This Week At The Classical Station

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This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, November 22, 2020

This evening on Preview! Joann Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic join the celebration for Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Rob Kennedy speaks with Al Sturgis, music director of the North Carolina Master Chorale, about the Chorale’s upcoming virtual holiday concerts. And pianist Bertrand Chamayou plays music of Liszt.

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

Photo: Cheryl Gorski

This evening Wavelengths features the Lysander Piano Trio playing music of Reinaldo Moya, from a new disc of premiere recordings of works by American composers. The Choirs of St. Catharine’s College sing music for Christmas by Judith Weir. And guitarist Ricardo Cobo plays music of Leo Brouwer.

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

Photo: Lysander Piano Trio/Jiyang Chen

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Huelgas Ensemble, The Sixteen Choir, and the Oratory Choir of Engelbrekt Church Stockholm. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jacobus Gallus, Oskar Lindberg, and Giovanni Gabrieli.

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

Photo: 1590 engraving by Petelin on

On November 22 we observe the birthdays of German composer Wilhelm Friedmann Bach (1710-1784), Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), American composer Gunther Schuller (1925-2015), English pianist Stephen Hough (1961-), and American conductor Kent Nagano (1951-).

The second child and eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wilhelm Friedmann Bach was taught by his father who wrote, among other works, Inventions and Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier for him. While best known for his guitar music, Senor Rodrigo never actually mastered the instrument himself. We know him best for his Concierto de Aranjuez which is a great favorite of The Classical Station’s listeners. Benjamin Britten was a brilliant composer as well as conductor and pianist. He was also the first British musician to be made a life peer. The Britten-Pears Foundation website is a good resource for information about the composer. Gunther Schuller studied at the St. Thomas Choir School in New York and went on to be President of the New England Conservatory. Besides being a brilliant pianist, Stephen Hough is a writer, composer, and a polymath. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Julliard School. You can listen to a conversation with Stephen on our Conversations page. Maestro Nagano has been Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 2006 and is also music director of the Hamburg State Opera.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

On November 21 we observe the birthdays of Spanish composer Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933), Australian composer Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003), and American conductor James DePreist (1936-2013). Karg-Elert is perhaps best known to organists. He wrote over one hundred pieces for organ and harmonium. Tárrega was both a composer and a virtuoso guitarist who laid the foundations for classical guitar performance in the 20th century. Williamson was a Master of the Queen’s Music from 1975-2003. He wrote seven symphonies and a dozen concerti for various instruments. James DePreist was the nephew of the contralto Marian Anderson. Among other appointments, he was Leonard Bernstein’s assistant at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1965-66. DePriest was music director of the Oregon Symphony from 1980-2003.

Photos: James DePriest/Wendy Leher; Others on

Friday, November 20, 2020

On November 20 we observe the birthdays of Australian composer Margaret Sutherland (1897-1984) and American conductor Kenneth Dewitt Schermerhorn (1929-2005). Ms. Sutherland studied with Sir Arnold Bax in London. A Schenectady, New York native, Maestro Schermerhorn was the conductor of several orchestras, including the Nashville Symphony for which he served as music director from 1983.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Guiseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. After Gilda (Dame Joan Sutherland), daughter of court jester Rigoletto (Sherill Milnes), is seduced by the Duke of Mantua (Luciano Pavarotti), the aggrieved father puts out a contract on the duke’s life. The late Al Ruocchio hosts. Bob Chapman hosts. The curtain goes up at 7 p.m.

Photo: Olga Peretyatko as Gilda in 2017 Metropolitan Opera production of Rigoletto/Ken Howard

On November 19 we observe the birthday of Russian composer Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935). Besides composing, he taught at the Conservatory in Moscow. One of his students was Reinhold Glière.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What do you think of our programming? Do we play too much Bach? Not enough Bach? Take our new Top 100 Survey and let us know.

On November 18 we observe the birthdays of Flemish composer Jean-Baptiste Loeillet (1680-1730), German composer Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch (1736-1800), German composer Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), and Hungarian-born American conductor Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985). Loeillet spent most of his career as a musician in London where he was known as John Loeillet. Herr Hasch was C.P.E. Bach’s deputy harpsichordist at the court of Frederick the Great of Prussia. He was a brilliant pianist. Carl Maria von Weber also wrote ten operas which influenced many other composers of the genre. In 1936 Eugene Ormandy began his association with the Philadelphia Orchestra as Associate Conductor under Leopold Stowkowski. He succeeded Stowkowski as Music Director of the orchestra, spending forty years in that role before finally retiring in 1980. ArkivMusic shows three hundred thirty recordings made by Ormandy currently available.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

If your vehicle – automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, or aircraft – is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way as a donation in support of the beautiful music you love on from The Classical Station. Here’s how it works: the Center for Car Donations (CFCD), manages the donations on our behalf. Call them toll-free at 1-877-927-3872 for more information and to begin the car donation process. Don’t forget to mention that The Classical Station is the recipient of your donation.

A CFCD representative will schedule a pickup that’s convenient for you, and provide you with confirmation of your donation. We will mail you a confirmation that states how much your vehicle sold for at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. You also will receive a one-year subscription to Quarter Notes.


On November 17 we observe the birthday of Australian conductor Sir Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras (1925-2010). Sir Charles was actually born in Schenectady, New York to Australian parents. They moved back to Australia when he was very young. Sir Charles conducted most of the world’s major orchestras during his long career. He made many recordings. Indeed, ArkivMusic shows 347 of his recordings are currently available.


Monday, November 16, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. On the program is music by Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and John Field, in performances led by Sir Charles Mackerras, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and current music director Maxim Emelyanychev.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

On November 16 we observe the birthday of German-born American composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). Hindemith taught at Yale University where he influenced composers such as Norman Dello Joio and Lukas Foss.