Podcasts

Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh - "Pratt Plays Beethoven" - Feb 1, 2022

Chamber Music Pittsburgh presents an all Beethoven concert February 5th, 7pm at Rodef Shalom Temple in Levy Hall. Edward Leonard is sharing the podium with Awadagin Pratt who plays and conducts from the keyboard the First Beethoven Piano Concerto. Awadagin joins Executive Director Andrew Swenson and Maestro Leonard plus Jim Cunningham to discuss his early years in Pittsburgh and his work at the University of Cincinnati, the performances he will give of the new Piano Concerto by Jessie Montgomery and the state of people of color in classical music today. Awadagin's dad was a nuclear physicist studying at CMU and his Mom finished a degree at the University of Pittsburgh in social work when he was born. He's played for the Tuesday Musical Club, Chamber Music Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Symphony, still follows the Steelers, and love's his home town even if he can't remember his childhood in East Liberty.

Dr. Cyril Wecht - Jan 28, 2022

It was elements of the CIA who were responsible for the death of President John F. Kennedy says Dr. Cyril Wecht. He has been certain of it since 1964 and says so again with new evidence in two new books - "The JFK Assassination Dissected: An Analysis by Forensic Pathologist Cyril Wecht with Dawna Kaufman" and "The Life and Deaths of Cyril Wecht: Memoirs of America's Most Controversial Forensic Pathologist," written with WQED Producer Jeff Sewald. Dr. Wecht is the retired Allegheny County Coroner and Medical Examiner who served as County Commissioner, holds degrees in law and medicine, taught at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and has presided over 21,000 autopsies and written over twenty books.

In this conversation with Jim Cunningham Dr. Wecht discusses his violins and holding down the concertmaster's chair in the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He admired Jascha Heifetz, Zino Francescatti and the greats who appeared under Fritz Reiner and William Steinberg at the Syria Mosque. He marvels at Beethoven writing the Ninth Symphony while deaf and thinks it may have been lead poisoning that killed Ludwig. 

His criticism of the Warren Commission's findings regarding JFK and the single bullet theory that involved Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin is pointed and backed up with first-hand knowledge including lunch meetings with Oswald's widow Marina. There must have been three shooters he says.

Dr. Wecht is still waiting for the release of documents promised by the Trump and Biden administrations. He knows he ruffled feathers and made enemies along the way, but he had to do it his way.   Dr. Wecht's wife, his children and the memories of his parents are what he holds most dear. Will there be a civil war in America? He thinks not, but he is deeply concerned about the health of the political scene in the country he served as a Navy man. At age 91, he is pleased to speak for those who can not tell tales.

James Lesniak - Pittsburgh Opera's "The Rose Elf" - Jan 20, 2022

Pittsburgh Opera presents David Hertzberg's "The Rose Elf" January 22 through the 30th at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke with the opera's conductor, James Lesniak, about the opera's music.  

Andrew Turner - Pittsburgh Opera's "The Rose Elf" - Jan 20, 2022

Pittsburgh Opera presents David Hertzberg's "The Rose Elf" January 22 through the 30th at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke with Andrew Turner, who sings the role of The Beloved.    

Kaley Karis Smith - Pittsburgh Opera's "The Rose Elf" - Jan 20, 2022

Pittsburgh Opera presents David Hertzberg's "The Rose Elf" January 22 through the 30th at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke with the opera's Stage Direcctor, Kaley Karis Smith, about the meaning of the opera and how she plans to present the opera to the audience.  

Madeline Ehlinger - Pittsburgh Opera's "The Rose Elf" - Jan 20, 2022

Pittsburgh Opera presents David Hertzberg's "The Rose Elf" January 22 through the 30th at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke with Madeline Ehlinger, who sings the role of The Elf. 

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