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April 2014
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The Many Lives of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is regarded by many to be the greatest English language writer. He translates well, too. Giuseppe Verdi supposedly kept the complete Shakespeare (in Italian) beside his bed.

This week on Exploring Music, Bill McGlaughlin explores the synergies between Shakespeare’s words and different composers around the world

Pianist Says ‘Technically Simple’ Can Be the Hardest

Josu de Solaun

Valencian pianist Josu de Solaun offers perspective on what makes a piece hard. The “Rach 3,” the Third Piano Concerto of Sergei Rachmaninoff is famous for having fistfuls of notes; it was written to be played by the huge hands of the composer himself at Carnegie Hall

Earth Day 2014: A Composer’s Habitat

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

One only has to hear Vivaldi’s Goldfinch Concerto from 1728, or selections from John Dowland’s 16th century songbooks to know that the celebration of nature is as old as the hills. Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day 2014. WFMT’s celebration will include Richard Strauss’s epic tone poem An Alpine Symphony

Dozens of Stars, One Teacher


DeLayed Reaction: there are thousands of music schools throughout the world, few can claim a teacher having the cachet of Dorothy DeLay. Teacher to Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and Gil Shaham, the gentle lady from Kansas became a kingmaker from her studio at the Juilliard School, a teaching career that

The Met Presents Arabella


Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal struck gold when they put their musical and poetic heads together. The most famous, and most lucrative of their collaborative efforts was Der Rosenkavalier, which exploded into the opera world in 1911. Over a 19-year period, Strauss went back to von Hofmannsthal for libretti again and again. Arabella opened in 1933; alas the librettist died

Web Exclusive: Anne Akiko Meyers on the Mason Bates Concerto


Composer Mason Bates loves to tell a story—this time it’s prehistoric creatures emerging from the primordial ooze in the form of a violin concerto.

The genesis of the Concerto evolved over many years between two friends: the composer and violinist Anne Akiko Meyers

Vermeer Quartet: A Bittersweet Reunion


The four members of the Vermeer Quartet decided to hang it up in 2007, but annually return for their Holy Week tradition of performing Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ.

Sadly, this year’s reunion is incomplete

Bach on The New York Philharmonic This Week

B Minor Mass, manuscript in Bach's hand

When someone mentions Bach’s Mass in B Minor, musicians tend to straighten or catch their breath; almost as if a great man has entered the room. There are so many puzzles that draw one deeper into the layers of this piece, without ever really giving up its secrets. The music is beautiful and humbling.

One wonders why he wrote it

Music in an Arty Oasis


The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival returns to the airwaves with variety and bravura, covering 300 years of repertoire from four different continents. The artists include some of the world’s most prestigious performers like Garrick Ohlsson, Daniel Hope, and Lawrence Foster. Top chamber music players like Ida Kavafian, Steve Tenenbom, and William Preucil make up the backbone

Leonard Slatkin at WFMT


It’s difficult to keep up with conductor Leonard Slatkin. He is currently music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Orchestre National de Lyon. He’s made 7 Grammy Award-winning recordings, with 64 nominations. With so much going on, how does one find time to talk about the distant past?