Classical 94.5 WNED Interviews

Buffalo's "Charles Ives: An American Maverick" week-long festival wraps up this Tuesday evening at 7:30pm with the Slee Sinfonietta at UB's Slee Hall. Mezzo-Soprano Julia Bently spoke with WNED about why 20th century composers preferred the lower female voice range and also why so many modern "classical" songs are not "sing-along" songs.

The week long Charles Ives festival kicks off this Wednesday at 3pm at UB's Baird Hall, in the first of five opportunities to hear baritone William Sharp sing and talk about Ives, whom many consider the greatest American composer, ever. Joseph Horowitz, with help from the National Endowment for the Humanities ,has created a program similar to the "Dvorak in America" experience a few years back. "Charles Ives: American Maverick" will be at Kleinhans Music Hall on Saturday and Sunday. WNED found out more.

The Southern Tier Symphony Chamber Strings present "Bach's Lunch - Music for the Soul, Not the Stomach" at two locations, back to back, this Tuesday March 31st.  First at 11:30am at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Olean, NY and then at 1pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Bradford, PA.  Executive Director and Violin Soloist Kim Whitney and guest conductor Nick DelBello dropped by WNED to talk about Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, and more.

 It's "Cello Power" when four members of the Buffalo Philharmonic bring their talents to the intimate performance space of the Unity Church (1243 Delaware Ave) for a "Friends of Vienna" concert.  Music by cellists, music by Mozart, Paganini, Bartok and de Falla, and music from the movies played by Feng Hew, David Schmude, Eva Herer, and Amelie Fradette who spoke with WNED about this Sunday, March 29th at 3:30.


Mozart ‘s opera “Don Giovanni” premiered around the same time as our founding fathers were writing the U.S. Constitution and the ideas of freedom and how we treat our fellows were imbedded in DaPonte’s libretto.  Western New York Chamber Orchestra Artistic Director and Conductor Glen Cortese spoke about this, and more, with WNED on the eve of two performances, Friday March 27th at 7:30pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1080 Main Street in Buffalo and Sunday, March 29th at 4pm at King Concert Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra continues its very popular Beethoven Festival with a Friday morning "Coffee Concert" at 10:30 and a concert Saturday night, March 28th at 8pm, both at Kleinhans Music Hall.  Pianist Norm Krieger will be recording Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 for a future CD and Buffalo's sweetheart, soprano Emily Helenbrook, joins dynamic local actor Matt Witten for a melodrama based on Egmont.  BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta spoke with WNED.


As the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra winds down the 2014-2015 concert season, JoAnn Falletta has programmed a number of 20th century works.  And, one more time, the BPO's "Explainer-in-Chief" Paul Ferington will walk us through the music at three separate BPOvation events: Wednesday, March 25 at noon at the Downtown Library, at 6:30 at the Orchard Park Public Library, and Wednesday April 1st at 7:00 at the Amherst Audubon Public Library.  All talks are free and open to anyone.  Paul spoke a bit to WNED about some of the composers, including Bernstein, Ives, Penderecki, and Shostakovich.

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra presents "A Trio of Trumpets" (the BPO's Alex Jokipii, Geoffrey Hardcastle, and Philip Christner) in music from Bizet's Carmen arranged just for them, along with favorites by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Leroy Anderson at the Amherst Middle School, 55 Kings Highway, March 29th at 7pm.  Guest Conductor Stefan Sanders of the BPO spoke with WNED and attempts to answer the question "Who are the orchestra's biggest jokers - the trumpet section or the trombones?"


JoAnn Falletta spoke to WNED about trying an experiment during the first weekend of the two-part Beethoven Festival.  She has programmed both Beethoven's first symphony and his last, the mighty 9th with chorus and soloists. The two works are separated by 25 years, quite different, but both unmistakably Beethoven.  The concerts are Saturday March 21 at 8pm and Sunday March 22 at 2:30pm.  

Joining Canada's Elora Festival Singers at Carnegie Hall on March 13th will be Buffalo's Harmonia Chamber Singers.  But this weekend, the "HarmoniaCS" will sing "Into Light" - it's a cappella by candlelight - Friday March 6th at 8pm at St. Louis Church, Edward at Main in downtown Buffalo, and Sunday, March 8th at 7pm at St. Peter RC Church in Lewiston.  Artistic Director Robert Pacillo speaks about the concept and the venues.

Irish Classical Theatre's Vincent O'Neill talks about Samuel Beckett's radio play "Words and Music" which discusses which is more important in memory - words or music?  Vincent plays "Words" while a 7 instrument group represents music as composed by Morton Feldman at the next "Musical Feast."  It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this, Friday March 13 at 8pm at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

With a cappella choral favorites from 13 countries sung in 7 different languages from Latin to Russian to Swahili, Vocalis Chamber Choir presents "Spirit in Sound" Saturday, March 14, 7:30 pm at Parkside Lutheran Church in Buffalo and Sunday, March 15, 4:00 at St. Matthias Church in East Aurora.  Vocalis' Music Director James Burritt explains more about the programs.

In a separate interview, Irish Classical Theatre's Vincent O'Neill talks about Samuel Beckett's radio play "Words and Music" which is the second half of the Musical Feast  concert, Friday March 13 at 8pm at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Performing as both pianist and composer in both halves of the concert, Amy Williams discusses the importance of 20th century composers such as Elliott Carter and Morton Feldman.  And, Thursday, March 12 at Pausa Art House on Wadsworth Street, Amy will play John Cage's landmark "Sonatas and Interludes" for "prepared" solo piano using "preparations" (screws, paper clips, rubber bands) selected by the composer himself. Doors open at Pausa at 6pm, the recital is at 8pm.

The Elora Festival Singers are on their way to prestigious Carnegie Hall where, on Friday, March 13, at 8pm they will participate in "A Capella Next"  - an evening devoted to contemporary choral music.  Featured every summer at the Elora (Canada) Summer Festival, they also provide the professional core of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir which appears with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  WNED spoke with Elora co-founder Noel Edison.

For 30 years Tim Kennedy of Buffalo Opera Unlimited has been mounting productions to let local singers showcase their talents.  In this conversation, Tim reveals the percentage of trained opera singers who actually have careers and reveals the tension between Da Ponte (book and lyrics) and Mozart (music) for their first collaboration "Cosi fan tutte" which you can see Friday 3/13 at 8pm and Sunday 3/15 at 2pm at UB's Center for the Arts.

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