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Regular Features
 
Live in Studio 4A
Our showcase for artists invited to perform on the program and talk about their music
The PT 50
Our list of 50 essential classical CDs
Piano Puzzlers
Bruce Adolphe's "name that composer" piano quiz
 
 
 

FEATURE ARCHIVE

Yolanda Kondonassis & Chee-Yun
Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and violinist Chee-Yun perform music of Andres, Saint-SaŽns, and Massenet, live in NPR's Studio 4A.
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Scheherazade
From Carnegie Hall's gala season opener, Valery Gergiev (left) conducts the Kirov Orchestra in Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.
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Horowitz Centennial
PT celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Horowitz, one of the most important pianists of the 20th century.
From the show for Wednesday, October 1
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The Bach Partitas
Pianist Richard Goode (left) makes room on his personal piano bench for host Fred Child for a six-day traversal of the keyboard partitas by J.S. Bach.
From the shows for September 22-26 & 29
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'Obrigado Brazil'
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his "Brazilian music supergroup" spend an hour making music and telling tales in a special PT studio session.
From the show for Monday, September 22
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Zankel Hall
PT Host Fred Child and critic Terry Teachout are on location at Carnegie Hall for the grand opening festivities of its newest concert hall (left), located 40 feet below street level.
From the show for Tuesday, September 16
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As Slow As Possible
Two years ago today, a presentation of John Cage's Organ≤/ASLSP began in a church in Halberstadt, Germany. 637 more years will pass before the end of the performance.
From Friday, September 5
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Fred Child Q&A
How well do you think you know your beloved PT host? Did you know that Fred is an avid pilot of single engine aircrafts? Or that he was in a band that opened for a Grateful Dead concert? Read more of Fred's confessions.
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SummerFest Duos and Trios
Cellist Kristina Cooper (left) joins violinists Adele Anthony and Michael Shih, and violist Ori Kam, in music by Beethoven, Dohnanyi, Bartók and others.
From the show for Friday, August 15
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SummerFest at KPBS
La Jolla SummerFest goes on stage at KPBS in San Diego for a radio and television broadcast featuring a stellar cast that includes guitarist Sharon Isbin and violinist Adele Anthony.
From the show for Thursday, August 14
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East Meets West at La Jolla
Fred Child heads back to the jewel of the Pacific for the chamber music sounds of La Jolla SummerFest.
From the show for Tuesday, August 12
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PT @ Aspen 2003
The intimate and cello-like Harris Concert Hall (left) is the setting for PT's week long visit to the Aspen Music Festival.
From the week of August 4 - 8
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Leon Fleisher at 75
Legendary American pianist Leon Fleisher just celebrated his 75th birthday. PT caught up with him during his series of masterclasses at the Aspen Music Festival.
From the show for Tuesday, July 29
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Rosalyn Tureck 1914-2003
PT pays tribute to the American pianist who was hailed as the "High Priestess of Bach". Tureck died on Thursday, July 17.
From the show for Wednesday, July 23
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Tartini Violin Concertos
Known primarily for his "Devil's Trill" sonata, Italian composer Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) also wrote 135 violin concertos. Critic David Hurwitz has a review of a new Tartini CD.
From the show for Thursday, July 17
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The Making of a Classical CD
Host Fred Child presents a behind-the-scenes look at the making of pianist Lang Lang's new CD with the Chicago Symphony and conductor Daniel Barenboim.
From the show for Tuesday, July 15
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Hudson Shad
Celebrate A Classical Fourth with patriotic songs and American standards from the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad in NPR's Studio 4A.
From the show for Friday, July 4
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Fauré in 4A
Violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Akira Eguchi feed their 'Fauré Fever' in NPR's Studio 4A.
From the show for Friday, June 27
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Perahia Plays Schubert
Music critic Pierre Ruhe reviews pianist Murray Perahia's latest CD of Schubert Piano Sonatas.
From the show for Thursday, June 19
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Shanghai Quartet
Host Fred Child meets the Shanghai Quartet for a private concert in the studios of WCVE, Richmond, to hear Beethoven, Dvorák, and songs from Yunnan Province.
From the show for Tuesday, June 17
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The Trumpet
Thursday's show features a Vivaldi concerto for two trumpets. You may not know that to trace the history of the trumpet, you have to go back at least a few thousand years.
From the show for Thursday, June 12
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O'Riley Plays Radiohead
Classical pianist Christopher O'Riley's new CD, True Love Waits: Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead, was just released on the Sony Classical label. Last year, O'Riley played his atmospheric transcriptions of the art-rock band's music in Studio 4A.
From the show for Tuesday, June 10
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Aram Khachaturian
The Armenian and Soviet composer was born 100 years ago today. He will always be remembered for a noisy little piece you may have heard in cartoons, or accompanying juggling or acrobatic acts.
From the show for Friday, June 6
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Ravel's Bolero
Could French composer Maurice Ravel have been suffering from the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease when he composed his most famous work?
From the show for Tuesday, June 3
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Luciano Berio 1925-2003
Italiano composer Luciano Berio helped create new structures and possibilities for music, while remaining keenly aware of the masters that came before him.
From the show for Thursday, May 29
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Simon Rattles Beethoven
PT announces the three winners of the Beethoven Symphonies Box set and DVD Giveaway contest. From the show for Friday, May 2
PT featured one symphony from the box set each day for ten days (two for the Ninth), introduced by exclusive commentary from Sir Simon.
Note: The box set is available for purchase from the NPR Shop.

Isaac Stern Auction
The estate of Isaac Stern is selling nearly 200 items owned by the late violinist, including everything from violins to a fine Art Deco cigar humidor.
From the show for Tuesday, May 6
  • Tarisio Auctions Web site
  • An article on the Stern auction

  • A Classical Cure for Road Rage?
    One Texas radio station thinks their CD of tranquil music will soothe savage road beasts during rush hour.
    From the show for Friday, May 2
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    Gary Graffman
    Since he suffered an injury to his right hand in 1979, pianist Gary Graffman has focused on finding and playing gems from the repertoire for left hand. Why do some pianists develop right hand problems?
    From the show for Monday, April 28
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  • Browse Graffman's bio

  • Pulitzer for Adams
    On Monday, American composer John Adams received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piece called On the Transmigration of Souls.
    From the show for Tuesday, April 8
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    The Natural Horn
    Featured on today's show, James Sommerville, Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony, gives a demonstration on the natural horn (with WGBH's Brian Bell).
    From the show for Tuesday, April 1
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    Bravo Paavo!
    In an interview with PT Host Fred Child, Cincinnati Symphony Music Director Paavo Järvi reveals that he never conciously planned to conduct a big American orchestra.
    From the show for Monday, March 31
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  • Browse Järvi's Web site

  • Happy Birthday, Byron!
    Host Fred Child talks to the internationally renowned concert pianist on the occasion of his 75th birthday.
    From the show for Monday, March 24
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  • Browse the Byron Janis Web site

  • Oscar Film Scores
    Film critic Royal Brown presents his annual irreverent round-up of Academy Award-nominated film scores.
    From the show for Thursday, March 20
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    Happy Birthday, Marian!
    Beloved jazz legend Marian McPartland, host of Piano Jazz, turns 85 today. She's on the phone with Fred Child to discuss her remarkable career.
    From the show for Thursday, March 20
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    Harnoncourt and the Vienna Phil
    On Tuesday's show, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic give the hometown crowd a taste of their U.S. Tour with Dvorák's "New World" Symphony.
    From the show for Tuesday, March 18
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    Irish Tunes
    Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with artists and music of the Emerald Isle including James Galway and John O'Conor. Plus, Joseph Smith plays "The Last Rose of Summer."
    From the show for Monday, March 17
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    Boston Early Music Festival
    The stellar lineup for this prestigious biennial summer festival in June includes the Tallis Scholars, Ensemble Rebel, and violinist Giuliano Carmignola (left). PT revisits highlights from the 2001 event on Friday's show.
    For the show from Friday, March 14
    Browse the Festival Web site

    Master of the Queen's Music
    The recent death of composer Malcolm Williamson has sparked a debate over whether or not his job as Master of the Queen's Music should be filled again.
    For the show from Wednesday, March 12
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    Daniel Barenboim
    The Chicago Symphony Music Director's relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic goes back to 1969. He was recently in Berlin to conduct Ravel's "Alborada del gracioso", heard on Monday's show.
    From the show for Monday, March 10
    Browse more on Daniel Barenboim

    András Schiff
    On Thursday's show, the Hungarian pianist and conductor battles Beethoven's "Tempest" at the Schwetzingen Festival in Germany.
    For the show from Thursday, March 6
    Browse more on András Schiff

    Mister Rogers
    Fred Child remembers the beloved children's TV host who thought of himself first and foremost as a musician.
    From the show for Friday, February 28
    Listen to the feature
    Browse NPR's 'Mister Rogers: A Remembrance'

    Axelrod Strads
    On Thursday's show, we hear the American String Quartet play on a group of priceless Stradivari instruments known as the "Axelrod Quartet."
    From the show for Thursday, February 24
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    Berlioz Bicentennial
    Should the 19th-century French composer be buried in the hallowed Panthéon of Paris? A heated debate has divided Parisians during this year of celebration.
    From the show for Thursday, February 27
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    King Celebration Chronicles
    Throughout Black History Month, PT presents concert highlights from the past decade of "A King Celebration" broadcasts.
    Feature: "Of New Horizons"
    From the show for Thursday, February 20
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    Sphinx Competition
    25-year-old violinist Bryan Hernandez-Luch took top honors at this year's annual Sphinx Competition for young American Black and Latino string players. From the show for Monday, February 24
    Browse the Sphinx Organization Web site

    Moses Hogan 1957 - 2003
    PT remembers the acclaimed choral conductor, composer and arranger who revitalized the African-American spiritual.
    From the show for Tuesday, February 18
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    "Daphnis and Chloe"
    This Valentine's Day, PT features the Toulouse National Orchestra in a concert performance of the Suite No. 2 from Ravel's pastoral ballet.
    From the show for Friday, February 14
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    "A Lincoln Portrait"
    On Wednesday's show, Fred Child speaks the words of Abraham Lincoln in a U.S. Marine Band performance of Copland's American classic.
    From the show for Wednesday, February 12
    Read the "Lincoln Portrait" text

    Lou Harrison 1917-2003
    The show features music from the American composer and educator, who died Sunday night at 85. Below is an appreciation from PT host Fred Child.
    From the show for Tuesday, February 4
    Listen to the feature

    Schubert in Despair
    When Schubert composed his at times playful "Rosamunde" Quartet, featured in a performance by the Prazak Quartet on Tuesday's show, the composer was in fact despairing of his illness.
    From the show for Tuesday, February 4
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    Steinway Search
    As part of Steinway & Sons' 150th anniversary celebration, the esteemed piano maker is searching for the oldest existing Steinway piano.
    From the show for Wednesday, January 29
    How old is your Steinway?

    In Memoriam: John Browning
    The great American pianist died on Sunday at age 69. On Tuesday's show, we look at his life and music, and revisit his final public appearance as a pianist in Studio 4A. Pianist Van Cliburn also reflects on his old friend.
    From the show for Tuesday, January 28
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    A King Celebration 2003
    From the MLK International Chapel in Atlanta, NPR presents the 11th annual musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with the Atlanta Symphony, and the Glee Clubs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges.
    From the show for Monday, January 20
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    The Atlanta Scene
    Conductor Robert Spano (left) took the reigns of the Atlanta Symphony two years ago. Music critic Pierre Ruhe believes the ASO is "a model of what symphony orchestras can do in the new century."
    From the show for Friday, January 17
    Listen to the feature

    Jon Nakamatsu
    On Tuesday's show, this American pianist joins the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet in a performance of Ludwig Thuille's Sextet for Piano and Winds.
    From the show for Tuesday, January 14
    Learn more about Jon Nakamatsu

    Abravanel 100
    A centennial tribute to Maurice Abravanel, Music Director of the Utah Symphony from 1947 to 1979.
    For the show from Monday, January 6
    Browse the feature

    Arturo Toscanini
    Guest host Lisa Simeone offers a brief audio profile of the great conductor with commentary by JoAnn Falletta conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic.
    From the show for Thursday, December 26
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    Christmas 2002
    PT listens in on holiday concerts in the U.S. and around the world, including the EOS Orchestra with a new English version of Schütz's The Christmas Story, Bach's Christmas Oratorio from the Concerto Copenhagen, and much more.
    From the week of December 23 - 27, 2002

    Beethoven - Strange but True
    Did you know that cows produce more milk when listening to Beethoven? On the 232nd anniversary of Beethoven's birth, PT presents a strange but true Top 5 List.
    From the show for Monday, December 16
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    Pianist Martha Argerich
    On today's show, the beloved virtuoso is featured in a concert performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto from the Lugano Festival.
    From the show for Tuesday, December 10
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    "Gathering Leaves"
    This Thanksgiving, PT offers a poem by Robert Frost for your reading enjoyment.
    From the show for Thursday, November 28
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    Viola Jokes
    At the risk of alienating our loyal Performance Today listeners who love and/or play the viola... From the show for Wednesday, November 27
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    Maxim Vengerov
    The fiery young Russian fiddler makes a rare radio appearance, playing virtuosic violin works by Eugene Ysaye and J.S. Bach, in NPR's Studio 4A.
    From the show for Friday, November 22
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    Renée Fleming
    The soprano's new CD, Bel Canto, showcases her glorious voice and flawless technique. In Part 2 of her interview with Fred Child, she discusses her career challenges.
    From the show for Tuesday, November 19
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    Mariko Anraku
    She came under the spell of the harp as a child, and Mariko Anraku is now a rising star on the instrument in the classical music world.
    From the show for Tuesday, November 12
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    Hugo Alfvén
    This Swedish composer, conductor and violinist also happened to be a talented painter.
    From the show for Thursday, October 31
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    Mikhail Pletnev
    Featured in a performance of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor with the Danish National Symphony, Pletnev enjoys a successful dual career as a pianist and conductor.
    From the show for Tuesday, October 29
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    Debussy and Impressionism
    Claude Debussy's (left) music was often compared to the hazy, atmospheric work of French Impressionist painters. One work in particular was linked to the paintings of Eugène Carrière.
    From the show for Monday, October 28.
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    Simon Rattle
    Last month the British conductor officially took over as head of the Berlin Philharmonic -- arguably the world's best orchestra. Host Fred Child has a brief audio bio.
    From the show for Thursday, October 10.
    Listen to the feature
  • Visit the Berlin Philharmonic's Web site
     

    Daniel Harding
    In some circles, the young English conductor is called the "Maestro of Tomorrow." Our Web feature has a bio, discography, and links.
    From the show for Monday, October 7.
    Browse the feature

    Variations of Glenn Gould
    Critic Tim Page says Gould's "famous eccentricities were a mixture of savvy PR, plain good sense, and just pure Glenn Gould." Some of these quirks may have helped prolong his career.
    From the show for Friday, September 27.
    Browse the feature

    2002 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
    Listen to highlights from this year's competition, including First Place Laureate Barnabas Kelemen.
    From the show for Thursday, September 26.
    Browse the feature

    September 11, 2002
    A collection of e-mail and suggestions of music for solace from PT listeners. Also, selected commentary from our shows for the week.
    From the week of September 9-13.
    Browse the feature

    9/11: Music in Tribute and Remembrance
    PT presents highlights from memorial concerts marking the first anniversary of Sept. 11.
    From the show for Wednesday, September 11.
    Browse the feature

    Sibelius Symphonies
    Critic Michael Steinberg, author of The Symphony: A Listener's Guide, surveys the complete seven symphonies of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.
    From August, 2002.
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