Nina Cardona

Music Director / Host

Nina Cardona holds a degree in music history from Converse College. Just two days after graduation, she started playing classical music as a part-time host on Nashville Public Radio.  She was WPLN’s All Things Considered host for eleven years, during which time her reporting focused on arts and culture stories.

Nina is a classically trained singer and open water swimmer who dabbles in photography and a variety of needle crafts.

 

Ways to Connect

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

This week's Live in Studio C featured three Midstate freelance musicians and friends. French horn player Jennifer Kummer and pianist Alessandra Volpi joined clarinetist Emily Bowland on several of her recent recitals to play a trio, which they played in full for us in Studio C.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Since 1868, Americans have set aside time at the end of May to visit the burial sites of veterans. The date of what used to be called "Decoration Day" was chosen for practical reasons: If you're going to place flowers on a grave, what better time than when plenty of flowers are blooming? But it's appropriate timing on a symbolic level, too. The contrast between seasonal beauty and the ugliness of war is an apt metaphor for the bittersweet combination of fond memories and painful loss that lies at the heart of Memorial Day.

It's a complex mix of emotions that music has long explored. Here are a handful of selections that lie in the meeting place between love and loss, war and peace, beauty and discomfort.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Portara Ensemble is ending its season of choral concerts with a program benefiting Nashville's street newspaper, The Contributor. In choosing the music, Director Jason Shelton took inspiration from the poetry that homeless and formerly homeless vendors submit to the paper and the stories of the vendors lives. The concert From Beginning to End: Music of Live, Love and Loss is at 4pm Sunday at Downtown Presbyterian Church, which has long housed The Contributor's vendor office. About 30 members of the choir gathered in Studio C to give us a preview.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

For their Spring Concert, the women of Vox Grata are using music to speak out against an abuse suffered by girls and women around the world: human trafficking. Under the direction of Jeanette MacCallum, they've crafted a program that both questions why slavery still exists and seeks to give hope for the future. They'll perform the show at 7:00 pm, May 18th at Nashville's Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

The Nashville Symphony and Chorus will soon perform and record a requiem written by American composer John Harbison around the time of the 9/11 attacks. A portion of the chorus and their director, Tucker Biddlecombe, used their visit to Studio C to give examples of how Harbison's music works in the context of the long tradition of requiems, plus some insight as to how the music is constructed.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Matt Combs plays old-time fiddle and violin with a variety of Nashville musicians and teaches at Blair, as well as composing and producing. Nate Strass, who recently moved here, composes and arranges music for films and television. The two have co-written a concert piece they describe as a "cinematic overview of the history of fiddle music." 

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

The Music City Horn Quartet is a somewhat new ensemble of Nashville freelance French horn players (including one horn maker!), all of  whom also have ties to Clarksville's Gateway Chamber Orchestra: Jennifer Kummer, Tara Johnson, John Gough and Joey Demko. They've brought a collection of music originally written for other instruments or ensembles, arranged for four horns.

unknown passport photographer / King's College Library, Cambridge

This weekend, a group of Nashville ensembles will present the U.S. premiere of a work they think of not as a performance, but an invitation to activism.

British composer James McCarthy’s oratorio, Codebreaker, illuminates key moments from the life of Alan Turing. The groundbreaking computer scientist broke Germany’s Enigma Code during World War II and established the quintessential test of artificial intelligence. 

Guitarist Robert Thompson teaches more than thirty students in his guitar ensemble class at Belmont University. He brought about half that number to Studio C to perform a variety of music from across the guitar repertoire.

Last week, two students of Jerome Reed at Lipscomb University played in Studio C. This time, we hear Reed himself playing music by two living American composers, one of whom is a former student who wrote the piece specifically for Reed.

Pages