Classical Music

Karyn Photography / Nashville Ballet

In the span of just a few days, the Nashville Ballet and ALIAS Chamber Ensemble are offering a pair of variations on a theme: exploring the way classical music can interact and interweave with other sounds and genres. 

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." 

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

From violent crashing waves to bubbling brooks, water in all its configurations has long inspired classical composers. On April 30 & May 1, the Gateway Chamber Orchestra will perform a program that celebrates nature’s beauty, with John Luther Adams’s water-centered piece Become River as a highlight. Before you see the performance, here are eight more aqueous works to enjoy as a musical amuse-bouche:

John Luther Adams, Become Ocean (2013)

Danny Clinch / nonesuch.com

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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