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

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.

The chiming of bells will ring out on Nov. 11 in communities across the United States and Europe in commemoration of the 100 anniversary of the end of World War I, much as they did that day a century ago following the announcement of the Armistice, signed at 11 am on Nov. 11, 1918.

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts last month unveiled its most recent Strategic Plan, and also announced the appointment of Allison Tratner as its new Executive Director. A Tempo host Rachel Katz will interview Tratner this Saturday (11/3 at 7 pm) about the goals of this new five-year plan, and about her expectations as she takes on the leadership of the Council, which distributes about $16 million annually to more than 700 New Jersey arts organizations.

Nathan Yan

Silicon Valley, with its array of technology companies, has become synonymous with creativity, and given the correlation between science nerds and music geeks, it was almost inevitable that someone would find a way to combine these two interests into a fun-filled and fulfilling venture. The result is Techapella, an annual concert showcasing the variety of a cappella ensembles that have sprung up at the region's tech companies, including Twitter's Songbirds, Facebook's The Vocal Network, and the Pintunes at Pinterest, just to name a few.

Antonia Terrizzano

A Tempo host Rachel Katz this Saturday (10/13 at 7 pm) speaks with Wall Street Journal opera critic Heidi Waleson about her new book Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera. The book traces the history of the opera company, which declared bankruptcy in 2013 (and has since been revived in its latest incarnation under a new management structure), its artistic triumphs and fundamental challenges, and how these experiences are informing the direction of opera companies today.

A promising violinist in her teens, Jessica Stuart put aside her instrument in college as she struggled with a cascade of mental illness challenges. She never expected to play it again, let alone perform, until about 15 years later, when a doctor suggested she look into the Me2/Orchestra in Burlington, Vt., which was launched in 2011 to create a safe, warm and welcoming environment for musicians facing various forms of mental illness (and not to be confused with the more recent #MeToo movement protesting sexual assault and harrassment).

Daniel Gonzalez

Even after her marriage to Robert Schumann, Clara (Wieck) Schumann continued composing and performing. While her income from performing was crucial to her family's financial stability, she also continued because of the important role music played in her life.

Andy Aitchison

A Tempo this Saturday (9/22 at 7 pm) features a conversation with author Judith Chernaik, whose book, Schumman: The Faces and the Masks, was published this month. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Chernaik about the way Schumann expressed and wove these various personas through his music, critical writing and personal correspondence, as well as how his relationship with Clara - and his struggle with Clara's father - are reflected in his music. 

Opera Philadelphia's annual Fall Festival, O18, opens September 20, continuing Opera Philadelphia's mission of presenting new works that explore diverse voices and themes, along with more traditional productions, and this week's A Tempo (Saturday 9/15 at 7 pm) provides a preview of one of the festival's centerpieces, "Sky on Swings" by Lembit Beecher.

Maryland Lyric Opera this month kicks off its 2018-2019 season, which will include its first fully-staged production since its founding in 2014. The season includes a concert performance of La Fanciulla del West in September and a staged production of Lucia di Lammermoor in January, as well as expanded opportunities to young singers through its Young Artist Institute. A Tempo this Saturday (9/8 at 7 pm) features a conversation with Music Director Louis Salemno about these programs and Maryland Lyric Opera's mission. 


Photo by David DeNee

A Tempo this Saturday (8/25) follows up on The Orchestra Now (TON), a Masters program launched at Bard College three years ago to train orchestral musicians, encourage them to explore new and overlooked repertoire, and enable them to blaze their own trails in the music world by creating new and innovative ensembles and education programs.

Chris Lee

A Tempo this Saturday (8/18 at 7 pm) concludes its conversation with Barbara Haws, archivist and historian for the New York Philharmonic, who is retiring this month after 34 years in the position. Haws next plans to pursue her Doctorate at Oxford, focusing on Ureli Corelli Hill, who founded the Philharmonic in 1842.

Host Rachel Katz will speak with Haws about some of the Philharmonic's iconic leaders, including Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein, as well as her plans to study Hill's diary and what can tell us about music and musicians in 19-century America.

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