Arts

Code Switch
3:28 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

Andrew Stenson plays Pvt. Danny Chen in An American Soldier, a new opera about the hazing and death of the Chinese-American soldier from New York City.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 11:34 am

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

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Arts
6:40 am
Fri June 13, 2014

DeKalb Author Waxes Poetic In Prose

Joe Gastiger, author of Loose Talk.
Credit Dan Klefstad

Joseph Gastiger writes prose poems, a hybrid form that reads like fiction but uses poetic imagery. He prefers writing this type for two reasons.

"I found it made certain stories in my life more available," he says, "rather than break whatever it was I was trying to say into lines."

In an interview with WNIJ, Gastiger said the form allowed his sentences to flow more easily, and led to more surprises. The other reason:

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Deceptive Cadence
10:29 am
Thu June 12, 2014

The Concerto: A 400-Year-Old Recipe That Still Cooks

American composer John Adams has written a new concerto for saxophone.
Nonesuch

The concerto. It's a musical recipe more than 400 years old but composers still cook with it. And why shouldn't they? We still seem to crave the sound of a virtuosic soloist playing with (and often against) an orchestra. As in centuries past, virtuosos still inspire, and in many cases commission, composers to write some of their best music, which can push an instrument to its creative limit.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:14 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, Versatile Spanish Conductor, Dies At 80

The versatile Spanish conductor Rafael Frübeck de Burgos.
Morten Abrahamsen

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 11:44 am

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Deceptive Cadence
9:55 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Composer As Sphinx: A Richard Strauss Puzzler

Composer Richard Strauss in London in 1914.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 10:12 am

Music by Richard Strauss is heard in symphony halls and opera houses across the world. He needs little help to boost his considerable fame. Yet 150 years after his birth, the German composer remains an enigma to some classical music fans and a polarizing figure for others. A perfect candidate, in other words, for a musical puzzler.

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Arts
6:23 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Half A Century For Kantorei, Half A Life For Director

A performance from 1966
Kantorei

Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford, mark their 50th anniversary Friday, June 13th, with a concert at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. The program also is the final one in Rockford  for the choir’s long-time director.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Tue June 10, 2014

I Hear Bells: The NPR Music Wedding Puzzler

If it's June, let the wedding bells, and the music, ring out.
iStockphoto.com

Can you hear the wedding bells? June has arrived. Theories vary on why this is the month for marriage. Old traditions like the timing of the harvest season (and pregnancies) might have had something to do with it, or more modern practicalities such as nicer weather and abundant fresh flowers. And then there's the name of the month itself, thought to be inspired by Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.

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Summer Book Series 2014
6:44 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Rockford Native Mines His Past For First Book

Gary Lawrence is a Rockford native who uses familiar sights and people in his fiction. In Baffled and Other Stories, Lawrence takes us to the "On the Waterfront" and "Summerfest" music festivals.

One of his characters works for an aerospace firm named "Sundstrom" (a nod to his former employer Sundstrand). And two stories are set in Rockford's West High School, now West Middle School, during the early 1970s. 

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Deceptive Cadence
4:06 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

What Weeks Of Debate Have Shown Us About Women In Classical Music

A prop maker readies a portrait of Octavian (Tara Erraught) in advance of the first performance of Der Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Festival last month.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 9:29 am

An astonishing conversation has emerged in the weeks since Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught began her run as Octavian at the Glyndebourne Festival in England. Erraught was excoriated by a handful of male London critics for her weight — prompting a widespread backlash on her behalf in the aftermath of those reviews.

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2014 Summer Book Series
9:12 am
Tue June 3, 2014

2nd Big Award For Summer Book Series Author

Barrie Jean Borich, author of Body Geographic.
Credit Dan Klefstad

First an IPPY, now a LAMMY.

Barrie Jean Borich was honored last night in New York City at the 26th annual Lambda Book Awards for her creative memoir, Body Geographic.

Borich's book is featured in WNIJ's Summer Book Series, which airs Friday mornings this month.

Of last night's award, Borich tells WNIJ:

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