Classical Music | Nashville Public Radio

Classical Music

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Kevin Bate is the Nashville Symphony's Assistant Principal Cellist, so we usually hear him in concert with dozens of other musicians. In this program we get to hear his playing front and center in several pieces by composers who were cellists themselves.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Armenian composer Alexander Arutiunian is little known in the Western world, aside from one trumpet concerto that is part of the standard repertoire for that instrument. But as Fred Sienkiewicz found, Arutiunian occupied a role in the Soviet bloc not unlike that of Leonard Bernstein in America: a leading classical composer and conductor who also crossed over into popular genres of instrumental music. Sienkiewicz is currently writing on a doctoral dissertation that will be the first English-language account of Arutiunian's life and work. He brought two trumpets and a flugelhorn to Studio C to give us a taste of the beautiful and melodic music of the composer that is so rarely heard here.

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I Madrigali is a group of singers from community and church choirs around Nashville who gather each summer when their usual choirs take a season off. Quite appropriately, their repertoire draws heavily from the rich Renaissance body of madrigals celebrating the joys of midsummer festivities. Directed by John Perry, the ensemble will perform the pre-show music before the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's performance in Centennial Park this Saturday evening at 6:30. On Saturday Aug. 29 they'll sing the downtown library's Music in the Morning concert at 10:30 am.

Set list:

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Reagan Casteel's high school education took a sharp turn in 2015; after three years at Nashville's Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet, she spent a summer at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and ended up returning there to finish out her senior year learning to compose music. Casteel is now headed to Eastman School of Music. But before again leaving Music City, the talented teenager stopped by Studio C to perform a program that includes one of her own compositions.

ALIAS Chamber Ensemble

The new concert season for Nashville-based ALIAS Chamber Ensemble is a mix of old friends and new ventures.

The ensemble will again partner with the Nashville Ballet for a set of performances, and will return to music by two of the three composers they've recorded on past albums. Partnerships with other arts organizations also mark two other performances that will take the group from their usual home at the Blair School of Music, as they play events in conjunction with contemporary art and music venue OZ Arts Nashville and the venerable Southern Festival of Books.

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Guitarists Robert Thompson and Joey Butler have been performing around Nashville as Duo Sudeste for several years and recently released their first album. The pair took a Portuguese name for their group, a fitting name given that their repertoire leans heavily on the Latin guitar tradition. They brought a program of tunes from Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba to Studio C. 

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Clara Warford and Samantha Schrecker have been playing the harp since around the time they started the first grade. Now the teens study at The Harp School, Inc. and perform in the traveling ensemble, Harpistry. Both have already won prestigious awards at national and international competitions, and they play with the Curb Youth Symphony. The pair brought a program of solos and duets to Live in Studio C, with teacher and composer Carol McClure along to explain more about The Harp School.

Richard Todd will soon start doing double duty as a guitar teacher. He's a longtime member of the TSU Music faculty; starting this fall he'll also be an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music. He's also the president of the Middle Tennessee Guitar Alliance, which is currently planning a virtuoso showcase, and a guitar festival in addition to their regular master classes and outreach performances at places like local retirement homes.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Each member of the Nashville Saxophone Quartet is a teacher or soloist in his own right. Matt Davich, Don Aliquo, Denis Solee and Robert Shankle have played together in all kinds of situations: symphony orchestra woodwind sections, the pit orchestras for stage shows, you name it. They come together periodically as a quartet to focus on music written just for their instrument, including arrangements and compositions of their own. For this show, they brought us a trio of compositions that stand at the intersection between contemporary classical and jazz.

Live In Studio C: Pianist Alex Bolton

Jul 13, 2016

Pianist Alex Bolton performs one of his own compositions and a few by Ukranian Romantic composer and pianist Sergei Bortkiewicz.