News

The Knoxville-based contemporary music ensemble, Nief-Norf, presents three sets at this year's Big Ears Festival.  Each set has a different theme and features music by numerous composers.  Dr. Andrew Bliss, the artistic director of the ensemble and also Director of Percussion at the University of TN talked with Morning Concert host, Melony Dodson, about the music that they are performing and a little bit about the group itself.

The Chicago-based chamber group, eighth blackbird, combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band, and the staging of a theatre company. This energetic, four-time Grammy award-winning sextet celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016 and also celebrates being awarded the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.  eighth blackbird has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet." 

A Big Ears Interview With Cellist Maya Beiser

Mar 31, 2016

Whitney Dodds talks with Maya Beiser about the Big Ears Festival, defying musical genres and being a cello goddess.

Kamasi Washington talks to Todd Steed about his Big Ears performance and his booming career. 

WBMA Birmingham/ABC 33-40

If you grew up in the South, you grew up with tornadoes and tornado warnings. But you probably didn’t know there are some big differences between the tornadoes that happen here, and their Midwestern cousins. They’re typically deadlier. They’re harder to see. And they’re more likely to happen at night, an especially dangerous time.

CBT Satire Examines Generosity In All Its Complexity

Mar 30, 2016

On the surface, generosity may seem like a rather simple concept.  Person One is nice to Person Two and Person Two is grateful.

But the new Clarence Brown Theatre play "The Open Hand" reveals a hidden complexity that accompanies nearly every act of generosity.   "It's about not only our discomfort with generosity, but how people are ungenerous," says Calvin McLean, the play's director. 

When Watches Become Warnings

Mar 30, 2016

Do you know the difference between a severe weather "watch" and a "warning"?

Here's how National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists make the distinction:

Guitarist Mary Halvorson discusses the joys and challenges of playing solo.  Halvorson is here in Knoxville this week as part of the Big Ears festival. 

Jazz musician Wadada Leo Smith talks to Todd Steed about his upcoming Big Ears performance.

Benjamin Benschneider

In her time, the ocean liner Lusitania was the finest ship to ply the Atlantic passenger route between New York and England. Her opulence and speed were well-known, and passage on the ship was considered near the height of luxury.

In eight years, Lusitania made 201 trips across the pond, sometimes setting new speed records for the transatlantic crossing. But her final voyage – number 202 – ended in tragedy, confusion and mysteries that linger to this day.

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