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Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone, whether you are just getting interested in classical music for the first time, or if you've been listening to it and loving it all your life. Interviews with great artists, in depth looks at pieces in the repertoire, and both basic and deep dives into every era of music. Classical music is absolutely for everyone, so let's start listening! Note - Seasons 1-5 will be returning over the next year. They have been taken down in order to be ...
 
Recorded in front of a live audience, High Notes is a weekly summer series from the Aspen Music Festival and School, hosted by AMFS President and CEO Alan Fletcher and featuring discussions with the brightest stars and minds of the classical music world. This season on High Notes: violinists Sarah Chang, Augustin Hadelich, and Jennifer Koh; pianists Joyce Yang, Jonathan Biss, and Inon Barnatan; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; composers Robert Levin, Christopher Theofanidis, and Daniel Kellogg; co ...
 
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Within three months of his arrival in New York, Antonin Dvorak was enamored with the sound of American music. Quickly he put forth what was at the time a controversial idea: "In the Negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music..." This inspiration is threaded through almost every note of the New Worl…
 
Forró In The Dark's music is meant to be played under the cover of night. The band is named after forró, a type of Northeastern Brazil dance music. The New York based Brazilian ex-pats give traditional music an update with jazz, rock, psychedelia, folk and charismatic and attentive rhythms. Since their formation in 2002 (beginning as a birthday ent…
 
Olivia Chaney is part of the latest wave of British folk music, although her definition of “folk” is as likely to include Baroque music, Norwegian jazz, and original songs as it is old murder ballads or sea shanties. Chaney plays an assortment of instruments, including guitar and piano, and has a strikingly pure vocal tone. Her debut full-length, T…
 
In Appalachia, a "holler" is a colloquialism for a valley or "hollow." So not only is the band name Quiet Hollers a fun oxymoron, it's also a sly shout-out to the band's roots in Kentucky. The group says it makes "weird, sad music for weirdos like you." But they named one of the standout songs from their 2015 self-titled record "Aviator Shades," wh…
 
Havergal Brian’s ambitious Gothic Symphony has been called many things - massive, ambitious, barbaric, incompetent, insane, moving, brilliant, awful, torture, and much more. It is almost never performed due to the forces it requires and its two hour duration. Today on the show I’ll tell you about the background to this monumental work, and then I’l…
 
Ellen Yin didn’t always love food. As a child in New Jersey, she was more into McDonald’s than her mom’s cooking. But when she did discover the magic of restaurants and the food they served, she was hooked. All through her time at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, she dreamed of owning a restaurant. This was true even after she …
 
Guatemalan-born, Mexico City-based cellist, singer, producer, and songwriter Mabe Fratti creates music using electronics, voice, and cello, and the sounds of nature. Fratti has a mighty array of effects, turning the cello into sound source capable of drone, full feedback squeals, percussive plucky samples, and talks about how she is "addicted to im…
 
With the rise of Wagner, the symphony seemed to be left for dead. But one composer in particular, Anton Bruckner, decided to take the plunge back into the symphonic genre, though he did it with a markedly Wagnerian touch. His most popular symphony? The 7th. We’ll talk about the connection between Wagner and Bruckner throughout the show, but we’ll a…
 
The Brooklyn-based orchestral collective known as The Knights began as an informal gathering of friends to play late night chamber music. Founded by brothers Colin and Eric Jacobsen, the Knights have grown into a variable ensemble that brings the element of surprise back into orchestral concerts. Sometimes that’s in the way they present the music, …
 
Pulling from soul and funk, psychedelic rock and punk, New Orleans brass bands and "Gypsy-reggaeton," Mucca Pazza's repertoire is can be a bit proggy (Yes, Weather Report, Rush) and perhaps hard to march to. Chicago’s “interdisciplinary instrumental music and performance ensemble” – or circus-spectacle alt marching band joins us in-studio. (From th…
 
British quartet Sons of Kemet blends jazz, Afrofuturism, electronic music, hip hop and Caribbean rhythms in their music and is composed of sax/clarinet player and composer Shabaka Hutchings, tuba player Theon Cross, and two drummers - Tom Skinner and Eddie Hick. Their latest album Black to the Future comes packed with urgent social commentary, and …
 
Gabriela Lena Frank is currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and was included in the Washington Post's list of the 35 most significant women composers in history, I've always been a huge fan of Lena Frank's music, and I was so thrilled to talk with her about how she approaches writing, the sense of fanta…
 
The English outfit called Public Service Broadcasting builds its records around archival and documentary sounds, then layering in live drums, guitar, banjo, bass flugelhorn, and electronics. Their 2015 album The Race For Space was full of voices from the Apollo moon missions; and their 2017 album, Every Valley, is built around documentary sounds of…
 
In 1961, a poem appeared by the young poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, entitled Babi Yar. The first line of this poem is: “There are no monuments over Babi Yar.” In September of 1941 at least 33,771 Jews were murdered at the Babi Yar ravine in Ukraine; the largest single massacre of Jews to that point in WWII. Shostakovich, moved by the bravery of Yevtush…
 
On the face of it, Red Baraat is a dhol-driven big band full of brass instruments and drums (both the dhol and drumset keep the groove going), rooted in Bhangra music (Punjabi dance music), who bring a party with them wherever they go. On their l2018 record, Sound the People, they combine the sounds of South Asian diaspora, along with jazz, hip-hop…
 
The Argentine singer/songwriter and brilliant producer of experimental off-kilter folk-tronica, Juana Molina, has a former life as a well-known comic actress. She embraces that playful humor and explores ancient folk legends involving bone on her latest record, Halo. The ever-changing electronic textures feel mysterious, and are full of shadows, bu…
 
Never heard of Tom Wiggins? You're in for a treat with this episode! Tom Wiggins was a fantastic 19th century pianist and composer who was ruthlessly exploited by his owner/guardian on account of his race and his mental condition. He was known as one of the greatest performers of his era and yet was never paid for his work. I sat down with Deirdre …
 
Lute-based and percussion driven, the rugged duo of Cretan lauto player George Xylouris (scion of one of Greece’s most revered musical families) and Australian drummer Jim White (he’s played with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia, Cat Power, and Dirty Three) perform groove-based, improvisatory music that is both grounded in Cretan tra…
 
Composer, pianist, and vocalist Samora Pinderhughes writes urgent, poetic and immersive music that responds to the times and fits neatly into no genre, all while putting his heart right on the table. Samora Pinderhughes plays some of these intimate and revolutionary songs remotely: recent work from his Black Spring EP, along with new work from his …
 
The Bach Chaconne is one of the great masterpieces of Western Classical Music, and today we're going to be diving straight into this monumental work. We'll talk about the legends behind its composition, the work itself, different interpretations of the piece, and its many many arrangements. As Brahms wrote about the piece: “On one stave, for a smal…
 
France-based Cameroonian musician Blick Bassy’s quiet and beautiful songs fall somewhere on the spectrum of blues, folk-soul, and pop, and embody a deep reverence for the traditional music of Cameroon and other parts of Africa. On his latest record, 1958, dedicated to the memory of Ruben Um Nyobé, Felix Moumié and the other heroes of Cameroonian in…
 
Mumbai-born singer, composer, bandleader, and ultra-marathoner Priya Darshini is based in Brooklyn. Her musical studies range from Indian Classical music and ghazals (devotional songs) to jazz, and she has experience in Mumbai indie rock bands and on Bollywood film soundtracks besides. Darshini takes a cross-cultural approach to song for her origin…
 
I had the chance to sit down with virtually with the legendary Wynton Marsalis for a conversation about Jazz, comparing jazz and classical pieces, why so many classical composers writing jazz fail and vice versa, and about his massively ambitious Blues Symphony. About halfway through the show Wynton takes you straight through the first movement of …
 
Brooklyn-based Ellen Kempner (who performs as Palehound) and L.A.-based musician Melina Duterte (who performs as Jay Som), have joined forces as Bachelor – a friendship, not just a band. They play songs from their collaborative debut album, Doomin’ Sun, which combines vivid imagery, adventures in production, and an intimate sense of comfort. On Jun…
 
The cycle is complete! Would it surprise you to find out that Beethoven’s 9th Symphony wasn’t his last piece? Would it surprise you that he was actually considering an all instrumental movement for the last movement? Or how about that the second performance of the piece was given to a half full hall and it took decades for the piece to become popul…
 
When I met Alex Beyer in 2010 at a piano competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we struck up a conversation about his passion for soccer and his dream of becoming a NASA astronaut. Since then, he has gone on to win third prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition, while graduating from the Harvard/New Engl…
 
New York’s own gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have roots in Eastern European folk and Brecht-ian cabaret, along with punk and dub. With a band that usually includes accordion, fiddle, horns, percussion, jangly and electric guitars, Gogol frontman Eugene Hutz leads the turbo-charged “avalanche of rage-turned-joy,” whipping up frenzied crowds all over th…
 
More has been written about the meaning of Beethoven’s 9th than any other symphony. There are more recordings of it, more performances of it, and more uses of its most famous theme, the Ode to Joy, than any other piece. But what is often talked about less than the political and social ramifications of the piece, is the music itself - this shocking,…
 
The singer Ala.Ni has a cosmopolitan background: born in Britain to parents from Granada and now based in Paris. So it perhaps shouldn't be a surprise that her music is varied too. And yet, Ala.Ni’s forthcoming debut album, called You And I, is nothing but surprises. Often sounding like a long lost artifact of the mid-20th century, her striking voi…
 
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have each – in their own separate ways during their separate careers – been reinventing the sound of the banjo. Bela has drawn on jazz, classical, rock, folk, and world music; Abigail is fluent in Mandarin and has used her voice and banjo to draw connections between Chinese and Appalachian music. Together, though, th…
 
In 1812, Beethoven's life was in ruins. He was embroiled in court battles, pining away for his "Immortal Beloved," and profoundly depressed. His musical response is one of his funniest, most charming, and most "classical" symphonies - the 8th. This is an underappreciated work that confused audiences of the time because it sounded almost experimenta…
 
Nashville-based Montreal-born Scottish-Grenadian-Canadian multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, poet, mother, and runner Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago, Our Native Daughters, Po’ Girl) presents her autobiographical record, Outside Child, which sees her breaking the cycles of abuse and violence and celebrating having found her chosen community and c…
 
Megan Moore now tells students she speaks to, that a career doesn’t begin once they’ve won a job, competition, or role - it starts the moment they walk into music school. As an artist faced with the horrors of a once packed schedule disappearing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Megan has thought much about what a career is to her, through her jour…
 
Japanese-born, NYC-based pianist and composer Erika Dohi, is also one half of Contemporary Music Duo RighteousGIRLS. Her new record I, Castorpollux (37d03d) deals with duality, the idea of a “split self”–in works that float between composed and improvised music, as well as Dohi’s exploration of her Japanese-American identity, as well as pondering t…
 
The composer Carl Maria Von Weber called it the work of a madman. Clara Schumann’s father, Friedrich Wieck, called it the work of a drunk. Beethoven’s 7th has been popular ever since its premiere, but as you can see, not everyone loved it. It is a piece that has defied explanations about its meaning ever since its premiere. Today, we’ll discuss thi…
 
Old Sea Brigade is the work of Nashville-based, Georgia-born musician Ben Cramer, who makes atmospheric Nashville-informed indie folk, infused with 80s synthpop and jangly guitars. "Cramer’s feathery vocals dovetail nicely with the guitars’ indie-rock-in-the-aughts sound," and the melodies are enhanced with warm synths and hazy production (John Sch…
 
Beethoven once said: “No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo which man desires to hear.” There's no better example of Beethoven's love of nature than in his 6th symphony, where he takes simplicity to new heights, transforming the motivic cells that relentlessly drove his 5th symphony into mo…
 
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