Classical Music

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A mandolinist, a cellist and a double bassist walk into a barn. No, this isn’t the beginning of some terribly bad joke, but it is how Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma came together to record music of J.S. Bach. Their new album Bach Trios was released earlier this month. 

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.

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The tradition of writing liturgical music began centuries ago, when the main employer of European composers was the Christian church. Since then, an abundance of music has been created to commemorate the Biblical events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Composers approach musical retellings of Christianity's most important holiday from a variety of perspectives; here are just a few pieces to listen to during Holy Week: 

serafinquartet.org/vanderbilt.edu

Playing in a string quartet isn’t easy. “You hear so many stories of how it goes wrong,” says Kate Ransom, violinist for the Serafin Quartet and one of the group’s founding members. “It’s such a delicate balance, you have to work so intimately together” she continues, citing a laundry list of moving parts that keep Serafin running smoothly.

Unknown/Stanley Donwood / Wikimedia Commons/allmusic.com

What do 19th century Romantic-era composer Johannes Brahms and modern alt-rockers Radiohead have in common? A lot more that you might think, according to Steve Hackman.

The young conductor, composer and all-around musician has been making a name for himself in recent years with his orchestral “mash-ups,” which seek to synthesize well known and well loved orchestral and pop masterworks.

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.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

This week, we get a preview of two upcoming student recitals at Lipscomb University. Christian Johnson grew up in Dickson; Jeriel Jorguenson is from Belize but now  lives in Nashville. Both have studied with Jerome Reed since they were students in high school. Now, the pair are finishing their last year of college.

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Today marks the vernal equinox, and for the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of spring. With the turn of the season comes warmer weather (at least, in theory), the first buds on the trees and blooms on the ground, afternoon thunderstorms and choruses of chirping birds.

If you're smitten with this season, you aren't alone: tons of composers throughout history have been inspired by spring to write some unforgettable music. 

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