Classical Classroom There's a rumor going around that classical music is hoity toity. At Classical Classroom, we beg to differ. Come learn with classical music newbie Dacia Clay and the music experts she invites into the Classical Classroom. This podcast is produced in partnership with Classical KING FM.
Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom

From Houston Public Media News 88.7

There's a rumor going around that classical music is hoity toity. At Classical Classroom, we beg to differ. Come learn with classical music newbie Dacia Clay and the music experts she invites into the Classical Classroom. This podcast is produced in partnership with Classical KING FM.

Most Recent Episodes

Classical Classroom, Episode 219: Arranged and Deranged with Joe Burgstaller

Joe Burgstaller may seem like a perfectly normal guy who just happens to have been playing trumpet since he emerged from the womb. But do not be fooled, dear listener. Something is clearly amiss. (See: Joe's music videos, particularly the video we talk about in this episode which took 26 trips through a car wash to get juuust right.) Perhaps it's all of the lip pursing. Or maybe there's something in the brass? Whatever it is has given him a case of hyper-creativity. In this episode, Joe teaches all about arranging music--a creative feat that requires you to commune with dead composers across time.

Classical Classroom, Episode 219: Arranged and Deranged with Joe Burgstaller

Classical Classroom, Episode 218: Peter Dugan on the Magic of Collaboration

When pianist Peter Dugan performed on NPR's From the Top at the age of 18, he had no idea that he would one day host the show. In this episode, Peter talks about how he came to be at the helm of a show that's been going for 25 years juuust before a pandemic began. He also teaches us about love, the magic the binds the molecules of music together. And he illustrates how collaborations between musicians have created that magic throughout history, and on From the Top, even in a global pandemic.

Classical Classroom, Episode 218: Peter Dugan on the Magic of Collaboration

Classical Classroom, Episode 217: A Brassy, Classy, Yuletide Concert

Ginger Turner is--excuse us--a brassy broad. She was in the Army and the US Army's Field Band for 27 years. So when it came time to put on the annual Holiday Brass Concert for the International Women's Brass Conference (IWBC) during the pandemic, she did not shrink away from the challenge. She leaned right into it. And what resulted was pure, live, holiday magic. Learn about Ginger, the IWBC, and the feats of strength it took to put on a beautiful Christmas concert *safely* during COVID. And how you can watch it!

Classical Classroom, Episode 216: Merry Melodica Men-mas!

We hope that yule enjoy this holiday-ish show with Tristan Clarke, one half of YouTube sensation, the Melodica Men. In this episode, learn how two Juilliard- and Peabody-trained brass musicians took a detour from their traditional classical music work to play toy instruments on street corners, how they blew up the internet with an 89-second version of "The Rite of Spring," and why they are completely mesmerizing to watch. Also, learn how they distilled "The Nutcracker Suite" down to around 2 minutes of pure Christmas magic.

Classical Classroom, Episode 215: Très Bien! Stéphane Denève Teaches the History of French Music

Conductor and music director Stéphane Denève is a busy guy. He's got at least four jobs on two different continents. But thanks (?) to the pandemic, we caught him sitting still for long enough to teach us the ENTIRE HISTORY of French classical music! He starts at the very beginning with chant, and goes all the way through to contemporary composers. Learn about the pivotal moments in French music history, hear its evolution in musical examples, and learn what defines it--all from one of its biggest fans. Oh! And hear him sing up and down the solfege scale so fast it will make you say, "oui!" (Seriously. It's unreal.)

Classical Classroom, Episode 215: Très Bien! Stéphane Denève Teaches the History of French Music

Classical Classroom, Episode 214: The Harp Will Go On with Yolanda Kondonassis

When it comes to the harp, Yolanda Kondonassis is kind of a big deal. She's literally written the book on the topic. In this episode, she teaches all about the history of the harp, describes the different kinds of harp, its mechanics, its repertoire, and about harp music being written today. She also tells the story of her personal history with the harp and how those first few plucks altered her life FOREVAH!

Classical Classroom, Episode 214: The Harp Will Go On with Yolanda Kondonassis

Classical Classroom, Episode 213: Orli Shaham Talks Piano (Man)

The piano. A seemingly normal instrument. But where did it come from, and how did it get here? Is it a percussion or a string instrument? Is it safe for young people, or will it influence your child to become interested in (gasp!) music, like it did one Orli Shaham? In this episode, Shaham describes how she was helplessly lured by the piano, as well as how this instrument wound up in peoples' homes. She also talks about its repertoire, and how your child can start playing. Listen at your own peril.

Classical Classroom, Episode 212: All Together Now with Lisa Bielawa

Composer, producer, and vocalist Lisa Bielawa wants you for her project, Broadcast from Home! She's often incorporated community-making and experimental elements into her compositional work, but this project is next level: each week during the pandemic, Bielawa is creating a "chapter"--a piece of music--based on the written and recorded submissions she gets from people all around the globe about their current experience. In this interview, Lisa teaches about other music made in times of plague, and talks about her crazy-ambitious creative process for Broadcast from Home, as well as how you can be a part of it!

Classical Classroom, Episode 211: Music for (Sacred) Space with Michael Whalen

Have you ever wondered what the atmosphere of a space sounds like? Well look no further! In this episode, Emmy Award winning film and TV composer Michael Whalen teaches all about the history of ambient music. He talks about its classical music roots, how circuits and tape collages and German composers had a part in its evolution, and how Brian Eno changed everything. He also talks about his own new album of music for sacred spaces.

Classical Classroom, Episode 211: Music for (Sacred) Space with Michael Whalen

Classical Classroom, Episode 210: Derek Bermel on Travels with Bartok

Academy Award-winning composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel does a lot of traveling, soaking up the musical traditions as he goes. His recent album, Migrations, received a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category. In this episode, Bermel teaches about composer Bela Bartok who inspired one of the pieces on the album. Bartok moved from his native Hungary to New York City at the outset of World War II, and while a lot of great music came out of his journey, his is also a really human story about being a stranger in a strange land. Bermel also talks about the migration of his own European Jewish family and how it influenced his work.

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