Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way. Information on evening concert broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other nationally broadcast performances can be found on our home page.

Just as musicians have to keep making music despite being shut in at home, dancers have to keep moving as well to feed their creative spirit - and stay in shape. So when Ballet Hispánico was forced to cancel its two-week season at the Joyce Theater this month, it launched “#BUnidos” - a social media project to stay in touch with its audience and dance students, give its dancers an outlet to share their art, and celebrate its 50th anniversary season.

For the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys’ 250th episode, The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler offers excerpts from interviews with past guest pianists Angela Hewitt, Emanuel Ax and Marc-André Hamelin, along with previews of upcoming programs featuring Jeffrey Biegel, Alvin Curran and Norma Fisher. There also will be music, of course.

Juergen Frank

Violinist Jennifer Koh remembers the challenges she faced as a young musician, and how even a single cancellation could create a major financial crisis. That inspired her to launch Alone Together, a commissioning project to support young, emerging composers who might lose out on opportunities amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak and resulting cancellations. Koh describes her goals for the project, including weekly Saturday premieres on Facebook and Instagram, on Friday's "On a Positive Note" at 10 am and 5 pm.

The playwright Terrence McNally gave theater some of its great moments. Theater critic Howard Shapiro will hail McNally's versatility this week on In a Broadway Minute, Friday (4/3) at 8 am and Saturday (4/4) at 10 am.

Dominic M. Mercier

Opera Philadelphia has found a way to remind people what they love about opera - share clips from past productions through "Opera On the Couch" via social media. Frank Luzi, vice president of marketing and communications, talks about the initiative.

Picture Perfect: April 4 - The English Abroad

Apr 2, 2020

We’re not going anywhere anytime soon, but thankfully there are plenty of movies and music to engage the imagination.  So pack your valise for selections from “Enchanted April” (Richard Rodney Bennett), “A Passage to India” (Maurice Jarre), “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Thomas Newman) and “Around the World in 80 Days” (Victor Young).  We’ll be doing some armchair traveling, this Friday at 6 pm. 

Host Gabriel Crouch explores J.S. Bach's St. John Passion in this two-hour special starting at 1 pm.

The first completed opera by Richard Wagner Is the featured work on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/5 3:00 p.m.).  “Die Feen” or “The Fairies” was begin in 1833 when Wagner was 20 years old, but the opera would not be performed until five years after his death in 1888.  Wagner based his libretto on a 1762 fable by Carlo Gozzi titled “La donna serpente,” and the libretto is terribly complicated.  Basically, it deals with a fairy princess who is in love with and marries a mortal, but there are stipulations which, if not met, would result with the princess being turned into a statue and the mortal beset by madness.   Even with that, there’s a happy ending.  

We’re covering over ninety years of theatre history on this week’s Dress Circle (4/5 7:00 p.m.) as we showcase songs from some of the shows that opened in New York in April.    Normally, “April showers bring May flowers,” but this year has been pretty strange, and it seems, to those of us who suffer from allergies, that every plant in the natural world is tossing its pollen happily into the air far too early.  Our earliest show is “Hit the Deck,” and our latest show is the current Broadway hit “Hadestown.”  

The Lost Chord: April 5 - April Foulds

Apr 2, 2020

Though steeped in the comparatively conservative milieu of the English musical renaissance at the turn of last century, John Foulds possessed a physical, intellectual, spiritual, and creative wanderlust.  So diverse were Foulds’ output and enthusiasms that it is difficult, if not impossible, to encapsulate the scope of his achievements within a single hour.  We’ll do our best, with his light concert overture “April – England,” “Three Mantras” from the abandoned Sanskrit opera, “Avatara,” and selections from “A World Requiem.”  It’s a Foulds paradise, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

If you look at the events calendar on Lincoln Center’s website, you might be surprised to find it still chock full of daily events. In addition to listing daily opera streams offered by the Metropolitan Opera, the performing arts center has launched its own Lincoln Center at Home initiative in response to social distancing, featuring pop-up classrooms, concerts for kids and performances from its vast archive of Live From Lincoln Center concerts. Dan Wallace. senior program manager in the education department, discusses these programs. 

When Kaufman Music Center in New York City was looking for online content to share, there were a number of options to consider.  Not only is it the home of Merkin Concert Hall, it also includes the Lucy Moses School - a community music school offering music and dance instruction.

While Princeton University Concerts had to cancel the rest of its season, its staff has found a way to preserve at least some of the spirit of the programs.

From the Top is known for its multi-talented young people whose creativity goes beyond music. So it was really no surprise that the idea for its Daily Joy, short musical performance videos recorded by its alumni and shared online each day, came from those very talented artists. Executive Director Gretchen Nielsen and cellist Sarah Tindall, a senior from Harleysville, PA who performs David Popper’s "Vito" on her Daily Joy, shared their thoughts about what inspired the ideas for the project.

Cellist Jan Vogler, director of the Dresden Music Festival, is organizing a 24-hour music marathon featuring musicians including Jeremy Denk, Jennifer Koh, Gil Shaham, Orli Shaham, Brooklyn Rider and more. The festival, which will be live-streamed on Facebook, You-Tube and other social media platforms, kicks off at 6 pm on Friday, March 27. Find links here.

Picture Perfect: March 27 - Inspired by Hemingway

Mar 26, 2020

Nick sat against the charred stump and smoked a cigarette.  He lit a match and watched it burn and as it burned he thought of boxers and marlins and the Spanish Civil War.  The stories were brave and strong and good.  He thought about selections from “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (Victor Young) and “Islands in the Stream” (Jerry Goldsmith) and “The Killers” (Miklós Rózsa) and “The Old Man and the Sea” (Dimitri Tiomkin).  He ordered a mojito and prepared to face the music, this Friday at 6 pm.

We’ll be hearing from two Victorian women with two happy endings on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/29 3:00 p.m.) in the form of “Patience” and “Dorothy.”  “Patience” is the better known of the two and comes from the pens of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.   Patience has never loved, and she looks at all of the lovesick maidens pining after others with scorn.  They all love an aesthetic poet named Reginald Bunthorne, but he loves Patience who rejects him causing him to decide to auction himself off to one of the other ladies with the proceeds going to charity as he really doesn’t like poetry.  Patience actually had a childhood love who appears as another aesthetic poet named Archibald Grosvenor who is known far and wide as “Archibald the All-Right.”  Patience cannot love him now because he is perfection, and it would be selfish for her to do so.   Of course, everything works out for the best; all those who are available find a match, and we have the necessary happy ending.  

Among several things, March is Foreign Language Month, and we’ll be celebrating that on this week’s Dress Circle (3/29 7:00 p.m.) with songs from some well-known English language musicals from some of their foreign language versions.

Wagner wrote symphonies?  That’s right.  He took a crack at writing two of them, in a Beethovenian style, before finding his niche as a revolutionary opera composer.  Wagner’s Symphony in E will be heard, alongside early attempts by Gustav Holst and Claude Debussy.  Judging from their mature works, these three would be among the least likely to attempt sonata form.  Impetuous youth!  Composers at the start of their careers find the courage to strive for symphonic mastery, this Sunday at 10 pm.

What, you doubt the Baron’s veracity?  Then surely the music must speak for itself.  Tune in for selections from “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (Michael Kamen), “Münchhausen” (Georg Haentzschel), “The Saragossa Manuscript” (Krzysztof Penderecki), and “The Three Worlds of Gulliver” (Bernard Herrmann).  Tall tales rub shoulders with Lilliputians, this Friday at 6 pm.

A romantic comedy is just what is needed now, and we have one on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/22 3:00 p.m.) with Carl Nielsen’s “Maskarade” in a recording from 1996.  Leander (Gert-Henning Jensen) and Leonora (Henriette Bonde-Hansen) fall in love at a masquerade ball, swear their undying love, and exchange rings forgetting that they have each been promised in marriage to others whom they’ve never met.  Of course, as often happens in these things, they are really betrothed to each other.  When their fathers, Jeronimous (Aage Haugland) and Leonard (Kurt Ravn) find out that their children have fallen in love not knowing that it’s actually what the fathers wanted, it only adds to the confusion.   

It’s “Togas Tonight” on this week’s Dress Circle (3/22 7:00 p.m.) as we look at musicals set in ancient Greece and Rome from the pens of Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Cole Porter, Harold Adamson, and Burton Lane.  Those musicals include “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Out of This World,” “The Boys from Syracuse,” “The Frogs,” and “Jupiter’s Darling.” 

The Lost Chord: Cherchez la femme

Mar 19, 2020

Nearly 150 years after her death, composer Louise Farrenc is finally coming into her own.  Farrenc (pictured) was the only female musician on the faculty of the Paris Conservatory during the whole of the 19th century.  Of course, she was only allowed to teach women.   Tune in to hear her Symphony No. 3, alongside works by Augusta Holmès and Marie Grandval.  Look for the women, this Sunday at 10 pm.

On Wednesday, 3-18 at noon we'll hear the Sonata No. 1 for violin solo by Bach, Poème by Ernest Chausson, and piano pieces by Debussy and Chopin.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10:00.

The spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus and resulting efforts to contain it have run through the arts world like a domino effect, with performing arts organizations and venues canceling or postponing concerts and musicians left with significant holes in their performance schedules. A Tempo this Saturday (3/14 at 7 pm) looks at the impact on the arts world, as host Rachel Katz speaks with several musicians about the impact on their musical years, and arts consultants Drew McManus and Lisa Husseini. 

Photo: Jay Versweyveld

It’s Friday the 13th.  Bad luck for Victor McLaglen.  Still four days away, but John Wayne will pound his face so hard that he’ll still be spitting teeth on St. Patrick’s Day.  Raise a pint (or two or three) with Barry Fitzgerald, to selections from “The Luck of the Irish” (Cyril J. Mockridge), “Angela’s Ashes” (John Williams), “Circle of Friends” (Michael Kamen), and “The Quiet Man” (Victor Young).  Shamrocks will shake amidst the blarney rubble, this Friday at 6 pm. 

Thursday's (3-12) concert from Concerts on the Slope features music for winds: Weber's Adagio & Rondo, Mozart's Serenade, K. 375 and the Sextet, op. 71 by Beethoven.

The music of Hector Berlioz will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/15 3:00 p.m.) as we turn to his 1838 semiseria work “Benvenuto Cellini.”  Although Berlioz was fascinated by the accounts of the life of this 16th century Italian sculptor and rogue, very little of Cellini’s actual life found its way into the work.  Cellini has been commissioned by the Pope, through his treasurer Balducci, to create the statue of the victory of Perseus over Medusa.  Balducci wanted a rival sculptor, Fieramosca, to have both the commission and his daughter, Teresa’s, hand.  Teresa loves Cellini, and their plot to run away during carnival is overheard by Fieramosca, and confusion ensues.  Will Cellini get his nearly 17-foot-tall statue cast or will he fail, lose Teresa, and suffer the wrath of the Pope?  Tune in this Sunday to see.