A Tempo with Rachel Katz

Saturday at 7 pm

A Tempo is devoted to issues, challenges and opportunities facing the performing arts. In addition to feature interviews with key people making a difference in the arts, the show also includes relevant news headlines from around the globe. 

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Westminster Choir College may be one step closer to having a new owner, as Rider University announced it is set to begin negotiations with an interested “international partner” in its effort to sell the renowned choral institution.

The American Boychoir School, whose choir has performed with major orchestras and pop stars including Beyoncé, is closing its doors after 80 years as declining enrollment hampered its financial recovery.

In a statement posted Tuesday on its website, Rob D’Avanzo, chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, said enrollment for the coming year fell unexpectedly, leaving the school with 19 to 21 students to start the semester in three weeks.

A six-year initiative by the Houston Grand Opera will explore human and universal themes in operas new and old, and this week on A Tempo (Saturday 8/12 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz touches base with the opera company to learn more. She'll speak with HGO's Assistant Artistic Director, Paul Hopper, about the themes that will be covered in the initial years of "Seeking the Human Spirit", plans for new commissions, and community partnerships with hospitals, museums and other organizations to bring members of the broader community along on this operatic journey.

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts recently held its annual meeting, awarding more than $15 million to arts organizations around the state and outlining its plans for the coming year. A Tempo host Rachel Katz will speak with Nicholas Paleologos, executive director of the Arts Council, about the grants, the state of arts organizations and arts education in New Jersey, and the Council's plans as it sets about creating its next strategic plan. Tune in Saturday (8/5) at 7 pm.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz this week interviews Daniel Hsu, the bronze medal winner at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Hsu is a student at the Curtis Institute for Music, which is also the Alma Mater of this year's gold medalist, Yekwon Sunwoo. Hsu will talk about his experience in preparing for and performing during the competition, which is held every four years in Forth Worth, Texas. That's Saturday at 7 pm.

It's a rare opportunity when an emerging composer gets extended rehearsal time with a symphony orchestra to work through a new piece. So the chance to spend a week preparing a new work with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and hearing feedback directly from musicians offered an unusual learning experience for a select group of composers earlier this month. 

After developing its National Youth Orchestra of the USA and NYO2 programs, Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute has announced plans to launch NYO-Jazz next summer. This week on A Tempo (Saturday 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will speak with Douglas Beck, director of artistic training programs, about the new initiative, as well as this year's NYO-USA and NYO2 season, which began with a residency for both orchestras at SUNY-Purchase earlier this month.

Andrea Avery had just begun to entertain the possibility that playing the piano would figure prominently in her career path when, at the age of 12, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

With graduation behind them, many young musicians and performers have begun heading out on their career paths, and this week, A Tempo looks at two books addressing some of the issues these aspiring artists will face. Host Rachel Katz (7/1 at 7 pm) will interview Bernhard Kerres, CEO and founder of Hello Stage and author of Be Your Own Manager:  A Career Handbook for Classical Musicians, and dancer and financial professional David Maurice Sharp, author of The Thriving Artist: Saving and Investing for Performers, Artists and the Stage & Film Industries.

Allison Vulgamore, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, this week announced her plans to step down at the end of December, when her contract expires. During her tenure, she led the orchestra through bankruptcy proceedings and oversaw the expansion of community engagement initiatives, including its HEAR (Health, Education, Access and Research) program. This week on A Tempo (6/24), host Rachel Katz interviews Vulgamore about her legacy and the orchestra's next steps.

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