A Tempo with Rachel Katz

Saturday at 7 pm

A Tempo is devoted to issues, challenges and opportunities facing the performing arts. In addition to feature interviews with key people making a difference in the arts, the show also includes relevant news headlines from around the globe. 

Ways to Connect

When financial struggles forced the American Boychoir School to close two years ago, many feared the loss of a prized muscial institution that had stretched back 80 years. Very quickly, however, the Princeton Girlchoir stepped up and offered to launch a boychoir program under its auspices. Now operating as Westrick Music Academy, the combined organization features three boys' ensembles and seven girls' ensembles and is looking ahead to even more new opportunities for young musicians.

medici.tv

The 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition opens June 17 with new competitor categories and additional live streaming options that will allow online viewers to see live coverage and extra features throughout the entire 13-day event. A Tempo this Saturday (6/8 at 7 pm) looks at some of those changes in conversations with medici.tv Founder and CEO Hervé Boissière and competition co-chair Valery Gergiev.

Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced the 2019-2020 season of its MetLive Arts series, which enhances museum exhibits through artistic and musical performances, and A Tempo this Saturday (6/1 at 7 pm) explores some of the highlights. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Limor Tomer, General Manager for Live Arts, about the season, including a tribute to the Guarneri Quartet and a Christmas concert with the museum's Stradavarius Collection.

The poetry of Walt Whitman lends itself well to musical settings, and as the Bicentennial of the great American poet on May 31 approaches, the list of tributes and celebrations includes a number of musical programs and concerts. Among those is a May 31 performance in New York by The Dessoff Choirs, which will feature premieres of settings of his works by Matthew Aucoin, Eve Beglarian and Ian Sturges Milliken. This Saturday on A Tempo (5/25 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will speak with The Dessoff Choirs Music Director Malcolm J. Merriweather about this tribute.

Photo by David Allee

Classical music ensembles and promoters are increasingly scouting out creative venues and themes to attract new audiences to performances, and producer/publicist Andrew Ousley has turned to crypts and catacombs for new concert series in New York. This Saturday (5/18 at 7 pm), A Tempo host Rachel Katz will speak with Ousley about these initiatives, and the way these efforts are drawing in people who might not otherwise attend a classical music performance.

Carnegie Hall has been exploring the impact of immigration and migration on the development of American music this Spring, including concerts highlighting the influence of the Scots Irish, Jewish immigrants, and the migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities after the Civil War. The series culminates May 19 with a concert performance, "Soul Mechanism," comprised of works written by participants in its Weill Music Institute's songwriting programs, and A Tempo this Saturday (5/11 at 7 pm) features conversations with some of the participants about their music.

Conducting superstar Gustavo Dudamel wound up his residency with Princeton University Concerts last week, participating in discussions about art and society, conducting the Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club in two concerts, and stopping in to answer questions by young musicians attending a Seminario that brought together youth music programs from New Jersey and the region inspired by the El Sistema movement.

Princeton University Concerts and Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life have collaborated in creating a Live Music Meditation program, in which visiting artists will play musical selections as part of a guided meditation session on stage at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the Princeton campus. A Tempo this Saturday (4/27 at 7 pm) drops in on a recent session.

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Brillhart

The world watched in despair at the images of flames roaring through Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral this past Monday, worrying about the fate of this historic, architectural - and to the French, national - treasure. As the shock and disbelief settled in, thoughts turned to the magnificent works of art inside, and for those in the music world, to the Grand Organ. Built in the 1860s by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll using some parts from two earlier organs, the organ has undergone several modifications and restorations and now features more than 8,000 pipes.

A Tempo this week looks at how two upcoming performances reflect efforts to explore the impact of social, historic and economic trends on cities. Host Rachel Katz will speak with composer Derek Bermel and librettist Wendy S. Walters, whose Golden Motors is about the impact of the Detroit auto industry on those whose livelihoods depend on it. The New York debut of scenes from the work in progress will take place April 18 and 19 at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.

A Tempo this Saturday (4/6 at 7 pm) turns a spotlight on the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia's College of Physicians, which will feature a presentation by pianist, composer and music historian Robert Greenberg  on April 15 entitled "We Need No Longer Be Afraid," exploring the way the music of Stravinsky, Debussy and Schoenberg shook up to music world while reflecting the changes taking place in the world at the dawn of the 20th century.

This Saturday (3/30 at 7 pm), A Tempo looks at one of the latest online learning resources available for those interested in exploring opera in more depth. The Metropolitan Opera Guild has just launched an online learning program, and host Rachel Katz will speak with Stuart Holt, director of school programs and community engagement, about the series and some of the Guild's other education initiatives and activities.

A Tempo this Saturday (3/23 at 7 pm) wraps up its two-week feature on the New World Symphony and its 31 years of training musicians for musical careers. This week host Rachel Katz focuses on the symphony's mission to provide career development, including expanded explorations of community outreach, alternative programming and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Photo by Rui-Dias Aidos

The New World Symphony has been a pioneer in the fields of musician training and innovation in programming and community outreach since its founding 31 years ago. A recent $500,000 donation has now enabled it to create a Fund for New Ventures, designed to support further efforts to explore new opportunities and possibilities in re-imagining the learning, concert and performance experiences. A Tempo this Saturday (3/16 at 7 pm) starts a two-week look at the Miami Beach, Florida-based orchestra, its history and its plans for the future.

Irvine, California-based Pacific Symphony is exploring an Iranian musical tradition that it hopes to make an annual part of its season, part of its on-going efforts to offer engaging programs for audiences in its diverse community.

A Tempo this Saturday (3/2) features a conversation with conductor and musicologist Jane Glover, author of the new book Handel in London: The Making of a Genius. Rachel Katz is your host Saturday at 7 pm.

Carnegie Hall's 2019-2020 season includes a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, including a multi-continent Ode to Joy project, and this Saturday (2/23 at 7 pm) A Tempo previews some of the highlights. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson about the season, and also about the upcoming Migrations Festival, which kicks off next month and is devoted to exploring the impact and influence of immigrants on American culture.

Orchestras and opera companies have been seeking out ways to bolster diversity and inclusion in their ranks, and A Tempo this Saturday (2/16 at 7 pm) looks at two new initiatives. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, which recently announced its Catalyst Fund, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that will provide grants to youth and adult orchestras to work with a consultant to create programs and strategies that promote equity, inclusion and diversity.

Opera Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia this week announced details of its 2019-2020 season, including its third annual Fall Festival, O19. A Tempo this Saturday (2/9 at 7 pm) explores more about the season in a conversation with President and General Director David Devan, and Music Director Corrado Rovaris, about the season, which will include a tribute to the 20th anniversary of Rovaris' debut with the company.

Tristan Cook

A Tempo this Saturday (2/2) previews highlights of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's 2019-2020 season. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Music Director Xian Zhang and President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst about the musical and artistic line-up and other plans for the NJSO's future, including its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

As orchestras make efforts to reach new audiences, they are finding ways to incorporate traditions from non-Western traditions into their regular programming. In recent years, some have begun holding concerts celebrating the Chinese, or Lunar, New Year with a mix of works by Asian composers and traditional Western classics, and this Saturday (1/26 at 7 pm), A Tempo looks at some of the upcoming programs.

Getting young people interested and involved in music, particularly classical music, has long been a goal of orchestras, and this Saturday (1/19 at 7 pm) A Tempo looks at two upcoming concerts designed along that mission. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Hunterdon Symphony Conductor Lawrence Kursar, whose own composition, Gingerbread Boy, designed to introduce young listeners to the brass section, will be premiered by the orchestra Saturday Feb. 2. The program will also preview the Capital Philharmonic's Youth Orchestra Festival on Saturday Jan.

Nick Donnoli/Princeton University Concerts

Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, was back in Princeton this past week for his second round of panels, performances and activities as Artist in Residence with Princeton University Concerts, this time meeting with two groups of young local musicians to provide some feedback and inspiration.

When the Seattle Symphony set about modernizing its community and education wing at its home in Benaroya Hall, it decided to create a space that brings new technology and design together with creative and innovative programming, including a renewed commitment to new music and new artists.

A Tempo this week features an interview with neurologist and flutist Carl Ellenberger, whose new book Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist, explores the relationship between music and the mind, including some of the more recent findings about how music is linked to brain development and its healing qualities. Listen Saturday (12/29) at 7 pm.

  

Photo courtesy of John Hoffmeyer

As a student at Princeton University, John Hoffmeyer has been combining his love of literature with music, finding links between them and creating performance opportunities that have opened doors to classical music for new listeners. The founder of the Princeton Chamber Music Society, Hoffmeyer was recently named a 2019 Rhodes Scholar, and he is now looking forward to delving more deeply into these connections and providing more experiences that expand access for more people and communities to classical music.

Blair Miller was tired of feeling like she was always the youngest person in the audience when she attends orchestral concerts - something she's done ever since she was three years old and went to Philadelphia Orchestra concerts with her mother. Now, Miller is CEO and lead advocate at ConductAction, which is developing strategies to attract younger audiences to classical music performances by drawing connections between social action and important causes to the music and composers featured on concert programs.

When On Site Opera explored the idea of staging Amahl and the Night Visitors, General and Artistic Director Eric Einhorn set about finding a way to bring it to an appropriate venue to tell the holiday story of charity and giving. His solution was to bring it to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York - and to partner with Breaking Ground, which provides housing and other support to the homeless, to create a chorus comprised of those who have experienced homelessness in their lives.

Jessy Harmer (Fidelio Arts Ltd)

Princeton University Concerts (PUC) celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, and a major focus of the season will be Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, who was named as PUC's first Artist-in-Residence. His residency will be marked with performances and panel discussions on a variety of topics, including "The Artist in Society" and "The Arts and Faith." The programs kick off Dec. 1, and A Tempo this Saturday (11/24 at 7 pm) previews some of the events.

Houston Grand Opera is turning to a music-loving armadillo named Sandy in its efforts to cultivate the next generation of opera lovers.

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