If you've heard Handel's Messiah a hundred times - or perhaps never - you're in for something special Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. This is a Messiah for those who've heard it countless times, or who want to discover for the first time why this piece is so beloved.
The nine-voice male vocal ensemble has put together something slightly different this year: there are carols new and old, as usual, but they're interspersing the music with brief, evocative readings that reflect a wide view of the season. Live at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.
Listen online to Cantus live in concert, from December 16. They do a little bit of everything Christmasy. And because these guys have throats apparently lined with gold, it all comes out oh-so classy.
Classical MPR is serving more holiday musical treats than ever.
Pianist Stephen Hough is recording all of Tchaikovsky's works for piano and orchestra with the Minnesota Orchestra for Hyperion. He is a performer with a strong inner compass, and much of that comes from a devout religious faith.
It's a rare contemporary piece that gets dozens of performances around the world in the first couple years of its life, but that's the case for Jennifer Higdon's 2005 Percussion Concerto. She wrote it for Scottish percussionist Colin Currie, who is playing it with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Cellist Zuill Bailey flew from Hawaii to Minneapolis last week as a sudden replacement with the Minnesota Orchestra. Bailey is a rising star in the classical music world who grew up in Washington, D.C., hearing larger-than-life cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
Andrew Staupe, just 23, is a St. Paul pianist about to take the next step in his burgeoning career. This winter he's been auditioning at Rice, Eastman, and Juilliard music schools. He spoke with MPR's Brian Newhouse about his hopes for winning a spot in one of these competitive programs.
Imagine putting your rifle down, climbing out of the safety of your trench, and walking across No Man's Land to deliver the gift of song -- to your enemy. Minneapolis-based men's choir, Cantus, and Theater Latte Da perform a new radio drama based on the Christmas truce of 1914.
There are around 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, the debilitating illness that first robs people of their short-term memories and ultimately leads to dementia and death. A Minnesota Public Radio documentary looks at efforts to treat Alzheimer's and what it's like to live with the disease.
Roma Duncan Kansara steps out of the Minnesota Orchestra flute section this week to solo in a Vivaldi piccolo concerto. MPR's Brian Newhouse spoke with Kansara on the Orchestra Hall stage, about this music, her instrument, and playing while pregnant.
Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore is using more than her singing voice in an effort to win new audiences for vocal music. She's doing radio commentary and working on children's books. Larmore appears this weekend with the Minnesota Orchestra.
For the past month, Minnesota Orchestra Principal Trombone R. Douglas Wright has locked himself in his basement, trying master an antique ancestor of his instrument. sweating away to master the sackbut. To get ready for the piece he's performing this weekend, he's had to learn how to play the Renaissance- and Baroque-era horn called a sackbut.
English pianist Stephen Hough says it's all too easy to upset the emotional balance of Johannes Brahms' Second Piano Concerto. He aims to avoid that pitfall in his performances this weekend with the Minnesota Orchestra.
He's not exactly at war with the warblers, but conductor Roger Norrington would prefer to have the musicians he works with avoid the often-used technique known as vibrato.