Arts and culture

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A 67-million dollar hotel project in downtown Rockford is creating more than jobs for construction workers. Local artists will have a big hand in decorating the Amerock Building’s interior.

Maria Boynton

This weekend, WNIJ started airing 30-second promos for the Summer Book Series which runs Friday mornings in June. Here are links to the promos featuring clips of our selected authors (Ray Paul, Robert Jornlin, John Bradley and Florencia Mallon):

You wouldn't normally expect one of the great composers of the last few centuries to be meek, but how's this for humility?

"Bach and Beethoven erected temples and churches on the heights. I only wanted to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy, and at home."

We rarely invite Tiny Desk alumni back to the confines of Bob Boilen's work space, but we couldn't resist this time. Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux have both given solo Tiny Desk performances. Since then they've paired up for concerts and a new album of works composed especially for their combination of instruments.

May is international drum month! To celebrate, we bring you a discussion in percussion with a group of guys who will bang on almost anything (including a cactus). The members of Sō Percussion are the guest quizmasters for this week's Drum Fill Friday.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Sveas Söner (The Sons of Sweden) chorus presents its 125th annual spring concert this Sunday at Bethesda Covenant Church in Rockford.  The director of the male chorus, as it happens, is neither male nor Swedish.

Sherry Dreyfuss says she was a bit surprised when she was approached by Sveas Söner.

Northern Public Radio, home to 89.5 WNIJ and Classical WNIU, is designing a 2016 calendar which will feature works by artists from our listening area. We will consider painting, sculptures, mixed media, photography, etc.
DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES is midnight on July 31, 2015. You must include your full name, phone number, home address and email address with each entry.
There is no cost to enter and no limit to entries per person. The submitted work must be your original creation. There is no financial compensation for any participant.

In his new memoir, Words Without Music, Philip Glass tells the story of how he slugged a man in the jaw in Amsterdam. At a concert, a quarrelsome audience member climbed onto the stage and began banging on the composer's keyboard. That was in 1969, when Glass' repetitious, slowly evolving music fell on many ears like a needle stuck in the groove of a record.

The Juilliard String Quartet was established in 1946 as an all-purpose quartet that would embrace music from every era. Its founders' intent was to "play new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new."

After Thaw, Minnesota Orchestra Returns To Cuba

May 17, 2015

The Minnesota Orchestra plays Havana this weekend. It's the first professional U.S. orchestra to perform in Cuba since the United States and the island nation began the process of normalization last December. For the musicians, this trip is about healing — both diplomatically and for themselves.