KLRE Classical Music News

To find listings for the classical music you hear on KLRE Classical 90.5, check out this link.

In a career – and personal life – loaded with enough drama to fuel an opera, Kanye West is finally presenting one. Or at least that's what he tweeted Sunday, announcing a performance of Nebuchadnezzar, "A Kanye West Opera" at the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 24.

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The worlds Matthew Castellano creates are full of color, activity, and intrigue. 

The south Florida native taught himself to draw, and hasn't stopped since. He's since moved into making prints, but continues to draw at a prolific pace. 

Gabriela Ortiz's Yanga had its world premiere late last month at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Ortiz is one of Mexico's most sought-after classical composers and her work has been performed by musicians all over the world, from soprano Dawn Upshaw to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to Kronos Quartet.

For Alzheimer's Awareness Month, accomplished flutist Eugenia Zukerman has released a new book called Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir. It chronicles her internal and emotional journey since a diagnosis of "cognitive difficulties" three years ago.

Just this past September, Zukerman was playing Claude Debussy's "Syrinx" — a piece she figures she's played more than 20,000 times since the age of 10 — when she drew a sudden blank. So although she can't always find the notes these days, Zukerman is persistent in finding the words.

celesteheadlee.com

Celeste Headlee has many titles: classically trained soprano, veteran public media journalist, and acclaimed author, to name a few. 

But to who she calls her favorite person in the world, she was just a granddaughter. 

Caroline Shaw sings her own song, "And So," with the Attacca Quartet.

Last month, trumpeter and composer Nicholas Payton had the U.S. premiere of his Black American Symphony with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

kristin-lewis.com

The opera world has its fair share of stars, and one hails from right here in Little Rock. 

Kristin Lewis has graced the stage around the world, including at her Metropolitan Opera debut earlier in the year. She's world-renowned for her well-focused, majestic sound, particularly in her signature role leading Giuseppe Verdi's Aida.

University of Central Arkansas

This week on Arts Scene, a glimpse into the musical life of an unlikely opera singer. 

Listeners may know Florence Foster Jenkins from the 2016 movie of the same name, starring Meryl Streep. Jenkins graced the stage in early 20th Century New York, singing some of the greatest pieces of the vocal repertoire. 

Jason Masters / Little Rock Soirée

On this week's Arts Scene, a spooky look at Ballet Arkansas's world-premiere season opener. 

The city's professional dance company is kicking off its 41st season with "Sleepy Hollow," an adaptation of Washington Irving's haunting tale of the Headless Horseman. 

On November 8, singer Anthony Roth Costanzo will take center stage at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting as the star of a new production of Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten. It's a remarkable turn for a celebrated singer who nearly lost his voice to thyroid cancer.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's 2019-2020 season is well underway, and it's the first under the leadership of ASO Associate Conductor and Interim Artistic Director Geoffrey Robson. 

He's had numerous roles since joining the symphony, directing the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and hosting his concert preview show At The Symphony on KLRE Classical 90.5. Now, we'll hear a full season of concerts programmed by Robson, along with input from various stakeholders. 

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Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens has shared "IV", the latest from his score to The Decalogue.

The new movie Joker is a psychological character study of a lonely, disturbed man who turns violent. Dark, chaotic, unconventional — all descriptions that would make sense for a movie about one of the most infamous and unpredictable villains in comic book history. But in fact, director Todd Phillips wanted this Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, to inspire empathy. To give this comic book character human depth, director Todd Phillips brought in a composer who could transform darkness into sensitive musicality.

One of the most prominent composers of the late 20th century has died. Giya Kancheli was from Georgia — and the music he wrote, whether for films or for the concert hall, was full of light, shade and an incandescent longing. He died Wednesday at age 84 in his home city, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Kancheli's death was announced by his longtime record label, ECM; his son, Sandro Kancheli, told NPR that his father had suffered from heart failure for a long time.

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