Interviews

NJSO

A Tempo this week (7/14 at 7 pm) visits with the four young composers participating in this year's New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, held this past week on the campus of Princeton University.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the performing arts organizations located in the city's deluged arts district faced some difficult challenges as they sought to keep their planned seasons intact. This Saturday on A Tempo (7/7 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz checks in with the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera about how the hurricane impacted their plans, and how these organizations rebounded and worked around the challenges thrown at them throughout the season.

Rider University this past week announced that it had signed a purchase and sale agreement to sell Westminster Choir College to a group of three entities affiliated with Beijing-based Kaiwen Education. This Saturday (6/23 at 7 pm) A Tempo looks at what the new agreement adds to ongoing discussions over the possible sale of the school and its future. Westminster this week was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. 

Fred Stucker

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announced Sunday that Music Director Xian Zhang has extended her contract by four years, which will enable her to lead the Newark, NJ-based orchestra through its 100th anniversary and beyond. This Saturday on A Tempo (6/16 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will speak with Zhang about her decision to commit through the 2023-2024 season, as well as with NJSO President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst. The program will also feature a conversation with José Luis Dominguez, who was named Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras.

McDowell Colony

Dan Moses Schreier has spent more than three decades crafting the soundscapes of plays and musicals, including the current revival of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh," for which he received his fifth Tony Nomination.  This Saturday (6/2 at 7 pm) A Tempo host Rachel Katz interviews Schreier about how he goes about creating the aural atmosphere of a stage production and how advances in technology have created new challenges and opportunities over the years. 

 

David Swanson

A Tempo wraps up its commencement series this Saturday (5/19 at 7 pm) with a conversation with Joseph W. Polisi, who is stepping down this year after 34 years as President of The Juilliard School. The Curtis Institute of Music presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of his extraordinary influence on the lives and development of actors, dancers, and musicians as performers, creators, and artist-citizens," and he was invited to deliver the Commencement address.

The 2018 New York Opera Fest gets underway May 1, and this Saturday (4/28) A Tempo offers a preview of its diverse productions and offerings - ranging from fully staged productions to immersive events in smaller venues to a downloadable podcast. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Peter Szep, co-founder and chair of the festival, about highlights and how the New York opera scene is expanding and evolving. Tune in Saturday at 7 pm. 

As the orchestral world strives for greater diversity among musicians, a variety of programs to support musicians of color, who face multiple challenges on their path to an orchestral seat, have been explored. Recently, three organizations that have been tackling some of these issues - The Sphinx Organization, The League of American Orchestras and the New World Symphony - have brought their expertise and experience together, joining in a partnership to launch the National Alliance for Audition Support.

Mark Garvin

When the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania opened in 1971, its goal was to serve the diverse and changing audiences of Philadelphia and the region. Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits, who took the helm in September 2016, has kept that mission front and center in planning the center's programming.

Penn Libraries

The voice of Marian Anderson resonates not just with beauty, but also with a proud and historic legacy. She made history as the first African American woman to sing a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955, and about 16 years earlier, a refusal by the Daughters of the American Revolution to allow her to perform before an integrated audience at Constitution Hall in Washington DC led to an outdoor concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, supported by then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Heinz Weissenstein / Whitestone Photos

Tanglewood, home to one of the most iconic U.S. summer music festivals, is undergoing an expansion project that will add new performance, rehearsal and educational venues and enhance the landscaping on its bucolic campus. This Saturday, A Tempo (3/31) explores some of these plans, as well as this summer's tribute to Leonard Bernstein, with Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The program can be heard at 7 pm. 

Opera Philadelphia

With the successful launch of its new Fall festival format under with its belt, Opera Philadelphia this week announced its plans for its O18 Festival. The festival will run September 20-30, 2018, bringing two world premieres, two new productions and some other treats to opera audiences at a variety of venues.

Actor, author and theater director Simon Callow discovered a whole new side to composer Richard Wagner when he was asked to create a stage show to celebrate the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth in 2013, and now Callow has turned his discoveries into a book, Being Wagner, which was just released in the U.S.  This Saturday (3/17), A Tempo host Rachel Katz chats with Callow about his thoughts on this musical giant, including how his darker side, including his seemingly obsessive focus on anti-Semitism, has colored the way his music has been, and should be, received.

A Tempo this Saturday (3/10 at 7 pm) features an interview with Marshall Onofrio, Dean of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts, about Rider’s plans to sell Westminster Choir College to Beijing-based Kaiwen Education Technology Co. Host Rachel Katz will also speak with Constance Fee, a member of the Westminster Alumni Council, about hopes and concerns about the plans. 

As part of its Festival devoted to the cultural and social legacy of the 1960s, Carnegie Hall will celebrate the art of the protest song in an upcoming concert that will feature both protest songs of that era and contemporary songs that explore some of today's campaigns for social justice. 

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