Arts Scene

Sundays at Noon on KLRE & at 5:30 p.m. on KUAR
  • Hosted by Ann Nicholson

Arts Scene explores what's happening in the arts in Arkansas. Since 1985, Ann Nicholson has produced and hosted this weekly fine arts magazine.

Where there is an arts performance, art exhibit, or a literary artist with a new book, Nicholson is there. She maintains close connections with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, UALR Artspree and Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony in Eureka Springs.

"I want our listeners to gain a new experience from each program. I look for persons in the arts that I think will not only indulge my interests, but also those in the audience. I try to give them a little bit of extra personal background that they wouldn't get anywhere else," says Nicholson.

Born in India, the daughter of a British Army Officer, and educated in India, Kashmir, Scotland, and England, Nicholson immigrated to Canada in 1958 and then to the United States in 1962. She received a double BA degree in music education and music history from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Nicholson continued her graduate education in Musicology at the University of Kentucky. Ann was the recipient of the 2003 Aha! Cultural Spirit Award, in recognition of her years of work supporting the arts community in Arkansas.

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Philip Mann

Independence Day is already a week gone with Labor Day and election day hard on its heels, but today's guest is wrapping up 2016-2017 and hatching plans for 2017-2018. Of course, it is Philip Mann, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Director/Conductor, to take us through the Orchestra's 2016-2017 Masterworks Season. First, it's the ASO 5oth anniversary, then Robinson Auditorium opens its newly furbished welcoming doors in November.

Diane Rehm is retiring from her weekly two hour program at the end of the year. The news has dealt a body blow to the millions of listeners who count on her to be the voice of rational thought and quiet understanding of their many concerns. In her recently published memoir, "On My Own," she tells of her husband's death in 2014, from Parkinson's Disease to the years they had together since they had first met.

This past year, UALR has realized that a major change was ahead in the retirement of Chancellor Joel Anderson. He has been a quiet, but very important influence since he took the position thirteen and a half years ago. Ann Nicholson, host of Arts Scene, knew that public radio meant a lot to Anderson. So, when he agreed to come on Arts Scene as a guest, she was delighted.

Arts Scene: Tom Cockrell/Opera in the Ozarks

Jun 19, 2016

Listeners may remember that short list of festivals—five in all—listed three weeks ago, beginning in Hot Springs. Now, we’ve reached Eureka Springs and “Opera in the Ozarks,” a festival that Ann Nicholson, host of Arts Scene, feels should be heralded by “The Sound of Music.” The hills in Eureka are surely alive with music this year by Mozart, Puccini, Leoncavallo, and Benjamin Britten. Young singers with great voices in this Arkansas summer residency more than hold their own with such programs across the country.

The 2016 Wildwood Academy for Music and the Arts opens today. This is the 3rd annual program, divided into three categories of student: advanced, intermediate, and beginner in orchestral and vocal instruction. Daniel Black is Director for the orchestral sessions. He is from Fort Worth and is the Associate Conductor for the Ft. Worth Symphony. Dr. Bevan Keating is the overall Artistic Director and also Vocal Director of the Vocal Sessions (June 20th-July 22nd). He is a guest on this week's Arts Scene and talks about his current position with the Wildwood Academy for Music and the Arts.

April 23rd is accepted as the day of the month in 1616 when Shakespeare died, and also, by anecdotal confirmation, the day that he celebrated his birthday. So, this day, in the present year, is being remembered as the 400th anniversary of both of these events. Regardless of the date, the fact remains that the poet and his works are brilliantly alive. From his birthplace to Russia, the Orient, the Americas, and the Antipodes, he is not forgotten.

The 72nd Arkansas Writers Conference opens on Friday, June 3rd in the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 201 S. Shackleford Road in Little Rock. For 72 years the conference has focused on Arkansas Writers. Ann Nicholson, host of Arts Scene, had the privilege of interviewing some of the recent speakers brought in for the conference and, this year, the two highlighted are well known to her. These writers are Janis Kearney, who is being inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame on Friday, June 3rd, and Laura Parker Castoro, herself an inductee in 2005.

Another change in the Little Rock theatre world is the retirement of Jay Raphael, UALR's Head of Theatre and Dance. He took over the position 11 years ago, after the department had been without an official leader for some time, which gave him a number of routes to follow. He is Ann Nicholson's guest on today's program and he talks about what led him into theatre and to UALR.

The Intimate Neighborhood Concert Series has been a most successful addition to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra season, initiated in January 2013. That concert, the first of the series, is also memorable for the guest soloist and organist, Justin Bischof, performing the concerto by Francis Poulenc. Dr. Bischof is particularly noted for his exceptional ability as an improviser on the organ, which was heard when he followed the aforementioned concerto with an encore on the initials Philip Mann, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Music Director Conductor. Dr.

Each year, Anne Nicholson, host of Arts Scene, looks forward to meeting two members of the current graduating class from the Clinton School of Public Service. This is the 10th class, since the first in 2004. That year, Anne had guests before the course had begun. Four came onto the program: two students escorted by Senator Pryor (Jean Pierre Bekolo and Greg Holyfield) and then two as graduates (Erika Hall and Jennifer Flowers). In the years since, there has been a wonderful mix of backgrounds and countries.