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October 2013
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Archive for October, 2013

Warming Up for Live Broadcast

Igor Lipinski

Live Impromptu, Thursday at 4:00 PM Pianist Igor Lipinski gets ready for a live broadcast and roomful of Polish dignitaries. Today’s Impromptu honors Polish Independence Day (November 11th). This is more…

Music and Polish Independence

Pianist Igor Lipinski

[LIVE Impromptu at 4:00 PM] The history of Poland is marred by one foreign occupation after another. It wasn’t until the end of World War I, when the usual tormenters were occupied by other problems, that the people of Poland were free to assert their nationhood

And Juilliard Begets Avalon

Avalon String Quartet

Well, sort of. There is remarkable continuity throughout music of established performers, composers or ensembles bestowing their wisdom upon the younger. Beethoven famously spent an afternoon with the man he idolized, Mozart. Mozart played quartets

Verdi and Free Speech (not)


Verdi was a dissident and everyone knew it. He, like many Italians, resented foreign claims on the Italian peninsula. Verdi himself was born in a region controlled by the French crown; even Milan, home to the celebrated opera house La Scala was under French rule

Flashback: Marian Anderson Steps into History


On January 7, 1955 a glass ceiling shattered when Marian Anderson became the first African American singer to perform with the Metropolitan Opera. The famous American contralto sang “Ulrica,” the fortune teller in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. Less than a year later, Anderson sang on the recording

Un ballo in maschera – Libretto

conductor Dmitri Mitropoulos

The Tuesday Night Opera presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (8:00 PM). Verdi was fascinated by the assassination of the Swedish king Gustavus III. Around that account he spun more…

New Release, New Take on Prokofiev

Violinist James Ehnes

Prokofiev’s writing for the violin seems anything but focused; not the music itself, but the way he moved through his work like a cyclone, picking up and dropping pieces, all at a 150 miles per hour. Anyone who travels for a living knows how scattered ones personal affairs can become

Tito Gobbi: Intrigue at 100

Tito Gobbi

It’s been 40 years since he sang; 30 since he passed away, but there’s something compelling about Tito Gobbi. He has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and continues to be one of the most influential baritones of today’s singers. Many say it was his ability to continually shape

An Opera Lover’s Surrealistic Dream?


[Operathon this Saturday] How often do you get Butterfly, Otello and Parsifal in the same space? Add a pair of maestros, Desdemona and a director or two, and you have OPERATHON! Of course if one considers the roles that are in the active repertoire of all these singers, most everyone will be present and accounted for: Mistress Quickly, Marguerite

Levine Back in the Saddle

Lisa Flynn, host of "The New Releases"

[Lisa’s New Release of the Week] James Levine has been a hot property for a long time. Some cautioned he was over-extending himself when he agreed to take on the Boston Symphony, given his large commitment at the Metropolitan Opera, but he persisted, only to have to withdraw from all conducting