KLRE Classical Music News

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Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly, you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

Arts Scene: Linda Holzer And Caroline Doctorow

Feb 1, 2016
Kelly Hicks

Part 1: My first guest today, pianist Linda Holzer, has always brought new ideas to the recitals she presents at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, often with guests, friends or colleagues from the UALR music faculty, where she is professor of music and coordinator of piano studies. This by no means covers the whole range, which includes piano lessons and an interdisciplinary course with a professor from the UALR George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology.

There are new works in her recital, but nothing of technology to challenge her audience. She opens the program, joined by baritone and faculty member Farris Allen in three songs, including Prayers and Blessings, a new work by well-known composer Gwyneth Walker. And Linda continues her concept of ear-opener in her program title Ear-Opener! A Celebration of the Known and the New.

January was wrapped up with a violent last day of the month in Little Rock. Three people were killed in the on Sunday in separate incidents.

Mayor Mark Stodola says he and Police Chief Kenton Buckner are doing everything they can to address the flare-up.

But, he said, a weekend of violence isn’t an indicator of a significant rise in crime. "I wish there was a way to stop speeding bullets," he said, adding he believes the city is doing everything it can.

Arts Scene: Mendelssohn And Visconti

Jan 28, 2016
danvisconti.com

Part 1:

What has been called the best-known violin concerto in the world, the best-loved, most easily recognized? All of these apply to the violin concerto by Felix Mendelssohn. An Arkansas audience will certainly be caught up in it from the opening measures January 30-31. The soloist, Kiril Laskarov, is the Arkansas Symphony's Concert Master. He is from Bulgaria, where he received his training, up to his bachelors degree, from the state academy of music in Sofia. In 1995 he won the Bulgarian national competition and all that implied before moving to America where he earned his masters degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He was brought to Arkansas by then-maestro David Itkin to be one of the newly established co-concert masters. He is now in his 17th year with the ASO. 

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right hand. Pursuing the piano would not exactly appear to be the most intuitive career choice. And yet that is exactly what the 26-year-old British pianist has done. His debut album, Solo, will be released next week.

McCarthy's "Aha!" piano moment came relatively late, at age 14, after he heard a friend play Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata. In a flash, he saw his future. He was determined to become a concert pianist.

Benjamin Clementine On World Cafe

Jan 27, 2016

A Mercury Prize-winning musician, Benjamin Clementine worked his way up from playing the streets of Paris to performing in clubs and festivals. Clementine's theatrical voice is often compared to that of Nina Simone, whom the singer admits he didn't know about until people mentioned the comparison.

Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin

Jan 26, 2016
arkansassymphony.org

On this At the Symphony, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson covers the backstory and notes of musical interest of the Overture from Rossini's opera La Gaza Ladra; Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64; Black Bend by ASO Composer in Residence Dan Visconti; and, Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite.

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