Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 10:04 am
In November 1814, Col. Andrew Jackson marched on Pensacola, taking the Florida city away from Britain and Spain, while the Congress of Vienna was busy drawing new boundaries after the Napoleonic Wars. And 200 years ago today, in a little 10th-century town south of Brussels, Adolphe Sax was born.
Sax learned instrument-building from his father and soon was inventing new instruments of his own, including the one that bears his name. He patented the saxophone in 1846.
The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is premiering the work of an internationally acclaimed young composer November 9. Jake Runestad also happens to be a Rockford native. WNIJ’s Guy Stephens spoke to the composer, who now lives in Minnesota, about his work, “Dreams of the Fallen.” RSO Director Steven Larsen leads the orchestra, the Mendelssohn Chorale and pianist Jeffrey Biegel in the local premiere of "Dreams of the Fallen," a work
Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 12:23 pm
It's rare to be able to celebrate a person who invented a popular musical instrument. Mostly, from the guitar to the violin to the flute, musical instruments have evolved over time: There is no Mr. Flute or Ms. Trumpet. But there is a Mr. Sax — or, rather, a Monsieur Sax.
Adolphe Sax was born in Belgium 200 years ago Thursday. As a young man, Sax worked for his father, also an instrument maker. The younger Sax made improvements to the bass clarinet and invented a family of instruments called saxhorns before creating his eponymous "phone" in the early 1840s.
Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 1:40 pm
Classical music meets Halloween and the paranormal Thursday night when the National Symphony Orchestra plays the Schumann Violin Concerto, a work buried for nearly a century and recovered — or so the story goes — by a message from the beyond.
Maybe this trajectory mirrors the Kansas City Royals' unlikely road to the pennant: An opera star beats out much more mainstream artists to sing the national anthem at the decisive World Series Game 7.
Where would Halloween be without ghosts — those wispy spirits either friendly or fiendish in disposition? They've haunted our consciousness for ages, thanks to appearances in visual art, literature, film and music. And now they've overrun this puzzler. From country and classical to rock and jazz, ghosts glide through these songs. Some are nice, others nefarious. Score high and allow yourself to be treated today. Score low and consider yourself tricked.
Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 5:31 pm
Through the decades, classical cellists have studied the masters: Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jacqueline du Pre. AC/DC doesn't quite make that list — but cellist Maya Beiser loves playing their music.
Beiser gives some of her favorite rock and blues numbers — like AC/DC's "Back in Black" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" — a modern cello workover on her new album, Uncovered.
An abundance of facial hair is not restricted to the sensitive male indie-rocker set. Three of the four players in the Danish String Quartet could easily pass for hipster Brooklyn beard farmers. "We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard," the group's website says.
Yet what's really important about the ensemble is how they play — and judging from this performance behind Bob Boilen's desk, these Nordic lads possess warmth, wit, a beautiful tone and technical prowess second to none.