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Classical Music Features

  • "Watch Dogs" composer Brian Reitzell: Scoring a video game is like being a short-order cook
    Brian Reitzell is one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood, but 2014 might be a turning point for this composer with numerous albums released this year, representing years of work. One of his many recent releases is music for the video game Watch Dogs, which has been in development since 2011.August 22, 2014
  • On the Classical MPR stage: Ancia Saxophone Quartet
    The members of the Ancia Saxophone Quartet are first-timers to the Classical MPR stage at the Minnesota State Fair. Get to know them before they perform at the Fair on Friday, Aug. 22.August 22, 2014
  • Moveable Feast: State Fair food, 2014 edition
    It's State Fair time, which means it's time to try some new comestible inventions created just for the occasion. That's why John Birge and Minnesota Monthly's Rachel Hutton talk about State Fair foods on this week's Moveable Feast.August 22, 2014
  • A Perfectly Cromulent Classical Guide To 'The Simpsons' Marathon
    From its start nearly 25 years ago, 'The Simpsons' was different. Not only was it animated, it had a wealth of voice actors and writing talent. It was highly intelligent, absurdly funny and more than occasionally touching. Not surprisingly, classical music has come up often on the show. Here's a guide to that music, ahead of an upcoming 'Simpsons' TV marathon.August 21, 2014
  • Regional Spotlight: Highlights from the Young Artist World Piano Festival
    Two teenage pianists were featured at the Young Artist World Piano Festival last summer. Their "beyond their years" performances are in this week's Regional Spotlight.August 21, 2014
  • On the Classical MPR Stage: The Dolce Wind Quintet
    The members of the Dolce Wind Quintet have a strong relationship with MPR, having performed as Class Notes artists in schools around the state. On Thursday, Aug. 21, Dolce Wind Quintet will perform at the MPR booth at the State Fair. Learn more about this ensemble.August 21, 2014
  • PAX Prime 2014 Preview on Top Score (Part One)
    Imagine yourself in a stadium filled with 70,000 fans. That's how many video game fans travel to Seattle during Labor Day weekend for the PAX Prime video game convention. I'll be there hosting a panel called Maestros of Video Games.August 21, 2014
  • Harmony in the Park in pictures and video
    Here's a fun look back: Harmony in the Park delighted audiences in Minneapolis, Mankato and Duluth back in June. Each day, the weather threatened, but the air cleared just in time for each concert. Enjoy these photos by freelance photographer Bill Hickey.August 20, 2014
  • What does a music major listen to for relaxation?
    As a music major at the tail end of my college career, I've led a rewarding, though exhausting, last few years. The time I spend practicing piano (my main instrument), going to lessons, classes, rehearsals, and studying - not to mention working a part-time job - can add up to 16-hour days, most of it filled with music. So it amazes me that after all that activity, listening to music is still the way that I choose to relax.August 20, 2014
  • New Classical Tracks: Ljova, 'Melting River'
    Violist and composer Lev Zhurbin, aka Ljova, has released a new album -- and it's only available on vinyl or via digital download. Why not on CD? Ljova explains as he shares the story of his new album.August 20, 2014
  • Flicks in Five: Star Wars
    John Williams provided the music for sci-fi's equivalent of The Ring Cycle, "Star Wars." Six films and billions of dollars later, Williams' music stands as some of the best movie music of all time.August 19, 2014
  • Music with Minnesotans: Joe and Mary Keyes
    Joe and Mary Keyes are owners of the Howard Street Booksellers in Hibbing, Minn. They love books, theater and Hibbing history.August 19, 2014
  • What do classical musicians do to relax?
    Many people turn to classical music for relaxation, but actually playing the music takes a lot of effort and concentration. What do classical musicians do to unwind after snapping their instrument cases closed?August 19, 2014
  • Class Notes: How History Influences Music
    Did you know music often reflects the time and place in which it was written? For example, Zoltan Kodaly's 'Dances of Galanta' gives us a look at a society and culture that was forever altered by the march of history. A new Class Notes video from Classical MPR shares the history behind the music.August 19, 2014
  • Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions
    A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera -- the largest opera house in the world-- appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.August 18, 2014