Voice of the Arts
Pittsburgh Piano Day August 26 celebrates the piano and music with continuous performances starting at 11:45 at Katz Plaza, The Heinz Hall Garden Plaza and Market Square. Founder Peter Stumpf and organizer Gino Mollica tell Jim Cunningham the plan and who will play for this free event.
Clarinetist and University of Pittsburgh Computer Professor Alex K. Jones has organized the Festival Winds for Bach Beethoven and Brunch this Sunday August 12 at 10:30am. It’s free at Fifth and Shady Avenues next to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Alex joins Jim Cunningham to preview the concert, talk about computing in space and he introduces some of the music on the program including a rehearsal performance of Bizet’s Carmen for winds.
Rachael Stutzman Cohen, clarinetist and CMU grad who studied with Thomas Thompson of the Pittsburgh Symphony has organized a concert of Clarinet masterpieces by Brahms, Schumann and Mendelssohn August 18 at 7:30 at St. Maurice Church on Ardmore Boulevard. She brought soprano Anna Elder who sings the Schubert Shepherd on the Rock, to discuss the program with Jim Cunningham.
Max Gonano taught for decades at Cal U. and now conducts Community Band South with Jim Bennett - Sunday morning, 10:30, at Fifth and Shady Avenues in the Mellon Park Rose Garden next to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in a free concert with Bach Beethoven and Brunch. From his home in Washington, PA Max explains the plan for Sunday morning, reveals the program and the spirit of the band, plus he remembers working at WQED on the Fred Rogers program after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
The String Theory Tour with pop band sensation Hanson closes the season August 2nd at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Andres Franco. Beck’s father, the multiple award winning composer and arranger David Palmer, made the orchestral arrangements. Hanson have already performed the new music with the Columbus Symphony and Stuart Chafetz. From Pittsburgh, they head to Wolf Trap with the National Symphony. They’ll be in most of the major cities over the next several months. Zac, Isaac and Taylor, the three brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma who’ve sold 16 million records world wide, sat down in the upstairs rehearsal room to talk about their new album, working with orchestras, playing Beethoven as piano students, their craft beer, and the enduring success of mmmBop, the number one smash hit that propelled them to the top of the charts in 28 countries.
WQED’s Guitar legend Joe Negri at age 92 in 2018 tells the story of his years with Fred Rogers as Handyman Negri on Mr Rogers Neighborhood and as the proprietor of Negri’s Music Shop. He has taught at Duquesne University for 45 years and been recognized for his service to the city of Pittsburgh on Joe Negri Day at Duquesne where he gave a recent master class. Joe remembers playing Tree Tree Tree with YoY o Ma, the visit of Mabel Mercer, Tony Bennet and many other musical favorites including his colleagues Carl McVicker and Bobby Rawsthorne. He runs down his first radio broadcasts at age 3, his experience at WTAE, appearing on ken Griffin’s 67 Melody Lane with Sterling Yates, touring with Shep Fields, the day that Gene Kelly knocked on the front door, memories of Fred and at the end guitar talk about his instruments and their builders. His guitar heroes are explored Wes Montgomery, Count Basie’s guitarist Freddie Green and Charlie Christian to name a few. Plus the secret of his longevity.
Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery David Newell dropped in to encourage listeners to join in for screenings of "Won’t You Be My Neighbor" at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville and at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont. David tells us about Lincoln Maazel who coached Mary Martin, and the delights of the film which has received a 99% positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website. David talks about Fred Rogers and his part in the movie.
WQED-FM’s Gary Lenigan met with Emily Ruby, a curator from the Heinz History Center in the Strip District to discuss the Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood exhibit. Since 2015, The Heinz History Center’s 4th floor Special Collections Gallery has been home to many original set pieces from WQED’s studios. For the 50th anniversary of the show’s premier this year, they have chosen to set out two special items belonging to Fred Rogers himself that are usually kept in storage.
This Friday (July 27th) at 7:30pm, the Bell'Art Ensemble presents a concert by Laura Knoop Very at Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside. Laura and some members of the Ensemble stopped by Afternoon Classics with Anna Singer to talk about the concert.
Joe Newcomer and Kieren MacMilan join us to discuss their upcoming musical "The Gray Cat and the Flounder!" Joe, who is a long time supporter of PNME and WQED, commissioned a musical dedicated to his wife Bernadette, who was very special to Joe. He asked Kieren MacMilan to bring his cartoons, "The Gray Cat and the Flounder" which depict his life with Bernadette, to life on stage. Listen to learn more about Joe and Bernadette's marriage and how it became a musical!