Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Go to Goto

Violinist Ryu Goto is performing Thursday night in Seguin at Texas Lutheran University. The concert is Thursday night, March 1st, at 7:00pm.  There is more information here.
Host John Clare spoke to Ryu about the concert, touring and his famous violin.  Listen to their conversation here.

Goto will play: Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.80; Paganini's Introduction and Variations on "Nel cor piu non mi sento", Op.38; Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A major, Op.12-2; and Ravel's Tzigane.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sarah Willis: Take 2

The extraordinary Sarah Willis
Sarah Willis was born in Bethesda, Maryland, but explains that she grew up in a number of different places. Eventually her roots went down in the UK and she adopted the Queen's English of her mother. Her father was a journalist for the Christian Science Monitor and then the BBC. Surely this is one of the reasons she is such a good interview subject. In this extended interview, Sarah speaks of her rise to the Berlin Philharmonic and of her role as the first woman to ever win a position in the Berlin Philharmonic brass section. "I may be the first, but I will definitely not be the last."

Sarah also speaks of the importance of chamber music and the joy of presenting music to young listeners. She recently hosted a Christmas concert by the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic, exuding a confidence and charm which will surely have these children remembering this experience as they grow older.

The horn section which plays together plays together. 
And then there's a puckish sense of humor which seems to infect not only Sarah, but also her colleagues in the horn section. You'll find ample evidence within this extended interview with the refreshing Sarah Willis. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed producing it.
-James Baker

Listen here

Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

OSCAR 2012: Best Original Score

On Sunday night, Hollywood honors its own with the 84th annual Academy Awards, broadcast on ABC at 8ET/7CT.  All this week, KPAC's Nathan Cone and John Clare have been listening to the nominees for Best Original Score.  You can hear their discussions archived on this page.

HUGO: Howard Shore

THE ARTIST: Ludovic Bource

Listen: http://audio.tpr.org/oscar2012-tintin.mp3

WAR HORSE: John Williams

Listen: http://audio.tpr.org/oscar2012-tinker.mp3

It's a strong year overall for the category.  Randy Anderson favors "War Horse," and Nathan Cone also has a soft spot in his heart for the soaring themes of John Williams.  But both Clare and Cone are also big fans of Ludovic Bource's work for the silent film "The Artist," and think the Academy will award it with the Oscar this Sunday.  What is your pick for Best Score?  Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to follow along with Nathan Cone as he live-tweets during the program at http://www.twitter.com/TPRCinema.

Below, an interview with composer Ludovic Bource from The Hot Blog.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sarah Willis: First Lady of the Berlin Philharmonic Brass

The horns of the Berlin Philharmonic
Whether you are a fan of "the horn, the horn, the lusty horn" (As You Like It: Act 4, Scene 2), horn players, or the Berlin Philharmonic, you might enjoy 5 minutes of conversation I had recently with Sarah Willis, historically the first woman in the brass section of the Berlin Philharmonic. 
Sarah is in New York City, with her Berliner colleagues, for a performance Saturday night of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" at the legendary Carnegie Hall. 

Sarah Willis
She was kind enough to grant a phone interview yesterday. 
Thank you, Sarah!
-James Baker
Listen to 5 Minutes with Sarah Willis

Hear the Berlin Philharmonic on Carnegie Hall Live, Saturday, February 25, on KPAC-San Antonio, 88.3 FM

It was the best of times and not...

I remember my older piano teacher Rodney Hoare telling me about a "game" in vogue in Britain in the twenties and thirties where one took two old spinet pianos, two barrel hoops and a selection of sledge hammers. You add to this a barrel of beer as the prize and you made your own entertainment. Men would pay to compete and whichever team reduced their piano to chucks small enough to fit through the barrel hoop won the beer. Amazing fun for everyone except piano teachers and music lovers. He explained this is why it was so hard to find cheap pianos in that country - they had all been used in beer fueled entertainment.

It is interesting that while all this carnage was going on there was a blossoming of great British piano music going on and that is what you can hear on the Piano this Sunday. Arnold Bax imitating the Easter bells in Moscow, Cyril Scott taking us to Lotusland and William Alwyn splashing color to and fro with his Fantastique Waltzes and I don't forget Benjamin Britten. An hour of British Piano music and no sledge hammers in sight; this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ernani , Blood and Thunder

In one of Guiseppe Verdi's earliest operas Ernani  we are treated in full measure to what Leontyne Price called famously the  Blood and Thunder of Verdi.  The inspiration, a play by Victor Hugo, Hernani.
The plot revolves around not a love triangle,but a quartet of wild and intractable desires. There is an aging nobleman, Gomez de Silva who holds Elvira virtual prisoner in his castle. We then meet the real love of her life,a bandit by the name of Ernani. He in fact it is then revealed has a second rival, no one less than Carlo, King of Spain. Elvira,besieged on all sides cries out her most personal hope and desire in the powerful  -  Ernani!  Ernani, involame  
                                    Ernani, carry me away , from that abhorred embrace
There folllows a series of shifting alliances in which the young lovers for all their passion and efforts are unable to escape. At first it seems that Carlo, on the verge of being crowned Holy Roman Emperor and de Silva would be mutual allies. De Silva then incredibly defies the King and will not either reveal the whereabouts of Ernani or renounce Elvira.There is a brief and fatal alliance struck between Ernani and de Silva, they will assassinate the King. He is in fact pledged to die by Ernani's rebellious hand. In an incredible reversal, the King renounces Elvira and sanctions a union of the two lovers. But it is too late: the plot once set in motion cannot be halted and de Silva demands that Ernani murder Carlo, now his unlikely benefactor, as he swore. Rather than betray his true feeling and his honor, Ernani kills himself and Elvira collapses over his dead body, four glorious acts later.
 Unlike his two previous early successes I Lombardi and Nabbuco in which choruses and the sweeping epic drawing on history and religion are portrayed, here the focus falls on individual fates and desires are raised to titanic proportions.  
Tune in this Saturday at noon for the Metropolitan Opera's performance of the young Verdi's inspired work Ernani, here on KPAC and KTXI .
by Ron Moore

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beethoven recap(itulation)

Ludwig van Beethoven
It’s been quite a journey. The city-wide Beethoven Festival (http://www.sasymphony.org/2011/03/beethoven-festival/) was led by the San Antonio Symphony and included 11 artistic partners. There are still a couple of events to go – a 5k/10k Beethoven Run with YOSA on March 24th and the Vienna Piano Trio playing a Beethoven Piano Trio for the San Antonio Chamber Music Society on April 1st.

Hard to believe it all started with some cello sonatas with Camerata San Antonio on January 6th: The next day, the complete Piano Sonatas began with Jeffery Swann at Trinity University. It made me harken back to school, as a student learning form and analyis, studied quite a few of Beethoven’s works, and Swann began with the Sonata #1, Opus 2 #1. Another performance, on January 13th with the SA Symphony also made me think of the college years, as I had conducted Beethoven’s First Symphony with the fledgling Wichita Chamber Orchestra (that also included a now world famous mezzo soprano, Joyce DiDonato, read about that here http://classicallyhip.blogspot.com/2007/03/at-speed-of-life.html). This is from that first concert with Swann, part of the Hammerklavier Sonata: One of the more creative concerts came with SOLI Chamber Ensemble, who presented four new works based on Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, as well as a transcription of the fugue for their instrumentation. This is Paul Moravec’s delightful work:
I didn’t make all of the events, I am pretty sure Jack Fishman might have, but know that it was wonderful to see alot of familiar folks at each of the events that I did go to, and new faces I had never seen at concerts before. One of the ideas behind the collaboration of arts organizations is to reach new audiences. I also think the Beethoven Festival created a great buzz around the city. Bravo to all who presented concerts and to everyone who attended. You can read about a lot of the concerts on Jack Fishman’s blog (http://blog.mysanantonio.com/jackfishman/), as well as reviews from Mike Greenburg (http://www.incidentlight.com/home.htm). Texas Public Radio has some great videos if you would like to relive the events (http://www.youtube.com/user/JohnNasukalukClare) or catch one you didn’t make them: http://www.youtube.com/user/TexasPublicRadio.
-host John Clare

Friday, February 17, 2012

It ain't over till... well, you know.

San Antonio Opera announced this week it’s headed for bankruptcy.  We’re sad to see the books close on this 16-year institution, and wish its board and staff well.

Current ticket holders who are left in the lurch due to the cancellation of ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘The Barber of Seville’ may exchange their tickets for performances by a variety of other arts organizations in town.  To see the list of offers, click here: http://www.saopera.com/ticket_exchange_options/

Meanwhile, the fledgling Opera Theater San Antonio promises to bring opera back to the stages of San Antonio in the future.  Their website, however, is still under construction.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Future Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony has announced their 2012-13 season! Below are some highlights we are looking forward to hearing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Majestic (special event, without orchestra).
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Sonata No. 5 in G major, K. 283
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, K. 282
Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310
Chopin Ballade No. 1, Op., 23 in G minor
Chopin Ballade No. 2, Op., 38 in F major
Chopin Ballade No. 3, Op., 47 in A–flat major
Chopin Ballade No. 4, Op., 52 in F minor

November 16 & 17, 2012
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor and Ewa Kupiec, piano
Copland                      Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Ravel                           Piano Concerto in G Major  
Mozart                         Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”

March 22 & 23, 2013
Cho-Liang Lin, conductor and violin
Vivaldi                         The Four Seasons
Schubert                      Polonaise, D. 580
Schubert                      Konzertstück, D. 345
Schubert                      Symphony No. 6, “Little C Major”
The annual Russell Hill Rogers Strings Masterclass will be led by Mr. Lin.

May 10 & 11, 2013:
Laurie Auditorium: Starring Tony Kishman, Martin Herman, conductor
Veteran of the Broadway hit, Beatlemania, Tony Kishman has toured worldwide with the music of Paul McCartney. Relive that golden era with Hey Jude, Penny Lane, Live and Let Die, Yesterday, My Love, Uncle Albert, Let It Be, Maybe I’m Amazed, Hello Good-Bye, The Long and Winding Road, Get Back, Silly Love Songs, plus many more.

Their "signature" programming Festival, Johannes Brahms:
Friday, February 8, 2013
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor and Kirill Gerstein, piano
Brahms                        Piano Concerto No. 1
Brahms                        Symphony No. 1

Saturday, February 9, 2013
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor and Kirill Gerstein, piano
Brahms                        Piano Concerto No. 2
Brahms                        Symphony No. 2

Friday, February 15, 2013
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor and Vadim Gluzman, violin
Brahms                        Violin Concerto
Brahms                        Symphony No. 3

Saturday, February 16, 2013
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor, Vadim Gluzman, violin and Jian Wang, cello
Brahms                        Double Concerto for Violin and Cello
Brahms                        Symphony No. 4

Some New Music and living composers!
October 19 & 20, 2012
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor and Baiba Skride, violin
Picker                          Old and Lost Rivers              
Schumann                   Violin Concerto
Berlioz                         Symphonie fantastique

January 11 & 12, 2013
Evan Rogister, conductor and Jeff Garza, horn
Mozart                         Symphony in D Major, K. 97
Mozart                         Horn Concerto No. 4
Adams                         The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra
Dvořák                        Symphony No. 8

March 8 & 9, 2013
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor and Alexandre Da Costa, violin
Daugherty                   Fire and Blood                    
Wagner                        Orchestral highlights from The Ring    

Find out more at http://www.sasymphony.org/ Current subscribers may renew their subscription seats by April 5, 2012.

After the renewal deadline, subscriptions go on sale to the general public.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Anne's Air

Clare and Meyers in San Antonio
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is a world class violinist, who has not one but two amazing instruments! She has put them to good use on her latest album, Air.
Host John Clare recently spoke to Meyers about this new release (out today, February 14, 2012), her social media activity and motherhood. You can listen to their interview here. [mp3 file]

Listen to the album here at Anne's website. She tweets, and has a great Facebook page. It's on the top of the charts at Amazon, purchase it here and a portion goes to Texas Public Radio!

Monday, February 13, 2012


The Beethoven Festival has a few more events - the San Antonio Symphony wrapped up their portion this weekend with THREE performances of the Choral Symphony, but the next event is tomorrow night (Valentine's Day) with the San Antonio International Piano Competition.

American pianist Richard Dowling has been praised throughout the world for his elegant and charismatic style of pianism. The former SAIPC Gold Medalist will perform one of Beethoven's most beloved and well-known works: the Sonata in C-sharp Minor known as Moonlight.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:30 PM
Christ Episcopal Church
Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 2, No. 2 
Sonata No. 9 in E, Op. 14, No. 1 
Sonata No. 16 in G, Op. 31, No. 1 
Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight"

Friday, February 10, 2012

The dude is stupendous!

Gustavo Dudamel has been very busy lately, leading a Mahler Festival in Los Angeles, conducting around the world AND appearing on Sesame Street!

Classical Spotlight Host John Clare recently spoke to author Tricia Tunstall about Dudamel and her new book, Changing Lives. Hear their lively conversation here.

TMEA 2012

Students learning about Carnegie Hall
The Texas Music Educators Association conference is underway in San Antonio. Concerts take place all morning and afternoon tomorrow, highlighting young talent from around the state.
Host John Clare stopped by the marketplace at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center and spoke to some attendees.

Listen to an interview with two Carnegie Hall representatives mp3 file

Listen to an interview with two United States Army musicians mp3 file
US Army Band members

There are more photos on our facebook page here!

What's Love got to do with it?

The Sonatas and Symphonies of Haydn and Mozart had no easily discernable topic, it was in fact, abstract music. Now the Romantics that followed were different. Franz Liszt who gained avant-garde status in Paris started composing music with painterly or poetic inspirations and it wasn't long before you got music that could only be fully appreciated when the listener knew what inspired the piece and love was a familiar topic.

On the Piano this Sunday the topic is Love. Sometimes the music reflects the sweet and respectful suitor and other times a love more profane. As Shakespeare wrote: If music is the food of Love - play on - a Piano, of course. Hear it this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Earth: Ctrl Alt & Delete

Leave it to Richard Wagner to take as his subject nothing less than the end of the world.The only thing more outlandish than the sheer hubris of the gesture is the realization that he succeeded with Gotterdammerung.
The gargantuan project of the Ring tetralogy does not lose steam at the end, it accelerates! In an effort that spanned about a quarter century requiring the aid not only of friends and bankers, but kings and against all odds he had done it. After the sunny spring of Rheingold with its water nymphs and giants, domestic squabbles and finally culminating in the near eviction of the gods from Valhalla, it seems its'  lease too was "underwater" and would require nothing less than the sale of one of Wotan's children to mortgage the balance. After a dubious transaction for the balance in gold and later the death of Sigmund  and Sieglende, the exile of Brunnhilde and the birth of Siegfried and the slaying of a dragon the last and final trial was yet to come, the saving of the world.
Beginning with a testament of doom foretold by the Norn's and the passionate and hopeful duet of the lovers that urge the hero on to new adventure, true hero  we arrive at what James Cain the great American noir writer of Double Indemnity calls - the house of death. Siegfried's arrival after the stirring Rhine Journey music  at the home of the Gibichungs is in fact the first stage of the dreaded Ragnarok, the end of the gods and the destruction of the world. At its' heart is the anti-hero Hagen (the bass role of a lifetime) and his unquenchable lust for revenge; remember that stolen gold in Rheingold? What follows is a tale of magic, amnesia, betrayal, lost love and family tragedy. From this domestic world of unwed sisters and power hungry brothers; blood oaths and misunderstood promises, the plot spirals out uncontrollably into murder and a final conflagration that ignites a fire that consumes the world and is finally cleansed by the rising of the river Rhine and the genesis of another, purer earth from the ashes. After about a twenty minute final aria and recapitulation of all that had come before with comes the words... 
                          Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort
                                 am Rande des Rheins zuhauf !
                          Stout logs you must collect for me 
                                 in a pile on the shores of the Rhine.
It is on this fire that the body of the dead hero Siegfried is to be consumed, joined by his beloved Brunnhilde and that a new and hopefully better world is to arise from the ashes, roughly 5 hours later with intermission. For the Wagnerian its' only possible flaw can be that it isn't long enough .
Tune in one hour early this Saturday at 11am for the Met's  presentation of Wagner's towering music Gotterdammerung , here on KPAC and KTXI. 
by Ron Moore

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The original boy band

The Vienna Boys Choir is over 500 years old. Musicians like Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Bruckner have sung or worked with the choir over its illustrious history. They'll sing locally tonight at the Texas Music Educators Association conference and tomorrow night in Boerne.
Tonight is sold out so check here to see about hearing the group at Boerne Performing Arts.

And be sure to listen to Classical Spotlight for an exclusive interview with the conductor and a chorister from the Vienna Boys Choir Thursday afternoon at 1pm on KPAC and KTXI.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Latin side of the violin

Winners of the 2011 Latin American Music Center Competition, violinist Colin Sorgi and pianist Jooeun Pak present a recital of works by Spanish and Latin American composers.
Co-sponsored by Trinity University and the Latin American Music Center.

Manuel da Falla - Suite Populaire Espagnole
Paul Desenne - Venezuelan Suite
Miguel del Aguila - Seducción
Gabriela Lena Frank - Sueños de Chambi
Manuel Ponce - Estrellita
Astor Piazzolla - Le Grand Tango

The musicians present this program as part of a series of concerts promoting their recently-released debut album "...Eco de Violín". The CD features premiere recordings of some of the most exciting music for violin and piano written in the last ten years by living composers from Latin America now active in the USA.
...Eco de Violín can be purchased here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/colinsorgiandjoeeunpak

The Performers:
A champion of contemporary music, violinist Colin Sorgi is the founder and artistic direcor of the Baltimore-based SONAR new music ensemble. He has collaborated wtih members of Alarm Will Sound and Ensemble Intercontemporain. An avid chamber musician, he has been first violinist of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Kuttner Quartet in Residence, as well as co-founder of the San Antonio-based River City Chamber Players. He has studied at both the Peabody Conservatory and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under renowned violinists Herbert Greenbert and Jaime Laredo. Colin is also an award-winning composer.

Pianist Hooeun Pak, a native of South Korea, started playing the piano at age four. She first studied music an pre-med under scholarships at the University of Puget Sound and, at the time of this recording, was completing doctoral studies at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music under pianist Edmund Battersby. Jooeun has won prizes in several national and international piano competitions as a soloist, including the Gold Medal in the Korean National Piano Competition and the Grand Prize in the Kyung Hyang Newspaper Competition. She has performed with the Castleton Orchestra under Lorin Maazel and at the Atlanta Music Festival in Maine.

Who's on first?

San Antonio native René Barbera was confirmed today as the tenor in the February performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 9, substituting for Chad Shelton, who was previously announced as the tenor. At age 10, Mr. Barbera began his singing career as a boy soprano in the San Antonio Boys Choir. The other three vocal soloists remain as previously announced— María Alejandres, soprano; Luretta Bybee, mezzo-soprano; and Greer Grimsley, bass-baritone. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing will conduct the orchestra and the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers in all three performances. Dr. John Silantien is the director of the Mastersingers. These performances are the final portion of the Symphony’s participation in the city-wide Beethoven Festival in January and February. The Beethoven Festival is sponsored by the KCI.

Tenor René Barbera, a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, has swiftly established himself as a young artist on the rise. At Placido Domingo’s Operalia 2011 in Moscow, he was awarded First Prize for Opera, First Prize for Zarzuela, and the Audience Prize. He is the first artist to be the sole recipient of all three awards since the competition began in 1993. Earlier in the summer of 2011, he triumphed as Tonio in “The Daughter of the Regiment” for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Of his performance, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said, “Tenor René Barbera…has a thrilling voice…His account of “Ah! mes amis” the one with the famous nine high Cs was tossed off with such apparent ease that some might wonder what all the fuss is about.”
In the 2011 – 2012 season, Mr. Barbera will be heard on the Lyric Opera of Chicago stage as Arturo in “Lucia di Lammermoor”, Brighella in “Ariadne auf Naxos”, and as Tamino in student matinee performances of “The Magic Flute.” Additionally, he will appear at the Grant Park Music Festival with the Ryan Opera Center and will be featured in “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millenium Park”. Mr. Barbera will make his company and role debut with Vancouver Opera as Almaviva in “The Barber of Seville” and makes his company debut with Canadian Opera Company as Rinuccio in “Gianni Schicci.” Future engagements include a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago and further debuts throughout North America and Europe.
Previous appearances for Lyric Opera of Chicago include “Carmen”, “Un ballo in maschera”, “La Fanciulla del West”, “Lohengrin”, and Don Ramiro in the Ryan Opera Center production of “La Cenerentola.” Concert performances include Handel’s “Messiah” with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9″ with the Chicago Philharmonic. Mr. Barbera is a 2008 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a member of the San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program that same year, where he performed on the Schwabacher Concert Series and the Grand Finale Concert. In 2007 he won the Grand Prize of the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition, which led to his performance with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 he won first place in the Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition and First Place in the Charlotte Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Mr. Barbera studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts from 2004 – 2008 and further studies include the the American Institute of Vocal Arts in Graz, Austria, and the Vocal Arts Symposium of Colorado Springs.


Public high school seniors from throughout the San Antonio School District are eligible to receive $1,000 scholarships from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Community Action Fund. The program was announced to district officials today and application materials distributed.
The ETS Employees Community Action Fund (ECAF) was created in 2008 to bring ETS staff together to make a significant investment in their communities. The program is funded by donations from ETS employees during the company's annual employee-giving campaign, ETS Cares. Employees at ETS's San Antonio office contributed funds for their community. Scholarships are also being awarded to qualifying students throughout New Jersey.
Application forms are available from local public high school guidance offices. Students should contact their local guidance counselor for application information. Successful applicants will be notified of their award in late April. All applicants for the ECAF scholarships will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:
· Educational experience
· Community involvement and activities
· Demonstrated leadership
· Writing samples
· Academic transcripts
· Recommendations, and
· Need
"With the cost of higher education rising each year, students pursuing a college education need help," says George Powell, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ETS K-12 Assessments in San Antonio. "Many students achieve great success during their high school careers while overcoming tremendous hardships that might otherwise derail their dreams of pursuing higher education. This scholarship program acknowledges the accomplishments of these students while providing much needed assistance to make their dreams become reality." Awards of $1,000 will be offered to students who are pursuing a vocational/technical, or a 2- or 4-year degree from accredited schools/colleges/universities in the United States.
ETS's Scholarship & Recognition Program (SRP), which annually administers millions of dollars in new and renewable awards for companies, organizations and agencies in the United States and abroad, will coordinate notification, recipient selection and management of the effort.
About ETS
ETS advances quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually - including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments - in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wait till Arthur Murray hears about this!

Although shrouded in mystery, it seems the dance; the Sarabande came from Mexico and travelled back to Spain. One thing there was no doubt about and that the Church wanted no part of this lascivious entertainment. The Inquisition was quite firm in its views about the punishment concerning the dance, flogging, being sentenced serve time as an oarsman on a galley (a sea going nation, Spain always needed galley slaves, they didn't seem to last too long) and lastly there was exile.

Nothing makes a dance more attractive then having it banned and soon most of Europe was dancing the Sarabande and composers were adding it to their music for that kick of spice and exoticism.

On the Piano this Sunday trace the "forbidden dance" from its beginnings in Mexico to Northern Europe (no Inquisition there) and finally acceptance in Spain itself. Follow the trail of footsteps this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Anna Bolena's Glorious Tragedy

In the last forty years Donizetti's Anna Bolena has moved quietly from obscurity to rarity and finally to the repertory.
It is a glorious tragedy and exist in many versions. At its heart is one of the most famous of all stories of royal caprice and the abuse of power. Henry the VIII and his many failed liaisons have been popularized not only in opera but TV miniseries, The Tudors; classic film, Mary Queen of Scots (Glenda Jackson and Vanessa Redgrave !) and back in the early days of the PBS marathon dramas an eight part The Six Wives of Henry the Eight in which each wife is seduced, discarded and sometimes done in. Finally there is a Royal Historical cottage industry,one of its most successful practitioners is historian Alison Weir who has taken a special interest in Henry.
Donizetti's Anna, as in the case with most operas, drops all the historical-political subtext and cuts to the chase. Henry is seeking the fulfillment of unfettered romantic desire and a male heir, woe to anyone (including the Pope) who stand in his way. History's tragedy is operas reward, the more collateral damage the better. Courtiers scheme and jockey for favor and hope to avoid the royal wrath. One of the masterstrokes of the Boleyn opera is that the two rivals, the doomed Queen Anna and the rising Jane Seymour move from mutual jealousy and fear to the terrible consciousness of their own helplessness and shared plight. Both have had the fortune and misfortune to love and be loved by Henry. In one of the operas great moments and there are several, the women in soaring duet sing:
                                      Sul guanciale del regio letto ...
                                  Upon the pillow of her royal bed may there lie dread and suspicion ...
                                     And arise between her and her guilty husband, my threatening ghost .  
As in film noir there is no way out, around or through the dilemma that closes in inexorably. This is sung midway through the drama. Everyone knows how all of this is going to end. The operas power rises from the human struggle in the face of the inevitable. Anna, Jane Seymour, Lord Percy, Smeaton (a trousers role) sing of love, hope and happiness against the backdrop of a darkening sky and the axe :
                                                ... E la scure a me concessa,
                             And the axe that is accorded me,may the King more cruel deny her .
Of the three works now popularly know as the Queen Operas, Anna Bolena offers some of Donizetti's most exquisite arias, duets and ensembles. Callas at mid century revived it, Sills and Verrett in the seventies finally and irrefutably made its case and now the Met proves its' staying power. Tune in this Saturday at 11:00 am for Donizetti's Anna Bolena,here on KPAC and KTXI.
by Ron Moore