The Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra opened its 2014-2015 season this past weekend with a performance of Boccherini's Cello Concerto in B-flat Major, featuring cellist and UT professor, Wesley Baldwin. A few days prior to the concert, Morning Concert host, Melony Dodson, talked with Wesley about this beloved concerto among cellists. Also included in the conversation: Baldwin's love of teaching and a little bit about performances still to come this season.
Mark O'Connor is widely regarded as one of the most versatile musicians of modern times. He is a violinist, fiddle champion, composer, educator, and, at least in the 70's, a rock star (as heard in The Dixie Dregs). His playing styles encompass virtually all genres, including bluegrass, jazz, classical, and country...to name just a few. But he also fuses those styles together in his own compositions and improvisations to create music that's entirely new, but distinctly American.
Internationally acclaimed pianist, Jon Kimura Parker, opens up the KSO's 2014-2015 season with a performance of the fiery and dramatic Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor of Johannes Brahms. Mr. Parker has performed under the baton of well-known conductors, including Wolfgang Sawallisch, Andre Previn, and Pinchas Zukerman to name just a few.
He's also a media personality, hosting a TV show on Bravo! ("Whole Notes"), a show on CBC radio ("Up and Coming"), and produces his own series on Youtube called "Concerto Chat."
On Monday, April 14th, John Luther Adams was awarded the Pulitzer-Prize in music for his recent orchestral work, Become Ocean. His music is inspired by, and sometimes performed in, the natural world. The New Yorker writes that Adams is "one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century."
The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra presented a concert of "movie music" this past weekend (Saturday, April 12th). Conductor, Dan Allcott, talked with Melony Dodson about the program, the challenges that come along with performing film music, and also about the dramatic impact of such music. Several other topics are discussed as well...
The Knoxville Opera is one of only two companies producing Bellini's opera, "Norma," this year. (The other company being the Metropolitan Opera in NYC). A few days ago, Melony Dodson talked with stage director, Elizabeth Bachmann, about this beautiful, but rarely performed work. Its challenges, rewards, beautiful floating melodies, and strong characters are all topics that are discussed in this conversation. "Norma" is a rare gem and one that you probably won't want to miss.
The New York Times has recently called Steve Reich, "our greatest living composer" and The Guardian (London) has stated that: "There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history...and Steve Reich is one of them."
In 1990, he received a Grammy award for best Contemporary composition and in 2009, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his composition "Double Sextet."
The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presented a concert on March 22nd, featuring emotionally powerful music of Shostakovich, Verdi, and Henryk Gorecki. Conductor Dan Allcott talked with Melony Dodson about these historically significant works, giving fascinating background information about why and how they were composed, as well as a few personal anecdotes on the way...
On March 20th and 21st, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra performed all six of Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, along with Leopold Stokowski's transcriptions of Bach's Toccata in D minor and the Chaconne in D minor (from the Violin Partita No.2). Melony Dodson talked with the conductor of these concerts, James Fellenbaum, about how each of the concertos are different, why Bach composed them, and also about some of the featured soloists in the KSO's performance.
The Oak Ridge chamber symphony presented a concert Valentine's Day weekend at the intimate setting of First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. The title of the concert was "Baroque Bonanza" and featured several double concertos from the Baroque era, as well as a suite by Henry Purcell and a few works by Mozart. In this interview, Maestro Dan Alcott talks a little bit about this period of music and why people seem to enjoy listening to Baroque music so much.