Classical | Nashville Public Radio

Classical

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500 years ago today, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, airing his grievances against the Roman Catholic Church and sparking the Protestant Reformation.

Changes within the church also brought changes in religious music-making, and with Luther came the rise of the chorale. These Protestant hymns showcased some of the biggest departures from music in the Catholic church: a focus on congregational singing, texts in German rather than Latin and melodies often borrowed from secular songs. 

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It's officially the spookiest time of year: the cobwebs are hung and the candy is ready... now for the music. Nashville has no shortage of Halloween-themed performances leading up to All Hallows' Eve, and classical music fans can celebrate in macabre style with a ballet about a suspected murderess, a chamber opera from the perspective of a madman, a live organ performance underscoring the creepiest silent film of all time and more. Just try not to get too scared:  

Lizzie Borden with The Raven at Nashville Ballet

Nashville Public Radio

On September 9, Nashville Public Radio's Studio C buzzed all day with live performances from Midstate chamber musicians. The performers ranged from a high school phenomenon to seasoned professionals; their repertoire covered the gamut from Renaissance dance tunes to 19th century classics, even a galloping improvisation for Chinese and Western instruments.

If you didn't have a chance to listen to our broadcast of the first ever 91Classical Radio Fest (or if you'd like to hear it again) here's another opportunity to enjoy the performances that were featured that day. 

photo courtesy of Tracy Silverman

Take one part violin (no, make that electric violin) concerto, one part narrative story about the life cycle of an insect, combine liberally with film projections ... that’s essentially the recipe for "Love Song to the Sun." The collaboration between Nashville violinist and composer Tracy Silverman and video artist Todd Winkler will have its regional premiere Thursday, Oct. 5 at OZ Arts Nashville, performed by Silverman with the Vanderbilt University Orchestra.

Image courtesy YouTube

Picture the scene: the conductor raises the baton, orchestra at the ready. Shifting in their velvet seats, the audience watches the soloist with baited breath. The downbeat happens, and across the ornate auditorium rings out the first few notes from… an electric guitar? 

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This weekend, the Nashville Ballet opens their season with Tchaikovsky's iconic The Sleeping Beauty. The work is considered the zenith of classic ballet, and all three of Tchaikovsky’s ballets—Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker—have become beloved giants in the modern dance world, described by arts writer Maxim Boon as having been “reinvented, reappropriated, made-over, dumbed-down and spruced-up more than any other work in the canon of the art form.”

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Representatives from Music City's classical community will come together this afternoon for the official proclamation of "Classical Music Day" in Nashville. The ceremony begins at 1:00 on the steps of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and will, of course, include a live performance.  We're kicking off our celebration on the air in the morning, with recordings of Midstate musicians scheduled throughout the day.

As always, you can listen to 91Classical on the radio at 91.1FM, with the Nashville Public Radio app or by streaming audio on this website.

Rebecca Bauer / Gateway Chamber Orchestra

School is in session, we've felt the first hints of autumn's chill in the air — it's the time when new performance seasons traditionally begin. While Middle Tennessee’s professional ensembles and venues don’t all hold to that calendar, now’s still a good time to look at what some of them have in store for the city’s audiences.

Bill Steber / Nashville Symphony

A collection of violins once played by Holocaust victims is coming to Music City next year.

Courtesy of Kip Winger

Kip Winger has a career that many aspiring rockers dream of. Early on, he toured as a bassist with Alice Cooper and performed and recorded with rock legends like Alan Parsons, Bob Dylan and Roger Daltrey. In the late 80s, he struck out on his own, forming the eponymous band Winger and selling millions of albums worldwide.

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