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.
Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder has performed with the world's greatest orchestras and has released more than 100 recordings. Yet he still struggles with stage fright.
The massive symphonies of Anton Bruckner are a multi-year project for any orchestra wanting to take on all ten of them. The Minnesota Orchestra is embarking on just such a journey.
Listen to excerpts from the opera and interviews with composer Stephen Paulus, librettist Gene Scheer, boy soprano Charlie Engelsgjerd, and the choir's music director, Brother Paul Richards of St. John's Abbey, who founded the choir in 1981.
Brian Newhouse welcomed conductor and pianist Andrew Litton to Minnesota Public Radio's UBS Forum to discuss Dmitri Shostakovich's 8th Symphony, which he conducted in the opening weeks of the Minnesota Orchestra's 2006-2007 season. During the session, Litton performed excerpts from the symphony on the piano.
MPR's Brian Newhouse is on location for the Music@Menlo chamber music festival on the San Francisco Peninsula, July 29-August 15. Follow his daily journal as he attends concerts and workshops.
Tune in every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in May. We'll have outstanding performances drawn from recent DWS seasons. Then, on Sunday, May 30, 2004, 3 pm, Minnesota Public Radio will present the final Dale Warland Singers concert, live from Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis.
Cellist Pablo Casals called Bach's creations "the greatest and purest music of all time." We'll be hearing a lot of Bach's music this week as we celebrate his 319th birthday. Five Minnesota Public Radio hosts share personal reflections.
Exactly 100 years ago, 50 instrumentalists led by a German immigrant gave the first concert as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble changed its name in the 1960s, but the legacy of a great orchestra on the Plains has run unbroken for a full century now. Using rare archival recordings of the Orchestra and reminiscences of its conductors, MPR's Brian Newhouse looks at the ensemble's colorful past.
The brainchild of a pair of dynamic musicians: pianist Wu Han and her husband cellist David Finckel. They'd had a longstanding dream to create a chamber-music celebration that embraced students, an eager audience, and an A-list of performers from around the world. They found the perfect site a half-hour south of San Francisco, in the city of Menlo Park, California, and last August opened their doors. Over the course of the festival's three weeks, critics, performers, the organizers, everyone remarked on the strikingly high level of execution. Audiences, though, spoke loudest about this event: Californians lined up by the hundreds to get in, many were turned away at the door.
Osmo VäskA¤ takes over as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra this fall, but the early appearances of this 50-year-old Finnish conductor have already created buzz in local and national media. He has a growing resume of American orchestras he's recently guest conducted, all of whom quickly invite him back.
I'd never seen Perlman perform live. Never seen how slowly he makes his way on those crutches and how a violin section parts itself extra-wide so he can get to his podium and chair. The concertmaster held his violin and bow, waiting. The audience greeted him especially warmly. The applause was still full as he planted his left crutch up on the podium and swung his left leg up. Then the right crutch. As he swung his right leg upâ€”I can't say exactly what happened next, but for some reason his right leg missed the podium altogether, and his right crutch flew out with it.