This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Beach near Nags Head, North Carolina/Jarek Tuszyński

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, August 9, 2020

This evening on Preview! we’ll hear from new concert recordings of the nine Beethoven symphonies, with Robert Trevino leading the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. Rob Kennedy speaks with composer Mark Abel about his CD The Cave of Wondrous Voice. Vasily Petrenko leads the Oslo Philharmonic in music of Rimsky-Korsakov.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. With Jeffrey David Smith.

Photo: Vasily Petrenko/Mark McNulty

This evening on Wavelengths, American guitarist Sharon Isbin revisits a work written for her in 1981 by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. We’ll also hear new music by Caroline Shaw, and from earlier in the 20th century, a sonata by Darius Milhaud.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. With Ed Amend.

Photo: Caroline Shaw/Kait Moreno

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Chanticleer, The Cambridge Singers, and The Cardinall’s Musick. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Pablo Casals, and George Frederic Handel.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. eastern. Right after Sing For Joy. With Rob Kennedy.

Photo: 1978 Rieger organ in Ratzeburg Cathedral, Germany

Saturday, August 8, 2020

In June 2019 we recorded an interview with the late Sir Stephen Cleobury, who for over 35 years, was Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge. Sir Stephen spoke with Rob Kennedy about the famed King’s College Choir’s recording of music of Herbert Howells. You can listen to this conversation and many more on our Conversations page.

Photo: Sir Stephen Cleobury/Benjamin Ealovega

On August 8 we observe the birthdays of French composer Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944), Czech violinist and composer Josef Suk (1929-2011), and Italian-born American organist Pietro Yon (1886-1943). Of Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade, French opera composer Ambroise Thomas said, “This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman.” Josef Suk was the great-grandson of Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák. Pietro Alessandro Yon was organist of New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 1928-1943. He is best known for his Christmas piece Gesù bambino.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Jan Lisiecki

Want to hear what makes a child prodigy tick? You can. We have a recording of a conversation with Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki whose early years did not follow the usual child prodigy format. At eighteen, Lisiecki became both the youngest ever recipient of Gramophone’s Young Artist Award and also received the Leonard Bernstein Award. He was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada in 2012. In this podcast, Rob Kennedy and Jan discuss his recording of the Mendelssohn concerti and much more.

Photo: Shin Sugino

On August 7 we observe the birthdays of English composer Sir Granville Bantock (1868-1946) and American guitarist Sharon Isbin (1956-). Bantock was one of the founders of the City of Birmingham Orchestra which later became the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Besides being a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Ms. Isbin is the founding director of the Guitar Department at the Julliard School.

Photos:; Sharon Isbin/J. Henry Fair

Thursday, August 6, 2020

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents two different versions of the classic Orpheus and Euridice story by the same composer. Orfeo ed Euridice was the first of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s three so-called “reform” operas (the others were Alceste and Paride ed Elena), in which a “noble simplicity” was intended to replace the complicated plots and florid musical style of opera seria.  The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Bob Chapman hosts.

Painting: Orfeo et Euridice by Titian c. 1508

Black Oak Ensemble

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

On August 5 we observe the birthdays of Franco-Flemish composer Guillaume Du Fay (1397-1494), French composer Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896), Russian conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev (1932-), and American violinist Mark O’Connor (1961-). Du Fay was a leading composer of the 15th century. Monsieur Thomas wrote over twenty operas. Vladimir Ivanovich Fedoseyev has asteroid 7741 Fedoseev named in his honor. Mark O’Connor enjoys great popularity both as a violinist and a composer.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

On August 4 we observe the birthdays of German conductor Kurt Eichhorn (1908-1994), American composer William Schuman (1910-1992), English organist Simon Preston (1938-), and American soprano Deborah Voigt (1960-). Herr Eichhorn was chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1967 to 1975. Mr. Schuman was president of the Juilliard School from 1945-1961. Simon Preston began his musical career as a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge. Ms Voigt has sung in most of the world’s great opera houses and has dozens of recordings to her credit.

Photos: Deborah Voigt/Luke Ratray; Others/

Monday, August 3, 2020

American conductor William Henry Curry is our guest this evening on the August edition of My Life In Music. Maestro Curry has conducted orchestras worldwide. He was for twenty years Resident Conductor and Summerfest Artistic Director of the North Carolina Symphony. Maestro Curry was in a characteristically witty mood when we recorded this show. His recollections of the great conductors who mentored him are insightful and delightful.

The music on this program includes Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No 5 in G minor, and more. Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern. The program is rebroadcast on Tuesday, August 4 7 at 3 a.m. and again on Sunday, August 9 at 5 p.m.

Photo: Michael Zirkle

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. On the program is music of Hector Berlioz, Ottorino Respighi, and Aaron Copland in performances led by the late Eric Kunzel, current artistic director Louis Langrèe, and current pops director John Morris Russell.

The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Eastern. With host Andy Huber.

Photo: Cinncinati Symphony Orchestra

On August 3 we observe the birthday of English-born American organist and composer Dr. Alec Wyton (1921-2007). Alec was Organist of New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine from 1954-1974. He was also the Coordinator of the Standing Commission on Church Music which produced The Hymnal 1982 for the Episcopal Church.

Photo: The Wyton Archive