Music

Classical Sessions
12:30 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Pianist Daniil Trifonov: Disappearing Into Chopin

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:55 am

The 21-year-old pianist Daniil Trifonov has been living through the kind of career trajectory that's often called "meteoric." Within one concert season he won gold medals at both the Tchaikovsky and Artur Rubinstein competitions, and a third prize at the Chopin competition.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
10:04 am
Wed February 6, 2013

When Your Grandfather Is The Greatest Living Jazz Drummer

Marcus Gilmore (left) and Roy Haynes perform together in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Haynes' daughter is Gilmore's mother.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:44 pm

The drummer Marcus Gilmore is coming off a major year in his career. In 2012, DownBeat magazine named him its top Rising Star Drummer in its long-running Critics Poll; pianist Vijay Iyer's trio, of which Gilmore is a member, also took the Jazz Album and Jazz Group of the Year categories.

Read more
Music Reviews
3:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reissued And Relevant, Marcos Valle's '70s Bossa Nova Returns

Marcos Valle in Los Angeles in 1968.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Marcos Valle wasn't identified with Brazil's influential Tropicalia movement during the 1960s and 1970s. But, like his peers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he made ambitious and subversive pop music during those years, mixing American soul and rock with samba, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles.

Read more
World Cafe
3:43 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Festival In The Desert On World Cafe

Tinariwen at Mali's Festival in the Desert.
Alice Mutasa Alice Mutasa Photography

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:16 am

In light of ongoing conflicts in Northern Mali, we checked in with Chris Nolan, an organizer of Festival in the Desert — the music festival that takes place each January in the Sahara region where much of the recent fighting has occurred. On today's installment of World Café, Nolan discusses the festival's history and elaborates on the decision to postpone the event this year.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
1:41 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Lean But Seen: The Joy Of Smaller Opera

Composer Mohammed Fairouz, whose hour-long chamber opera Sumeida's Song recently appeared on recording and on stage.
Samantha West courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:50 am

When a new festival for opera and musical theater called "Prototype" opened in New York last month, it wasn't inaugurated with a huge new piece. Instead, the festival was kicked off with the first staging of Mohammed Fairouz' opera Sumeida's Song — a work for four singers and a handful of musicians that lasts just 60 minutes long, presented at Here, a theater in Manhattan's Tribeca that seats just 100 people.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
2:43 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Does Classical Music Have A Transgender Problem?

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner.
courtesy of the artist

Yesterday, pianist Sara Davis Buechner published on the New York Times website a brave and moving account of her experiences as a transgendered person. "As David Buechner, born in the northwest suburbs of Baltimore in 1959," she writes, "I became an internationally known concert pianist. But from the time I was a child, I understood that I was meant to be Sara."

Read more
Tiny Desk Concerts
1:33 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Cantus: Tiny Desk Concert

Cantus performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2012.
Ryan Smith for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:43 pm

Is there some kind of weird vocal vortex in Minnesota? The state turns out so many excellent choral groups — at the school, church and professional levels — that it can arguably be dubbed the choral center of the U.S.

The members of the male vocal ensemble called Cantus, who huddled around Bob Boilen's desk to sing for us, hail from that vortex — specifically Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Read more
Afghanistan
4:21 am
Sun February 3, 2013

From A Land Where Music Was Banned — To Carnegie Hall

Afghanistan's youth orchestra performs in Kabul on Jan. 31. The orchestra is coming to the U.S. and will appear at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 2:49 pm

In Afghanistan, there was no sound of music when the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001. The Islamist militants destroyed music CDs and instruments and even jailed musicians.

Today, there are music schools and young Afghans playing in public. And, this weekend, 48 Afghan boys and girls are traveling to the U.S. to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

Read more
Music Interviews
3:27 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Wayne Shorter On Jazz: 'How Do You Rehearse The Unknown?'

Wayne Shorter turns 80 this year. His newest album is called Without a Net.
Robert Ascroft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 5:41 pm

The New York Times doesn't mince words when it writes, "Wayne Shorter is generally acknowledged to be jazz's greatest living composer."

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
4:34 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Treasures In The Attic: Finding A Jazz Master's Lost Orchestral Music

Stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson had dreams of becoming a successful symphonic composer.
William Gottlieb

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:13 pm

Read more

Pages