Live in Studio C | Nashville Public Radio

Live in Studio C

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Former Tennessee Tech professor Wonkak Kim is back in Middle Tennessee for a visit, so of course we made sure to have him swing through our studios for a performance. Kim, a clarinetist, brought with him the Parker String Quartet. The ensemble is currently on tour and is serving a residency at Harvard.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Mozart wrote his opera, The Marriage of Figaro, in the late 18th century, long before reality television. However, a new production featuring Blair School of Music students highlights the similarities between the over-the-top antics and scheming of the classical-era plot and modern-day shows like Big Brother and The Bachelor. Ahead of their very contemporary production, singers from the Vanderbilt Opera Theater came to sing highlights from the show.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Baritone Jeffrey Williams is a cheerful, friendly guy, but he loves singing roles that explore the darker side of life. The Austin Peay State University professor obtained a Center for Excellence grant for composer Leanna Kirchoff to write a mono-opera based on Guy de Maupassant's "Diary of a Madman," which premiered on a Halloween night recital of spooky and creepy classical music at Austin Peay. Williams is joined by Ben Harris on piano and Kevin Jablonsk playing double-bass, with the composer on hand to tell us about her approach to the piece.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

In their individual careers, husband and wife Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have each used the banjo to both explore the bluegrass tradition and build bridges between a variety of other genres. They come from different schools of banjo technique (she's a clawhammer player, he plays three-finger style) and she's a skilled singer. Since the birth of their son, they've been performing as a duet, blending their approaches to craft a new take on a classic American sound. At the same time, Fleck has written two banjo concertos — the first composed in partnership with the Nashville Symphony — and is working on a third. 

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Clarinetist Seunghee Lee is currently preparing for her Carnegie Hall debut and short performance tour of Italy, but Murfreesboro audiences get to enjoy her first. Lee is in town to visit and play with her former classmate and fellow clarinetist Todd Waldecker, who teaches at Middle Tennessee State University. The pair were joined in Studio C by another MTSU faculty member, pianist Eunbyol Ko.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Technically, John Johns is retired. He doesn't teach at Blair School of Music anymore. However, to hear him tell it Johns is playing the guitar more than ever. Now that his time is his own, he's spending it on fine tuning the small details of long-favorite pieces, some of which he shared during this performance.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Cellist Michael Samis and pianist Megan Gale returned to Studio C with music by a pair of beloved 19th century masters. For our show, they played selections. They'll perform the pieces in full at a recital on October 20 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Since moving to Nashville three years ago, composer Cristina Spinei has been busy writing for Nashville musicians. On this show, we hear her at the piano with cellist Cremaine Booker as they play music written for him to post on Instagram, a composition she created for the Nashville Ballet and music that was written as a wedding present. 

For this week's show, trumpeter Joel Treybig assembled an ensemble to perform a pair of chamber selections from the Baroque era. Treybig is on the faculty at Belmont University School of Music. His colleagues for this performance are oboists Robert Shankle and Grace Woodworth, bassoonist Dong-yun Shankle and harpsichordist Andrew Risinger.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

The Kruger Brothers are an ensemble from two continents (brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger are Swiss, their partner Joel Landsberg is from New York) and their music for banjo, guitar and bass draws from musical traditions on both sides of the Atlantic. For this performance in Studio C, they brought a collection of pieces that meld bluegrass and classical sounds, some of which were written to be performed with string quartet.

Pages