11:07 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Which IPR Stream Would Beethoven Listen To?

He would have cranked up his radio louder and louder as his hearing got worse, but there's no doubt that if public radio had existed, Beethoven would have been an addict. And according to Jan Swafford, "People who knew Beethoven said politics was his favorite subject." So in addition to IPR Classical, I'd bet LvB would have had a preset for IPR's News/Talk stream. Do you seriously think this man would have missed an episode of All Things Considered?

Read more
11:08 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Hadelich Overcomes Injury, Attains Greatness

Violinist Augustin Hadelich in his new home city.
Credit Schmidt Artists

Doctors told 15-year-old violin prodigy Augustin Hadelich he would never play again. A tractor fire at his family's farm had badly burned his upper body, including his bowing arm. But after many months of physical therapy Hadelich came back - and now, at age 29, he has won top international awards, been entrusted with two consecutive Stradivarius violins, and earned praise from critics like Alex Ross, who wrote in The New Yorker that Hadelich has not only "fast-fingered brilliance" but also "the musicality and freewheeling fantasy that...

Read more
9:36 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Blechacz Featured on Performance Today

Rafał Blechacz, the 28-year-old Polish pianist who was just named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.
Credit Felix Broede via Deutsche Grammophon

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.

Read more
Classical Music in the Afternoon
4:13 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Favorite Classical CDs of 2013

When I spoke with Charity Nebbe about favorite classical CDs of 2013, time was short, so I cut my list to 10 that I thought might appeal to the widest range of listeners. But my actual list is much longer.

Read more
11:09 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Beethoven 9th & Turnage Premiere

Beethoven painted during the time he was composing his Ninth Symphony.

Join us at 7PM as Alan Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, preceded by a musical meditation on the 9th, "Frieze" by Mark-Anthony Turnage  in its American premiere. Says Turnage, "I've been obsessed with Beethoven from the age of eight. What a joy, therefore, to be asked... to write a piece inspired by Beethoven's great symphony. Beethoven is a towering figure, but I find him more inspiring than intimidating."

Read more
9:01 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Andsnes, Dudamel Beethoven Thirds

Norwegian pianist/conductor Leif Ove Andsnes, called "one of the most gifted artists of his generation."
Credit le frisson from

Tune in at 7PM for Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto and 3rd Symphony from two leading artists -  Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and LA Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. Andsnes, who was recently elected to Gramophone's Hall of Fame, is in the midst of what he calls his "Beethoven journey," and his recent recording of this concerto was praised widely - but all present say he surpassed it in this concert performance. As for Dudamel, he and the LA Philharmonic have recorded the "Eroica" Symphony, but they, too, apparently surpassed the recording in this concert.

Read more
9:29 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Beethoven 9th & more from Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Beethoven.
Credit ©Chris Christodolou courtesy

Join us at 7PM for Beethoven's 9th Symphony (preceded by his 2nd) in a concert by Daniel Barenboim and his orchestra of young Israeli and Arab musicians, the West-Eastern Divan. Before, at 5 pm, you can hear him lead the Vienna Philharmonic in Johann Strauss, Jr., and - as pianist - play Mendelssohn, Mozart, and the Chopin Concerto no. 2 (conducted by the Boston Symphony's new music director, Andris Nelsons). You'll also hear him say, "I pray every day that I will not get comfortable in my old age."

Read more
8:57 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Kim Performs Beethoven Third Concerto

South Korean pianist Sunwook Kim
Credit © Hajin Ahn from

Tune in Tuesday to sample the art of Sunwook Kim - the youngest pianist to win the prestigious Leeds Competition in 40 years and the first Asian winner. He performs Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, which also performs Janacek's Sinfonietta and Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 3. 

Read more
8:38 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Beethoven's Biggest Hit Was the... What?

Beethoven - a painting from around the time he published his Septet.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Join Barney Sherman Monday for an afternoon of classical music, with great pieces from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Featured works include the last symphony of Haydn and an early hit of Beethoven, his Septet. Beethoven wrote this serenade with every intention of its becoming a best-seller, and it did, in some ways out-earning even the symphonies. If you wonder what music-lovers heard in it, wait till you hear the exceptional recording Barney has in store.

Read more
10:09 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Uchida Live in Beethoven 4th Concerto

The pianist and conductor Dame Mitsuko Uchida.
Credit Arts Management Group,

Join us at 7PM to hear one of the supreme pianists, Mitsuko Uchida, perform a work she's renowned for, Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 4. Mariss Jansons conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which also performs Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The concert broadcast also includes an interview about Beethoven with Uchida, who is Artist-in-Residence of the Cleveland Orchestra, co-director of the Marlboro Music Festival, and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Read more
5:30 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Grimaud's Great Beethoven, Friday Afternoon

Helene Grimaud, pianist and wolf conservationist.
Credit Credit: Robert Schultze/ Mat Hennek/ DG from

When Hélène Grimaud isn't playing the piano, her passion is the wolf conservancy she co-founded. It liberated her, she writes: after conceiving of it, "I had become a wild woman." That wildness may be part of what make Grimaud a great Beethoven interpreter. Hear her in Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5, (known as "The Emperor") Friday afternoon on Barney Sherman's program.

Read more
3:12 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Concertgebouw Beethoven: Kleiber & more

Ludwig van Beethoven painted in 1823 (when he was 53 years old)
Credit public domain

Tune in tonight at 7 to hear the legendary Carlos Kleiber conducting one of his signature works, Beethoven's Seventh Symphony live in concert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The broadcast features other Concertgebouw legends in this composer: Eduard van Beinum, Mariss Jansons, Rafael Kubelik, and Riccardo Chailly each conducting one movement of the Second Symphony, and Mitsuko Uchida, Claudio Arrau, and Murray Perahia each playing one movement of the Third Piano Concerto.

Read more
Classical Music in the Midday
9:59 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Beethoven under the stars

The Tanglewood Festival's music shed
Credit Sébastien Barré at

The Boston Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth (Pastoral) Symphonies and third Leonore Overture under the stars at Tanglewood with noted Beethovenian Christoph von Dohnanyi - sound enticing? Tune in Tuesday at 7 pm to hear it on SymphonyCast on IPRClassical.

Read more