Music & Culture

Classical Music Posts

Immanuel Wilkins Highlights Struggle And Triumph Of Black Experience In Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Candles and books rest on a trunk at the bottom right corner of the wide shot. There, too, are special photographs of alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins with family in his childhood home in Philadelphia. “One of the brightest things about this pandemic was going home to spend time with my mother, father and grandmother after being on the road for a while,” Wilkins told NPR recently.

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An artist's rendition of the conch of Marsoulas being played in a cave where it was found by researchers in the early 20th Century. CREDIT: G. Tosello

Why A Musician Breathed New Life Into A 17,000-Year-Old Conch Shell Horn

A horn made from a conch shell over 17,000 years ago has blasted out musical notes for the first time in millennia. Archaeologists originally found the seashell in 1931, in a French cave that contains prehistoric wall paintings. They speculated that the cave’s past occupants had used the shell as a ceremonial cup for shared drinks, and that a hole in its tip was just accidental damage.

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Singer and instrumentalist Flory Jagoda (left) performing with viola da gamba player Heather Spence at an event in Potomac, Md. in 2012. Jagoda died on Jan. 29. CREDIT: Dayna Smith/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Remembering Flory Jagoda, Who Preserved Sephardic Jewish Music And Language

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and accordionist Flory Jagoda worked hard to preserve the music and language she inherited from her Sephardic Jewish ancestors in her adopted American home. Named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002, she died on Jan. 29 at age 97 in Alexandria, Va. at a long-term memory care facility, according to an obituary placed by her family.

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Maryanne Amacher, an artist and composer, is one of the women featured in the new documentary Sisters with Transistors. CREDIT: Peggy Weil/Courtesy of the artist

‘Sisters With Transistors’ Highlights Pioneers Of Electronic Music

In the 1920s, the Russian physicist Leon Theremin debuted an electronic instrument that could be played without any physical contact. Players stood in front of a box and waved their hands over antennas, summoning otherworldly sounds seemingly from thin air. The theremin might have been regarded as a passing novelty if not for the late Clara Rockmore, a virtuoso who helped to refine the instrument’s design, and wowed concert hall audiences with her performances.

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