Every Monday, I join John Birge on Classical MPR to talk about some of the stories we're featuring on our website. Here are the stories we'll be discussing today.
This week, classical music lovers were buzzing about a new Apple campaign that has Esa-Pekka Salonen extolling the virtues of the iPad as a tool for both consuming and creating orchestral music. A TV clip starts with Salonen having a moment of musical inspiration while shaving, then creating an entire violin concerto in a 60-second flurry with the help of his beloved iPad. Another video, on Apple's website, has Salonen recommending an app called The Orchestra. I downloaded the app and gave it a spin; here's how that went.
Before there were iPads, of course, people had to discover classical music on the radio, on record, and even IRL. Local writer Cinda Yager writes about her personal journey of discovery from the turntable to the concert hall. "Since childhood," she writes, "classical music has opened my imagination for play."
This was also the week that, sadly, we lost the great writer and activist Maya Angelou. Our choral stream producer Tesfa Wondemagegnehu wrote about two pieces of choral music inspired by Angelou, including Rosephanye Powell's Still I Rise (inspired by the title of one of Angelou's most famous poems) and Minneapolis composer Jake Runestad's Why the Caged Bird Sings (a setting of the text of the Paul Lawrence Dunbar poem that provided the title of Angelou's autobiography). Hear these pieces, and see them performed, in Tesfa's post.