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On this week's Opera House I'm presenting Mark Adamo's adaptation of a nineteenth-century American literary classic, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, it was first performed by their Opera Studio on March 13, 1998. An expanded version was premiered two years later on HGO's main stage, and PBS telecast it on August 28, 2001 on Great Performances.

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WCPE's Preview

Ara Gregorian

We spoke with violinist Ara Gregorian, who is founder and artistic director of the Greenville- based Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival which is now in its 15th season. ECU's Next Generation Chamber Orchestra, acclaimed guest artists, and ECU faculty members present a concert of the complete Four Seasons concerti of Vivaldi and Piazzolla on Saturday, February 28 in Smedes-Emory Parlor at Raleigh's Saint Mary's School.

WCPE is sad to share news today of the passing of North Carolina Symphony violinist Jess Levin. We offer our condolences to Jess's wife, Pam Halverson, who is assistant librarian of the North Carolina Symphony, and the entire Symphony family. Jess Levin's edition of My Life in Music, which originally aired on April 7, 2014, is available for streaming, at this link.

Jess Levin
February 15, 1951 – February 16, 2015

A member of the North Carolina Symphony since 1974, Jess Levin held the J. Felix Arnold Chair in the First Violin section.

From an early age, Jess had designs on a career in science. He began serious study of physics while in elementary school, and went on to major in that subject at the Bronx High School of Science. However, as the son of one of New York’s premier violinists, it was not surprising that the music bug would bite him eventually. Jess began studying violin while in junior high school, and studied composition with Juilliard resident composer Hall Overton beginning at the age of 14.

During his teen years, the photography bug also took up permanent residence next to music and Jess pursued both creative areas from then on.   His explorations of visual arts can be seen at www.ClassicalPhotography.com.   An undergraduate degree in violin performance (with unofficial minor in composition) and a graduate school major in composition (with unofficial minor in violin) helped prepare Jess for his place in the First Violin section of the North Carolina Symphony.

Highlights of his career with the North Carolina Symphony included four performances of his own violin concerto (premiered in 1976), performances of Mozart’s Concerto No. 5, and the orchestra’s performances of two of his compositions – TAKI 183 for string orchestra, and Tessellation for full orchestra. His chamber works have been performed in Raleigh, Albuquerque, and several Wisconsin venues.

A continued fascination with physics and the other sciences provided just one area among the many that occupied Jess’s voracious appetite for reading that also included music and the visual arts.  His wife, Pam Halverson who is also part of the North Carolina Symphony family, serves as Assistant Librarian.

Jason Vieaux

WCPE offers its congratulations to guitarist Jason Vieaux on winning his first Grammy Award in the category Best Classical Instrumental Solo with his album, "Play," released on Azica Records. In case you missed it, here’s our Preview interview with Jason Vieaux about the album which includes Vieaux’s own arrangement of “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington, which he created for a 2007 performance with North Carolina’s Charlotte Symphony.

Listen to WCPE's interview with Jason Vieaux.

Two Cleveland artists take home Grammy Awards in classical categories.

Jason Vieaux

WCPE FM Celebrates Black History Month


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The Metropolitan Opera Announces the 2014-15 Season

The Met’s 2014-15 Season Will Feature 26 Operas, Including Three Met Premieres, In Six New Productions and 18 Revivals!

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Meet the Announcer
Ever wonder what your favorite voice looks like? See photos and read brief biographies of WCPE's announcers!

"Quarter Notes"
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