Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Acoustics Part 5

Nov 4, 2016

Acoustics is the science of sound, but the word also refers to the qualities of a room—the qualities that determine and describe how things sound in that room. 

Acoustics Part 4

Nov 3, 2016

When discussing acoustics it’s important to remember that there’s no absolute standard, and that different kinds of music may be better served by different acoustics. A piece for solo cello, for example, might sound wonderful in the richly reverberant acoustics of a cathedral, while a string quartet or piano in the same space would sound like mush.

Acoustics Part 3

Nov 2, 2016

More today, about acoustics. Absolutely everything in the design and construction of a room, or concert hall, contributes to its acoustics… from the shape and size of the room, to the building and finishing materials, to the seating configuration and height of the stage, to the seemingly minor decorative details.

Acoustics Part 2

Nov 1, 2016

We’re talking about acoustics this week. Acoustics is the science of sound, but the word has another meaning, as well. When we ask about the acoustics of a concert hall, or of any room, we’re asking about qualities, about how things sound in that room.

Acoustics Part 1

Oct 31, 2016

Acoustics is the science of sound. More specifically, it’s the branch of physics that deals with sound waves and their properties—how sound waves are generated, how they behave in various circumstances, how they interact.

This 2003 Piano Jazz with guest Sir Roland Hanna (1932 – 2002) was recorded before a live audience at the 2002 Tanglewood Jazz Festival. A subtle and insightful pianist, he was a superb two piano partner, as evidenced when he and McPartland get together for “Blues in the Closet.” In this session, Hanna uses his solid sense of rhythm as a springboard into exciting explorations of melody and harmony. He shows off his skill as a composer with his “Portrait of John Lewis.”

News Stations: Sat, Nov 05, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Nov 06, 7 pm

Hillary Gardner
Courtesy of the artist

Vocalist Hilary Gardner made her debut on Broadway in Twyla Tharp’s musical Come Fly Away, singing solos and duets with Frank Sinatra to much critical acclaim. In 2014, she released her debut solo album, The Great City, a love letter to New York City. On this edition of Song Travels, Gardner evokes memories of another time and place with her take on Tom Waits’ ballad “Drunk on the Moon.”

News Stations: Sun, Nov 06, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Nov 06, 6 pm

Original Piano Piece by 10-Year-Old Composer

Oct 28, 2016
David Kiser

Henry Sun is a 10-year-old piano student and composer from the upstate. Listen to his original composition based on music by Handel. Standing on the shoulder's of giants on this edition of Your Compositions a movement of On the Keys. 

Great Quotations 5

Oct 28, 2016

George Bernard Shaw began his career as a music critic, and in September of 1890 he wrote these words:

“People have pointed out evidences of personal feeling in my [reviews] as if they were accusing me of a misdemeanor, not knowing that a criticism written without personal feeling is not worth reading.

Great Quotations 4

Oct 27, 2016

Continuing this week’s series of things I wish I’d written… this is from a 1934 article by the great English music critic Ernest Newman:

“We know rather more now about the psychology of artists than we used [to], and so we no longer incline to the naïve belief that if a composer has quarreled with his wife his next symphony will be a Pathétique, or that if his liver happens to be functioning normally he will produce a Hymn to Joy at the next [Choral] Festival.

Great Quotations 3

Oct 26, 2016

Words today from the great writer and critic Jacques Barzun. I’ve combined several related passages:

“Music is a medium through which certain unnamable experiences of life are exquisitely conveyed through equivalent sensations for the ear…

Great Quotations 2

Oct 25, 2016

The words today of Hector Berlioz, writing about Beethoven:

“… the thousands of men and women… whom he has so often carried away on the wings of his thought to the highest regions of poetry…

Great Quotations 1

Oct 24, 2016

Quotations, this week, from great musicians and writers. This is from the composer Ernest Bloch:

“Real music goes beyond the intentions of its author for it nourishes itself from a much deeper and more mysterious source than mere intellect.  It represents a synthesis of all the vital forces, of all the hidden instincts of an individual...

Mario Grigorov
Courtesy of the artist

Born in Sophia, Bulgaria, Mario Grigorov studied classical music until he fell in love with jazz. As a child his parents performed in the Sophia Symphony Orchestra before moving to Iran, where his father played in the Shah’s symphony orchestra. Grigorov continued to study music intensively as his family moved to Austria and Australia before he settled in the United States in 1992. On this 1995 Piano Jazz, Grigorov’s stunning originality is evident on his own “Lost City.” He and McPartland duet on Jobim’s “Wave.”

News Stations: Sat, Oct 29, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Oct 30, 7 pm

Rob Schwimmer on Song Travels

Oct 24, 2016
Rob Schwimmer
Courtesy of the artist

Composer/pianist Rob Schwimmer has worked with top artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, and Bette Midler. He has also penned scores for Oscar-winning short films and is a master of the theremin. This week, Schwimmer joins host Feinstein to discuss the endurance of standards and to perform a few of his favorites, including “My Funny Valentine.” He honors the legacy of theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore with his composition for the instrument, “Waltz for Clara.”

News Stations: Sun, Oct 30, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Oct 30, 6 pm

It was a fad that brought the bass drum, cymbals, and triangle to Europe. The fad was for a kind of Turkish military music known as Janissary music. The Janissaries were the personal guard of the Turkish Sultans, and they were famous for their bands, which featured the bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and an instrument of bells and jingles called the Turkish crescent.

Carolina Live Program Listings

Oct 20, 2016

Mar 5th & 7th
Winston Salem Symphony: Tchaikovsky & Berlioz
Robert Moody, conductor; Lara St. John, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 36
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
From a concert at the Stevens Center in September of 2015, the orchestra welcomes acclaimed violinist Lara St. John to perform Tchaikovsky’s beloved concerto. In the second part of the program maestro Robert Moody puts the orchestra through its paces in Berlioz’s landmark “fantastic symphony.”

Mar 12th & 14th
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Legends, Mysteries, Miracles
[Originally broadcast in March of 2016]
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Xiaoqing Yu, violin; Leslie Nash Kilstofte, cello; Amy Yang Hazlett, bassoon

Michael Daugherty: “Lex” and “Red Cape Tango,” from “Metropolis” Symphony
Christopher Theofanidis: Rainbow Body

Leslie Nash Kilstofte, cello; Virginia Metzger, oboe; Monica Hargrave, harp

Tchaikovsky (arr. Tchivzhel): Sleeping Beauty

Works by two celebrated contemporary composers open this program from the Masterworks Series in November 2015. They provide showcases for some of the orchestra’s musicians, as does the work in the second part of the concert: a “dramatic composition” by Maestro Tchivzhel arranged from one of Tchaikovsky’s immortal ballet scores.

Mar 19th & 21st
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: French Masterpieces
[Originally broadcast in March of 2016]
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Inna Faliks, piano

Ravel: Noble and Sentimental Waltzes
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in c-minor
Liszt: Paganini Etude No. 3 in g#-minor
Debussy: La Mer
Ravel: Daphis and Chloe, Suite No. 2

The title of the concert featured on this edition of Carolina Live tells the story: French Masterpieces.  Vivid examples of favorite pieces by Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy are brought to life by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky.  In addition, Ukranian-born pianist Inna Faliks joins the orchestra for the dramatic Piano Concerto No. 2 in c-minor by Sergei Rachmaninov, plus a charming encore of a piece by Franz Liszt.

Mar 26th & 28th
Winston Salem Symphony Orchestra: Mighty Mahler
Robert Moody, conductor

Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D “Titan”

Piedmont Wind Symphony: Gershwin Plus
Matthew Troy, conductor

Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Schoenberg: Theme and Variations
Gershwin: An American in Paris

Two orchestras from North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad provide the stirring music on this program.  The Winston Salem Symphony and conductor Robert Moody play the Symphony No. 1 in D “Titan” by Gustav Mahler,  then the Piedmont Wind Symphony offers the Cuban Overture and An American in Paris by George Gershwin, plus a piece by Arnold Schoenberg.  Interesting variety in both music and musicians on this Carolina Live.

Apr 2nd & 4th  
Greensboro Symphony: War & Peace Reimagined
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor

University of North Carolina at Greensboro Symphony
Kevin Geraldi, conductor; Dmitry Sitkovetsky, violin

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D
Shostakovich:  Symphony No. 8 in C minor

Major works by two Russian greats are performed by two separate orchestras in this program.  Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 is played by the Symphony of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with Dmitry Sitkovetsky playing violin.  Then Maestro Sitkovetsky leads the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in the marvelous Symphony No. 8 by Shostakovich.  Hear some of the North Carolina Triad’s finest musicians on this Carolina Live.

Apr 9th & 11th 
St. Paul’s Episcopal, Winston-Salem: Locklair’s Requiem

John Cummins, conductor; Emily Albrink, soprano; Emily Hull-McGee, mezzo-soprano; Jeffrey Ollarsaba, tenor; Richard Ollarsaba, bass-baritone

Dan Locklair: Requiem (World Premiere)

Bel Canto Company: Eternal Light
Wellborn Young, conductor

J. S. Bach: Magnificat
Dan Forest: Requiem for the Living

This edition of the program features a world premiere from a North Carolina-based composer whose music is performed the world over. Dan Lockair’s choral music is especially highly-regarded, and the work in this concert from Winston-Salem showcases his writing for voices with orchestra. The second part of the program changes locations to nearby Greensboro where the Bel Canto Company performs a work by another contemporary composer from the Carolinas as well as Johann Sebastian Bach.

Apr 16th & 18th 
Winston-Salem Symphony & Chorale: Brahms Beloved Requiem
Robert Moody, conductor; Christopher Gilliam, choir director; Twyla Robinson, soprano; Philip Cutlip, baritone

Winston-Salem State Choir
D’Walla Simmons-Burke, director

Bach: Komm, susser Tod
Dan Forrest:  In paradisum…
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem is the foundation piece of this concert with the Winston-Salem Symphony and Chorale, Winston-Salem State Choir and guest soloists lending their talents to the monumental work.  There’s also a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach on the program, as well as contemporary composer Dan Forrest’s beautiful In paradisum.  It’s a massing of great musical forces on this Carolina Live.

Apr 24th & 26th
South Carolina Philharmonic: Beethoven and Blue Jeans 2015

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Miles Hoffman, viola

Rossini: Overture to William Tell
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat
Berlioz: Harold in Italy for Viola and Orchestra

The Koger Center in Columbia was the site of this concert from 2015 which welcomed musician and NPR classical music commentator Miles Hoffman. He joined the orchestra for a Berlioz work based on an epic poem by Lord Byron and commissioned by none other than Paganini. The concert opens with one of the most famous opera overtures of all, followed by a popular Beethoven symphony.

Apr 30& May 2
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra: Russian Romantics
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor; Dmitry Masleev, piano

Stravinsky:  Divertimento from The Fairy's Kiss
Rachmaninov : Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Mendelssohn:  Scherzo from  A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nikolaeva:  Etude
Tchaikovsky:  Symphony No. 6 in b-minor

You can sample both the power and emotion of some wonderful composers on this Carolina Live.  Conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra present Russian Romantics, and you can hear such dramatic favorites as Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in b-minor.  There's also music from the ballet The Fairy's Kiss by Igor Stravinsky, and more.  Be with us for a generous portion of Russian romanticism on Carolina Live.

May 7th & 9th
South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra: Up Close and Personal

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Derek Chung, Elisabeth Tsai, piano

Liszt:  Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat
Grieg:  Piano Concerto in a-minor
Sibelius:  Symphony No. 1 in e-minor

Two very popular piano concertos featuring an award-winning pianist playing each…that's just part of this edition of Carolina Live.  Morihiko Nakahara and the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra welcome guest pianists Derek Chung, who plays Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1, and Elisabeth Tsai, the soloist for Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto n a-minor.  The orchestra also brings you a wonderful symphony: the Symphony No. 1 in e-minor of Jean Sibelius.  It's a powerful combination of masterful music and musicians on Carolina Live.

May 14th & 16th
Bel Canto Company: In Time of Strife
Welborn Young, conductor; Christy Wisuthseriwong, accompanist

Part:  Kyrie from Berliner Messe
Finzi:  My Spirit Sang All Day
Parton:  Light of a Clear Blue Morning
Lauridsen:  Soneto de la Noche
Hogan:  I Can Tell the World

(plus several other selections)

Rutherford Chamber Consort
Brahms:  Piano Quintet in g-mnor

If by chance you're at a point in life where some solace would be welcome, try to hear this Carolina Live program.  The excellent Greensboro-based choral group Bel Canto Company present a concert titled In Time Of Strife, and there's music to assuage such a time from such composers as Arvo Part, Gerald Finzi, Morten Lauridsen, and even Dolly Parton and Carly Simon.  The program also features the Rutherford Chamber Consort performing Johannes Brahms' Piano Quintet in g-minor.  Ahhh…soothing just to think about it!

May 21st & 23rd
Spoleto Festival USA 2013: Spoleto Festival Orchestra Concert
Stefan Asbury, conductor

Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol
Bartók: Suite from The Wooden Prince
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

We're in the Sottile Theater of the College of Charleston for a concert by the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra with conductor Stefan Asbury from the 2013 season. The program has two familiar masterworks serving as bookends – the Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio espagnol as an opener and the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances to close the concert – and in between a suite of ballet music from the Hungarian composer, Bela Bartok. All three works serve as ideal showpieces for the abilities of this ensemble.<
[Original air date September 2013]

May 28th & 30th
Spoleto Festival USA 2014: Westminster Choir Legends 
Joe Miller, conductor

Daniel Elder: Elegy
Eriks Esenvalds: Legend of the Walled-up Woman
Brahms: Nänie
Alejandro Consolación: Alleluia
Jacob Handl: Pater Noster
Duruflé: Ubi Caritas, from Four Motets
Traditional: Buffalo Gals
Foster: Nelly Bly
Daniel Elder: Ballade to the Moon, from 3 Nocturnes
Elder: Elegy
Traditional: Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal
Traditional: Shenandoah
Moses Hogan: My Soul's Been Anchored

Spoleto Festival USA 2014: Westminster Choir Te Deum
Joe Miller, conductor; Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus; Members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra

G. F. Handel: Dettingen Te Deum HWV 283
Among the highlights of the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston each spring are the choral concerts given by the Westminster Choir. The 2014 edition of the festival featured two programs, and we present highlights from each on this edition of the series. From a concert called Legends at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, conductor Joe Miller leads the choir in a multi-faceted program ranging from the ancient to the contemporary. A second concert program at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist had the Charleston Symphony Chorus joining the Westminster Choir and members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra to perform Handel's Te Deum, written to commemorate a British victory in the Battle of Dettingen in 1743.

[Original Air Date September 2014]

Jun 4th & 6th
Spoleto Festival USA 2014: Orchestra Highlights
Joseph Young, conductor

Barber: Adagio for Strings
Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra

John Kennedy, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major

The Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra is hand-picked each year to include some of the finest young orchestra musicians across the country. This edition of Carolina Live features highlights from two of the orchestra's concerts during the 2014 festival. Charleston area native Joseph Young conducts masterworks by two 20th century composers, while the festival's director of orchestral activities leads the ensemble in one of Beethoven's most popular symphonies. [ORIGINAL AIR DATE MAY 2015]

Jun 11th & 13th
Spoleto Festival USA 2013: Intermezzi & Westminster Choir
Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra/Aik Kai Pung, conductor

Ives: Four Ragtime Dances
Copland: Music for the Theater
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite

Westminster Choir/ Joe Miller, conductor

This program features performances from two separate concerts, both performed at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, one of fourteen different venues used during the 2013 festival. The first is from the Intermezzi series of concerts and features the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra with conductor Aik Kai Pung in a program of Ives, Copland and Stravinsky. The second features the festival's long-time resident chorus, the Westminster Choir under the direction of Joe Miller, performing a program ranging from the Renaissance to the present day.

Jun 18th & 20th
Greenville Symphony Orchestra: Hymn to Nature
Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor; Stacy Rishoi, alto solo

Chicora Voices
Alan Reed, Artistic Director and conductor; Laura Jean Reed,  conductor
Women of the Greenville Chorale
Bingham Vick, Jr., Artistic Director and conductor

Mahler: Symphony No. 3 in d-minor

One of Gustav Mahler's massive symphonies is the focus of this edition of Carolina Live.  In a concert titled "Hymn to Nature," the Greenville Symphony, the Women of the Greenville Chorale and the city's young Chicora Voices join to perform Mahler's Symphony No. 3 in d-minor.  It's a spectacular work—the kind you expect from Mahler—and it's done in spectacular style by the musical forces from Greenville.

Jun 25th & 27th
South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra: Sayaka in the Spring
Morihiko Nakahara, conductor; Sayaka Shoji, violin

Nishimura: Sakurabito (2010)
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in e-minor
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e-minor

There's a fascinating combination of composers to be found in this program.  In a concert titled "Sayaka in the Spring," Felix Mendelssohn provides the Violin Concerto in e-minor, Tchaikovsky his Symphony No. 5 in e-minor, and Japanese composer Akira Nishimura's Sakurabito (2010) opens the proceedings.  The guest artist is violinist Sayaka Shoji, so join us for a stirring evening of music from the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra.


Oct 20, 2016

Operetta is light opera...or opera light.  Its goal is to amuse: to be witty, charming, funny, not serious either in style or substance. Operetta includes lots of spoken dialogue and eye-catching dance numbers, and the musical material is usually appealing, tuneful…uncomplicated.

Sonata Form 2

Oct 19, 2016

"Sonata” and “sonata form” are not the same thing, and that—in any kind of piece, not just sonatas—a  movement composed in sonata form consists of three primary sections: an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation.

Sidney Foster
Courtesy of Justin Foster

Sidney Finkelstein (changed later to Foster) was born in Florence and lived on West Evans Street. He attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music and played at Carnegie Hall numerous times. 

Sonata Form 1

Oct 18, 2016

“Sonata form” and the musical form known as the sonata are not the same thing. A sonata is a piece—usually for piano or for piano and one other instrument—that’s composed of several distinct sections called movements.

Dmitri Shostakovich

Oct 17, 2016

Dmitri Shostakovich's political views have long been subjects of controversy. Was Shostakovich a loyal Communist, or was he a secret rebel who suffered for years under oppressive conditions and yet contrived time and again to encode powerful subversive messages into his music?

Esperanza Spalding
Courtesy of the artist

Bassist Esperanza Spalding is one of the most talked about artists in jazz today. She scored a surprise win for Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards and went on to win three additional Grammy Awards. On this Piano Jazz from 2008, bassist and vocalist Spalding brings her neo-soul style to a set of standards with the aid of pianist Leo Genovese. McPartland’s piano provides a perfect accompaniment to Spalding’s bass and vocals in Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss.”

News Stations: Sat, Oct 22, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Oct 23, 7 pm

Nick Waterhouse

Vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Nick Waterhouse has been called “the young man who makes old R&B” (LA Weekly). His first single, “Some Place,” was recorded in an all-analog studio and released on vinyl. Although his records recall the sound of the 1950s, his style is all his own. On this Song Travels, Waterhouse shares his love of 45 rpm records and raw, live rock 'n' roll. Joined by Jay B. Flatt on piano, the session includes his original songs “Sleeping Pills” and “Hands on the Clock.”

Overture 5

Oct 14, 2016

Miles Hoffman concludes this week's discussion about popular overtures.

A Minute with Miles - a Production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Overture 4

Oct 13, 2016

Miles Hoffman continues his musings about the history of the overture.

A Minute with Miles - a Production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

The Cantaloupe Thief

Oct 12, 2016

In the new novel, The Cantaloupe Thief (2016, Lion Fiction), protagonist Branigan Powers decides that too many people are staying silent about a ten-year-old murder case. Powers, an journalist, knows a good story when she sees one—and the ten-year-old cold case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story.

Music and Memory: Katharine Norman's Fuga Interna

Oct 12, 2016
photo by Carla Rees

  Composer and writer Katharine Norman's piece is about aging and memory loss. 

It comes from a set of pieces influenced by a Bach Fugue, "a compositional teacher," as Katharine Norman puts it. 

Her mother was her first piano teacher and now she is a suffering from Alzheimers. In the piece, Katharine Norman is remembering her first piano lessons with her, because her mother can't remember them any longer. The pianist is Xenia Pestova.

Overture 3

Oct 12, 2016

Miles Hoffman talks about the most popular types of overtures.

A Minute with Miles - a Production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Overture 2

Oct 11, 2016

Miles Hoffman continues his discussion about the birth and evolution of the overture.

A Minute with Miles - a Production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.