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Classical

All Things Considered

Play It Again And Again, Sam

Monday, April 07, 2014

We're all seduced by repetition, music research suggests — 90 percent of the music we listen to, we've heard before. Beyond music, this bias toward familiarity holds up in every culture. What gives?

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All Things Considered

Musicians, Take Note: Your Instrument May Be Contraband

Monday, April 07, 2014

Tighter regulations on ivory coming in and out of the U.S. could have a profound impact on musicians who travel with antique instruments.

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All Things Considered

Two Leads, Two Deaths In 18 Hours

Monday, April 07, 2014

In a first for the Metropolitan Opera, Kristine Opolais made two major-role debuts in the space of 18 hours. The Latvian soprano sang leads in Madama Butterfly and La Bohème back to back.

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All Things Considered

A Time Capsule From A Soviet-Era Childhood

Friday, April 04, 2014

When violinist Yevgeny Kutik's family left Minsk for the U.S. in 1990, they were stripped of most of their belongings. He was stunned at what his mother, a music teacher, fought to keep.

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Soundcheck

Face The Music: Why You Quit Your Instrument

Thursday, April 03, 2014

New York Public Radio's classical station WQXR is currently collecting and repairing old band instruments, then donating them to New York public schools. With the drive in full swing, Soundcheck’s John Schaefer and WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon pause to ask: “Hey, why’d ya stop playing that instrument in the first place?”

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How Do You Sweep The Ivy League? Practice — The Viola. (Really.)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

He has all kinds of other things going for him, but star student Kwasi Enin wrote in his college essay that music is the core of his happiness. Maybe that's why all eight Ivy League schools want him.

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Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Get Richard or die trying: For one opera company, it's go big or go home. In Texas, Rio Grande Opera is performing Wagner's epic Ring operas back to back and over and over until $8 million is raised.

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Soundcheck

Los Lonely Boys Unplug; The Story Of 'Hooked On A Feeling'; Simone Dinnerstein Plays Bach

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In this episode: Power trio Los Lonely Boys plays a distinctive brand of what they call “Texican rock ‘n’ roll.” Hear the three Garza brothers perform songs from their new album, Revelation, in a stripped-down acoustic session in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: Chris Molanphy tells the story of Blue Swede's song "Hooked On A Feeling" and its long-winding journey to No. 1, as part of Soundcheck's series, That Was a Hit?!?:

And: Simone Dinnerstein stunned the classical music world with her hit recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations back in 2007. Since then she's played with the NY Philharmonic, made a record with songwriter Tift Merritt, and signed with a major record label. Hear the Brooklyn pianist perform works from her latest Bach-centric album in the Soundcheck studio.

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First Listen: Valentina Lisitsa, 'Chasing Pianos'

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The pianist, the composer, his tunes and her talent. On her new album Chasing Pianos, pianist Valentina Lisitsa plays the propulsive, evocative music of Michael Nyman's film scores.

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Soundcheck

Simone Dinnerstein: Playing Bach's 'Inventions And Sinfonias'

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hear classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein perform works from her latest album of J.S. Bach compositions, in the Soundcheck studio.

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Morning Edition

The Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Four decades after its first performance, the San Francisco-based string quartet still nudges composers and audiences in new directions.

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A Field Recording Bonus Track: The Silk Road Swings

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A quartet of talented percussionists — Sandeep Das, Shane Shanahan, Mark Suter and Joseph Gramley — create deep grooves out of their Silk Road Ensemble collaboration.

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Welcome To Yo-Yo's Playhouse

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Watch the superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma and many of his close friends from all over the world in action at a theatrical props warehouse in Brooklyn.

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Kronos Quartet At 40: Songs We Love

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To mark the venturesome string quartet's 40 years of commissioning and performing new music, composers Steve Reich, Terry Riley and others recall their favorite Kronos memories.

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Soundcheck

Sex, Drugs And... Classical Music

Monday, March 24, 2014

We're joined by NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas to talk about Mozart in the Jungle -- a memoir-turned-TV series which was recently picked up for development by Amazon -- and what it could do for classical music's reputation, if it takes off. 

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Features

Joseph Calleja: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, March 24, 2014

He's a young tenor with an old-school style and all the world's top opera houses want him. Calleja's expressive shading and dynamic control hearken back to an earlier era — and he's funny.

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Soundcheck

Which Decade Of NYC Music Are You Nostalgic For?; The Strypes, Live; Classical Musicians Like Sex And Drugs, Too!

Monday, March 24, 2014

In this episode: This week on Soundcheck, we're talking about nostalgia and the past 100 years of New York music in collaboration with New York Magazine, which this week presents their annual "yesteryear" issue. Tonight, we kick things off with writers Lane Brown and Jody Rosen -- and hear about the decades in New York City music that a few of our WNYC colleagues are nostalgic for.

Then: Hear the impossibly young and talented Irish rock 'n' roll band The Strypes play live.

And: After the success of its initial star-studded pilot, Amazon recently announced that it’s giving its series Mozart in the Jungle a full season. The show, based on a racy memoir of the same name, promises to be a steamy and fairly unbelievable behind-the-scenes look at the world of classical music, says NPR Music’s Anastasia Tsioulcas.

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All Things Considered

John Adams' Psychedelic Oratorio Gives Voice To 'The Other Mary'

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Adams speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about a large-scale work inspired by the women in Jesus' life.

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Wig Out With The Big Bach Puzzler

Friday, March 21, 2014

Are you brainy when it comes to Bach, or bamboozled? Know your cantatas from your concertos? Match your wits against the granddaddy of composers in this 'Big Bach' puzzler.

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In The First Violins — At Least For One Night

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A "pro-am" outreach experiment at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra gives way to a burst of fun music-making: a one-performance, pop-up orchestra of professionals, students and amateurs of all ages.

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