Tune in at 5 PM Tuesday to hear the pianist everyone is talking about playing Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven - and to learn how to pronounce his name! Rafal Blechacz (who won all five first prizes at the International Chopin Competion in 2005) was just named the 2014 Gilmore Artist. What's unique about this $300,000 award, given every four years, is that recipients don't even know they are under consideration until they win. Also, in the second hour of PT, hear Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform Beethoven's Second Symphony at Carnegie Hall.
Join Fred Child Tuesday at 6PM as the ever-innovate Imani Winds come into the studio to perform a work by member Valerie Coleman, "Red Clay and Mississippi Delta," as well as music by Wayne Shorter and Jason Moran. There's also some terrific Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and more!
Tonight from 5-9 PM you can hear concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, and Vivaldi, in live concert performances by some of today's great soloists. First, during Performance Today, Dame Mitsuko Uchida performs Mozart's radiant Piano Concerto no. 23 in A, conducting the Cleveland Orchestra from the keyboard. Then Argentine legend Martha Argerich solos in Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 2 and Schumann's Piano Concerto.
Friday is both the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and the 100th birthday of one of the greatest composers, Benjamin Britten. Join Barney Sherman and Fred Childs for music written by Britten (including the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and the Gloriana Courtly Dances, among others) and recordings showing his greatness as conductor and pianist in the music of Bach, Mozart, and others. Also, Fred has audio of the announcement of Kennedy's death to the audience at the Boston Symphony concert that afternoon - it is powerful - and Barney has the music played thereafter.
Every evening from 5 to 7 this week on Performance Today, you can hear what's happening at this year's Aspen Music Festival. Featured artists include established greats like guitarist Sharon Isbin and violinist Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg as well as admired newcomers like violinists Ray Chen and Stefan Jackiw. Tune in to sample the music they're making this week in the Rockies!
Tune in this afternoon and evening to hear the glorious Gil Shaham on record and in concert. The Israel-born, Illinois-bred violinist leads the International Sejong Soloists in Mendelssohn's Octet - surely the greatest work ever written by a 16 year old - on Barney Sherman's show. Then, on Performance Today, he plays the Butterfly Lovers Concerto, written in China in 1959. When a friend introduced him to the work a few years ago, his friend burst into tears because the music was so emotional. Hear Shaham play it, and see if it moves you, too.
Wait, where's the conductor? Not in front of the conductor-free Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Hear this virtuoso group in a recent Carnegie Hall appearance playing Schubert's Fourth Symphony, preceded by Elgar's Serenade for Strings and Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances. Thursday's Performance Today also brings us other talented artists playing Beethoven, Brahms, Grieg and more.
Wait, where's the conductor? Not in front of the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Hear this virtuoso group in a recent Carnegie Hall appearance playing Schubert's Fourth Symphony, preceded by Elgar's Serenade for Strings and Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances. Also on Thursday's Performance Today are other talented artists playing Beethoven, Brahms, Grieg and more.
They seemed opposite: Mstislav Rostropovich, the fiery Soviet cellist, Benjamin Britten the cool-tempered English composer. But they shared uncompromising convictions about social issues and musical genius. On Wednesday's Performance Today Coleman Itzkoff, - PT"s Young Artist in Residence - brings to life music that Britten wrote for Rostropovich.
Wednesday, May 29 is the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and while it no longer causes riots it still sounds radical, wild, and fresh. Hear it - introduced by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross - in the 6 PM hour of Performance Today. In the afternoon Barney Sherman will play part of it in the version Stravinsky first published, for piano four hands.
What do we make of the complex legacy of Richard Wagner on the 200th anniversary of his birth, Wednesday? Both Performance Today with Fred Child (5-7 PM) and Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin (9-10 PM) are exploring the question this week with fascinating results. Tune in tonight to PT, for example, to hear Gabriel Faure's "Souvenirs of Bayreuth" - a cheeky quadrille on themes from the Ring Cycle - as well as Wagner in concert by leading performers (among those on PT this week are Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen).