Arts

Fall Book Bites
6:53 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Prestigious Journal Includes Rockford U. Poet

Susan Azar Porterfield
Credit Dan Klefstad

This week WNIJ is highlighting shorter literary works from northern Illinois authors. Today, we welcome back Susan Azar Porterfield, who has two new poems in the Barrow Street Journal. Poems appearing in this journal often have been selected for the Best American Poetry anthology, including works by former poet laureate Billy Collins.

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Fall Book Bites
8:53 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Murderer, Tax Dodger's Widow Shake Up Protagonist's World

This Autumn, WNIJ again invites northern Illinois authors to read, and discuss, their stories. Recently, a trio of writers published shorter works that add to the growing body of quality literature from this area. To showcase these quick reads, we created our first-ever "Fall Book Bites" series. We'll welcome back Susan Azar Porterfield and Molly McNett during the next two days. Today, we'll meet G.K. Wuori, author of Infidelity, a novella.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:15 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Roomful Of Teeth: Tiny Desk Concert

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 4:15 pm

Mix a bit of yodeling with Tuvan throat singing, add in a pinch of Sardinian cantu a tenore, fold in compositions from cutting-edge composers and you have the vocal group Roomful of Teeth.

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Author Interviews
3:54 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

'The Black Horn': Blowing Past Classical Music's Color Barriers

Robert Lee Watt was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for more than three decades.
Courtesy of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 8:44 am

Robert Lee Watt fell in love with the French horn at an early age. He met a lot of resistance from people who thought his background and his race made a career with the instrument unlikely — but he went on to become the first African-American French hornist hired by a major symphony in the United States.

He became the assistant first French horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1970, and stayed with the orchestra for 37 years. His memoir, The Black Horn, tells how he got there.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:52 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Power And Struggle In A Soviet Symphony

Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich's once brilliant career took a dive after the official party paper criticized one of his operas in 1936. Shostakovich responded with his powerful Fifth Symphony.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 11:33 am

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Sax Ed: The NPR Music Saxophone Quiz

Adolphe Sax's invention has found its way into many styles of music. Here, Clarence Clemons plays the tenor sax with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Lexington, Ky., in 1984.
Lexington Herald-Leader Getty Images

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.

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Arts
6:13 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Composition Conveys War's Effects On Vets In Words And Music

Jake Runestad
Credit jakerunestad.com

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

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Music News
1:03 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. Sax

Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musician and the inventor of the saxophone, was born 200 years ago Thursday.
The LIFE Picture Collection Getty Images

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.

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Free Range Radio
7:41 pm
Sun November 2, 2014

Celebrating Wells, Welles, And 'War Of The Worlds'

Credit Michael Uhlenkott / via Southern California Public Radio

It was Halloween night, 1938. People were mesmerized, even terrified, by what they heard coming from their radios. The world was being attacked by invaders from space. 

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Music
4:41 pm
Sun November 2, 2014

Amid Hunger And Cold, An Unforgettable Symphony Premiere

Citizens of Leningrad collect water from a broken main in the winter of 1942, during a blockade of the Russian city by Nazis.
AP

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 11:30 am

In early 1941, Dmitri Shostakovich was nervous. He was one of Soviet Russia's most brilliant composers, but he had fallen out of favor with the ruthless dictator Joseph Stalin.

He'd been forced to denounce several of his own pieces of music, and some of his friends and family had been imprisoned or killed. He knew the same thing could happen to him.

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