KLRE Classical Music News

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Caroline Shaw's new album, Orange, is a love letter to the string quartet. The North Carolina native burst onto the music scene in 2013, when she was the youngest composer to win a Pulitzer Prize. She's still in her 30s and now, for the first time, there's a recording devoted entirely to her work.

Ellen Reid, a 36-year-old composer, won the Pulitzer Prize in Music on Monday for her opera p r i s m. The Pulitzer jury described the winning piece as a "bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse." The two other finalists were Sustain, an orchestral work by Andrew Norman, and Still for solo piano by James Romig. Reid is the fourth woman to earn the prize since 2013.

This week on Arts Scene, we focus on two shows at Arkansas Repertory Theatre; one, a staging of Giacomo Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly, the other, a modern stage play: Native Gardens by playwright Karen Zacarias.

In January 2018, the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest was widely criticized for staging the George Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess — whose story wrestles with racism, drug abuse and poverty — with a predominantly white cast, despite the fact that the Gershwin estate requires performances to feature an all-black cast.

Now, the Hungarian production is back for another series of performances of Porgy this month — and its nearly all-white cast was reportedly asked to sign testimonials saying that they were African-American.

Ever since he was a little boy, Yannick Nézet-Séguin knew he wanted to be a conductor. He likens the feeling to something "almost like a religious call."

"Making music in the group is what animates me," he says.

No composition seems too difficult for pianist Lang Lang. But on his latest solo record, Piano Book, the 36-year-old known for his finger-twisting virtuosity is exploring something simpler: Beethoven's "Fur Elise," Debussy's "Clair de Lune" and other pieces that accompanied him in the first few years of a lifelong love-affair with the instrument.

Arts Scene: Cellist Zuill Bailey

Apr 1, 2019

On this episode of Arts Scene, we catch up with an old friend. 

Cellist Zuill Bailey is known the world over for his passion and emphasis on musicality. He's a Grammy winner and a renowned recording artist with over 20 titles.

In this episode of Arts Scene, we hear two past interviews with Zuill about his experiences in various music festivals and in concert in Little Rock. 

On this episode of Arts Scene, we give you a bit of the ol' razzle-dazzle. 

Ron Hutchins, director and choreographer for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre's production of "Chicago," is responsible for the dynamic dance and stage direction that brings the Roaring '20s to life. An experienced director and choreographer, Hutchins brings his experience to Arkansas Rep's first show of the season.

Ron spoke with Ann Nicholson about breaking into the world of theatre, and about his tutelage under late Arkansas Rep founder Cliff Baker. 

Jacob Slaton / Clinton School of Public Service

Arkansas Repertory Theatre Board Chair Ruth Shepherd will be the first to tell you that The Rep is back and better than ever. 

When the theatre was forced to suspend operations in April of 2018, theatre fans the world over mourned the loss of our beloved Arkansas Rep. 

Now, Ruth Shepherd tells Arts Scene's Ann Nicholson what's in store for the new season of The Rep, and how the local community rallied to save the theatre from going dark. 

Arts Scene: Collector Juan Rodriguez

Apr 1, 2019
Henry Ossawa Tanner

On Their Own Terms, an exhibit at the UA Little Rock Windgate Center of Art + Design, features black artists from the 1800s to the present day. And it’s the result of years of collaboration.

One collector making his pieces available for the exhibit is Juan Rodriguez, who worked his way up from cleaning art galleries to owning his own gallery in New York City.