Video And The Radio Star

Doors are locked, auditoriums are empty, and no tickets have been sold. In the middle of an unprecedented concert hall closure, virtual music making is the only path forward for a while. Virtual choirs are putting forth the image of what they would do in person, while some of Nashville's youngest musicians are making digital connections to senior citizens. Meanwhile, protests continue across the country. Classically Speaking is not going to ignore this moment, but first we wanted to spotlight the voices of two podcasts that feature Black creators. "Overture" to "Trilloquy" Season 2 includes a look at Joel Thompson's "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" plus host Garrett McQueen's description of working just blocks away from Minneapolis protests. Also, "We Can't Breathe...Again" is an episode of Delanie Harris and Katie Brown's podcast "Classically Black."

Erin Hall And The Great Comeback

Go behind the scenes of classical music in Nashville. Musician Colleen Phelps takes you backstage at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for interviews with composers, conductors, and instrumentalists to give you an in-depth look at life in the orchestra. Get closer to the music and musicians behind classical music in Music City.

The Happy Hour Expert, Harpist Kirsten Agresta Copley

One year ago how many of us would have predicted that our spring would be filled with meetings and social calls over video-conference? Even happy hour, the perennial post-work get-together has been transferred, in many cases to Zoom and Google Hangouts. As Classically Speaking continues to document these unprecedented times, it felt like the right moment to consult an expert in happy hours. Harpist Kirsten Agresta Copley is experienced with these situations, and gave her advice for transferring them to the digital world. She, like so many musicians, is looking forward to being with a live audience once again. But she's also been working to translate as much of her work as possible to an online format.

Safe At Home And Making Music

A dispatch from social isolation with musician Matthew Phelps.

Two Horns Take The Stage

While the English horn and the French horn couldn't be much more different as instruments, the Nashville Symphony has given both their time to shine, thanks to the talents of Roger Wiesmeyer and Leslie Norton. Norton answers the audience's most burning questions about the French horn. And Wiesmeyer describes making peace with the oboe and English horn's inherent quirks. Both players do so through the lens of stunning pieces of solo playing from recent seasons.

Jazz In C

Hear something new in this mixtape of performances from Live in Studio C. Classical meets jazz in four very different ways, as local artists bring the crossover. Performances by guitarist Richard Todd, Duo Versal, Avila Joy Strings, and the Tachoir Duo. Music by Frederic Hand, Paulo Olivera, Melanie Alvey, and the Tachoir Duo.

Clara Schumann's 200th Birthday Party, Part 2

To celebrate the bicentennial of one of the most important musicians of the Romantic era, 91Classical held a two-week festival of concerts, broadcasts, and storytelling in her honor. Join Vanderbilt history professor Jim Lovensheimer to learn all about the remarkable life of Clara Schumann in a special two-part episode.

Clara Schumann's 200th Birthday Party, Part 1

To celebrate the bicentennial of one of the most important musicians of the Romantic era, 91Classical held a two-week festival of concerts, broadcasts, and storytelling in her honor. Join Vanderbilt history professor Jim Lovensheimer to learn all about the remarkable life of Clara Schumann in a special two-part episode.

 Stephen Hough And The Seven "Con Fuoco"

On the eve of a performance of Felix Mendelssohn's "Piano Concerto No.1" pianist Stephen Hough finds the fire in the piece – implied by the seven times the composer indicates it should be played "con fuoco" ("with fire"). Hough even describes how the pianist chooses which instrument to play on a givenweekend, anddescribes playing it on Queen Victoria's piano at Royal Albert Hall.

For Rhiannon Giddens, There Is No Other

When Rhiannon Giddens returned to Nashville to accept the Legacy Award from the Americana Association in thefall of 2019she once again spoke with Classically Speaking. This time she gave exclusive insight into her recent album with FrancescoTurrisi"There is no Other," as well as a sneak peek at her upcoming opera about Quran scholar Omar Ibn Said.

Cristina Spinei's Music For Dance

Looped and layered rhythmic lines give Cristina Spinei's music an amazing amount of motion. This is what has put her work in demand with choreographers. For Nashville Public Radio's Podcast Party, Spinei wrote a brand new piece of music, which was choreographed by Nashville Ballet company member Gerald Watson. Hear the full piece, and what drew Cristina to Nashville in the first place. Edited by Anita Bugg. Engineered by Carl Pedersen and Cameron Adkins. Recorded live at Nashville's Children's Theatre. Includes the world premiere of "In Between" by Cristina Spinei, performed by Alicia Enstrom and Sari Reist. Other music includes "Bootleg Sugar Lips" and "Relics" by Cristina Spinei.

The Tearjerkers

Since being used to commemorate the funerals of the likes of FDR, JFK and Albert Einstein, Samuel Barber's famous, lush tearjerker Adagio for Strings has become an unnoficial anthem of communal mourning. But the work has also elicited some very different emotions by appearing in some unexpected places, like an episode of Seinfeld or the floors of a dance club. Take a deep dive into the piece itself.

After Inspiration, Before Notation

For every piece of music that's ever been notated there's a moment, however brief, where the composer has the inspiration, but nothing is yet written down. That's where the conversation begins with TJ Cole. She visited Nashville in 2018 to get to know Intersection and Nashville in Harmony. The two groups had co-commissioned a piece of music on the theme of gender identity. Cole discussed her ideas, and agreed to meet us again when the piece was set to premiere. When she came back? She had something completely different than what she had planned. Mostly due to how inspired she was by individual testimonials from members of Nashville in Harmony.

Hearing Beethoven

As a musicologist, Dr. Robin Wallace has devoted much of his career to studying Beethoven. Then his wife, Barbara, went deaf. In this episode of Classically Speaking, Wallace discusses how Barbara's adjustments to deafness lead him to new insights and inspired his latest book, Hearing Beethoven: A Story of Musical Loss and Discovery. In it, Wallace busts some major Beethoven myths and challenges some of the conventional ways the hearing world thinks about the composer's deafness.

Hannibal Lokumbe and the Sacred Covenant of Music

Hannibal Lokumbe is not caught up in what classical music "should" be. On his visit to Nashville this past winter for a residency with local chamber ensemble Intersection, the main event was a performance of his massive piece Crucifixion/Resurrection: 9 Souls A Traveling. The work is massive and emotional - a large scale choral/orchestral requiem for the Charleston Nine. But Lokumbe also made time for public speaking on the topics of mass incarceration, the spiritual existence of people of color, and the life of Fannie Lou Hamer. When he spent time with 91Classical he spoke a little bit about all of these topics, as well as his history on his family's farm, and how he finds artistic inspiration from his ancestors.

Cheap Trills Live At PodX

Four friends got together and started a band? That's so Nashville. The friends are a violinist, cellist, lute player, and countertenor? Yep. Still very Nashville. When Classically Speaking was invited to produce a live episode recording at national podcasting conference PodX, we wanted to showcase an ensemble that's worked hand in hand with 91Classical since the beginning. Cheap Trills made their debut on Live in Studio C, and even let our audience "name the band" in the fall of 2018. In this episode you'll hear three full pieces of music performed live by the ensemble, including an aria by J.S. Bach, a spiritual, and a tune by Stevie Wonder. All arranged in collaboration among the members of the group. This kind of team work is a great introduction to Nashville's classical music scene.

Ben Folds Is The Rock Star Who Wrote A Concerto

When you've been playing in a rock band for your whole career the way Ben Folds has, getting in front of a huge symphony orchestra feels completely different. In writing his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Folds was composing a piece for the dancers of Nashville Ballet, while at the same time telling hThe concerto was released as part of Folds's album So There, which also includes his collaboration with classical ensemble YMusic. In this video from a CBS broadcast in 2015 you can see the partnership in action. is own story: that of a rock pianist composing a concerto. In this Classically Speaking interview, he compares composition to songwriting, and concerto playing to rock. The concerto was released as part of Folds's album So There, which also includes his collaboration with classical ensemble YMusic. In this video from a CBS broadcast in 2015 you can see the partnership in action.

Heart Is There

For Wu Fei, playing by heart doesn't mean playing from memory. It means improvisation.

Classically Speaking

We're not changing our tune, but we are changing our name.

A Fiddle Has Strings

This Classically Speaking mixtape walks across the fine line between classical music and American folk music.

Roller Coaster In G Minor

Robert Schumann was just 20 years old when he started composing his Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 in 1830. It took him eight years to complete it, and over the course of that time Schumann experienced both major setbacks and tremendous joy – emotions you can feel in the contours of the sonata.

Rhiannon Giddens Hath Her Wish, Hast Thy Will

While thoughts of love, sex and power dominate Nashville Ballet's Lucy Negro Redux, for Rhiannon Giddens the work is about uncovering a hidden part of history.

The Youngest Organist In Methodism

Wilma Jensen, soon to turn age 90, has come a long way since the first mention of her playing in print, calling her "the youngest organist in Methodism." Although, given that she was 11 years old at the time, the author was probably correct.

That Sounds Different

Not every instrument you hear on 91Classical can be found in the orchestra.