Classical Wyoming

Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, in Wyoming! Would you believe that Wyoming is one of a handful of states that has a 24-hour classical music channel? Maybe it's the vast open spaces and the overwhelming mountains that speak in a profound way and connect us to the majesty found in centuries of classical repertoire. 

Classical Wyoming draws from the nationally acclaimed Classical 24 series that explores repertoires from pre-Baroque to today's contemporary composers. Hosts carefully craft each broadcast. Lively, engaging, and knowledgeable, they illuminate the music they present with well-researched insightful information. Each program excites classical music novices and aficionados alike. You can also catch up on the news from the BBC at the top of each hour.

For those who enjoy keeping up with events in the classical world, we offer NPR's collection of stories and news items. In addition, you'll find information about our Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, as well as other tid-bits of news. 

Indeed, classical music thrives in Wyoming. Let the curtain rise!

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It's as if the pianos were haunted. Somewhere about midway through this Tiny Desk, as Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds performed on his electronic keyboard, two upright pianos were playing lilting melodies behind him, absent any performer at the keys. And yet these "ghosts," along with Ólafur's band of strings and percussion, put together some of the most beautiful music I've heard at the Tiny Desk, made all the more mysterious through its presentation.

Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds was in a hotel lobby somewhere in Asia when he first saw a modern version of a player piano. This particular one was tapping out The Beatles' "Yesterday."

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the nation is focused, once again, on the make-up of the Supreme Court. And yet Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the best-known member of the current court; at 85 she continues to be a cultural phenomenon.

Roko Belic / YouTube

It's a rare pleasure to find music that gives me pause, slows me down from the daily deluge and gives me a moment to think.

Composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, one of Britain's most influential contemporary classical figures, died Sunday, July 8, at the age of 66. His passing was announced by his publisher, Faber Music, but no cause of death was given.

Knussen was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and grew up in London, where his father was principal double bass for the London Symphony Orchestra. Knussen conducted his first symphony with the ensemble when he was just 15.

Boston Symphony Orchestra principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe has filed a lawsuit against the orchestra, claiming that she is making substantially less each year than her closest peer — a man.

Whenever a symphony orchestra or opera house loses its financial footing, a chorus of classical music "coroners" quickly steps up to pronounce the imminent demise of an entire genre. The pianist and scholar Charles Rosen put it best when he said, "The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition."

Max Richter's music seems ready-made for movies – and that's not in any way a put down. The music is powerful on its own, but certain pieces take on new depth when paired with well-designed visuals.

Here is a music video in which the things you don't see or hear are almost as important as the things you do.

The sun's season became official this past weekend — so what do you want to hear? Rooftop bops? Windows-down coasters? Sweated-through squall?

Back at the beginning of time, the human voice was the very first instrument. Probably close in second place were folks banging on stuff – in other words, percussionists. The quartet of gentlemen who form the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion takes primordial pounding into a completely distinctive new league. To be sure, in this Tiny Desk performance, they'll play their sophisticated, modern marimbas and vibraphones, but be on the lookout for the subtleties of tuned cowbells and 3/4" galvanized steel pipes, like those found at the local hardware store.

The #MeToo movement has been a cultural reckoning across industries, from Hollywood to restaurants — but one of the oldest that's been affected is classical music. In March, James Levine, a longtime conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, was fired for allegations of sexual misconduct. And now, centuries-old works from Carmen to Don Giovanni are being challenged for misogynistic plots and themes.

Don't call Thea Musgrave a "woman composer."

"When I'm composing, I'm a human being," she insists. "It's not a question of sexuality."

In a suit filed Friday by the Metropolitan Opera, five men have made newly public accusations against conductor and pianist James Levine, who was closely associated with the Met for four decades. In total, nine men have now come forward, either by name or anonymously, with accusations against Levine.

The film On Chesil Beach opens with a cocksure Edward, played by Billy Howle, mansplaining the blues to his new wife, Florence, a classical violinist played by Saoirse Ronan. It's a snapshot of the young couple's relationship, which disintegrates throughout the course of the film due to mismatched expectations and fears of intimacy.

The myriad stories about Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson usually fall into two groups: the ones about her enormous, laser-focused voice and those about her rapier-sharp wit.

gtmf.org

This week, the third annual Grand Teton Winter Music Festival brings together speakers and musicians for four days of music and culture in Jackson.

The winter festival is an expansion of the long-running summer music festival. This festival will feature Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble, a fluid multi-instrument group.

This year’s festival highlights American contributions to classical music. “One of the reasons that we’re working with this group is because they’re very much championing new music – and new American music.

University of Wyoming Music Department

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra starts a new season on Thursday evening. The opening concert is a reaction to the country’s current political turmoil and Wyoming’s budget cuts. 

UW Symphony director Michael Griffith says his goal is to make this season an uplifting one. He’s calling it a “Season of Joy.”

UW Symphony Explores Doomed Love In Season Finale

May 3, 2017
uwyo.edu

Doomed love is the theme of this week’s University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra 2016-17 season finale. It includes Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as works by four other composers, including recent UW eminent composer in residence, Libby Larsen.

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra - Casper

Feb 21, 2017
Wyoming Symphony Orchestra

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra began in 1920 but did not incorporate until the 1940’s. “Musicians always find other musicians to play, and back in the 20’s they traveled long distances on dirt roads to play together” according to WSO Executive Director, Kate Tiernan.

University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra – Laramie

Feb 6, 2017
UW Symphony Orchestra

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra is a 90-member ensemble playing the finest in orchestral repertoire. With soloists ranging from internationally known guest artists to faculty performers to student competition winners, and with tours throughout the Rocky Mountain region, the Symphony performs many exciting concerts each year.

Wyoming Symphony Prepares For A Homecoming

Sep 29, 2016
matthewsavery.com

This year marks the 67th season for the Casper-based Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. They’re calling it ‘A Moving Symphonic Season’ because the orchestra has a final concert at Casper College this weekend before returning to a newly renovated auditorium in December. 

Ann Marsden

 

After public universities opened their doors to women, the chance to study music composition opened up as well. But the best known, highest paid composers still tend to be men. Composer Libby Larsen is one notable exception - she is the eminent musician-in-residence at the University of Wyoming for the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

She joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about her distinctly American-sounding music and some of the biggest challenges still facing female composers.

cheyennesymphonyorchestra.org

The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra has extended the contract of its conductor. William Intriligator will remain the orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor through 2022. Intriligator is currently in his eighth season with the orchestra. His current contract was set to expire next year.

Alumnus Returns To Conduct UW Symphony Orchestra

Mar 23, 2016
westliberty.edu

This week’s University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concert features a homecoming. Matthew Inkster grew up in Laramie and attended the University of Wyoming, where he played trumpet in the UW Symphony. On Thursday, he’ll be guest conducting the orchestra.

Grand Teton Music Festival Expands With Winter Music

Mar 4, 2016
gtmf.org

    

  

The Grand Teton Music Festival has long been a major event for classical music in the summer. Now, the festival is expanding with its inaugural Winter Music event, which runs March 15-18 in Jackson Hole. As GTMF executive director Andrew Todd explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, this month’s mini-festival is about two larger goals.

uwyo.edu

University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor Michael Griffith has been awarded third place in a nationwide competition for his excellence in orchestral programming. The American Prize, which is awarded annually in multiple categories, was founded in 2009 and seeks to “recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States.”

 

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