Voice of the Arts
Dance legend Virginia Johnson, Artistic Theater of Dance Theater of Harlem, discusses the collaboration with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater under way at the August Wilson Center through March 24 and the many events taking place around town. It’s the 50th anniversary of her company where she danced beginning in 1969. In a corner of the arts world where not too long ago dancers could only purchase white satin pointe shoes Virginia thinks progress is being made. No matter what the ethnicity of the dancer body shape self-image is an issue. Discussing the great success of Misty Copeland, star of the American Ballet Theater, there may be more stars equal to her talent in the future and no doubt there have already been some we just didn’t know about while the spotlight was elsewhere as Virginia explains to Jim Cunningham.
Dr. John Walker, organist and choir director at Shadyside Presbyterian Church will bring the Organ Artists of Pittsburgh 40th Anniversary Season to a close with a free concert April 26 2019 at 7:30 at his former sanctuary. John is the past president of the American Guild of Organists and is now teaching at the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore. He will be honored at a special fundraising event for the AGO Endowment Fund at the mansions on Fifth immediately after his recital. He spoke with Jim Cunningham about his wide ranging career, his work with Michael Tilson Thomas, Raymond Ocock, Virgil Fox, Leo Sowerby and many others. Introducing John Walker is Edward Alan Moore of East Liberty Presbyterian Church in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.
Pianist Gerald Robbins is in town for two maser classes at CMU. He teaches at the Manhattan School of Music today with a large catalog of recordings including some unusual repertoire by Carl Reinecke and Henri Litolf, plus the Schumann Concerto recorded in Moscow with Kenneth Klein, recordings with the New York Philharmonics’ concertmaster Glen Dicterow and Principal Clarinet Stanley Drucker. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham he remembers working with Nathan Milstein and William Primrose and runs down his Pittsburgh relatives including Flavio and Tatjana Mead Chamis.
The annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival, founded in 2004, takes place March 30th, 2019 at the Upper Saint Clair High School Theater hosted by the East Winds Symphonic Band conducted by Susan Sands. The founder, Roger Schneider. who plays euphonium. and the Maestra joined Jim Cunningham in the Bayer Broadcast Center to discuss this year’s event starting at 2pm. There will be a Festival band and four participating bands along with a lively reception with giveaways to wrap the afternoon. The Festival band will be prepared by Christopher Nichter, currently the 14th Director of Bearcat Bands at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, he held for 10 years the position of Assistant Director of Bands and Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. He served the WVU School of Music as the Founder and Director of the Mountaineer Music Academy, Director of the Concert Band.
Members of the Resonance Works production of Bach's St. John Passion stopped by WQED-FM to chat with Anna Singer.
Ingrid Schaffner, Curator of the 57th Carnegie International joins Warhol Museum Curator of Performing Arts Ben Harrison to discuss A Night of Deep Listening featuring Joe McPhee, flutist and McArthur Foundation fellow Claire Chase and Peter Evans for an evening at Carnegie Music Hall Saturday March 23rd as part of the final weekend of the International. They review greatest hits of the International and describe the Dusty Groove exhibit within an exhibit which features art inspired by music and sound with reference to John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and Sun Ra. The concert will include Claire Chase playing Edgard Varese Density 21.5 , improvisation, poetry and music by Paulne Oliveros with her Sounds From Childhood and 13 Changes. Also on the program Lucia Dlugoszewski’s Space is A Diamond. In conversation with Jim Cunningham at WQED-FM.
March 22nd and March 24, Resonance Works Pittsburgh present's Bach's "St. John Passion." Artistic Director Maria Sensi Sellner stopped by WQED-FM to talk about it with Anna Singer.
Pianist James Iman has formed a piano duo with Christin Cooper. She's the associate music director at St. Paul's in Mount Lebanon. Their first concert takes place Sunday, March 17th at 4pm. They’re playing a program of Debussy, Feldman, Beck, and Mompou. The Duo stopped by WQED-FM’s performance studio to speak with Jim Cunningham and to play the Gibson Capital Management Steinway in Debussy’s Six Epigraphes Antiques with the first music in the set -- Pour invoquer Pan , dieu du vert d’ete and the 5th piece in the Pour L’Egyptienne
The Academy Chamber Ensemble presents A Bassoon Runs Through It with Bassoonist Amy Baker joining Warren Davidson as part of the concert series at Central Presbyterian Church, 305 Allegheny Street, Tarentum. The concert begins at 4:00 P.M., and includes music of Mozart, Beethoven, and the Quintet for Contrabassoon and Strings by Willy Hess. A Goodwill Offering will be received, and refreshments will follow the concert. David Rankin, one of the organizers of the series and cellist Paige Riggs have the details for Jim Cunningham.
Pittsburgh Savoyards board members Lynette Garlan and Andy Hickly have the news on the production of The Gondoliers opening March 15 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Carnegie Pa. Lynette plays the violin Andy directs.