Jad Abumrad is the host of WNYC's radio show and podcast Radiolab, but he does a lot more than just host. He's a producer, music composer, and has guided the show along for decades as one of its founders. Abumrad actually started out studying music at Oberlin to achieve his childhood dream of being a film composer. When that didn't pan out the way he wanted to, he jumped into radio as it was a way to weave both words and sound into one art form.
We’re living in some strange times and perhaps one of the more troubling things is the lack of LIVE music. Live music must go on, and one of the best ways to do that is through the radio. Good ole, socially distant radio. That’s why WVPB is putting out a call for performers for our Classical Music show that runs from 12-2 PM each weekday afternoon. We want to hear from any soloist or ensemble who might be interested in performing live on the show. We need to limit it to groups of four (4) or less in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.
In these strange times, you may have been missing a familiar voice on the air--the voice of long-time Classical host, Frank Stowers. Frank has been asked to stay at home by our management here at WVPB in order to keep healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic. We wanted to check in on him and see how he and his wife, Emita, were doing, so Matt Jackfert called him and had a conversation with him.
WVSO Flutist, WVSU flute teacher, and new music advocate Lindsey Goodman has just released her third album this past week. Featuring all sorts of living composers, this CD stretches the boundaries of solo flute music as well as music for flute and electronics. The album starts off with the jazzy "Bleuz" by Josh Oxford, which at times reminds one of the flute singing by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. It moves through more stunning solo flute pieces until it hits flute and electronic piece "Butterfly Within" by Mara Helmuth. Goodman switch-hits on the Alto Flute during the third movement of Alla Elena Cohen's "Three Duos for Alto Flute and Cello". And finally, her Leviathan Trio makes an appearance in the final track "Flight 710 to Cabo San Lucas" with Hannah Presley on cello and Joseph Dangerfield on piano.
The choir director of the Appalachian Children's Chorus has some heartwarming goals for her choir and for their upcoming concert this December. Artistic and Founding director Selina Midkiff says, "One of the things I want to do in my space is to create, first of all, a safe place for children--they are safe here. And then I want us to spread the joy and spread that feeling wherever we go." Mrs. Midkiff says that these goals are accomplished not necessarily because of her but because of the atmosphere the children create. "Its been decades of these children building this environment."
World-renowned West Virginia Pianist Barbara Nissman recently released her latest project from Three Oranges Recordings. Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Ramey is the 26th recording collaboration among Nissman, piano technician David Barr, and producer Bill Purse. This newest CD features the dazzling pianism of Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, the short fragment and possibly last notes of Prokofiev in the Piano Sonata No. 10 in E minor, the adventurous Ramey Piano Sonata No. 10, and the beautiful Rachmaninoff Six Moment Musicaux.
This weekend, singers from Bluefield College will perform a concert in preparation for a tour of Europe later in the year. The Bluefield College Variations Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. John Moir will sing as part of the Concerts @ St. John's series this Sunday 2/3 at 4 PM at St. John's Episcopal Church in Charleston, WV.
All this week, Maestro André Raphel and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra are hosting the East Meets West Festival and Concert in Wheeling. This includes events like "The Art and Tradition of Storytelling", which took place on Wednesday (3/14); "A Musical Journey Through Chinese and Western Culture", which will take place Thursday evening (3/15); and a WSO concert, which is happening Friday evening (3/16).
"I'm home again." That was a declaration by world-renowned Euphonium player, Steven Mead, following his 5-week journey across the world. Mead found himself performing in several different countries this summer including the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, South Korea, and China.
"Keep on pickin'"-- That's one of the many mantras of legendary composer, conductor, and performer David Amram. He used that mantra when sending out his composition portfolio to job prospects. Several times that portfolio was returned to him unopened, so he simply changed the address on the package and sent it out again. In 1966, however, his portfolio caught the attention of another legendary composer and performer, Leonard Bernstein, and he received the position of composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic.
"I think he's been such a great spokesperson for the arts... and really for music in general... I think he's really been someone who's been able to help classical music progress past the traditional venues and audiences that one might normally expect," says Wheeling Symphony conductor, André Raphel, about pianist and radio personality Christopher O'Riley.
A few weeks ago, the students of the Appalachian Children's Chorus and their founding director, Selina Midkiff, stopped by our studios at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. They graced us with their youthful energy and a true dedication to music-making.
The upcoming week of recitals for the Montclaire String Quartet seeks to offer a variety of musical flavors. A taste of Caviar -- with Mozart's Quartet No. 15 in D minor K421, a splash of vodka -- with Tchaikovsky's Quartet No. 1 in D major op. 11, and a world premiere -- with Matt Jackfert's new piece POLLY HOLLOW for String Quartet.
This Wednesday, Lindsey Goodman, principal flutist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra joined us live in studio to discuss her recently-released debut solo album Reach through the Sky. On the album, Goodman not only plays soprano flute and alto flute, but she also sings mezzo-soprano on a number of songs. All of the composers on the album are living American composers, because as Goodman jokes, "Beethoven never returns my calls."
Interview with Lindsey Goodman with performances of pieces from her new album 'Reach through the Sky'
Recently, both students and faculty from West Virginia University teamed up to perform and record the music of Mary McAuliffe for a CD from the Delos label. The reason? WVU piano professor, Lucy Mauro says, "We really liked her music, so we wanted to record it." Fair enough.
McAuliffe had written a set of songs for Mauro and tenor, Donald George, and the pair fell in love with McAuliffe's compositions.
Interview with pianist Lucy Mauro and selections from 'Return to Old Ireland: Music of Mary McAuliffe' from Delos.
Interview with Barbara Nissman as well as a couple of recordings of Liszt and Ginastera.
Hidden in one of the "Coolest Small Towns in America" (Lewisburg, WV), is a world-renowned pianist who has played with some of the world's top orchestras. Barbara Nissman moved to the Mountain State in 1989, and now she's bringing her talents up I-64 to Charleston this weekend.
This Thursday, we were graced with the presence of a local woodwind trio in our studios here at WVPB. They shared with us the music they've been preparing for the first installment of this year's Concerts @ St. John's Series. That concert is scheduled for Sunday, March 6th at 4 PM at St. John's Episcopal Church in Charleston, WV.
Although the Kanawha Valley has had some economic struggles in recent years, there still stands a full-functioning and devoted theatre and arts community. Forces from all around the valley continue to converge on a production, and a receptive audience is there to receive it (even on a Sunday matinee no less!).
Years ago, conductor Andrew Traschel was surfing YouTube - like many do. He came across a composition that fascinated him: Mason Bates's "Mothership". Upon viewing, Traschel immediately emailed the composer asking for the possibility to arrange the composition for wind ensemble. This began a series of events that led to the creation of a debut album.
This October 6th at 7 PM, the West Virginia Symphony League will be showing off the latest fashion of the season during their Fashion Show fundraiser at the University of Charleston Erma Byrd Gallery. Over 50 models will adorn clothing from over 20 retailers in a tribute to local community heroes.
Thursday Oct. 1st at 7:30 PM, world renowned string quartet, Amernet, and the WVU Orchestra will follow the direction of Mitchell Arnold on stage at the Lyell B. Clay Theater in Morgantown. The concert is free to all WVU students who have a student ID to give exposure to all the students and faculty have to offer at the School of Music.
Cellist Julian Schwarz will join us live on radio during Classical Music with Matt Jackfert starting at 2:06 PM this Friday (9/18).
Schwarz will discuss his upcoming performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra as well as his career that's been skyrocketing in the short time since his orchestral debut at age 11.
Today the Montclaire String Quartet shared with us some of their talents by performing Johan Halvorsen's Pasacaglia for Violin and Viola after JF Handel's Harpsichord Suite No. 7 in G minor live in studio. They also brought along Scott Woodard, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities of West Virginia State University to discuss their new partnership with WVSU.
Check them out Sept. 3rd, 2015 at 7:30 PM at the Davis Fine Arts Building at WVSU.
Have you ever wondered how to create your own album? Or maybe were just curious as to how a band goes from their garage to professional recording studio? Let Matt Jackfert take you through a 10-step process of creating your very own album by following Charleston-based group, The Company Stores, as they went from playing in basements and garages in 2013, to releasing a full album in 2014 called Rollin' In.
Ever wondered how a band makes it from garage to professional studio? Join us this Memorial Day on radio as we go inside the making of an album. We track Charleston-based band The Company Stores as they create their first album Rollin' In. On Monday night at 8 PM, Matt Jackfert will walk you through each step and will give you a behind-the-scenes tour as we listen in on the planning and recording of the album.
The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is bidding farewell to the 2014-2015 season by performing a series of masterpieces by great composers, both old and new, during their concert on May 15th, 2015 8:00 PM at the Capitol Theater in Wheeling.
Cristian and Victoria Fatu of the Fa2 Duo describe how they met and the repertoire they play, with samples from their CD New Beginnings.
Generally when a musician makes a mistake in a concert, he or she can just go home and forget about it. When your husband or wife is also your partner in music, that may not be so easy! That's the case for the Fa2 Duo--the violin and piano duo comprised of Cristian and Victoria Fatu.
To use common parlance: this is big stuff, a big deal and quite an honor.
Charleston-based Opus Chorale has been a given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give the American premiere of Norwegian composer Kim Andre Arnesen's Requiem Mass. "Arnesen is a rising star in the choral world," said Opus Chorale director, David Donathan, "and for us, this is a major coup."
It takes a serious amount of knowledge to become a conductor of an orchestra. That's why Maestro Stefan Sanders learned it from the inside out. He knew he wanted to be a conductor, but started as a Bass Trombone player in the Buffalo Philharmonic and waited for his time. When conductor, JoAnn Falletta, gave him the chance to conduct the BPO, he jumped on the opportunity. Since then, he's become Director of the Round Rock Symphony in Texas and an Associate Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Listen to hear his story and recordings of the BPO.