Classical Music

Consider this year’s apples: Born from the seeds of an earlier generation’s trees, the fruit you hold in your hand this fall will allow you “to shake hands with a good friend over the centuries.” That’s how the composer and antiquarian Gerald Finzi put it. As your apples ripen, with the sweet strains of classical music… Read More
The first known photograph of Leonard Bernstein (left) as a conductor, taken at a summer camp on 1937. CREDIT: Library of Congress, Music Division “Moynik!” (“Music!”), the young Leonard Bernstein would exclaim, even before his second birthday. He was clearly fascinated by the sounds emanating from his parents’ Victrola at home in Lawrence, Massachusetts and… Read More
Did you know that the director of the new documentary film about Mr. Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Morgan Neville – also directed The Music of Strangers, the 2016 documentary about Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project? And that Yo-Yo Ma’s son Nicholas is one of the producers of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? In a clip of his appearance on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Nicholas Ma is Read More
Ah, June. Wedding season for so many, when even musical instruments can declare their loving intentions. 'D’amore': Italian, meaning 'of love.' And what does 'love' mean? Sympathetic vibrations, a soft, comforting voice, a whisper into the mysterious dark of the ancient, natural world. Welcome to the instruments d’amore: viola, oboe, and…yerbomatófono? Read More
Franz Liszt once said, “Mournful and grand is the destiny of an artist.” Was he referring to the seemingly large proportion of artists that suffer from some sort of mental disorder? Sergei Rachmaninoff was one. He dealt with depression throughout his life, but not only did he mostly overcome it, his management of it fueled his composing. Read More
Austin Schlichting, a Bellingham native, moved to Olympia as a composer and music teacher. CREDIT: MATT MILTON Listen The Olympia Symphony celebrates 65 years in 2018. To mark this special occasion, they commissioned the grandson of one of their first music directors, Austin Schlichting, to write a piece. Austin Schlichting is a composer and music… Read More
Good music and good food: two indulgences that go well together. Composers have been writing music to accompany banquets, dinners and parties for centuries. Think of Telemann’s Tafelmusik (“Table Music,” in English), or the Divertimenti Mozart wrote for the wind band hired to play during the Emperor’s lunch. But one composer stands out as someone who created both the music Read More
Is Vivaldi a composer or a potato? We put our staff to the test to see how well they do with this quiz from Classic FM.</p> <p> Related Stories: FILM REVIEW: A Dancer Transformed Into A ‘Red Sparrow’ With the awkward state of Russian-American relations back in the headlines, “Red Sparrow” as the latest starring… Read More
CREDIT: DUTCH NATIONAL ARCHIVESWIKIMEDIA COMMONS Andres Segovia in recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, 1962 The “grandfather” of his instrument. Virtuoso, transcriber, mentor, innovator. Andres Segovia, the quintessential master of the classical guitar, earned all of those designations, and more, during his long and distinguished career.  Feb.21 marks the 125th Read More
Makes sense that Franz Schubert’s birthday would be at the coldest time of year: January 31, 1797. The deepest chill runs through Schubert’s whisper-short lifetime. Granted, within the hundreds of songs and symphonies and chamber pieces he left us, you can catch the energies of spring. But just consider, for now, “Die Winterreise.” There lurks… Read More
The original Mozartkugel is a rich little layered confection: pistachio marzipan enveloped by nougat, surrounded by chocolate, and wrapped in foil decorated with a portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was created in 1890, in response to an invitation from the city of Salzburg to its artisans to invent things to commemorate the hundredth anniversary… Read More
Leonard Bernstein in 1971, during rehearsals for his “Mass” CREDIT: MARION S. TRIKOSKO/U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT With the start of 2018 comes a major anniversary on the world’s musical calendar: the centennial of the birth of America’s most versatile musician, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). “Lenny,” as he was affectionately known to family, friends, Read More
  Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ has been a major soundtrack of the season since its premiere in 1892. gabrielsaldana / Flickr ‘Tis the season for all manner of festivities, from celebrations of the holidays at home to premieres of new works for the theatre.  In fact, many productions enjoyed their first performances at this special time… Read More
So it’s true! All these years, you’ve carefully pronounced the “beet” in Beethoven’s surname as “bait,” you well-educated music lover. And you’re right, you’re right. But dig a little bit, and there really is a beet! On a suggestion from my linguist friend, the Seattle violinist Sandra Layman, I checked with the popular music historian… Read More
Seattle has been Gigi Yellen’s home since 1986. Grateful for the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty, she appreciates the contrast between this climate and that of her native Houston, Texas! At Wellesley College, she acquired a good ear for iambic pentameter (thanks to an emphasis on jazz rhythms by her freshman English teacher, America’s future poet… Read More
Thanksgiving is on the way – a day of gratitude, family, music, food and reflection. Spend your Thanksgiving with Northwest Public Radio for a day of holiday specials full of stories, cooking tips and classical music. Giving Thanks: Host John Birge joins you for stories of gratitude, family, and food with a variety of special guests,… Read More
  Hear Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director Timothy Christie perform Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13 on January 16 as part of the Winter Festival. Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival Chamber music festivals fill the northwest throughout the year – intimate performances in cozy venues creating a unique connection between the… Read More
Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen employed Johann Sebastian Bach as his court’s music master, and even sat in himself to jam with the players on harpsichord or violin. Eccentric businesswoman Nadezhda von Meck donated so much of her vast wealth to Tchaikovsky that he was able to drop his day job and compose full time. Her… Read More
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