From Blood Simple: Music by Carter Burwell
  • From Raising Arizona: Featuring the yodel stylings of Mieczyslaw Litwinski and a banjo player who Carter Burwell claims may have been one of the Coen brothers’ optometrists
  • From Miller’s Crossing: Orchestral score by Carter Burwell
  • From Barton Fink 
  • From The Hudsucker Proxy: Featuring compositions by Aram Khachaturian, including “Sabre Dance”

Audio production by Todd “Fink” Hulslander with hula hooping by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

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

Okay, so we are re-gifting this year’s holiday episode from our 2013 collection. But it’s only because we thought you’d like it! Please re-enjoy learning about this gorgeous, never-gets-old classic. And from all of us at Classical Classroom HQ: peace, joy, and ALL THE PRESENTS to you this year!


We all know The Nutcracker, right? Wrong! In this episode of Classical Classroom, Shelly Power (director, Houston Ballet Academy) and Michael Remson (executive director, AFA) blow your minds with the history of the ballet and a behind-the-scenes look at the massive undertaking that putting on the show entails every year.

All music in this episode from The Nutcracker:

  • Score by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky
  • Original choreography by Marius Petipas and Lev Ivanov
  • Libretto adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Audio production by Todd “Pas de Todd” Hulslander with sugarplum fairies dancing in her head by Dacia Clay.

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

As of 2016, the Emerson String Quartethas been around for 40 years. For comparison, here is a brief list of other awesome things that have been around for 40 years: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Muppet Show, the movie Rocky, the Blues Brothers, Big Red Gum, the game Whack-a-Mole, VHS tapes, and the Ramones’ debut album. In this episode, Emerson violinist Eugene Drucker talks about what it means to play for that long with the same musicians, about what has changed over the years, and about Emerson’s new 52-CD box set.

Music in this episode (all from Emerson String Quartet – Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon):

  • String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor. Franz Schubert.
  • String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor. Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • String Quartet No. 1.  Béla Bartók.
  • String Quartet No. 17 (“The Hunt”). Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • Symphony No. 15. Dmitri Shostakovich.
  • 3 Madrigals. Bohuslav Martinů.
  • Lyric Suite. Alban Berg.
  • String Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in C major. Franz Schubert.

Audio production by Todd “The Arthropod” Hulslander with assistance from Mark DiClaudio and blitzkrieg bopping from Dacia Clay.

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

Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro both play instruments that have had historically complex relationships to classical music. Even today, the classical guitar and the bandoneon are a little unorthodox in that world. Maybe that’s why Jason and Julien – and their instruments – are such an obvious fit together. Without easy paths to follow, they’ve made their own and they’ve subsequently both become uniquely musically versatile. They’re also both brood-y and wear sunglasses at night (one imagines). Learn about the classical guitar and the bandoneon, their histories, their repertoires, and what kind of trailblazing Vieaux and Labro are up to on their new CD, Infusion.  

If you like what you hear in this episode, go see Jason Vieaux in concert with Da Camera of Houston on December 9th! More details here.

Music in this episode:

  • “Escualo” by Astor Piazzolla
  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
  • Tres Danzas Concertantes – I. Allegro by Leo Brouwer 

Audio production by Todd “Tablature” Hulslander with Dacia Clay doing the Madison and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

Dec 05, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 29: RERUN - The Intimate Conversation Of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, With Wesley Horner
23:47

Immortality might be writing a piece of music that is so cool, so archetypal, that hundreds of years later, it’s still used in media that its creator never could have imagined existing. Case in point, Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, which was used to amazing effect in the dystopian world of the Emmy award-winning USA Network show, Mr. Robot. Or Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, recently used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This old gold episode from the Classical Classroom vault, featuring independent producer Wesley Horner, focuses on the former. Hear Wesley’s theories about what makes an immortal piece of music tick.

Music in this episode:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, 2nd movement

Audio production by Todd “Toddtastic” Hulslander with deep, brooding glances from Dacia Clay.

Nov 28, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 150: Sportsing With Tchaikovsky – Jennifer Koh
21:34

Holy 150th episode, Batman! Because we are so stoked to have reached this milestone, we bring you not one, but two treats: A new Classical Classroom show intro, and the comedic stylings of violinist Jennifer Koh. Jennifer was Musical America’s Instrumentalist of 2016 and recently put out an album of Tchaikovsky’s complete works for violin and orchestra. Some of Tchaikovsky’s pieces are commonly referred to as, “…the most daunting works in the violin repertoire.” Jennifer explains why a composer would write something that musicians consider intimidating to play, and why musicians like her have fun feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Also in this episode, bear witness to astonishingly inept sports talk, and the best story about a violinist playing softball ever.

All music in this episode from Jennifer Koh’s CD, Tchaikovsky’s Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra.

Audio production by Todd “Birthday Boy” Hulslander with assistance from Mark DiClaudio and parkour by Dacia Clay.

Many thanks to our listeners for all the love and listening so far! You guys rawk.

This episode brought to you by the following fake organization:

sportsball

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

Before you get all excited, no: the Cypress String Quartet has not reunited. It’s just that we at Classical Classroom have been so busy that we’re a wee bit behind the times. By like…5 months-ish. This episode was originally recorded back in June of 2016, 3 days before the quartet’s last performance after 20 years together, and just after the release of their CD Beethoven: The Early String Quartets. CST members Jennifer Kloetzel (cello) and Tom Stone (violin) talk about how Beethoven’s music brought the group together, and about mastering his music from end to beginning. Learn about Beethoven’s periods and how his music toys with listeners’ emotions like a bad BF (Beethoven friend). Then learn who broke up the band!

Music in this episode (all Beethoven performed by the Cypress String Quartet):

  • String Quartet in B-flat Major Op.130  Grosse Fugue 

  • String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18 No.1: II. Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato

  • String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No.2 “Rasumovsky”: II. Molto Adagio

  • String Quartet No. 8 Op. 59 No. 2 “Raumovsky”: III. Allegretto

Audio production by Todd “Middle Period” Hulslander with marginal help from Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

Nov 14, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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: 

  1. The Houston Youth Symphony, an organization that’s been making music an important part of young peoples’ lives for 70 years, and
  2. “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, Episode 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, Episode 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 here. View the live stream of the opera at Friday, October 28, 8:00 pm EDT.

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: RERUN - 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!

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“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, Episode 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, Episode 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, Episode 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, Episode 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.

Composer Mark Abel

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, Episode 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.

PS, Stephen Lias is also an awesome photographer. Check out his photographic work – much of it of his National Parks adventures – right here.

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

Daniel Bernard Roumain

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 & Balladryby Daniel Bernard Roumain

To see DBR perform in our studios on Skyline Sessions, go here.

Daniel Roumain is an artist in residence with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration across the performing, visual, and literary arts. Based at the University of Houston, the Mitchell Center commissions and produces new works, presents public performances and exhibitions, offers curriculum and scholarships, and hosts residencies with renowned visiting artists from throughout the world. The Center is home to the Mitchell Artist Lecture, an annual event featuring a pioneer in contemporary art-making, as well as CounterCurrent, an annual spring festival of new performance. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five departments at UH: the School of Art, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre & Dance, Creative Writing Program, and Blaffer Art Museum. For more information visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

Sep 05, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 82: RERUN - Branford Marsalis Gives Classical Music Jazz Hands
31:24

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.

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Branford Marsalis‘ stark 2014 solo album In My Solitude includes jazz standards like “Stardust” next to C.P.E. Bach’s Sonata in A Minor for Oboe, Wq. 132. His jazz discography is peppered with classical releases. What’s that all about?! Where do jazz and classical intersect? How is playing one different from the other – or is it? Find out in this episode!

Audio production by Todd “The Twister” Hulslander with a firm handshake from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

  • Lee Dorsey: “Working In The Coal Mine” (1966)
  • Murray Perahia & Radu Lupu: Mozart – Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos
  • Andrew Litton, Branford Marsalis & English Chamber Orchestra: “L’Isle Joyeuse” from Romances for Saxophone 
  • Ferenc Erkel Chamber Orchestra & Jozsef Kiss: CPE Bach – Sonata in A Minor for Oboe Solo, Wq. 132: 1. Poco adgio 
  •  …and from Branford Marsalis’ In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral
  • CPE Bach – Sonata in A Minor for Oboe Solo, Wq. 132: 1. Poco adgio
  • Hoagy Carmichael/ Mitchell Parish – “Stardust”
  • Ryo Noda – MAI, Op 7
  • Improvisation No.1
Aug 29, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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, Episode 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, Episode 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, Episode 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, and 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.

Matthew Aucoin

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 simply would not.

Aug 01, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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!

Bill Williams

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, Episode 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.

Check out this slideshow of the ridiculously gorgeous campus upon which the Music Academy of the West lives.

Music in this episode:

  • “Pipeline” as recorded by the Ventures
  • “Pilgrims Chorus,” Tannhäuser, Wagner. (from Youtube)
  • From Jeremy Denk’s recital:
    • StravinskyPiano-Rag-Music
    • ByrdThe 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, Episode 134: MusicWorks - 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, Episode 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 Sabol, Director of Popular Programming at the Houston Symphony, and Joshua Zinn, content producer and host at Houston Public Media, talk about the relevance of video game programs for symphony orchestras and their audiences, and the evolution of video game music; plus, hear examples of Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu’s classical music knowledge and influences.

The Houston Symphony will perform Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasyon July 23, 2016. To find out more, check out their website.

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Toddo” Hulslander with kansatsu by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • “Final Fantasy Prelude” and “Dancing Mad,” from Distant Worlds II: More Music from Final Fantasy)
  • Bach Preludes (No. 1 and 3), performed by Tzvi Erez
  • Bombing Mission and The Gold Saucer, from the original soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII, by Nobuo Uematsu
  • “Chocobo” theme from Final Fantasy XII from the original soundtrack composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • Bach Trio Super, from Bach in the Back Bay, performed by Bálint Karosi
  • The Place I’ll Return to Someday, from original soundtrack for Final Fantasy IX, by Nobuo Uematsu
  • Fantasia by Girolamo Alessandro Frescobaldi, from YouTube video posted by Ernst Stolz
  • Live opera music from Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale performed by Milan Symphony Orchestra; aria performed by Svetla Krasteva
  • “Casta Diva” performed by Maria Callas and the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, led by Tulio Serafin
  • Sleeping Beauty Waltz performed by CSR Symphony Orchestra (now known as the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra)
  • Duel from Eugene Onegin performed by the Orchestre de Paris with conductor Semyon Bychkov
  • Bacchanale by Jacques Ibert, performed by L’Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux with conductor Yutaka Sado
  • Orchestral version of “One-Winged Angel” from Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Note: In the opening of this episode, I promised to post a certain photo, but my dad is still searching for it! It’s coming soon to our social media. Pinky swear. – Dacia

Jul 04, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 Chenexplains, 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 in this episode.

Music in this episode:

  • Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Claudio Abbado conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Audio production by Todd “Toddkovsky” Hulslander with very bad ballet dancing by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Mei-Ann Chen was in Houston for the Texas Music Festival, which continues through July 2nd. For more information, visit their website

Jun 27, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 it, and…Steve Holt!

Download Tamara McCoy’s performance of the piece (used in this episode and produced by Todd Hulslander) here:

Audio production for Classical Classroom by Todd “Totentodd” Hulslander with Lisztomania by Dacia Clay. Many thanks to the awesome Valerie Hartzell for her help in making this episode happen!

Jun 20, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 canned goods before listening.

 

Music in this episode:

  • Excerpts from David Hanlon’s After the Storm, provided by Houston Grand Opera.
  • “Riders on the Storm,” by the Doors. From L.A Woman.

Radio voiceovers in the opera by Houston Public Media’s Carrie Feibel and Michael Hagerty. 

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Typhoon Todd” Hulslander with window taping by Dacia Clay.

To hear more about After the Storm, check out Amy Bishop’s piece, “New Hurricane Opera Hits Close to Home for Houstonians”.

Jun 13, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 Bowie

 

Countertenor 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 his. Learn all about the countertenor voice, as well as it’s historical relationship to the castrati in this episode. John also teaches about the opera world’s embrace of gender fluidity for art’s sake throughout the ages. 

Audio production by Todd “Tremolo” Hulslander with side eye from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode includes:

Skyline Sessions: John Holiday, “Stille amare” by G.F. Handel:

 

David Daniels, “Ombra mai fu,” Xerxes by Handel:

 

Alessandro Moreschi, “Ave Maria”:

 

  • Ewa Podleś, La Cieca “Voce di donna o d’angelo” from La Gioconda by A. Ponchielli.
  • Marian Anderson & William Primrose, 2 Songs for Contralto, Viola & Piano by Johannes Brahms
  • John Holiday, “Crude furie” from Serse by Handel (from Operalia, The World Opera Competition – part 2)
Jun 06, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 30: RERUN - 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 Machine about an iconic piece of music. Enjoy!


Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring was so revolutionary that its alien sounds literally incited a riot at its premiere. Dr. Ana María Otamendi, Venezuelan pianist and professor at the University of Houston tells us why! And btw, we areaware that it’s Fall. But we don’t even care!

Audio production by Todd “Travesty” Hulslander with aspersions cast by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
May 30, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 away from being professional players. Robert Walp of the Houston Symphony and the Houston Brass Band explains all about the history and culture of the British-style brass band, and what these bands look like in America today.

Robert Walp, Music Director of the Houston Brass Band
 

Music in this episode (all from the Houston Brass Band’s CD One):

  • Fantasia Brilliante on Rule, Britannia. Thomas Arne/John Hartmann.
  • Pizzicato Polka. Johann & Josef Strauss, arr. by D. Ashmore.
  • Tuba Copper. Gilbert and Sullivan, arr. by S. Roberts.
  • Prelude for an Occasion. Edward Gregson.

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Trombone Shorty” Hulslander with muting by Dacia Clay.

To find out about the Houston Brass Band’s upcoming events, go here.

May 23, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 127: Respighi <3's Rome, With Franz Anton Krager And Mark Hughes
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 in this episode (all by Ottorino Respighi):

  • “Circenses.” Festa Romane. Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Mariss Jansons. EMI 49964.
  • Excerpts from Pines of Rome. Chicago Symphony with Fritz Reiner. RCA 68079.

Audio production by Todd “Totally Tubular” Hulslander with “Like, ohmygawd!” by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Thanks to Susan Farb Morris for her help with this episode!

May 16, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 38: RERUN - 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 and dancing to get away from bees).

Music in this episode includes:

  • Franz Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in C Major, Op.76 No.3 Hob. III:77, “Emperor”, Mvt. 1. Allegro & Mvt 2 Poco adagio, cantabile. Performed by the Kodaly Quartet (Naxos, 8.550314)
  • Franz Schubert, Quartet No. 12 in C minor, “Quartett-Satz”. Performed by Enso String Quartet
  • Kurt Stallman, “Following Franz”
  • Richard Strauss, Quartet in A Major, Op. 2: 1. Allegro

Audio production by Todd “He-Man” Hulslander with a few carefully-worded complaints from Dacia Clay.

May 09, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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. You’ll confront your Shadow Self, experience catharsis, and ultimately find spiritual wholeness just by listening. It’ll be a hoot!

 

All music in this episode was performed by Rodney Waters (piano) and Judy Dines (flute), and recorded at the Jung Center by Todd Hulslander.

  • Pan. Albert Roussel.
  • “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka. (Antonin Dvorak/Waters)
  • Syrinx. Claude Debussy.
  • Undine Sonata for Flute and Piano. Carl Reinecke.
  • Falling (Twin Peaks theme). Angelo Badalamenti.

Audio production by Todd “Trickster” Hulslander with heroic journeys by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

May 02, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 125: The Actualization Of Beethoven, With Simone Gramaglia
21:32
Violist Simone Gramaglia of Quartetto di Cremona
 
 

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 to say is that Beethoven had a lot in common with Prince.  

 

All music in this episode from Quartetto di Cremona’s Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, including:

  • String quartets Op. 16, 95, and 132

Audio production by Todd “La Dolce Todda” Hulslander with Vespa riding by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Apr 25, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 46: RERUN - 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 of the human spirit to use computers, we have unearthed this episode with Todd Reynolds, which we think – nay! – we know you will enjoy.

Also, on a serious note, our city is in bad shape and a lot of folks are going to need some help after the floodwaters subside. If you can help, visit the Texas Red Cross Gulf Coast Region website and make a donation. That’s also a good place to go if you are in need of help.

Violinist, Todd Reynolds

 

What do we mean when we say “classical music”? Sure, sure: it refers to a period of music, like “Baroque” or “Romantic”. But we largely use the word as a sort of generic brand-name for a specific variety of sound. In this episode of Classical Classroom, genre-ignoring violinist Todd Reynolds attempts to define classical music. Does he succeed? Does he give up and just start talking about Prince instead? Maybe and maybe! Listen to this episode to find out.

Audio production by Todd “Timbalander” Hulslander with at least 3 really good suggestions from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Third Construction by John Cage
  • Composition for Four Instruments by Milton Babbitt
  • “Pulses” from Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich
  • Symphony No. 41 (the “Jupiter Symphony”), Molto Allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • “Happy” from G I R L by Pharrell Williams
  • “Let’s Go Crazy” from Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution
  • “Crossroads” and “Taskforce: Farmlab” from Outerborough by Todd Reynolds
  • Fantasia in G Major, BWV 571 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Todd Reynolds was a special guest of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

ABOUT THE MITCHELL CENTER
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration across the performing, visual, and literary arts. Based at the University of Houston, the Mitchell Center commissions and produces new works, presents public performances and exhibitions, offers curriculum and scholarships, and hosts residencies with renowned visiting artists from throughout the world. The Center is home to the Mitchell Artist Lecture, an annual event featuring a pioneer in contemporary art-making, as well as CounterCurrent, an annual spring festival of new performance. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five departments at UH: the School of Art, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre & Dance, Creative Writing Program, and Blaffer Art Museum. For more information visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

For more about Todd Reynolds check out his blog: www.toddreynolds.wordpress.com

Apr 19, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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.

Hélène Grimaud, Water

“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 through the music selections, and wade through the details of how a project such as this ebbs and flows. They navigate through the process, from a tiny ripple of an idea to a tsunami of musical expression in the final CD release. They also dive into the ecological importance of conservation and Hélène’s goal of streaming awareness for safe, clean water around the world.

With all of the good music on this show, you might need a bigger boat!

Featuring works by nine composers: Berio’s Wasserklavier and includes Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch II, Fauré’s Barcarolle No.5, Ravel’s Jeux d’eau, “Almería” from Albéniz’s Iberia, Liszt’s Les Jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este, the first movement of Janáček’s In the Mists, and Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie.

Audio production by Todd “Trickle” Hulslander with splashing about by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Apr 11, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 85: RERUN - 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! 

Avi Avital.According to Deutsche Grammophonrecording 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 much did he play that one REM song in high school? Learn all of this and more right here!

Audio production by Todd “Terrific” Hulslander with electric slides by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

  • The Music of Brazil / Jacob do Bandolim, Vol. 1 / Recordings 1949 – 1958. “Choro de varanda”.
  • Mike Marshall and Chris Thile: “Fisher’s Hornpipe”. From Into the Cauldron.
  • Hamilton ee Holanda: Choro Caprice for Caprichos.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonatina for Mandolin and fortepiano in C Major. Diego Fasolis and Duilio Galfetti.
  • Domenico Scarlatti: Mandolin Sonata in D minor Allegro. Camerata Mandolinos Classico.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni, “Deh vieni alla finestra”.
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Mandolin Concerto in G major, S. 28.
  • REM: “Losing My Religion” from Out of Time.
  • Antonio Vivaldi, from Avi Avital’s CD Vivaldi
  • Concerto in A minor RV 356
  • Largo from Converto in C major RV 443
  • Concerto in G minor RV 315 “Summer” from The Four Seasons.

For more about Avi Avital: www.aviavital.com

Apr 04, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 37: RERUN - 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. Or indie classical. Or whatever you wanna call it.

Music used in this episode includes:

  • Hoketus  by Louis Andriessen
  • De Materie  by Louis Andriessen (begins with 144 repetitions of same chord)
  • De Staat  by Louis Andriessen
  • Yo Shakespeare  by Michael Gordon
  • Pierced  by David Lang
  • Bone Chapel” from O Death by Oscar Bettison

Audio production from Todd “Twinkles” Hulslander with very marginal oversight from Dacia Clay.

PS, One of the images attached to this article is not George Heathco, but his TV doppleganger George from Being Human. Can you tell which is which? One of them loves Twilight. (Apologies, non-specific George!)

Mar 28, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 French music (spoiler alert: oui).

99% of the music in this episode is from Rachel Barton Pine’s new release,  Testament: Complete Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin by J. S. BachThe other 1% is the producer’s fault.

 

 Audio production by Todd “Partodda” Hulslander with sarabande by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.
Mar 21, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 122: Meet The Sirota – Nadia Sirota On New Classical Music
35:09
Nadia Sirota 

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, from what to call it (Alt classical? Concert music? Music?) to the people who are making innovative work right now. Hear music so fresh it will make your clothes smell good. 

 

Music in this episode:

  • Clip from Meet the Composer, episode 10
  • Andrew Norman “Music in Circles”
  • Caroline Shaw “Partita for 8 Voices”
  • Donnacha Dennehy “Gra Agus Bas”
  • Nico Muhly “Drones and piano”

Audio production by Todd “Touché” Hulslander with whale song by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

To learn more, check out Nadia Sirota’s website

Mar 14, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 121: MusicWorks, 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 seasons. Past (and future!) secrets are revealed. All in a lovely Scottish accent.

 

 

All music in this episode (except for the Bach) from the CD, Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection:

  • Prelude & Fugue No. 24 in B Minor BWV 893. JS Bach. Angela Hewitt.  
  • The Suite
  • Such Good Luck
  • Escapades
  • End of An Era

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Lord of Toddington” Hulslander with pregnant pauses by Dacia Clay and assistance from Mark DiClaudio.

Learn more about John Lunn here.

For more about Downton Abbey, go here

Mar 07, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 120: MusicWorks, A Musical Life, Indeed – With Hugh Sung
34:54
Hugh Sung
 
Classical music renaissance man, Hugh Sung

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 be inspired to create your own Musical Life.

Music in this episode:

  • Myths Op.30: I. The Fountain Of Arethusa. Karol Szymanowski. Performed by Aaron Rosand with Hugh Sung. 
  • Man of Steel. Hugh Sung
  • Capriccio-Waltz In E Major Op.7. Henryk Wieniawski. Performed by Aaron Rosand with Hugh Sung.
  • Four Souvenirs: Samba. Paul Schoenfield. Performed by Jasmine Choi and Hugh Sung.

 

Audio production by Todd “Mind Like a Steel Trap” Hulslander with x-ray vision by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

To hear Dacia Clay’s interview on Hugh’s podcast, go here.

For more about Hugh Sung: www.hughsung.com

Thanks to our MusicWorks theme music composer, George Heathco.

MusicWorks is a Classical Classroom subseries that takes a look at what people are doing in the classical music world today.

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

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 ginormous. They also perform, illustrating the range of the harp, from Bach to Rihanna. That’s right: we found harp in a harpless place.

 

All music in this episode played by Beyond Pluck.

Audio production by Todd “Tragically Hip” Hulslander with cagey responses by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Feb 22, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episodes 19 & 20: RERUN - 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 (this is how we imagine you listen to all Classical Classroom episodes) and settle in.

In the first part of our conversation with composer, author, educator, and executive director of the American Festival for the Arts, Dr. Michael Remson, we cover Act 1 of Nixon in China:  world history, music history, and singing politicians. In Act 2, we meet the ladies. You don’t want to miss Mme. Mao yelling, opera-style.

Richard Nixon playing piano in Beverly Hills, Calif., 1962

Richard Nixon playing piano in Beverly Hills, Calif., 1962

Audio production by Todd “The Toddler” Hulslander, with management oversight by Mr. Torey Malatia. JK! It was Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

  • John Adams, Nixon in China. Libretto by Alice Goodman, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Edo De Waart conducting. Nonesuch 79177.
Feb 15, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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.
 
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein\

Music in this episode is all from Weilerstein and Barnatan’s CD, Chopin and Rachmaninov Cello Sonatas:

  • Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Opus 19. Sergey Rachmaninov.

Audio production by Todd “Toight like a toiger” Hulslander with grrrr aargh’s from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

If you enjoyed this episode with Alisa Weilerstein, check out her other Classical Classroom episode – all about the Aspen Music Festival and playing solo cello.

Feb 08, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 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, over-protective fathers, motifs, and that Berg is pronounced like “bare-g”, not burg.  

 

Dover String quartet
 
Music in this episode:
  • Alban Berg String Quartet Op. 3  from a live performance recorded at Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, Shepherd School of Music for Chamber Music Houston 

Audio production by Todd “One Todd to rule them all” Hulslander, editing by Mark DiClaudio and mind expansion by Dacia Clay.

Feb 01, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 116: John Luther Adams Swims Through “Become Ocean”
30:39

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.” 

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.

 

Audio production by Todd “Swifty” Hulslander with “Blank Space” by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio. 

Jan 25, 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 music of the latest Star Wars episode. He teaches about John Williams as a composer and about important tools of the compositional trade, and reveals how this new music is tied to Williams’ scores for the original films. Mitchell takes no prisoners, and does not care for Ewoks. Prepare for hyperdrive.

 

Music for the episode:

  • “Ride of the Valkyries.” From The Ring Cycle, by Richard Wagner.
  • Music from the original motion picture scores for 
    • Star Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace
    • Star Wars: Episode 4, A New Hope 
    • Star Wars: Episode 7, The Force Awakens

Audio production by X-Wing pilot Todd “Dameron” Hulslander with lightsaber sounds by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Many thanks to Angela “Organa” Mitchell, Randy Davis, and Al Dahlhausen at WCLV for their help with this episode!

Like this episode? Check out Classical Classroom, Episode 4: Leitmotif In Star Wars, also featuring Brett Mitchell!

Jan 18, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 114: MusicWorks, 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 Musical for Gael García Bernal’s performance as conductor Rodrigo de Souza. (The lesson here being that becoming a classical musician will surely lead to fame and fortune.)
Blair Tindall.
 
In this Classical Classroom, MusicWorks episode, Tindall talks about life as a classical musician, what led her to write Mozart in the Jungle, and the importance of debunking classical music stereotypes and myths. We also discuss Jason Schwartzman’s impressive facial hair, hanging out with Coppolas, and how an oboe rolls when you drop it on the floor. 

Music in this episode:

  • Symphony No. 1 “Low” (aka, the “Low” Symphony). Philip Glass (based on David Bowie’s album, Low)
  • The Planets: Mars, the Bringer of War. Gustav Holst. Played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, James Levine conducting.
  • “Lisztomania,” from the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Phoenix. Arranged for orchestra by Roger Neill and Suzie Katayama.

Audio production by Todd “BB-Todd” Hulslander with fluency in over six million languages by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

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.

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 about his new opera, Prima Donna, and writing a traditional romantic opera today.

Audio production by Todd “Toddwright” Hulslander with polite claps from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

All music in this episode from the opera Prima Donna, available on Deutsche Grammophon.

Jan 04, 2016
Classical Classroom, Episode 8: RERUN - Wesley Horner On Bach’s B Minor Mass, The Sound Of Heaven, And Classical Music Mosh Pits
24:45

Team Classroom is taking a little holiday break this week, so we present one of our favorite episodes from the wayback machine. Hope your holiday season is full of the good stuff. We’ll be back next week with new episodes!

———————

In this episode, independent producer, author, documentary filmmaker, Peabody Award-winner (et cetera, et cetera…), Wesley Horner chats with Dacia about Bach’s B Minor Mass and bringing classical music to people who hate wearing tuxedos.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with occasional grunts of approval from Dacia Clay.

Dec 28, 2015
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 scales? Check. Songs with completely bizarre lyrics that we sing along with anyway? Check. Wookiees? Yeah. This episode has all of that and oh so much more. Listen if you dare! And, uh, merry Christmas. You’re welcome.

 

Audio production by Todd “Good King Wencelastodd” Hulslander with two eyes made out of coal by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

  • “Dominick the Donkey.” Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell.
  • “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.” John Rox. Performed by Gayla Peevey.
  • “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Randy Brooks. Performed by Elmo and Patsy.
  • “White Winter Hymnal.” Written and performed by Fleet Foxes. From their self-titled album.
  • “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” By John Frederick Coots. Performed by the Cheeky Monkeys. 
  • “Ding​-​a​-​ling​-​a​-​ring​-​a​-​ling.” Written and performed by Sufjan Stevens. From Silver and Gold.
  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Frank Loesser. Performed by Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone. From the Elf movie soundtrack.
  • “Vader Did You Know?” Vic Mignogna.
  • “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?).” From Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.
  • “Mary, Did You Know?” Lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene. Performed by Pentatonix.
  • Greensleeves. London Festival Orchestra.
  • “Joy to the World.” Isaac Watts. 
  • “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Performed by the Bach Choir.
  • “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Performed by Celtic Woman.
  • “Good King Wenceslas.” John Mason Neale.
  • “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Performed by Sandi Patty.
  • “The Cherry-Tree Carol.” Performed by King’s College Choir.

If you enjoyed this episode, you can also hear Alecia talk all about the oboe in Episode 10!

Dec 21, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 31: RERUN - 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.

Cantor Benjamin Matis

Happy Thanksgivukkah everyone! That’s right: the Julian and the Hebrew calendars have aligned this year to create a day even more amazing than Hanukkah and more delicious than Thanksgiving. There won’t be another until the year 79811! To honor this rare occasion, Cantor Benjamin Matis of the Shelter Rock Jewish Center in Roslyn, New York in Long Island schools us on the history and music of Hanukkah.

Audio production by Todd “Toddfurky” Hulslander with a side of help and gravy from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode includes:

  • John Williams’ Star Wars (Main Theme)
  • Ma’oz Tzur (Ashkenazi and Sephardic versions)
  • George Frideric Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63)
  • Richard Tucker singing “Sound an Alarm” (Judas Maccabaeus)
  • David Paskin, The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah
Dec 14, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 111: The Franchomme Episode, With Louise Dubin
38:27

Auguste Franchomme. 19th centuryChances 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, why is it that most of his work hasn’t been recorded and is, in fact, out of print? Why do we remember the name “Chopin” and not “Franchomme”? Cellist and Franchomme scholar Louise Dubin, who just put out a CD called The Franchomme Project, discusses this and much more in this episode.

All music in this episode from Louise Dubin’s The Franchomme Project.

Audio production by Todd “Terr-ee-bleh” Hulslander with eating of palmiere by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Louise Dubin: www.louise-dubin.com 

Dec 07, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 47: RERUN - 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 tuba soloist and chamber musician Øystein Baadsvik is the only tuba virtuoso in the world to make a career exclusively as a soloist. He is also the only tuba player in the world to have a great story about touring with a punk band. He joins us all the way from Norway to tell us about this shadowy instrument: its size, its repertoire, and its fnugg.

Audio production by Todd “Tall Texan” Hulslander with slings and arrows by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Bass Tuba Concerto in F Minor, 1st movement, by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
  • Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra 1st movement, by John Williams. Performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
  • “Fnugg” from The Front Row – Reserved (a Houston Public Media compilation CD). Performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
  • “Fnugg” from YouTube video
  • Blood Sweat and Tears tuba solo
  • The Cod Lovers
  • Encounters II for solo tuba, performed by Roger Bobo
  • “Csárdás by Vittorio Monti,” performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
  • “Ordner seg (It’ll Be All Right)” from Ferry Tales by Øystein Baadsvik.
  • “Winter” from the Four Seasons Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, performed by Øystein Baadsvik.

PS, The title for this show was inspired by a great band called 500 Megatons of Boogie. You can find out more about them here: www.reverbnation.com/500megatonsofboogie

For more about Øystein Baadsvik: www.baadsvik.com.

Nov 30, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 Wood and Strings, from commission to performance. Even the instruments on which the piece is played didn’t exist before this story began. You’ll meet composer Bryce Dessner (The National), instrument maker Aron Sanchez (Buke and Gase), and the members of So Percussion. You’ll hear a lot of awesome music. You’ll laugh! You’ll cry. Your life will be affirmed. But seriously, it’s a compelling (and thoroughly American) story about ingenuity, modernist music, and most importantly, joy. 
 
 
 
 

Music in this episode:

  • Music for Wood and Strings. Bryce Dessner. Played by So Percussion.
  • “Don’t Swallow the Cap.” The National, from the album Trouble Will Find Me.
  • Seam Esteem.” Buke and Gase.
  • So-Called Laws of NatureDavid Lang. Played by So Percussion.
  • Appalachian Grove I. Laurie Spiegel.

Audio production by Todd “Tex” Hulslander with giddyups from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more So Percussion: www.sopercussion.com

For more Bryce Dessner: www.brycedessner.com

For more Aron Sanchez (and great pics of the chordsticks and other instruments he’s made): www.polyphonicworkshop.com

Thanks to Emily Motherwell, Stuart Wolferman, Da Camera of Houston, and the people at Brassland for their help with this episode. 

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

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.

Richard Scerbo
Richard Scerbo. Image courtesy of his website.

All music in this episode performed by Inscape Chamber Orchestra:
– Excerpts from their new album, Petrushka, by Igor Stravinsky.
– “Black Bend” by Dan Visconti from the album American Aggregate.

Audio production by Todd “Tiny T-Rex Arms” Hulslander with fleeing by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more Inscape: www.inscape.org
For more Richard Scerbo: www.richardscerbo.com

Nov 16, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 108: The Love Episode, With Anne Akiko Meyers
17:39
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.

Anne Akiko Meyers
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Photo by VANESSA BRICEÑO-SCHERZER / CHRISTIE STOCKSTILL.

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 Meyers: www.anneakikomeyers.com

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

 

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 Telephone double-header through November 7th! 

Music in this episode:
– Gian Carlo Menotti, The Medium. Chicago Opera Theater recording.
– Gian Carlo Menotti, The Telephone. BBC Radio Broadcast on YouTube.

Audio by Todd “My, My Telephone” Hulslander with psychic readings by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Thumbnail image: Paul Hume and Marie Handy performing Gian Carlo Menotti’s comic opera The Telephone, or L’Amour à trois at Catholic University, Washington DC, 1952. Public domain.

Nov 02, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 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, the final installment of our Bachtoberfest series.

Music in this episode played by Keith Weber, except for “Toccata Remix” by VioDance.

Audio production by Todd “All A-Twitter” Hulslander with snargling by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio. Thanks to Matthew Dirst and Melissa Sanson for the information they provided for this episode.

Check out these photos from our recording session!

Taken from the floor of the recital hall. Because why not.
Taken from the floor of the recital hall. Because why not. Photo by Dacia Clay

Keith Weber and Dacia Clay. Regular-sized people, giant Beckerath organ.
Keith Weber and Dacia Clay. Regular-sized people, giant Beckerath organ. Photo by Mark DiClaudio.

Keith Weber (L) and Dacia Clay (with zombie hand gestures).
Keith Weber (L) and Dacia Clay (with zombie hand gestures). Photo by Mark DiClaudio.

Keith Weber plays Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
Keith Weber plays Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Why are there so many keys?? I mean, 3 tiers seems excessive, no? Photo by Mark DiClaudio.

Keith Weber preparing to creep us out.
Keith Weber preparing to creep us out. Photo by Dacia Clay.

Organ in the dark. Extra creepy!
Organ in the dark. Extra creepy! Photo by Dacia Clay.

 

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

The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena CD cover art
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 Bach.

Music in this episode:

  • Excerpts from J.S. Bach, The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena. Matt Haimovitz.
  • Excerpts from J.S. Bach, 6 Suites for Cello Solo. Matt Haimovitz.
  • J.S. Bach, Suite 1. Pablo Casals.
  • That one sound effect from Law and Order, created by Mike Post.
  • Philip Glass, Orbit. Matt Haimovitz.Audio production by Todd “Toddtober” Hulslander with smashing of pumpkins by Dacia Clay, and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more Matt Haimovitz: www.matthaimovitz.com

Thumbnail photo by Stephanie Mackinnon. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Oct 26, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 104: Catalyst Quartet On Stringing Gould And Goldberg
24:54

 Catalyst QuartetBachtoberfest 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 Quartet’s debut album, Bach/Gould Project.
  • Goldberg Variations from Catalyst’s CD

Audio production by Todd “Triffid” Hulslander with ingenious biological meddlings by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more Catalyst Quartet: www.catalystquartet.com

More

Oct 19, 2015
Classical Classroom Episode 23: RERUN - 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 C Major (from his Inventions and Sinfonias BWV 772–801, aka the Two- and Three-Part Inventions), played by Kurt Stallmann.
Oct 12, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 Todds” Hulslander with cries of “Opa!” from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Yundi: www.yundimusic.com

Oct 05, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 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 Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Victoria Bond: www.victoriabond.com

Sep 29, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 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.

 

 
Eva-Maria Zimmerman and Keisuke Nakagoshi of ZOFO.

Music in this episode is all from the CD ZOFO Plays Terry Riley:

 

  • Etude from the Old Country
  • Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight
  • G Song
  • Praying Mantis Rag
  • Cinco de Mayo

Audio production by Todd “Terry Riley” Hulslander with half-wolf dances by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more ZOFO: www.zofoduet.com

Sep 21, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 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!

Flash back to the original podcast logo 

Party music from the best DJs in the biz:

  • Italo House Pavarotti/Bocelli/Jovanotti REMIX #6 2015 by dj SRONYX el toro loco
  • Bach Remix by R.S.D.‬‬
  • Classical Techno – Vivaldi 2000 (club mix)
  • Mozart – Lacrimosa (DnB Remix)
  • Journey – Open Arms 
  • Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ (MYNGA Remix) Sensual Musique

Audio production by Todd “Me” Hulslander with strange absences from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark “We’re number one” DiClaudio.

Sep 14, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 1: RERUN - Chris Johnson Teaches Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
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 98: Summer Music – Aspen Edition! Alisa Weilerstein On Music For Solo Cello
25:16

It’s summertime, and the classical musicians have all disappeared. No, it’s not a classical music-specific alien body snatching situation. It’s just that they’re all at music festivals! Because we miss them, we’ve decided to follow the musicians to a different fest each summer. This year, we head to the Aspen Music Festival! In our four-show series, we’ll be interviewing festival leaders, musicians, and whoever else will talk to us.

In this, the fourth and final episode of our miniseries, we speak with cellist Alisa Weilerstein about music (and the composers who write it) for solo cello. You’ll learn about the All-Stars of the cello world, unexplained gaps in cello music history will be explained, and – perhaps most importantly – you’ll learn how to pronounce the name “Kodaly”.

Music in this episode:

  • Music for Children, Op. 65 Arr. Piatigorsky – March
  • Bach Suite No. 1 Prelude and Minuet (from Classic FM YouTube video)
  • Sonata for Solo Cello, Op.8 – 3. Allegro molto vivace
  • Omaramor For Solo Cello
  • Suite For Solo Cello – 3. Intermezzo e Danza Finale

Audio production by Todd “Team Edward” Hulslander with sparkling by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio and possibly Nick Dulworth.

For more about Alisa Weilerstein: www.alisaweilerstein.com
For more about the Aspen Music Festival: www.aspenmusicfestival.com

Aug 17, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 97: Summer Music – Aspen Edition! Robert McDuffie On 21st Century Classical Music Careers
28:18

It’s summertime, and the classical musicians have all disappeared. No, it’s not a classical music-specific alien body snatching situation. It’s just that they’re all at music festivals! Because we miss them, we’ve decided to follow the musicians to a different fest each summer. This year, we head to the Aspen Music Festival! In our four-show series, we’ll be interviewing festival leaders, musicians, and whoever else will talk to us.

In this, the third episode of our miniseries, we speak with violinist Robert McDuffie about sustaining a career in classical music in the 21st century. Learn ALL THE SECRETS to building a career in the brave new technological landscape and to forging your own path as an artist.

Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills
Robert McDuffie (L) with Mike Mills (R) of R.E.M. on piano, and students from the McDuffie Center for Strings. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Music in this episode:
– Philip Glass, “American Four Seasons” with Robert McDuffie.
– Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills, excerpts from “Concerto for Violin & Rock Band”
– Vitamin String Quartet, “Its the End of The World” by R.E.M.

Audio production by Todd “El Lobo Rojo” with blank stares by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio and Nick Dulworth.

For more about the Aspen Music Festival: www.aspenmusicfestival.com
For more about Robert McDuffie: www.robertmcduffie.com

 

Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills
Robert McDuffie (L) with Mike Mills (R) of R.E.M. on piano, and students from the McDuffie Center for Strings. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Aug 10, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 96: Summer Music – Aspen Edition! Orli Shaham On Brahmspiration
40:30

It’s summertime, and the classical musicians have all disappeared. No, it’s not a classical music-specific alien body snatching situation. It’s just that they’re all at music festivals! Because we miss them, we’ve decided to follow the musicians to a different fest each summer. This year, we head to the Aspen Music Festival! In our four-show miniseries, we’ll be interviewing festival leaders and musicians.

In this, the second episode of our miniseries, we spoke with pianist and awesome person, Orli Shaham. We find out what she’s up to in Aspen, and she teaches us about music by living composers that is inspired by Brahms.

Music in this episode (all from Orli Shaham’s CD, “Brahms Inspired”):
– Johannes Brahms – Op. 118 (Intermezzo in A major)
Bruce Adolphe – My Inner Brahms (an intermezzo)
Avner Dorman – After Brahms (Allegro con molto appassionato)
– Arnold Schoenberg – Six little piano pieces, Op. 19
Brett Dean – Hommage a Brahms (Engelsflugel 1)
– Johannes Brahms – Op. 119 (Intermezzo in B minor – Adagio)

Orli Shaham
Orli Shaham. Photo by Christian Steiner. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Audio production by Todd “The Great Toddsby” Hulslander with green lights from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Orli Shaham: www.orlishaham.com
For more about the Aspen Music Festival: www.aspenmusicfestival.com

Aug 03, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 95: Summer Music – Aspen Edition! Alan Fletcher On Aspen
19:41

It’s summertime, and the classical musicians have all disappeared. No, it’s not a classical music-specific alien body snatching situation. It’s just that they’re all at music festivals! Because we miss them, we’ve decided to follow the musicians to a different fest each summer. This year, we head to the Aspen Music Festival! For our next few shows, we’ll be interviewing festival leaders, musicians, and whoever else will talk to us.

In this, the first episode of our miniseries, we spoke with Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School. He tells us what these music festivals are all about in general, and what makes Aspen unique.

Music in this episode:

  • “Mr. Sandman”. Aspen Bassoon Band (2011).
  • Overture to Aida. New York Philharmonic, conducted by James Levine.
  • Alan Fletcher
    Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Image courtesy of the Aspen Music Festival website.

Audio production by Todd “Tricky” Hulslander with plate spinning by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Alan Fletcher AND the Aspen Music Festival: www.aspenmusicfestival.com

Many thanks to the good people at the Aspen Music Festival for making this happen!

Jul 27, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 94: MusicWorks - Piano Man – Jim Kozak, Piano Tuner
27:52

What’s in a piano? Jim Kozak has tuned a few, and he can tell you. He tunes pianos for the Houston Symphony, Da Camera of Houston, and for our own Houston Public Media. What does he do, and how does he do it? How does one become a piano tuner? Kozak tells all, including how a piano works, and why tuning for Alfred Brendel took two days.

Music in this episode:

  • Montage” from the South Park episode, “Asspen“*. Written by Trey Parker.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven, Bagatelle in A minor WoO 59 “Für Elise.” From Beethoven Piano Bagatelles. Alfred Brendel.
  • JS Bach, Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor. From Bach-Solo Piano Pieces by Alfred Brendel.

Piano tuning fork and tuning lever
Tools of the trade: Jim’s tuning lever and tuning fork. Photo by Dacia Clay.

Audio production by Todd “Tuned In” Hulslander with dropouts by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio and/or Nick Dulworth. Thanks to George Heathco for the MusicWorks theme music.

For more Classroom: www.houstonpublicmedia.org

*Team CC contends that this is one of the most hilarious South Parkepisodes of all time. Right up there with “Mecha-Streisand.”

Jul 20, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 93: Everybody Dance Now! Joel Fan On Classical Dance Music
28:11

What came before twerking, Harlem Shake-ing, and popping and locking? The Krakowiak, the Polonaise, and the Tarantelle (which have really cool names, now that we’re looking at it). Pianist Joel Fan teaches us all about classical dance music, the composers who made it, and the circumstances from which the dances emerged.

Pianist Joel Fan
Pianist Joel Fan. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Audio production by Todd “Pod God” Hulslander with moonwalking from Dacia Clay, and help from editor Mark DiClaudio and intern Nick Dulworth.

Music in this episode:

  • Bill Evans Trio: “Waltz for Debby”

All other music from Joel Fan’s latest CD, Dances for Piano and Orchestra:

  • Camille Saint-Saëns: Valse-Caprice in A-flat Major (“Wedding Cake”), Op. 76
  • Fryderyk Chopin: Krakowiak in F Major, Op. 14
  • Carl Maria von Weber / Liszt: Polonaise Brillante, Op. 72 (S.367)

For more about Joel Fan: www.joelfanmusic.com

Jul 13, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 2: RERUN - Angela Mitchell Teaches Bel Canto Aria (With Bonus Material)
26:57

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.

P.S., When we recorded this episode, Angela was indeed a “Schmidt.” Now, she is a “Mitchell.” As in, married to Brett Mitchell. As in, Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. (And Episode 4 of our show.) And in addition to being a professional opera singer, Angela is Assistant Producer at WCLV. They are a classical music power couple, people. And some of our favorite humans. So, when you hear “Schmidt” in this episode, think “Mitchell.” Kthx!
———————————————
In this episode, opera singer and classical music announcer Angela Mitchell talks about bel canto aria and sleepwalking, wrongly-accused hussies.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander and Angela Mitchell.

Music in this episode:
– “La Sonnambula” (“The Sleepwalker”) by Vincenzo Bellini.

For more about Angela Mitchell: www.angelamitchellsoprano.com

Jul 06, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 92: Jonathan Biss On Schumann The Fanboy
27:47
Every good Beethoven deserves a fanboy, and Robert Schumann was that guy. Who was Schumann, and how was his work shaped by the influence of Beethoven? Pianist, Curtis Institute professor, and writer Jonathan Biss explains all – including his own (extremely cool) fanboy-esque immersion in the works of Schumann and Beethoven. 
Jonathan Biss
Jonathan Biss. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega. Courtesy of the artist’s website.
 
Audio production by Todd “Teletubby” Hulslander with frolicking by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio. 
 
All music in this episode played by Jonathan Biss:
 
  • Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2 No. 1 (Allegro and Adagio)
  • Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata” (Allegro assai and Allegro ma non troppo – Presto)
 
  • Fantasie in C, Op. 17
 
  • Davidsbündlerltänze Op.6
 
For more about Jonathan Biss: www.jonathanbiss.com
For information about Curits Institute Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs): www.curtis.edu/about-curtis/coursera
 
Jun 29, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 91: Wu Man, Pipa Ambassador
23:46

Wu Man, world-renowned pipa player, stopped by the Classroom while she was in Houston to teach all about the French horn. JK! She taught all about the pipa, of course! In this episode, she talks about the pipa’s origins, its repertoire, about how she began playing it, and she plays some sweet tunes to illustrate the instrument’s range.

Dacia Clay and Wu Man
Dacia Clay, Wu Man’s pipa, and Wu Man in the Geary Performance Studio. Photo by Todd Hulslander.

Music in this episode played live in the Geary Performance Studio by Wu Man.

Audio production by Todd “Totaled Todd” Hulslander with bobblehead bobbling by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Wu Man: www.wumanpipa.org

Jun 22, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 90: Glenn Dicterow & Ingrid Hunter, Masters Of The Universe
22:50

What is a concertmaster? We wanted to know, too, so we schlepped over to the Texas Music Festival (now happening at the UH Moores School of Music), found ourselves some concertmasters, and asked them all about what they do. Glenn Dicterow is the outgoing concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic where he’s ruled for over 34 years (his role will be assumed by the Houston Symphony’s Frank Huang), and Moores School doctoral student Ingrid Hunter was the week one concertmaster for the Texas Music Festival. Learn aaaall about the mysterious and powerful role of the concertmaster from them in this episode!

Ingrid Hunter and Glenn Dicterow
Ingrid Hunter and Glenn Dicterow. Photos courtesy of the Cypress Symphony and Glenn Dicterow’s website respectively.

Music in this episode:
– Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40. Glenn Dicterow, violin. New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Audio production by Todd “Tarzan Yell” Hulslander with tree swinging by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about the Texas Music Festival: www.uh.edu/class/music/tmf/
For more about Glenn Dicterow: www.glenndicterow.com
For more about Ingrid Hunter: www.cypresssymphony.org/ingrid-hunter/

Jun 15, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 89: Awadagin Pratt on Brahms, Brunge, and Beards
36:40

The pianist gives a lesson on one of the Big Daddies of classical music.

Awadagin Pratt, a man so awesome that his website URL is just his first name, talks Johannes Brahms. Pratt is a recording artist, Professor of Piano, Artist in Residence, Chairman of the Piano Department, and Artistic Director of the Art of the Piano Festival at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He talks about who Brahms was, why he is one of the Big Daddies of classical music, what it has to do with Edith Bunker, and how the beard made it all possible.

Michelle and Barack_Obama listening pianist Awadagin Pratt
Awadagin Pratt playing in the East Room of the White House, November 2009 (the First Lady and President Obama in the foreground). Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton.

Audio production by Todd “Are You There Todd? It’s Me, Dacia” Hulslander with Tiger Eyes by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

All music in this episode from Awadagin Pratt and Zuill Bailey’s CD “Brahms Works For Cello And Piano”.

For more about Awadagin Pratt: www.awadagin.com

Jun 08, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 88: Hilary Hahn’s View On Vieuxtemps
24:11

The violinist walks through a piece by a lesser-known composer who was once more famous than Mozart.

Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, who has played a few concerts in her day – somewhere around 1,437 of them – talks about Henri Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 4, which she plays on her latest CD. Is music composed by a violinist for violinists easier or more challenging to play? How was it that Vieuxtemps was more popular than Mozart at one point and now…not so much? And most importantly, Hahn discusses her violin case’s Twitter account.

 

Hilary Hahn
Violinist Hilary Hahn. Photo © Michael Patrick O’Leary, courtesy of IMG Artists.

Audio production by Todd “Takei” Hulslander with beaming up by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode, from Hilary Hahn’s CD Mozart 5 Vieuxtemps 4 Violin Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon):
– Henri Vieuxtemps, Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 31. Hilary Hahn, violin. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Conducted by Paavo Järvi.

For more Hilary Hahn: www.hilaryhahn.com

Jun 01, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 87: Modigliani Quartet Does Dohnányi
34:27

Violinists Philippe Bernhard and Loïc Rio talk about Dohnányi’s String Quartet No. 3.

As you probably know and have been celebrating ’round the Festivus pole, May is National Chamber Music Month! In this episode we talk to real live chamber musicians, violinists Philippe Bernhard and Loïc Rio of the Modigliani Quartet. They talk all about ErnÔ Dohnányi’s String Quartet No. 3. This is, hands down, our most French (Frenchest?) show to date.

Modigliani Quartet
Modigliani Quartet: (L-R) Philippe Bernhard, Laurent Marfaing, François Kieffer, and Loïc Rio. Courtesy of the artists’ website.

Audio production by Todd “T-Dawg” Hulslander with mad parkour skillz from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode is from the Modiglianis’ Houston concert which happened Thursday, April 9, 2015 at Stude Concert Hall, Shepherd School of Music Rice University. Thanks very much to Chamber Music Houston for the use of this recording!

  • Dohnányi, Quartet No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 33
  • Shostakovich, Quartet No. 1 in C Major, Op. 49

(Btw, you can also see video of the Modigliani concert at that Chamber Music Houston link!)

May 25, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 13: RERUN - A lesson from a real live professor – Timothy Hester on Brahms
25:51

Brahms’ Opus 118 – plus the first two Intermezzos played live! In this episode, Associate Professor Timothy Hester from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, teaches Dacia a bonafide lesson. Don’t miss Prof. Hester waxing nostalgic about his childhood love of Steppenwolf.

Audio production by Todd “the Todd” Hulslander with post-hypnotic suggestions from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Brahms Six Pieces for Piano, Opus 118, Intermezzos No.’s 1 & 2

For more about Timothy Hester, go here.

For more about the Texas Music Festival, go here.

Timothy Hester
Timothy Hester. Courtesy of the UH websit

May 18, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 86: Christopher O’Riley & Matt Haimovitz Get Real With Period Instruments
35:04

When pianist and From the Top host Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz recorded a new album of Beethoven’s music, they decided to kick it old school: Chris played an original Broadwood fortepiano and Matt played a Goffriller cello with ox-gut strings. Why would these two artists – often recognized for their arrangements of Radiohead, for performing with young musicians, and for playing classical music in nightclubs – decide to play period instruments? Is there a true benefit to playing music on the instruments it was written for, or is this classical music nerdery? Learn the answers to these and so many other questions in this episode!

Audio production by Todd “Todd Rundgren” Hulslander with harshing of mellows by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

(From Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz’s new CD, Beethoven, Period.)

  • Sonata for Pianoforte and Violoncello in F Major, Op. 5, No. 1. II Rondo. Allegro vivace
  • Sonata for Pianoforte and Violoncello in G Minor, Op. 5, No. 2. I Adagio sostenuto e espressivo.
  • Sonata for Pianoforte and Violoncello in A Major, Op. 69. 
  • I Allegro ma non tanto
  • III Allegro vivace

(From their Shuffle.Play.Listen. CD)

  • Arcade Fire: “Empty Room”
  • Radiohead: “Pyramid Song”

(From other places…)

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57. Arthur Rubinstein.

For more about Christopher O’Riley, Matt Haimovitz, and their new CD: www.pentatonemusic.com/pentatone-oxi…thoven-period

May 11, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 85: Mandolin Man, Avi Avital
19:54

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 much did he play that one REM song in high school? Learn all of this and more right here!

Audio production by Todd “Terrific” Hulslander with electric slides by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

  • The Music of Brazil / Jacob do Bandolim, Vol. 1 / Recordings 1949 – 1958. “Choro de varanda”.
  • Mike Marshall and Chris Thile: “Fisher’s Hornpipe”. From Into the Cauldron.
  • Hamilton ee Holanda: Choro Caprice for Caprichos.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonatina for Mandolin and fortepiano in C Major. Diego Fasolis and Duilio Galfetti.
  • Domenico Scarlatti: Mandolin Sonata in D minor Allegro. Camerata Mandolinos Classico.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni, “Deh vieni alla finestra”.
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Mandolin Concerto in G major, S. 28.
  • REM: “Losing My Religion” from Out of Time.
  • Antonio Vivaldi, from Avi Avital’s CD Vivaldi
  • Concerto in A minor RV 356
  • Largo from Converto in C major RV 443
  • Concerto in G minor RV 315 “Summer” from The Four Seasons.

For more about Avi Avital: www.aviavital.com

May 04, 2015
Classical Classroom Short: Dis-concerted
11:30

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 about the history of applause at classical concerts, check out this essay by Alex Ross: “Applause: A Rest Is Noise Special Report.

Apr 27, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 84: JoAnn Falletta Shares Scheherazade
33:31

Conductor JoAnn Falletta walks through Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic poem.

Who was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and why does he have two last names? And why would a 19th century Russian composer write a symphonic poem based on a collection of West and South Asian folk tales written in Arabic in the 16th century? What does it all mean?? Most* of these questions and more are all answered within by Buffalo Philharmonic/Virginia Symphony Orchestra conductor, guitarist, music advocate, and all around amazing lady, JoAnn Falletta.

Music in this episode from the Buffalo Philharmonic’s recording of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sheherazade,” conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

 

JoAnn Falletta
Conductor JoAnn Falletta. Photo by Mark Dellas, courtesy of JoAnn Falletta.

Audio production by Todd “Twister” Hulslander with high kicks by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about JoAnn Falletta: www.joannfalletta.com

*We still don’t know what’s up with the two names thing.

Apr 20, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 83: Nico Muhly Speaks Volumes About Listening To New Classical Music
25:57

 

 

This week, composer Nico Muhly is premiering a brand new work, How Little You Are, in Austin. He talks about the classical (or, concert) music world’s premiering process, and about how and why listening to classical music golden oldies is different than listening to a new work, about the inspiration for his new piece, and of course, about Prince.

Music in this episode:
– Mozart: Magic Flute. Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
– Bach: Magnificat. 
– Stravinsky: Petrouchka. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra.
– Joni Mitchell: A Case of You (from Blue)
– Prince: A Case of You (from A Tribute to Joni Mitchell)
– Nico Muhly: Sensational Calligraphic Scribble / Amor Nos Une / Room Song (from Object Songs)
– Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi (from Koyaanisqatsi – Life Out of Balance motion picture score)
– Nico Muhly: Mothertongue Pt. 1: Archive (from Mothertongue)

Nico Muhly

 

Audio production by Todd “TIE fighter” Hulslander with lightsaber skills by Dacia Clay. Editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about Nico Muhly: www.nicomuhly.com

For more about Nico’s world premiere – happening this Saturday (4/18/15) at Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas – go here: www.texasperformingarts.org/season/how-…uhly-austin.

Apr 13, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 82: Branford Marsalis Gives Classical Music Jazz Hands
30:40

Branford Marsalis‘ stark 2014 solo album In My Solitude includes jazz standards like “Stardust” next to C.P.E. Bach’s Sonata in A Minor for Oboe, Wq. 132. His jazz discography is peppered with classical releases. What’s that all about?! Where do jazz and classical intersect? How is playing one different from the other – or is it? Find out in this episode!

Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis. Photo by Palma Kolansky. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Audio production by Todd “The Twister” Hulslander with a firm handshake from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

  • Lee Dorsey: “Working In The Coal Mine” (1966)
  • Murray Perahia & Radu Lupu: Mozart – Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos
  • Andrew Litton, Branford Marsalis & English Chamber Orchestra: “L’Isle Joyeuse” from Romances for Saxophone 
  • Ferenc Erkel Chamber Orchestra & Jozsef Kiss: CPE Bach – Sonata in A Minor for Oboe Solo, Wq. 132: 1. Poco adgio 
  •  …and from Branford Marsalis’ In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral
  • CPE Bach – Sonata in A Minor for Oboe Solo, Wq. 132: 1. Poco adgio
  • Hoagy Carmichael/ Mitchell Parish – “Stardust”
  • Ryo Noda – MAI, Op 7
  • Improvisation No.1

For more about Branford Marsalis: www.branfordmarsalis.com.

Da Camera of Houston is bringing Branford to Houston this month! To learn more, go to www.dacamera.com.

Apr 06, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 81: MusicWorks, TheHighSchoolForThePerforming AndVisualArts!
31:24

March is Music in Our Schools month! In this second edition of our MusicWorks series, we take a field trip to an public high school that’s a kind of music education utopia – Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) (or, Fame High School, as I like to imagine it). We chat with Brad Smith – HSPVA’s orchestra conductor – and with two student musicians about classical music’s role at their school and in their lives.

Music in this episode all played by the HSPVA Orchestra and conducted by Brad Smith.

Conductor Brad Smith
HSPVA Orchestra conductor Brad Smith. Photo courtesy of his website.

Audio production by Todd “Tryhard” Hulslander with emojis by Dacia Clay. Editing by Mark DiClaudio.

For more about HSPVA: www.houstonisd.org/hspvarts
For more about Brad Smith: www.bradsmithconductor.com
For more about Music in Our Schools month: www.nafme.org/programs/miosm

Mar 30, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 42: RERUN - Amy Bishop On Awesome Female Composers
34:12

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 own Amy Bishop (see also, Episode 9: Tone Poems) teaches us all about female classical music composers, from the millennia-old ethereal sounds of Hildegard von Bingen, to the contemporary works of Jennifer Higdon. Why have so many women composed classical music but so few have become household names (yet)? We jiu jitsu that question and others in this episode!

Audio production by Todd “von Toddgen” Hulslander with double-plus masterful editorial decisions by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Hildegard von Bingen: Caritas Abundat in Omnia (Love Abounds All)
– Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto in a minor, Opus 7 (first movement)
– Jennifer Higdon: Blue Cathedral

For more about Classical Classroom, go to www.houstonpublicmedia.org/classroom.

For more about Women’s History Month, go to www.womenshistorymonth.gov.

Mar 23, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 80: When Abigail Fischer “Roars”
28:11

What’s it like to be more or less the only character in a live, full-length opera, playing the role of a real-life intense person who lived life intensely, while accompanied by an electric guitar? Mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer dishes about playing Isabelle Eberhardt, the inspiration for Missy Mazzoli’s opera Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt, with the NOW Ensemble.

Abigail Fischer
Mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer. Photo courtesy of Ms. Fischer’s website.

Audio production by Todd “Touché!” Hulslander with karate chops from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode is all from Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar which you can hear and purchase on Bandcamp.

PS, If you liked this, check out Classical Classroom, Episode 69: The Kids Are Alright, With Missy Mazzoli.

If you’re in Houston, you can see Abigail Fischer in Song this coming Friday 3/20. For tickets go to:
www.dacamera.com

For more about Abigail Fischer: www.abigailfischer.com

Mar 16, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 79: The Women Of Classical Guitar With Valerie Hartzell
32:20

Why did the number of female guitarists diminish over time? Was it a comet?? Find out here!

It’s Women’s History Month, and all month, we’re bringing you amazing women in classical music! In this episode, guitarist Valerie Hartzell, creator/director of the Classical Minds Festival and Competition, talks about the ladies of classical guitar. Who are they? Why did their numbers diminish over time? And what can we do about it??

Audio production by Todd “Not Tony Danza” Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio and bossing by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– “Rosita” by Francisco Tarrega. Played live in studio (also available on Valerie’s Ex Tenebris Lux CD).
– Chaconne in G Major by George Frideric Handel. Played by Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya.

For more about Valerie Hartzell: www.valeriehartzell.com

Want to learn more about women in classical guitar? Check out this information from guitarist and scholar, Candice Mowbray: Dr. Mowbray wrote her doctoral dissertation about Ida Presti; she’s also been writing short essays about the women of classical guitar on her Facebook page during Women’s History Month. You can see another article she wrote about Presti here. In her own words, “I started my research about female guitarists in 2006 when I was asked to give a lecture at the Bethlehem Guitar Festival. The theme of the that year’s event was “Women in Guitar” and my lecture discussed women as performers, composers and philanthropists. Through the process, I discovered wonderful players and music that was new to me. I have enjoyed continuing to share the information.” Thanks to Dr. Mowbray for providing us with this great info!

Mar 09, 2015
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: 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). 

Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges. 

In the mid-to-late 1700’s, Chevalier de Saint-Georgeswas an Afro-French composer who was also France’s best fencer. After Napoleon re-instituted slavery in France, de Saint-Georges’ works were rarely played, though lots of his work has been recorded since the 1970’s.

In 1803, virtuoso violinist George Bridgetower, who had studied under the leader of the Royal Opera, played with Beethoven. Beethoven then dedicated his Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major to Bridgetower, and they premiered the piece together. Later, the two had a falling out – something to do with a lady – and Beethoven changed the piece’s name. It’s now called the Kreutzer Sonata. Poet Rita Dove wrote a book about Bridgetower and Beethoven’s relationship.

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield
Soprano Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, “The Black Swan”. 

In 1853, soprano Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield – people knew her as the “Black Swan” – made her New York debut at the Metropolitan Hall. While she could sing, her skin color would have denied her entrance to the concert. But that didn’t slow Greenfield down: In 1854, this classy lady sang a command performance before Queen Victoria.

Scott Joplin
Composer Scott Joplin. 

In 1868, innovative composer and pianist Scott Joplin was born in Texas. Joplin wrote 2 operas, one ragtime ballet, and 44 original ragtime pieces before he died.

Harry T. Burleigh
Composer Harry Thacker Burleigh. 

From 1892-95, Antonin Dvorak – not black as you might know, but stick with me – was director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. The woman who founded the school, Jeanette Thurber, opened the school to men, women, blacks, and whites – pretty unusual for that time. Dvorak felt that a true American style of music should grow out of African- and Native-American music. Harry Burleigh, one of the earliest African-American composers and one of Dvorak’s pupils, introduced Dvorak to American spirituals.

In 1898, Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor wrote the musical Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. It was wildly successful during his lifetime. Coleridge-Taylor also visited the States and inspired American blacks to become composers.

Roland Hayes
Tenor Roland Hayes. 

In 1921 tenor Roland Hayes gave a performance before King George V of England. In 1923, Hayes debuted at Carnegie Hall. He was the first African American man to become famous worldwide as a concert performer, and he became one of the world’s greatest Lieder interpreters.

In 1926, Undine Smith Moore graduated cum laude from the Juilliard School. She was the first graduate of Fisk University, a historically black school, to receive a scholarship to Juilliard. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Moore became “…one of this country’s most prominent composers and arrangers of choral works, many based on or inspired by Negro spirituals and folk songs.”

William Grant Still
Composer William Grant Still. 

1931 was the year William Grant Stillbecame the first Black American composer to have a symphonic work performed by a major American orchestra. The Rochester Philharmonic performed his Afro-American Symphony. Stills had another big “first” in 1949 when his opera Troubled Island – based on a libretto by Langston Hughes – was performed by the New York City Opera, becoming the first opera by a black person to be performed by a major company. William Grant Still was also the first black man to conduct a major orchestra (LA Phil) and he won 2 Guggenheim fellowships. In 1933, Caterina Jarboro became the first black woman to appear in a leading role with a major American opera when she again played the title role in Aida with the Chicago Opera. 

Florence Price
Composer Florence Price.

Also in 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Florence Price’s Symphony in E Minor. She was the first female African-American composer to have a symphonic composition performed by a major American symphony orchestra.

Todd Duncan
Baritone Todd Duncan and Anne Brown. Culver Pictures/file 1935.

In 1935, George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway, with baritone Todd Duncan as Porgy, and sopranos Anne Brown as Bess and Ruby Elzy as Serena. In 1945, Todd Duncan became the first African American to sing with a major American opera company, when he played the role of Tonio Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci with the New York City Opera.

Marian Anderson
Contralto Marian Anderson

In 1939, both the Daughters of the American Revolution and the District of Columbia’s Board of Education refused to allow contralto Marian Anderson to use Constitution Hall and Central High School auditorium for a recital respectively. So, she gave her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial instead, drawing a crowd of 75,000 – not to mention the millions who listened on the radio. (To read more about the performance, go here.)

Camilla Williams
Lyric Soprano Camilla Williams (l) with Margery Mayer. Courtesy of Fred Fehl/New York City Opera.

Also in 1945, lyric soprano Camilla Williams signed a contract with the New York City Opera in 1946, becoming the first African American to do so with a major American opera company. She debuted with the role of the heroine in Madama Butterfly. And in 1947, soprano Helen Phillips was the first African American to sing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. In 1951 William Warfield and Muriel Rahn were the first black concert artists on TV – they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Dorothy Maynor
Soprano and educator Dorothy Maynor.

In 1953, soprano and educator Dorothy Maynor was the first black person to sing at a US presidential inauguration when she performed the national anthem for Dwight Eisenhower.

Margaret Bonds
Composer Margaret Bonds. Wikimedia Commons.

Margaret Bonds, who frequently collaborated with Langston Hughes, was one of the first black composers and performers in the US to gain recognition. In 1965, when the Freedom March on Montgomery, Alabama took place, she wrote Montgomery Variations for orchestra, dedicating it to Martin Luther King, Jr.. For more information about Ms. Bonds, check out this piece from WBUR 90.9 FM.

Henry Lewis
Conductor Henry Lewis.

In 1968 Henry Lewis became the first black conductor and music director of a major American orchestra when he was appointed to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He was also the first African-American to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera.

1972 saw Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha finally premiere – 55 years after his death – at the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center. In 1976, Joplin posthumously received a special Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to American music.

Wynton Marsalis
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Photo by Luigi Beverelli. Courtesy Mr. Marsalis’ website.

In 1983 and 1984, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis became the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical records. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1997 for Blood on the Fields, a three-hour oratorio for 3 singers and a 14-member ensemble. The oratorio follows the story of an African couple sold into slavery in the US.

In 1987, conductor Paul Freeman became Founding Musical Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta. This orchestra’s mission is “Musical Excellence Through Diversity”. Dr. Freeman served for 24 years.

Aaron Dworkin
Violinist Aaron Dworkin. Courtesy of the MacArthur Foundation website.

Violinist Aaron Dworkin founded the non-profit Sphinx Organization in 1996 to cultivate the development of young black and Latino musicians in the classical music profession. The Sphinx Competition, spotlights young black and Latino string players on a national platform.

Composer George Walker received the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra, a work commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra as part of its tribute to tenor Roland Hayes. This was the first time a living African American won the prize for music.

Denyce Graves
Mezzo-Soprano Denyce Graves. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

In 2001 mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves sang “America the Beautiful” and “The Lord’s Prayer” at the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance Service at the Washington National Cathedral following the September 11 attacks.

James DePriest
James DePriest conducting the Oregon Sympony. Courtesy of the Sympony’s website.

In 2005, James DePriest, one of classical music’s most accomplished conductors who at the time of his death in 2013 was Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony and Director Emeritus of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at the Juilliard School, received the National Medal of Arts.

Tim Brooks won a 2007 Grammy award for Best Historical Release with his Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, which includes performances by Harry Burleigh, Roland Hayes, and Edward Boatner.

Noah Stewart
Tenor Noah Stewart. Photograph: Mitch Jenkins Mitch Jenkins/PR.

In 2012, tenor Noah Stewart became the first black musician to top the UK Classical Album Chart.

Of course, we had to leave a GAGILLION people out of our daily Black History Month Facebook posts because (duh) there are just not enough days in the month. Like Jeffrey MumfordAwadagin Pratt, David BakerImani WindsAndré Watts, Chelsea Tipton, Thomas WilkinsMorris Robinson, Lawrence Brownlee, Valerie Coleman, Rachel Jordan, and Tona Brown. And Daniel Bernard Roumain. And Black Violin. And… you get the idea! 

But, blacks are still one of classical music’s most under-served communities. As of 2011, according to the League of American Orchestras, only 1.83% of our nation’s orchestras’ makeup was black. Aaron Dworkin has pointed out that African-American composers are often missing in traditional classical music station programming. But people like Dworkin and many others are working to change that! 

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about all of these awesome artists.

Mar 06, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 78: George Gershwin Is Alt Classical, With Simone Dinnerstein
20:25

“Indie-Classical”, “Alt Classical”, “Nonclassical”… whatever you want to call it, George Gershwin may have been one of the first people to do it. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein explains Gershwin’s sound, its French influences, and what makes it uniquely classical.

Simone Dinnerstein
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco. Courtesy of Ms. Dinnerstein’s website.

Audio production by Todd “Teeny” Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio, and one giant leap by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, from Simone Dinnerstein’s new album, Broadway-Lafayette.
  • “An American in Paris” by George Gershwin.

For more about Simone Dinnerstein: www.simonedinnerstein.com

Mar 02, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 12: RERUN - The Continued Education of Tracy Jacobson – Debussy’s Piano Works
36:08

This episode is so old that Producer Todd didn’t even have funny middle names yet. But it’s so good that we wanted for you guys to hear it again. Because Debussy. And Tracy Jacobson. I mean, come on. Back next week with more new stuff!
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WindSync Wind Quintet bassoonist, Tracy Jacobson, takes Dacia along on her journey to continue her musical education as a professional musician. She steps outside of her comfort zone and into Debussy’s piano works. Come with us to Paris, talk in your museum voice, and have some wine. It’ll be awesome!

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with encouraging yelps from Dacia Clay, and s few nods and shakes of the head from Tracy Jacobson, too.

For more about WindSync: www.windsync.org.

Thumbnail photo of Tracy Jacobson courtesy of WindSync’s website.

Debussy's piano works! In this episode, Windsync bassoonist, Tracy Jacobson, takes Dacia on her journey to continue musical education as a professional musician. She steps outside of her comfort zone and into Debussy. Come with us to Paris, talk in your museum voice, and have some wine. It'll be awesome!

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with encouraging yelps from Dacia Clay, and few nods and shakes of the head from Tracy Jacobson, too.

Music used in this episode included:

– Debussy Preludes, Book 1 & 2, pianist Pascal Roge, Onyx Classics

– Debussy Piano Works, pianist Pascal Roge, London/Decca

– Arthur Rubinstein playing “La Plus Que Lente”

– Jack Kerouac, “American Haikus” from Blues and Haikus

– Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”

Feb 23, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 77: Remembering Stephen Paulus, With Alex Freeman
41:51

Composer Stephen Paulus passed away last October and left a void in many hearts along with an amazing legacy. Composer Alex Freeman teaches about Paulus the man, and the music he left for us.

Music in this episode (both by Stephen Paulus):
– Pilgrims’ Hymn
– Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Composer Alex Freeman
Composer Alex Freeman. Photo by Aino Launis. Courtesy of the composer’s website.

Audio production by Todd “Tastee Freez” Hulslander with punches and kicks from Dacia Clay.

For more about Stephen Paulus: www.stephenpaulus.com
For more about Alex Freeman: www.alexfreemanmusic.com

 

Feb 16, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 76: MusicWorks – How Sonya Got Her Opera On
27:25

We’re excited to share our new subseries, MusicWorks! It’s a show where you’ll learn about what classical music is doing in the world right now. You’ll hear inspiring artist stories, plus we’ll go into the sometimes unexpected places we’ve discovered classical music thriving while we’ve been learning about it on the Classical Classroom. We hope you dig it!

In our first MusicWorks episode, soprano Sonya Yoncheva tells the story of how she happened upon her passion – singing opera – by being true to herself (and listening to her mother) and by practicing her buns off. This put her in a position to be ready when she got that call from the Met to fill in at the last moment. And the rest, as they say, is in the podcast.

Soprano Sonya Yoncheva
Soprano Sonya Yoncheva. Photo © Ruven Afanador. Courtesy of Ms. Yoncheva’s website.

Audio production by Todd “Totally” Hulslander with awesomeness by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Giacomo Puccini: La Boheme – Donde lieta usci
  • Charles Lecocq: Les Cent Vierges, Act III, No. 10 Je soupire et maudis le destin
  • Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata – Sempre libera
  • Claudio Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea – “Pur ti Miro” (Sonya Yoncheva & Max Emanuel Cencic)
  • W. A. Mozart: Il Re Pastore – “L’Amero saro costante” (Sonya Yoncheva & Marc Minkowski)
  • Charles Gounod – Faust Final Trio – Anges Purs – Sonya Yoncheva, Joseph Calleja & Bryn Terfel

For more about Sonya Yoncheva and her new CD, Paris, mon amour www.sonyayoncheva.com

Learn about composer George Heathco’s piece, “ReGifting Lions”, part of our MusicWorks intro, and oh-so-much more about him at www.georgeheathcomusic.com.

Feb 09, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 75: The Democracy Of Chamber Music With Cantus
30:25

One of the distinguishing characteristics of chamber music is its inherent “democracy” – each part is of equal importance. Aaron Humble and Paul Rudoi of the Cantus Vocal Ensembleexplain how it works when everyone involved in making the music is a special snowflake.

Audio production by Todd “Sir Toddsalot” Hulslander with unflagging devotion to somethingerother by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode, all by Cantus:

From A Harvest Home – 

  • “My Journey Yours”
  • “How Can I Keep from Singing?”
  • “The Pasture”
  • “Fiddle Tune”
  • “Eventide”

From On the Shoulders of Giants:

  • “Zikr”

For more about Cantus Vocal Ensemble: www.cantussings.org.

Chamber Music Houston is bringing Cantus to Houston in February! For more information, go to CMH’s website: www.chambermusichouston.org.

Feb 02, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 21: RERUN - Joel Luks On The Fierce And Foxy Flute
38:23

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 Classroomproduction team

————————————————–

All about the flute!! Joel Luks, CultureMap Houston editorial staffer and columnist, and classically trained flutist, teaches all about the history and surprising range of the dainty, lovely, badass, whale-sound-making, beatboxing flute. He takes us from “Carmen” to Mario Brothers (and a few other places in between).

Audio production by Todd “2 Fast, 2 Furious” Hulslander with adequate hydration by Dacia Clay.

Jan 26, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 74: Rebel with a violin – Mozart’s violin concertos, Rachel Barton Pine
23:46

What makes Mozart’s violin concertos so special? Is it that he only wrote 5 of them? That he wrote him when he was a teenager? That they are both beautiful AND hilarious? What is it?? Violinist Rachel Barton Pine returns to the Classroom to spell out why these pieces are so special – generally and personally – that she decided to record all of them.

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine. Photo by Andrew Eccles. Courtesy of rachelbartonpine.com.Audio production by Todd “Mr. Titters” Hulslander with that funky monkey, Dacia Clay.

All music in this episode is from Rachel Barton Pine’s new CD, Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos, Sinfonia Concertante K364, with Matthew LipmanAcademy of St. Martin in the Fields, and Sir Neville Marriner conducting. (Avie 2317)

You can also hear Rachel in episode 43, and in our short, “Rachel Barton Pine Rocks and Bows”.

Jan 19, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 28: RERUN - Tchaikovsky’s Musical Biography, “Pathetique” – Harbinger Of Doom
36:34

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.

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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 after this intweeging lesson with clarinetist and Shepherd School of Music Professor of Music, Michael Webster!

Audio production by Todd “Toddsy Woddsy” Hulslander with roof raising by Dacia Clay.

Jan 12, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 73: The Man Behind the Music – On Clementi, With Jeremy Eskenazi
34:37

Muzio Clementi is often called the “Father of the Piano” and is known for his sonatinas. But as it turns out, this smarty pants single-handedly changed classical music and made it what we know today. Jeremy Eskenazi, founder of the Muzio Clementi Society, tells all about the quiet mover and shaker in this episode – from a Tardisin Australia (seriously!).

Jeremy Eskenazi
Jeremy Eskenazi, founder of the Muzio Clementi Society. Photo courtesy of the Society.

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Tall Texan” Hulslander with smiles for miles by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
(By Muzio Clementi)

  • Toccata op.11 in Bb major
  • Sonata op.34 no.1 3rd movement in C major
  • Sonata op.7 no.3 3rd mvt on clementi piano
  • Symphony no.3, 2nd movement

(Not by Muzio Clementi)

Jan 05, 2015
Classical Classroom, Episode 72: You Don’t Know Fifth! With Emily Reese
39:13

 

 

 

 

Think you know Beethoven’s Fifth? Think again!

Beethoven’s Fifth. We’ve never done a show on it because everybody knows it! Right? Emily Reese, on air host for Classical Minnesota Public Radio, host of Top Score (part of the Infinite Guest podcast series), and creator of MPR’s Learning to Listen, says that we are wrong, so wrong! Emily takes us through the entire symphony, which, as it turns out, is completely surprising and amazing. Plus, we play drinking games! Or at least give you some to play.

 

Audio production by Todd “The Tower” Hulslander with fear of heights by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Symphony No. 5, Ludwig van Beethoven. Played by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. Archiv.

Dec 29, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 71: Dreaming Of A David Ashley White Christmas
38:33

The former Moores School director and composer teaches us about carols, and shares some of his favorites.

It’s Christmastime in the Classroom! David Ashley White – Professor of Composition at (and former director of) the Moores School of Music, composer, and guy who writes hymns for actual hymnals – teaches us what makes a “carol” and shares some of his favorites with us. There are oldies, goodies, and stuff you’ve never heard. We assure you, it will put you in the Christmas spirit. Not the ghosty kind. The happy kind.

PS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, listeners! We hope your holidays are both merry and bright.

 

Composer David Ashley White
Composer David Ashely White. Photo courtesy of the Moores School website.

Audio production by Todd “Feliz Navi-Todd” Hulslander with elfin shenanigans by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 – For Unto Us A Child Is Born, Susan Gritton, Bernarda Fink, Etc.; Paul McCreesh: Gabrieli Consort & Players. Handel: Messiah (Disc 1).
  • Mary Had A Baby, Kathleen Battle, Christopher Parkening. Angels’ Glory.
  • Sunny Bank (I Saw Three Ships, Julie Andrews. A Christmas Treasure Holiday. 
  • Cherry Tree Carol, Sting. If On A Winter’s Night…
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Sufjan Stevens. Songs for Christmas.
  • Tomorrow shall by my dancing day, Harry Christophers: The Sixteen, 20th Century Christmas Collection.
  • White Christmas, Anne Sofie Von Otter. Home For Christmas.
  • Sweet Was the Song, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Choir. By David Ashley White.
  • Deck The Halls, Julie Andrews. A Christmas Treasure.
Dec 22, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 70: Piano Vs. Orchestra, With Jon Kimura Parker
34:40

 

Pianist, Shepherd School of Music professor, and recording artist Jon Kimura Parker – or as we like to call him, Captain Jon Solo – talks about the hidden world of the guest soloist. From the singular experience of performing with an orchestra in one ear and a concert hall in the other, to rehearsal times that will give you stage fright just hearing about them, it’s a behind-the-scenes tell-all exposé of concertic proportions. (That’s a word. We swear.)

 

Audio production by Todd “The Tobogganator” Hulslander with a running start by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode was recorded live with Jon Kimura Parker in the Geary Performance Studio at Houston Public Media except for:

– Ludwig van Beethoven: Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 C-Dur, op. 15 played by Martha Argerich and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
– P.D.Q. Bach: Concerto for Two Pianos vs. Orchestra, S. 2 are better than one (P.D.Q. Bach).

For more about Jon Kimura Parker: www.jonkimuraparker.com

Dec 15, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: RERUN - The Mysterious Mystery Of Mozart’s Death
07:03

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 Mozart Festival at the end of this episode is outdated. However, you can still find tons of information over at www.themozartfestival.org.
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Mozart’s death, on December 5, 1791, is still so mysterious over two centuries later, that we couldn’t help but do a Research Presentation about it. In this short, we explore why his death is an unsolved mystery, and why we’re still so fascinated by it. Intweeged? Hit play to find out more!

Audio production by Todd “Sir Toddfried” Hulslander with much brow furrowing and consternation by Dacia Clay.

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

(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 Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, James Gaffigan. Why is it important to listen to this symphony, the musical expression of Shostakovich’s depression and anxiety as he lived under Stalin’s thumb? Listen to this episode and find out!

Audio production by Todd “Taller than Necessary” Hulslander with inspired napping from Dacia Clay.

Music in the episode includes:

– Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, New York Philharmonic Orchestra led by Leonard Bernstein

 

To find out more about hilarious comedian Jim Gaffigan, go to a different website. :)

Dec 01, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 69: The Kids Are Alright, With Missy Mazzoli
34:54

Classical music: the future frontier. These are the voyages of the podcast Classical Classroom. It’s mission: to explore strange new music – Sorry. I’ll stop. Where was I? Right! Composer, performer, and Mannes College of Musiccomposition faculty member, Missy Mazzoli talks to us about the future of classical music, from the future, aka, New York. Also talked about in this episode: Beth Morrison, Schoenberg, David Little, pillow fights, Lars von Triereighth blackbirdRichard Reed ParryBryce DessnerVictoireAbigail Fischer, “bands” vs. “ensembles”, operatic voice, and streaming music.

PS, If you’re in the Houston area, Missy’s opera, Song from the Uproar, will be making its premiere here at Da Camera in March of 2015. For more info, click here!

Audio production of this episode by Todd “Tisk Tisk” Hulslander with buckets of help from Dacia Clay.

All music in this episode was composed by Missy Mazzoli.

For more about Missy Mazzoli: www.missymazzoli.com

Nov 25, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 68: The Secret Formula With Kenneth Goldsmith
35:48

What makes creativity? Is it money? Is it a gift from the Powers That Be? Is it won through trials and tribulations? Shepherd School of Music Professor of Violin Kenneth Goldsmith unveils the ancient formula. He looks at how Haydn, Grieg, and Ravel – composers from different life circumstances and different times – all used their mysterious powers of creativity to explore the same theme.

Audio production by Todd “Tether Ball King” Hulslander with a really good try at defense by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Josef Haydn: Symphony #6 “Le Matin”
– Edvard Grieg: Morning Mood from Peer Gynt Suite #1
– Maurice Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe, Suite #2

Professor Kenneth Goldsmith
Professor Kenneth Goldsmith. Photo courtesy of Shepherd School website.

 

For more about Kenneth Goldsmith:www.music.rice.edu/facultybios/goldsmith.shtml

Nov 17, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 67: Making Movie Magic With Vivek Maddala
28:29

What would the movies be like without music? They’re like peanut butter and jelly, Luke and Darth, et and cetera… Would we be as moved at a movie without music? Film composer Vivek Maddala takes us behind the scenes to show us how movies use music to toy with our emotions. But like, in a nice way.

Audio production by Todd “Sir Toddius of Toddsville” Hulslander with curtsies and bows by Dacia Clay.

All music used in this episode is by Vivek Maddala and is from the film, “American Revolutionary: The evolution of Grace Lee Boggs”.

Composer Vivek Maddala
Composer Vivek Maddala. Photo courtesy of the composer’s Myspace page.

For more about the film: www.americanrevolutionaryfilm.com
For more about Vivek Maddala: www.tadcaster.com

Nov 10, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 66: When Classical Music Strikes
27:33

“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 Footloosedancing 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

For more about Pierre Jalbert: www.pierrejalbert.com 

Hear music from our episode using this handy Spotify playlist!

*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.

Nov 03, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 65: Getting Scary With Jerry Ochoa
33:19

It’s getting close to midnight. Something evil’s lurking in the dark… AAACK! It’s a special Halloween edition of Classical Classroom! Last year for the holiday, we exhumed some composers from the dead. This year, we kidnapped a living composer, violinist, and maker of scary movies and forced him to introduce us to spooky tunes. Then, we ordered him to tell us why it is that creepy music creeps us out. Jerry Ochoa of Houston’s Two Star Symphony does a wicked good job of explaining it, too. Which is why, at the end of the episode, we let him go*.

Audio production by Todd “Terrifying” Hulslander with snargling from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

By Two Star Symphony

– “Goblin Attack”, from Love and Other Demons 

– “Feast”, from Titus Andronicus 

– “Dawn Dipple”, from Love and Other Demons

By others

– Camille Saint-Saens: Danse macabre, Op. 40, played by the New York Philharmonic

– Modest Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain, played by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

– Bernard Hermann: Psycho Suite

– Franz Liszt: Totentanz, played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra

– Bela Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, played by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

 

For more about Two Star Symphony: www.twostarsymphony.com

*No Jerry Ochoas were harmed in the making of this episode.

Oct 27, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 64: Journey To The Symphony’s Center
41:21

Composer Peter Boyer goes deep into the core of Symphony No. 1.

Why do composers write symphonies? What goes into writing a symphony? If it has three movements, is it still a symphony? I mean, really: What IS a symphony anyway?! Grammy-nominated composer and conductor Peter Boyer answers all of these questions and more by taking us deep into his Symphony No. 1. From making dots on a page, to recording the piece with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, this is a tell-all of one composer’s creative process. Come along, won’t you? Goood. Goood…

Audio production by Todd “Twitchy” Hulslander with quasi-spiritual guidance from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Peter Boyer, Symphony No. 1. Played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Naxos 8.559769.

For more about Peter Boyer: www.propulsivemusic.com

Oct 20, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 63: The Trumpet Lesson (with video)
24:18

This episode does double duty: teaches you all about the trumpet and trumpet playing, while carrying out the secondary mission of Classical Classroom, i.e., the humiliation of the show’s host. Trumpet players George Chase and Jason Adams of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra teach host and former trumpet player, host Dacia, a trumpet lesson. Along the way, they say all kinds of important things about the history of the instrument. Plus, there are duck calls!

Varieties of trumpet and mutes
Varieties of trumpet and mutes. Photo by Dacia Clay.

Audio production by Todd “Ah!” Hulslander with running and hiding by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major Mvt. 3 -Bach played by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
– Duo No. 1 by Chris Gecker played by George Chase and Jason Adams

For more about the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra: www.rocohouston.org
For more about George Chase, check that very same link.
For more about Jason Adams: www.trumpetowner.com

But wait! There’s more! In case you didn’t get enough trumpet in Episode 63, this short is for you! Trumpet players George Chase and Jason Adams tell what the daily life of the trumpet player is like, and bring out the gadgets: Mutes and trumpet varieties galore.

Oh, but we’re not done yet: You can see video – yes, video! – of George and Jason giving Dacia a trumpet lesson right here! Special thanks, by the way, to videographer Troy Schulze for his help with this outtake. 


Trumpet players George Chase and Jason Adams give Classical Classroom host, Dacia Clay, a trumpet lesson.

Article thumbnail image: (L-R) Trumpet players George Chase and Jason Adams. Photo by Dacia Clay.

Oct 13, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 62: Bach’s Flute Suite with Leone Buyse
41:44

Like an Around the World and Back snap, Bach’s Suite in B Minor for Flute and Strings takes the listener pretty much everywhere. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll dance fast and slow, you’ll wonder if you’re Polish or French, yet feel German. But don’t worry: Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music professor and flutist Leone Buyse will be your guide on this musical (spiritual?) journey.

Flutist Leone Buyse
Flutist Leone Buyse. Photo by David Long. Courtesy of leonebuyse.com.

Audio production by Todd “Tobias” Hulslander with Fünke by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– J.S. Bach – Suite in B-Minor for Flute and Orchestra as played by Barthold Kuijken and Emmanuel Pahud (respectively)

For more about Leone Buyse: www.leonebuyse.com

Oct 06, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 61: Motet – Not Lesstet – With Mark Buller
38:44

Take a tour through music history – from chant to present day – through the lens of the motet. What’s a “motet”, you ask? Is it real, you ask? We are not entirely sure. Composer Mark Buller, whose music has been performed worldwide, and who has been commissioned by organizations like Houston Grand Opera, will be your tour guide. Get on board the great Classroom coaster. We have cupholders and a great soundsystem.

Audio production by Todd “Tween” Hulslander with insightful insight from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Adam de la Halle: “Mout me fu grief li departir/Robins m’aime/Portare”, Tonus Peregrinus/Anthony Pitts
  • Philippe de Vitry: “Garrit gallus flendo dolorose/In nova fert animus/Neuma” Sequentia
  • Palestrina, “Osculetur me osculo oris sui” from Canticum Canticorum, The Hilliard Ensemble
  • Thomas Tallis, “If ye love me”,  The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
  • JS Bach: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner
  • W.A. Mozart, Ave verum corpus, The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
  • Richard Strauss: Deutsche Motette, Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Choir of King’s College/David Trendell
  • Morten Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium, 1994, Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse
  • Mark Buller: “O nata lux” from Five Motets, Chamber Choir/John Hudson; Mark Buller, piano

For more about Mark Buller, go to www.markbuller.com.

Sep 29, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 60: How Haydn Changed The Trumpet Forever
25:42

Lady holding ear trumpet.
A small step in the evolution of the trumpet. “Ear Trumpet 1”. Photo by Eknath Gomphotherium, used with permission.

How did the trumpet morph from a simple horn that announced kings and queens, in to the sophisticated, nuanced instrument it is today? Monumental Brass Quintet trumpet player, public school music teacher, and inventor of the Buzz Clip brass player training tool, Mark DiClaudio tells how Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto and a guy named Anton Weidinger literally poked holes in the instrument and changed it – forevah! Also, thoughts on music education, and SO MUCH MORE.

Audio production by Todd “Tiny” Hulslander with belated but no less meaningful birthday wishes from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E Flat Major, by Franz Joseph Haydn. Played by Wynton Marsalis and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

For more about Mark DiClaudio: www.diclaudiostudios.com

Sep 22, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 9: RERUN - Amy Bishop’s tone poem journey
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 “An American in Paris” from Rhapsody in Blue, RCA 68792
Sep 15, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 4: RERUN - 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 59: Back To School Quiz!
36:09

Think you know your classical tunes? Play along in this host-humiliating “drop the needle” quiz show! Test your skills while listening to quiz master, Opera Cheat Sheet host, and Classical 91.7 program director St. John Flynn point and laugh at Dacia. Good luck! Send us an email to let us know how you do: dclay@houstonpublicmedia.org.

Classical 91.7 program director St. John Flynn with Whoopee cushion. Photo by Dacia Clay.
Classical 91.7 program director St. John Flynn with Whoopee cushion. Photo by Dacia Clay.

 

Audio production by Todd “Test Mastah” Hulslander with a really good try by Dacia Clay.

Sep 01, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 58: Non-Dangerous Lives of Choral Singers
28:29

The human voice is (very probably, we’re pretty darn sure) the first classical music instrument. Grammy-nominated producer, choral and orchestral instructor, and artistic director of Grace Song, Inc., Keith Weber takes us on a journey through the evolution of choral work. He also explains why choir singers are generally in way less peril than opera singers.

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Tasty” Hulslander with smart-mouthed comebacks from Dacia Clay.

 

Aug 25, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 17: RERUN - 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 the hat to, and plain ripped off, each other since the very beginning. MusicLab intern, composer, drummer, and snappy dresser, Daniel Webbon tells all.

Audio production by Todd “Sir Toddeus of Toddleton” Hulslander with serving suggestions by Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Aerosmith and RUN-DMC “Walk This Way” (with an appearance by Missy Elliott)
– Dies Irae: Gregorian Chant from the 13th century
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, K. 265/300e
– Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 1 in D major
– Dmitri Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 8 in C minor (Op. 110)
– George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from the opera Porgy and Bess
– Miles Davis and Gil Evans, “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from the album Porgy and Bess
– Luciano Berio, Sinfonia

Aug 18, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 57: …To Holst’s Planets With Joshua Zinn
35:48

Take an interstellar journey to one of classical music’s most influential works.

Climb aboard the great Classroom space coaster for a trip to Gustav Holst’s The Planets! Composer, MusicLab intern, and self-described professional nerd Joshua Zinn is our captain on this journey through one of classical music’s most influential and popular works. Who was Holst? How did he write the music for Star Warsbefore the movie existed!? How does one actually pronounce “Uranus”? All of these questions and more will be answered!

Audio production by Todd “Titan” Hulslander with copiloting from Dacia Clay.

All music in this episode is from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”.

Aug 11, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 10: RERUN - 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 own (bamboo), enjoy fame alongside Willie Nelson, and live on the edge without all of the annoying parachutes and bungee cords.

For more about Alecia and ROCO, www.rocohouston.org.

Photo from artsandculturetx.com.

Aug 04, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 56: Very Verdi Classroom With Eric Skelly
39:30

Giuseppe Verdi: composer of AidaLa TraviataFalstaff, and haver of an adorable Italian accent. But as Eric Skelly – cohost of the Opera Cheat Sheet podcast and Buffy the Vampire Slayer superfan – tells us, Verdi was so much more. He was an innovator who changed opera forever. Learn about how he did this and who he was in this episode!

Audio production by Todd “With a T” Hulslander with nervous pacing by Dacia Clay.

All music in this episode by Giuseppe Verdi.

For more about Opera Cheat Sheet:www.houstonpublicmedia.org/shows/opera…heat-sheet/

Jul 28, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 55: So Much Harpsichord With Matthew Dirst
21:32

It’s Classical Classroom’s first field trip! We go to the studio of Early Music expert and musician, Matthew Dirst – home to the professor’s lovely harpsichord. Matthew transports us to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when there was a harpsichord in (almost) every home. He also tells us what’s going on in Harpsichordia now, and what may be to come.

Audio production by Todd “Tickling the Ivories” Hulslander, with backup dancing by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Music of the Hydraulis: www.youtube.com/watch?v=atT7Tjpn5js
– Harpsichord Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV846, by J.S. Bach, performed by Ton Koopman
– Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, and Cello by Manuel de Falla
– Les Citations Diptych for Oboe, Harpsichord, Double bass , and Percussion by Henri Dutilleux
– Domenico Scarlatti

For more about Matthew Dirst and Ars Lyrica: www.arslyricahouston.org

Jul 21, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 54: Clap Your Hands Say “Shhh!”
31

You’re at a classical music concert. The music stops and the crowd goes wild! Wait. No. Only YOU are going wild. And everyone is staring at you. You sink down low in your seat and hide…

Don’t let this happen to you! Listen to this enlightening episode of Classical Classroom with MusicLab intern Zoe Miller to find out when it is and isn’t a good idea to clap, and why. Learn about the movements of a symphony and how to tell where you are in a performance. Yaaaay!

Audio production by Todd “Tiberius” Hulslander with overzealous applause by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 (Pathetique), mvmts 3 & 4, by Peter Tchaikovsky
– Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
– Music from Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal”
– Violin Concerto No. 3 in E major by Niccolò Paganini
– Bugs Bunny as Leopold Stokowski

Jul 14, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 53: …To South America With Tali Morgulis
31

We put on our pith helmets, grab our binoculars, and train our compasses south for this Classical Classroom expedition to Brazil and Argentina. Pianist and educator Tali Morgulis talks about composers Villa-Lobos, Ginastera, Prado, and Piazzolla, how the classical music of South America differs from that of Europe, and…the tango!

Audio production by Todd “Tango” Hulslander, with nuevo by Dacia Clay.

All music used in this episode comes from the CD Archipelago of Light by Tali Morgulis:
– Sonata No. 1, Op. 22 by Alberto Ginastera
– Children’s Carnival by Heitor Villa-Lobos
– Tango Suite by Astor Piazzolla
– Islands by Almeida Prado

For more about Tali Morgulis: www.tali.morgulis.net

Jul 07, 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, RCA 63516

References:

For information on David Mugar, Arthur Fiedler, and the Boston Pops Orchestra, click here and here.

For information about Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, click here.

Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

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 Airis our tour guide through this amazing piece of music by a very subtle and sneaky composer.

Audio production by Todd “Treble Clef” Hulslander with bass clef by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Boléro by Maurice Ravel as performed by Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Charles Dutoit

For more about Howard Pollack: www.uh.edu

 

Jun 23, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 51: Prompting Schubert’s Impromptus With Clive Swansbourne
31

Franz Schubert was a man on a mission, distracted from composing music by neither the praise of Beethoven, nor the prospect of his own death. But the dude still had to pay the rent. Internationally acclaimed classical pianist, music teacher, and performer Clive Swansbourne explains what “impromptus” were, and how Schubert took them to the next level with the power of the pinky finger.

Audio production by Todd “Drop It Like It’s Todd” Hulslander with backup dancing by Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode:

  • Impromptu No. 3 in G Flat Major, D. 899 (Op. 90) by Franz Schubert played by…
  • Clive Swansbourne and
  • Vladimir Horowitz
  • Impromptu by Jan Václav VoÅ™íšek

For more about Clive Swansbourne: www.cliveswansbourne.com

Jun 16, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 50: Shredding On Classical Guitar – Valerie Hartzell
34:40

How did classical guitar – and therefore, all guitar as we know it – almost become extinct? Who was the hero who saved it from the brink of doom? Why aren’t guitars an orchestral instrument? And why are guitarists nails so shiny? Classical guitarist Valerie Hartzell – member of the Presti Trio and director of the Classical Minds Guitar Institute – answers all of these burning questions and more in the big 5-0 episode of Classical Classroom.

Audio production by Todd “Terrific” Hulslander with “helpful” input from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Oud music by Said Chraibi
– Spanish guitar in the Renaissance and Baroque by José Miguel Moreno
– “Be M’An Perdut, chanson de troubadour” by Bernart De Ventadorn (c.1140-c.1200)
– Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega, from Ex Tenebris…Lux, performed by Valerie Hartzell
– Danzas Gitanas, Op. 55: I. Zambra by Joaquin Turina from the self-titled CD by Presti Trio

For more about Valerie Hartzell: www.valeriehartzell.com

For information about the Classical Minds Guitar Institute: www.uh.edu

To see video of Valerie performing in our studio, go here. To hear St. John Flynn’s interview with her about the Classical Minds Guitar Institute and Competition, go here.

Photo from the Anchorage Daily News.

Jun 09, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 49: Beethoven Gets Small With Norman Fischer
31:10

How are the Black Keys and Beethoven alike? They both had the low-down dirty blues. JK! They both compose(d) music for two instruments! You’ve heard his symphonies. Now hear cellist Norman Fischer – of the Fischer Duo, the Concord String Quartet, and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music – talk about Beethoven’s chamber works for cello and piano. Why did Beethoven create music for a new, tiny arrangement of instruments? Did he do it for the dolla dolla billz? Did he do it to impress a king? Find out in this episode of Classical Classroom!

Audio production for this episode by Todd “Tiddlywinks” Hulslander with no production help whatsoever from that lazy nogoodnik Dacia Clay.

All music in this episode performed by the Fischer Duo, and most of this comes from the Fischer Duo’s new CD, “Beethoven: Cello and Piano Complete“.

Jun 02, 2014
Classical Classroom, Preview Episode 49
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 Clay.

Music in this preview:
– Sonata in A Major, Op. 69 by Ludwig van Beethoven, from The Fischer Duo’s CD “Beethoven: Cello and Piano Complete”

For more about the Fischer Duo: www.music.rice.edu/facultybios/fischerduo.shtml

PS, We’re on Stitcher Radio now!

May 30, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 48: The Texas Tenors Teach Tenor Types
32:50

Take in tenor types with two of the Texas Tenors.

How, exactly, does one know that he is a “light lyric tenor,” or a “Spinto tenor,” or a “dramatic tenor”? Is there like, a Tenor Task Team? Two members of the Texas Tenors – JC Fisher and John Hagen – teach the types of tenor to us. We also learn about “classical crossover” music and why it is a gateway drug, turning innocent classical music newbies into addicts by the thousands.

By the way, if you like this episode, check out the Texas Tenors on Houston Public Media TV 8 Monday August 7, 2017 (local PBS show times here).

Music in this episode:

  • “La donna è mobile”, by The Three Tenors, from the Three Tenors in Concert, Los Angeles (1994)
  • “Celeste Aida”, by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Giuseppe Giacomini
  • Tosca, by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Luciano Pavarotti (James Levine on piano)
  • Otello, by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Placido Domingo
  • “Principe più non se” from La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, performed by Juan Diego Florez with Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • “Vesti la Giubba” from Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, performed by Luciano Pavarotti
  • La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini, performed Andrea Bocelli
  • “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Franco Corelli
  • “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, performed by the Texas Tenors

Audio production by Todd “Tenortastic” Hulslander with scads of squillo from Dacia Clay.

May 27, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 24: RERUN – 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, WindSync wind quintet talk about all of those things and about life as a touring group. Hotel rooms are trashed (okay, not really)! Miley Cyrus is discussed (very probably)! WindSync gets schooled by tango (definitely)!

Audio production by Todd “Ermahgerd” Hulslander with “help” from Dacia Clay.

For more about WindSync, go to www.windsync.org
For more about Classical Classroom, go to www.classical917.org/classroom.

Love our shows? Show us by donating a few bucks here: bit.ly/UQweya. Donations contribute directly to your own continued audio happiness!

Music in this episode includes performances by WindSync!:

  • Leonard Bernstein (arr. WindSync), Overture to Candide
  • Astor Piazzolla (arr. WindSync), Histoire du Tango Cafe 1930
  • Gallo Ciego (w/ Hector Del Curto on bandoneon)
May 19, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 47: 500 Megatons Of Tuba With Øystein Baadsvik
37:02

Learn 100% more about the tuba in this episode than you’ve ever known! Norwegian tuba soloist and chamber musician Øystein Baadsvik is the only tuba virtuoso in the world to make a career exclusively as a soloist. He is also the only tuba player in the world to have a great story about touring with a punk band. He joins us all the way from Norway to tell us about this shadowy instrument: its size, its repertoire, and its fnugg.

Audio production by Todd “Tall Texan” Hulslander with slings and arrows by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Bass Tuba Concerto in F Minor, 1st mvmt, by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
– Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra 1st mvmt, by John Williams. Performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
– Fnugg from The Front Row – Reserved (a Houston Public Media compilation CD). Performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
– Fnugg from YouTube video
– Blood Sweat and Tears tuba solo from YouTube video
– The Cod Lovers
– Encounters II for solo tuba, performed by Roger Bobo
– Csárdás by Vittorio Monti, performed by Øystein Baadsvik.
– Ordner seg (It’ll Be All Right) from Ferry Tales by Øystein Baadsvik.
– Winter from the Four Seasons Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, performed by Øystein Baadsvik.

For more about Øystein Baadsvik: www.baadsvik.com.

PS, The title for this show was inspired by a great band called 500 Megatons of Boogie. You can find out more about them here: www.reverbnation.com/500megatonsofboogie

May 12, 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 approval from Dacia Clay.

Music in this research presentation includes:
– “(Nothing But) Flowers” performed by David Byrne, Ethel, and Thomas Dolby
– “I Wanna Be Sedated” from Road to Ruin by the Ramones
– “New England Journey” by Brad Sayles
– February: Scherzo from Das Jahr by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, played by Sarah Rothenberg
– “Cuckolds All A-row” from the Art of the Bawdy Song by the Baltimore Consort
– “Joyne Hands” by Thomas Morley played by the Baltimore Consort
– Quartet No. 62 in C major (“Emperor” or “Kaiser”), Op. 76, No. 3, FHE No. 42, Hoboken No. III:77 by Joseph Haydn
– Symphonie Fantastique, 5th mvmt., Songe d’une nuit de sabbat by Hector Berlioz
– Ornithology (1946) by Charlie Parker Septet
– “Artists Only” from More Songs About Buildings and Food by the Talking Heads
– String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97 by Antonín DvoÅ™ák performed by the Emerson String Quartet

May 05, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 46: Todd Reynolds Defines “Classical Music” – Sorta
30:07

What do we mean when we say “classical music”? Sure, sure: it refers to a period of music, like “Baroque” or “Romantic”. But we largely use the word as a sort of generic brand-name for a specific variety of sound. In this episode of Classical Classroom, genre-ignoring violinist Todd Reynolds attempts to define classical music. Does he succeed? Does he give up and just start talking about Prince instead? Maybe and maybe! Listen to this episode to find out.

Audio production by Todd “Timbalander” Hulslander with at least 3 really good suggestions from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Third Construction by John Cage
– Composition for Four Instruments by Milton Babbitt
– “Pulses” from Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich
– Symphony No. 41 (the “Jupiter Symphony”), Molto Allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
– “Happy” from G I R L by Pharrell Williams
– “Let’s Go Crazy” from Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution
– “Crossroads” and “Taskforce: Farmlab” from Outerborough by Todd Reynolds
– Fantasia in G Major, BWV 571 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Todd Reynolds was a special guest of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

ABOUT THE MITCHELL CENTER
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration across the performing, visual, and literary arts. Based at the University of Houston, the Mitchell Center commissions and produces new works, presents public performances and exhibitions, offers curriculum and scholarships, and hosts residencies with renowned visiting artists from throughout the world. The Center is home to the Mitchell Artist Lecture, an annual event featuring a pioneer in contemporary art-making, as well as CounterCurrent, an annual spring festival of new performance. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five departments at UH: the School of Art, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre & Dance, Creative Writing Program, and Blaffer Art Museum. For more information visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

For more about Todd Reynolds check out his blog: www.toddreynolds.wordpress.com

Apr 28, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 45: Daniel Roumain’s Violin Vs. THE Violin
28:25

 

 

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.

Daniel Bernard Roumain

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 Pianoby John Cage, played by Boris Berman
  • “Sonata for Violin and Turntables, Part 1” from Woodbox Beats & Balladry by Daniel Bernard Roumain

To see DBR perform in our studios on Skyline Sessions, go here.

Daniel Roumain is an artist in residence with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration across the performing, visual, and literary arts. Based at the University of Houston, the Mitchell Center commissions and produces new works, presents public performances and exhibitions, offers curriculum and scholarships, and hosts residencies with renowned visiting artists from throughout the world. The Center is home to the Mitchell Artist Lecture, an annual event featuring a pioneer in contemporary art-making, as well as CounterCurrent, an annual spring festival of new performance. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five departments at UH: the School of Art, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre & Dance, Creative Writing Program, and Blaffer Art Museum. For more information visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

Apr 21, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 44: Speaking Bass-ese with Bassist Michael Kurth
28:48

The bass: classical music’s strange, lonesome hero. In this episode, bassist and composer Michael Kurth gives us a glimpse into the Bizarro World of bass players. Then, he talks about why he started composing, and what inspires him – including the Pixies and ring tones. Listen, if you dare!

Audio production by Todd “Toasty” Hulslander with happy whistles, clicks, and beeps from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode includes:
– Music from Michael Kurth’s website: www.reverbnation.com/michaelkurth
– “Wave of Mutilation” from Doolittle by the Pixies

Apr 11, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 43: Double-Header With Rachel Barton Pine
33:07

 

Rachel Barton Pine, classical violinist, and member of the metal band Earthen Grave, has played with orchestras all over the world, and under the baton of many renowned conductors. But in this episode of the Classical Classroom, she comes back to a piece – over, and over, and over, and over – studied by every young violin player. Rachel shows us how Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor has been interpreted by violinists across history and cultures, and how this ebullient piece is given new life by each new musician who plays it.

Rachel Barton Pine, classical violinist, and member of the metal band Earthen Grave, has played with orchestras all over the world, and under the baton of many renowned conductors. But in this episode of the Classical Classroom, she comes back to a piece – over, and over, and over, and over – studied by every young violin player. Rachel shows us how Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor has been interpreted by violinists across history and cultures, and how this ebullient piece is given new life by each new musician who plays it.

Audio production by Todd “Toddy Ruxpin” Hulslander, with kind of creepy hovering during the editing process by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– “Life Carries On” from Dismal Times, by Earthen Grave
– Brahm’s Violin Concerto, Rachel Barton Pine with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Carlos Kalmar conducting.
– “Rock You Like a Hurricane” from Love at First Sting by the Scorpions.
– “Ice Cream Man” from Van Halen by Van Halen.
– Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor as performed (not necessarily in this order) by:
— Rachel Barton Pine with Gottinger Symphonie Orchester. Christoph-Mathias Mueller conducting.
— Joshua Bell with Camerata Salzburg. Roger Norrington conducting.
— Fritz Kreisler with Berlin State Opera Orchestra. Leo Blech conducting.
— Jascha Heifetz with Boston Symphony Orchestra. Sir Thomas Beecham conducting.
— Maxim Vengerov with Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Kurt Masur conducting.
— Isaac Stern with Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy conducting.
— Henryk Szeryng with London Symphony Orchestra. Antal Dorati conducting.
— Nathan Milstein with New York Philharmonic. Bruno Walter conducting.
— Anne-Sophie Mutter with Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan conducting. 
— Itzhak Perlman by London Symphony Orchestra. Andre Previn conducting.
— Maud Powell

For more information about Classical Classroom: www.houstonpublicmedia.org/classroom

For more information about Rachel Barton Pine:
www.rachelbartonpine.com

But wait! There’s more!

In this short Classical Classroom, she talks about the most important thing her two musical loves share in common: emotional power.

Audio production by Todd “Goes to 11” Hulslander with lighters in the air by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– “Death Is Another Word” from Earthen Grave, by Earthen Grave
– Brahm’s Violin Concerto, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Carlos Kalmar conducting.
– “Rock You Like a Hurricane” from Love at First Sting by the Scorpions
– “Ice Cream Man” from Van Halen by Van Halen
– “Arpeggios from Hell” by Yngwie Malmsteen
– Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Vadim Repin with Kirov Orchestra. Valery Gergiev conducting.
– Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Salvatore Accardo with London Symphony Orchestra. Sir Colin Davis conducting.
– “Wasted Years” from Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden
– “Ozzy/ Black Sabbath Medley” by Rachel Barton Pine

Apr 04, 2014
Classical Classroom, Preview Episode 43: Rachel Barton Pine
31

Coming at you this Friday, Rachel Barton Pine teaches all about the many different sounds of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. Hear how violinists have interpreted the piece over the years, and learn why Rachel was dressed like a cowgirl. 

Apr 02, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 42: Amy Bishop On Awesome Female Composers
34:12

It’s Women’s History Month up in the Classroom! Houston Public Media’s own Amy Bishop (see also, Episode 9: Tone Poems) teaches us all about female classical music composers, from the millennia-old ethereal sounds of Hildegard von Bingen, to the contemporary works of Jennifer Higdon. Why have so many women composed classical music but so few have become household names (yet)? We jiu jitsu that question and others in this episode!

Audio production by Todd “von Toddgen” Hulslander with double-plus masterful editorial decisions by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– Hildegard von Bingen: Caritas Abundat in Omnia (Love Abounds All)
Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto in a minor, Opus 7 (first movement)
– Jennifer Higdon: Blue Cathedral

For more about Classical Classroom, go to www.houstonpublicmedia.org/classroom.

For more about Women’s History Month, go to www.womenshistorymonth.gov.

Mar 28, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 41: Pretty Pattern Preludes With Karim Al-Zand
33:42

Pattern preludes are enigmas inside of conundrums wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. No – wait. That’s not right… Pattern preludes, according to composer Karim Al-Zand’s website, are, “…pieces constrained by a single idea (usually a rhythmic or textural ostinato) through which a composer expresses a narrowly focused thought. Patterning is especially well-suited to preludes, which are by convention short, concise and introductory.” Bach, Chopin, Debussy, and others wrote pattern preludes. These little pieces function as a tool by which classical music newbies can get to know a composer’s style. Learn aaall about them in this episode!

Audio production by Todd “Titters” Hulslander with almost zero production input from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier C major prelude book 1
  • Chopin’s C major Etude, Op 10, No.1, played by Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Chopin/Bach, played by Kana Mimaki
  • Al-Zand Pattern Prelude No. 1 (after Bach), played by DiLiberto
  • Schumann Album Leaves Op. 124, No. 17, played by Denes Varjon

For more information about Karim Al-Zand’s pattern preludes, go here: www.alzand.com/pattern

Mar 13, 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. Jay Z
– “Misty Mountain Hop“, from untitled album by Led Zeppelin

Mar 07, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 39: Conductor James Gaffigan on Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5
29:09

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 is dramatic, cinematic, erratic, sarcastic, and full of existential longing – according to Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, James Gaffigan. Why is it important to listen to this symphony, the musical expression of Shostakovich’s depression and anxiety as he lived under Stalin’s thumb? Listen to this episode and find out!

Audio production by Todd “Taller than Necessary” Hulslander with inspired napping from Dacia Clay.

Music in the episode includes:

– Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, New York Philharmonic Orchestra led by Leonard Bernstein

PS, I found a really cool article and video on this symphony from PBS’s Keeping Score

To find out more about conductor James Gaffigan, go to To find out more about hilarious comedian Jim Gaffigan, go to a different website. :)

Feb 28, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: It’s Black History Month!
11:58

It's Black History Month! Time to learn about all of the amazing contributions that black people have made to classical music. Pay close attention because we had to talk really, really fast to fit this many people into a short. PS, You can check out our timeline of black classical music contributors in the "Raise Your Hand" section of our webpage.

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"

– George T Walker, Jr., Lilacs for voice and orchestra

– Wynton Marsalis, from Blood on the Fields

Feb 22, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 38: Stringed Life – on being a quartet, with Enso String Quartet
28:09

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 and dancing to get away from bees).

Audio production by Todd “Todd Terrific” Hulslander with a few carefully-worded complaints from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode includes:

– Franz Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in C Major, Op.76 No.3 Hob. III:77, “Emperor”, Mvt. 1. Allegro & Mvt 2 Poco adagio, cantabile. Performed by the Kodaly Quartet (Naxos, 8.550314)

– Franz Schubert, Quartet No. 12  in C minor, “Quartett-Satz”.  Performed by Enso String Quartet (currently unreleased)

– Kurt Stallman,  “Following Franz” (currently unreleased)

– Richard Strauss, Quartet in A Major, Op. 2: 1. Allegro (from the Enso Quartet website)

For more information about the Enso String Quartet: www.ensoquartet.com

Feb 14, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 37: George Heathco on Louis Andriessen and Alt-Classical
37:32

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. Or indie classical. Or whatever you wanna call it.

Music used in this episode includes:

  • Hoketus  by Louis Andriessen
  • De Materie  by Louis Andriessen (begins with 144 repetitions of same chord)
  • De Staat  by Louis Andriessen
  • Yo Shakespeare  by Michael Gordon
  • Pierced  by David Lang
  • Bone Chapel” from O Death by Oscar Bettison

Audio production from Todd “Twinkles” Hulslander with very marginal oversight from Dacia Clay.

PS, One of the images attached to this article is not George Heathco, but his TV doppleganger George from Being Human. Can you tell which is which? One of them loves Twilight. (Apologies, non-specific George!)

Feb 07, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 36: Catherine Lu welcomes the Year of the Horse with the Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto
31:56

The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto was written by two Chinese composers, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, in 1959. In honor of Chinese New Year – which begins 1/31 – Houston Public Media's Catherine Lu has come back to the Classroom to teach us all about this gorgeous piece, which was based on possibly the most tragic opera ever.

Audio production by Todd “??” Hulslander with ??????? by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

– Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao – violin by Gil Shaham

– “Leading a Camel” from the The Flowing River Water, by Yang Yi He (erhu example)

…and don’t miss Catherine Lu’s 2-hour Chinese New Year classical music celebration on Classical 91.7 (and on classical917.org) at noon and again at 10pm, Friday (1/31)!

Jan 30, 2014
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Classical Music Rivalries!
11:26

Are you ready to rumble?? Because these classical composers and musicians are. In this Classical Classroom short, learn all about how rivalries between musicians go back as far as music does, and how music is better for it.

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 Salieri

– Horn Call from Act 2 of Siegfried by Richard Wagner

– Music of Changes, Book 1 by John Cage

– Structures by Pierre Boulez

– Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, op. 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven (played by Lang Lang)

– “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift from Red

 

Jan 18, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 35: Percussionist Craig Hauschildt gets fresh with Golijov’s “Ayre”
32:50

Osvaldo Golijov's "Ayre" – an amazing exercise in contrasts – is unlike any other piece you've ever heard on Classical Classroom. In fact, is it classical music?? Percussionist Craig Hauschildt (who works for a group called Da Camera that brings tons of classical music to Houston) answers that question, plus, we both try and fail at pronouncing a lot of words.

Audio production by Todd “Trouble” Hulslander, with snacking and oversight by Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode:

– Ayre (2004) by Osvaldo Noé Golijov

– Folk Songs by Luciano Berio

– “Debaser”, from the album Doolittle, by the Pixies

For more about Da Camera of Houston, visit www.dacamera.com.

Jan 10, 2014
Classical Classroom, Episode 34: Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Keith Weber
36:47

In honor of Beethoven's 240-something birthday, Keith Weber, Grammy-nominated Producer, Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, and Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc., talks about just who this "Beethoven" guy was, why he was officially excused from having manners at parties, and all about his "Missa Solemnis" mass.

Audio production by Todd “Todd Rundgren” Hulslander without a lick of help from Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode:

– Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123

For more information about Grace Song, Inc., go to www.gracesong.us.

Dec 20, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 33: Cracking “The Nutcracker” with Michael Remson and Shelly Power
34:53

We all know The Nutcracker, right? Wrong! In this episode of Classical Classroom, Shelly Power (director, Houston Ballet Academy) and Michael Remson (executive director, American Festival of the Arts) blow your minds with the history of the ballet and a behind-the-scenes look at the massive undertaking that putting on the show entails every year.

Audio production by Todd “Pas de Todd” Hulslander with sugarplum fairies dancing in her head by Dacia Clay.

The Nutcracker:

– Score by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky

– Original choreography by Marius Petipas and Lev Ivanov

– Libretto adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

For more about the Houston Ballet, go to www.houstonballet.org.

For more about American Festival for the Arts, go to www.afatexas.org.

Dec 10, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 32: The Making of Handel’s Messiah with Robert Simpson
34:52

Handel's Messiah is a beloved Christmas favorite. But, as Robert Simpson, founder and artistic director of Houston Chamber Choir, tells us, it is oh-so-much more than the "Hallelujah" chorus. Like, 250 pages more. All of which we cover in this half-hour episode. Just kidding!

Audio production by Todd “Jolly Old Saint Toddolas” Hulslander with stockings hung by the mixing board by Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode:

– George Frideric Handel, Messiah, HWV 56

For more about the Houston Chamber Choir and their upcoming performance of Messiah, go to www.houstonchamberchoir.org.

Dec 04, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 31: The Music of Hanukkah (Chanuka? Hanuka?) with Cantor Benjamin Matis
30:53

Happy Thanksgivukkah everyone! That’s right: the Julian and the Hebrew calendars have aligned this year to create a day even more amazing than Hanukkah and more delicious than Thanksgiving. There won’t be another until the year 79811! To honor this rare occasion, Cantor Benjamin Matis of the Shelter Rock Jewish Centerin Roslyn, New York in Long Island schools us on the history and music of Hanukkah.

Audio production by Todd “Toddfurky” Hulslander with a side of help and gravy from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode includes:

  • John Williams’ Star Wars (Main Theme)
  • Ma’oz Tzur (Ashkenazi and Sephardic versions)
  • George Frideric Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63)
  • Richard Tucker singing “Sound an Alarm” (Judas Maccabaeus)
  • David Paskin, The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah
  • Aaaand, of course, this gem: 

https://youtu.be/KX5Z-HpHH9g

 

Nov 27, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 30: The Rite of Spring in Fall with Ana Maria Otamendi
34:10

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring was so revolutionary that its alien sounds literally incited a riot at its premiere. Dr. Ana María Otamendi, Venezuelan pianist and professor at the University of Houston tells us why! And btw, we are aware that it’s Fall. But we don’t even care!

Audio production by Todd “Travesty” Hulslander with aspersions cast by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring

Check out Ana Maria’s performance of her arrangement of The Rite of Spring on December 4th at the University of Houston’s Dudley Recital Hall. For more information, go to www.uh.edu/class/music.

Nov 22, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 29: Wesley Horner on the intimate conversation of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony
22:31

Beethoven's 7th Symphony (Yes! We finally talk about Beethoven!) is one of independent producer, author, documentary filmmaker, and Peabody Award-winner, Wesley Horner's favorite pieces of music. In this episode, Wes takes us on an emotional journey through this masterful musical conversation. Caution: you may want to dance or weep – or dance and weep – when you listen to this.

 

 

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, Episode 28: Tchaikovsky’s musical biography, “Pathetique” – harbinger of doom?
36:33

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 after this intweeging lesson with clarinetist and Shepherd School of Music Professor of Music, Michael Webster!

Audio production by Todd “Toddsy Woddsy” Hulslander with roof raising by Dacia Clay.

All music used in this episode was played by the Houston Youth Symphony, of which Prof. Webster is the Artistic Director and Conductor. Like what you hear? Go hear HYS play this piece (Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique) live in their Side-by-Side Concert with the Houston Symphony. For more information, go to www.houstonyouthsymphony.com!

Nov 08, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 27: The Miseducation of Dacia Clay – midterm exam!
40:15

1, 2…1, 2 this is just a test… A classical music test! In this episode, Professor St. John Flynn gives Dacia an oral examination of terms she's (supposedly) learned in the last 26 episodes of Classical Classroom. Has she learned anything?? It's nail-biter!

Audio production by Todd “Totes” Hulslander with late night cramming and pizza consumption by Dacia Clay.

Nov 01, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 26: Ragging on Chopin with Richard Dowling
37:05

Concert pianist and entrepreneur Richard Dowling illuminates some of Chopin’s pieces by “ragging” them on the piano. It’s a lesson in classical music and ragtime all rolled up in one, topped with live performances, and served with a side of fries.

Music in this episode includes live performances by Richard Dowling of:

  • Frederic Chopin, Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9 No. 2
  • Ethan Uslan, Chopin’s Knocked Urn
  • Frederic Chopin, “Revolutionary” Etude in C Minor, Op. 10 No. 12
  • Joseph Lamb, Ragtime Nightingale
  • Claude Debussy, Golliwogg’s Cakewalk (not performed by Mr. Dowling)

Audio production by Todd “Toddry” Hulslander with sarcastic slow claps of approval from Dacia Clay.

Oct 25, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 25(!): Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould, Aaron Copland, and Igor Stravinsky – a creepy roundtable
21:05

Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould, Aaron Copland, and Igor Stravinsky join us – from the Afterlife! – for this special Halloween edition of the Classical Classroom. Learn about these giants of classical music in a way never before possible, in this roundtable discussion.

Audio production by Todd “TODD!!!” Hulslander with terrifyingly good assistance from Dacia Clay.

Music  in this episode includes:

– Igor Stravinsky, the Rite of Spring (opening sections)

– Purity Ring’s “Fineshrine” from the album, Shrines

– Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 4: Fly to Paradise

  

Oct 18, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 24: You do what for a living?! Chamber music with WindSync wind quintet
21:02

Chamber music, performing live as a group, and how movement informs music! In this episode, WindSync wind quintet talk about all of those things and about life as a touring group. Hotel rooms are trashed (okay, not really)! Miley Cyrus is discussed (very probably)! WindSync gets schooled by tango (definitely)!

Audio production by Todd “Ermahgerd” Hulslander with “help” from Dacia Clay.

For more about WindSync, go to www.windsync.org
For more about Classical Classroom, go to www.classical917.org/classroom.

Love our shows? Show us by donating a few bucks here: bit.ly/UQweya. Donations contribute directly to your own continued audio happiness!

Music in this episode includes performances by WindSync!:

  • Leonard Bernstein (arr. WindSync), Overture to Candide
  • Astor Piazzolla (arr. WindSync), Histoire du Tango Cafe 1930
  • Gallo Ciego (w/ Hector Del Curto on bandoneon)
Oct 11, 2013
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: The mysterious mystery of Mozart’s death
07:02

 

Mozart's death is still so mysterious over two centuries later, that we couldn't help but do a Research Presentation about it. In this short, Dacia explores why his death is an unsolved mystery, and why we're still so fascinated by it. Intweeged? Hit play to find out more!

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!

 

Oct 04, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 23: Bach’s materials – the world inside an Invention with Kurt Stallmann
30:08

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 C Major (from his Inventions and Sinfonias BWV 772–801, aka the Two- and Three-Part Inventions), played by Kurt Stallmann.

– Recording of same piece by Glen Gould:

 

Sep 20, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 22: Classical music is hilarious! With Ira J. Black
32:11

Classical music is seriously funny. Iconoclast Emeritus, professor, and former classical announcer Ira J. Black talks all about just how funny serious classical music can be. There are surprises, Dudley Moore, and um…more in our most hilarious episode yet.

Audio production by Todd “Tootsie” Hulslander with reassuring winks and nods from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode includes:

– Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony”

Sep 13, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 21: Joel Luks on the fierce and foxy flute
38:20

All about the flute!! Joel Luks, CultureMap Houston editorial staffer and columnist, and classically trained flutist, teaches all about the history and surprising range of the dainty, lovely, badass, whale-sound-making, beatboxing flute. He takes us from "Carmen" to Mario Brothers (and a few other places in between).

Audio production by Todd “Big Head Todd” Hulslander with positive affirmations by Dacia Clay.

Warning: This episode contains a few naughty words.

Music used in this episode includes:

  • Georges Bizet, Carmen: Entr’acte, Act III – Intermezzo (1875)
  • Beastie Boys, “Sure Shot”, from Ill Communication (1994)
  • Niccolò Paganini, 24 Caprices – No. 5 in A minor, Bonita Boyd flutist
  • Andre Jolivet: Chant de Linos (1944) – Emmanuel Pahud from French Flute Music
  • George Crumb – Vox Balaenae (1971) (Voice of the Whale) Movements I and II – Vocalise and Sea Theme
  • PROJECT Trio’s Greg Pattillo, Beatboxing Flute: Super Mario Brothers Theme
  • Gheorghe Zamfir, Einsamer Hirte
Sep 06, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 20: Pt 2 of 2! Nixon in China & John Adams & minimalist opera (oh my!) with Michael Remson
28:36

Hear the second part of our conversation with composer, author, educator, and Executive Director of the American Festival for the Arts, Dr. Michael Remson, about John Adams'minimalist opera, Nixon in China! In this episode: Act 2, wherein we meet the ladies. You don't want to miss Mme. Mao yelling, opera-style.

Audio production by Todd “the Toddler” Hulslander, with management oversight by Mr. Torey Malatia. JK! It was Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– John Adams, Nixon in China, Act 1. Libretto by Alice Goodman, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Edo De Waart conducting. Nonesuch 79177.

Aug 30, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 19: Pt 1 of 2! Nixon in China & John Adams & minimalist opera (oh my!) with Michael Remson
21:37

All about Act 1 of John Adams' minimalist opera, Nixon in China! In this episode, the first part of our conversation with composer, author, educator, and Executive Director of the American Festival for the Arts, Dr. Michael Remson. World history, music history, and singing politicians?? This episode has pretty much everything you didn't know you'd been waiting for.

Audio production by Todd "Hot Toddy" Hulslander with snarky but - let's face it - spot-on suggestions from Dacia Clay. Music used in this episode includes: - John Adams, Nixon in China, Act 1. Libretto by Alice Goodman, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Edo De Waart conducting. Nonesuch 79177.

 

Click here to hear all of Act 1!

Aug 23, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 18: Why the clarinet is cat-like, & other fascinating clarinet facts with Alexandra Doyle
27:16

All things clarinet! In this episode, clarinetist, radio host, and Classical 91.7 MusicLab intern, Alexandra Doyle talks with Dacia. Among many things, we learn that auditioning may or may not make one pee one's pants. If you like reeds and/or David Bowie, you'll like this one.

Audio production by Todd “Toddly Winks” Hulslander with paroxysms of approval from Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Hector Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, Op.14: V. Songe d’une nuit du Sabbat

– Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf, Philadelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy, narrated by Davide Bowie, RCA

– Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 6, 1st mvmt., Larry Combs, Orchestral Excerpts for Clarinet

– Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5 in E minor, 1st mvmt.

– Richard Strauss, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Aug 16, 2013
Classical Classroom Research Presentation: Censored Classical Music – the most dangerous music in the world!
08:15

Time for a research presentation! In this short, Dacia explores the history of banned and censored classical music. And you thought classical music was just for elevators and nap time!

Aug 08, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 17: Daniel Webbon on the surprising history of the REEEEMIX!!
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 the hat to, and plain ripped off, each other since the very beginning. MusicLab intern, composer, drummer, and snappy dresser, Daniel Webbon tells all.

Audio production by Todd “Sir Toddeus of Toddleton” Hulslander with serving suggestions by Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Aerosmith and RUN-DMC “Walk This Way” (with an appearance by Missy Elliott)
– Dies Irae: Gregorian Chant from the 13th century
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, K. 265/300e
– Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 1 in D major
– Dmitri Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 8 in C minor (Op. 110)
– George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from the opera Porgy and Bess
– Miles Davis and Gil Evans, “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from the album Porgy and Bess
– Luciano Berio, Sinfonia

Aug 02, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 16: From Schubert to Gaga, the Unfinished Symphony with Jade Simmons
29:06

Artists as entrepreneurs, Lady Gaga, horror movies, and Schubert! In this episode, concert pianist, author, lecturer, Huffington Post contributor, and probable superhero, Jade Simmons chats with Dacia about how Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony changed her life.

Audio production by Todd “ToHu” Hulslander with knowing winks of encouragement from Dacia Clay.

Music from this episode includes:

– Schubert, Symphony, No. 8 in B minor D.759, aka the “Unfinished Symphony”

Jul 26, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 15: Keith Weber on Agee’s existential crisis in Knoxville w/ Samuel Barber, & Eleanor Steber
27:48

Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915", as sung by – no, not Bryan Adams – Eleanor Steber. In this episode, Keith Weber, Grammy-nominated Producer, Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, and Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc., teaches Dacia about this all-American commissioned piece.

Audio production by Todd “Todd Almighty” Hulslander with spiritual guidance from Dacia Clay.

Jul 19, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 14: What’s a “Nico Muhly”? Chris Johnson on Indie Classical
25:53

Nico Muhly, indie classical, and the future of classical music! In this episode, Classical 91.7 announcer Chris Johnson – our first returning instructor! – comes back to the Classical Classroom.  This one isn't for the faint of heart: there are banjos!

Audio production by Todd “Toddy” Hulsander with gentle nudges of encouragement from Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– The Only Tune (parts 1-3), from Nico Muhly’s Mothertongue, on Brassland Records.

Jul 12, 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, RCA 63516

References:

For information on David Mugar, Arthur Fiedler, and the Boston Pops Orchestra, click here and here.

For information about Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, click here.

Jul 03, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 13: A lesson from a real live professor! Timothy Hester on Brahms
29:10

Brahms’ Opus 118 – plus the first two Intermezzos played live! In this episode, Associate Professor Timothy Hester from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, teaches Dacia a bonafide lesson. Don’t miss Prof. Hester waxing nostalgic about his childhood love of Steppenwolf.

Timothy Hester
Timothy Hester. Courtesy of the UH website.

Audio production by Todd “the Todd” Hulslander with post-hypnotic suggestions from Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Brahms Six Pieces for Piano, Opus 118, Intermezzos No.’s 1 & 2

For more about Timothy Hester, go here.

For more about the Texas Music Festival, go here.

Jul 03, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 12: The Continued Education of Tracy Jacobson – Debussy’s piano works
36:08

WindSync Wind Quintet bassoonist, Tracy Jacobson, takes Dacia along on her journey to continue her musical education as a professional musician. She steps outside of her comfort zone and into Debussy’s piano works. Come with us to Paris, talk in your museum voice, and have some wine. It’ll be awesome!

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with encouraging yelps from Dacia Clay, and s few nods and shakes of the head from Tracy Jacobson, too.

For more about WindSync: www.windsync.org.

Thumbnail photo of Tracy Jacobson courtesy of WindSync’s website.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with encouraging yelps from Dacia Clay, and few nods and shakes of the head from Tracy Jacobson, too.

Music used in this episode included:

– Debussy Preludes, Book 1 & 2, pianist Pascal Roge, Onyx Classics

– Debussy Piano Works, pianist Pascal Roge, London/Decca

– Arthur Rubinstein playing “La Plus Que Lente”

– Jack Kerouac, “American Haikus” from Blues and Haikus

– Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”

Jun 28, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 11: Mendelssohn, “love potion”, and Shakespeare with Catherine Lu
40:38

Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Suite from Incidental Music! In this episode, Classical 91.7 announcer and producer, and Cheeto the cat's person, Catherine Lu chats with Dacia. Learn about scherzos, nerds, and Dacia's totally plausible theory about Puck's "love potion".

 

Audio production from Todd Hulslander, with a lot of help this time actually from Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Mendelssohn: Incidental Music to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Op. 61 (We used CBS/Sony 37760 with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, which is not available – we think – for MP3 download, but here is another recording which is perfectly lovely.)

Jun 21, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 10: Oboe Playing As An X-treme Sport With ROCO’s Alecia Lawyer
29:17

 

 

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 own (bamboo), enjoy fame alongside Willie Nelson, and live on the edge without all of the annoying parachutes and bungee cords.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander, with pearls of editing wisdom from Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

– Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel:  St. Paul chamber Orchestra with Kathy Greenbanks, principal oboist

– La Scala, by Rossini: rocohouston.org (look for the Season Finale)

– Shostakovich Symph #5, Mvt. III

– Tchaikovsky #4 Mvt. II, Lorin Maazel with the Cleveland Orchestra

– Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, Mvt III oboe solo

 

 

– Stravinsky Pulcinella Suite, Mvt II, Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta

 

 

– William Schuman New England Tryptich,  Mvt. II. When Jesus Wept, Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony

Jun 14, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 9: Amy Bishop Goes On A Tone Poem Journey Through Bohemia, Death, And 1920’s Paris
35:15

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 “An American in Paris” from Rhapsody in Blue, RCA 68792
Jun 07, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 8: Wesley Horner On Bach’s B Minor Mass, The Sound Of Heaven, And Classical Music Mosh Pits
24:12

In this episode, independent producer, author, documentary filmmaker, Peabody Award-winner (et cetera, et cetera…), Wesley Horner chats with Dacia about Bach’s B Minor Mass and bringing classical music to people who hate wearing tuxedos.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with occasional grunts of approval from Dacia Clay.

May 31, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 7: Sayles on Sayles – a composer’s creative process
24:21

In this episode, Classical 91.7's Senior Recording Engineer, host of Music from the Movies, and Emmy-nominated composer, Brad Sayles talks to Dacia about his own work and the creative process of a classical music composer.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander with assistance from Dacia Clay. You can find music used in this episode at www.bradsayles.com.

May 22, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 6: Keith Weber teaches Camille Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony
29:30

In this episode, Grammy-nominated Producer, Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, and Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc. Keith Weber teaches Dacia about Camille Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony.

Audio production by (also Grammy-nominated!) Todd Hulslander with assistance from Dacia Clay.

May 10, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 5: St. John Flynn Teaches Strauss’ Four Last Songs
23:46

Classical 91.7 audio librarian, Dacia Clay has a deep, dark secret: she knows next to nothing about classical music. But she wants to learn! Luckily, she’s surrounded by classical music experts every day. In each episode of the Classical Classroom, Dacia’s colleagues and some local classical music luminaries take turns giving her classical music “homework assignments” and educating her. You’ll learn about everything from bel canto aria to the use of leitmotif in the score to Star Wars. Come learn with us in the Classical Classroom.

In this episode, Dacia Clay talks with Classical 91.7 program director St. John Flynn about Richard Strauss' "achingly beautiful" work, Four Last Songs, and we learn how it allegedly has something to do with the Smiths.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander and Dacia Clay, with assistance from St. John Flynn.

Apr 30, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 4: Brett Mitchell teaches Leitmotif in John Williams’ Star Wars Score
22:36

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 Warsmovie. 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

Apr 24, 2013
Classical Classroom Episode 3: Daniel Webbon teaches Steve Reich’s “Piano Phase” & Minimalism
18:38

In this episode, Dacia Clay talks with MusicLab intern and Moores School graduate student, Daniel Webbon, about Steve Reich's "Piano Phase" andclassical music minimalism.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander and Daniel Webbon.

Apr 18, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 2: Angela Schmidt teaches Bel Canto Aria
23:48

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.

P.S., When we recorded this episode, Angela was indeed a “Schmidt.” Now, she is a “Mitchell.” As in, married to Brett Mitchell. As in, Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. (And Episode 4 of our show.) And in addition to being a professional opera singer, Angela is Assistant Producer at WCLV. They are a classical music power couple, people. And some of our favorite humans. So, when you hear “Schmidt” in this episode, think “Mitchell.” Kthx!
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In this episode, opera singer and classical music announcer Angela Mitchell talks about bel canto aria and sleepwalking, wrongly-accused hussies.

Angela Mitchell
Angela Mitchell. Photo by Roger Mastroianni. Courtesy of the artist’s website.

Audio production by Todd Hulslander and Angela Mitchell.

Music in this episode:
– “La Sonnambula” (“The Sleepwalker”) by Vincenzo Bellini.

For more about Angela Mitchell: www.angelamitchellsoprano.com

Thumbnail image of Angela as Nanetta in Verdi’s Falstaff courtesy of Angela’s website.

Apr 10, 2013
Classical Classroom, Episode 1: Chris Johnson teaches Vivaldi’s Autumn
11:25

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.

In this episode, Dacia Clay talks with Chris Johnson about Vivaldi's "Autumn", and rich people having picnics.

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
Apr 03, 2013