Classical Music | Nashville Public Radio

Classical Music

Violinist Alicia Enstrom brings brand new sounds that combine the instrument with her voice and varied electronics. Alicia is currently one of ten finalists in The Ear - a New York based competition for composers of new music. She is also the Artistic Director of Alias Chamber Ensemble.

Quasi-baroque ensemble Cheap Trills is a first for Studio C: an ensemble named by our listeners. Countertenor Patrick Dailey, lutenist Francis Perry, violinist Zeneba Bowers, and cellist Matt Walker brought us music from the baroque period and beyond.

Sally Bebawy / Nashville Symphony

Parents snapped cell phone photos and looked on with pride as the beaming new class of Nashville Symphony's Accelerando program was introduced at the Schermerhorn last week. This class marks the program's third year of preparing gifted young students for careers in classical music through mentoring, performance opportunities and private lessons with Nashville Symphony musicians. 


Guitarist Richard Todd brings us music from Brazil, Spain, Cuba and Brooklyn. Todd teaches guitar at Tennessee State University and the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. He also curates the Middle Tennessee Guitar Alliance's Virtuoso Series, with concerts at Blair. 

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

Unless you’re keeping a close eye on a calendar of bizarre, fringe holidays, you probably aren’t aware that today is Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day. We here at 91Classical love a holiday, and we certainly aren’t going to miss celebrating one all about musical instruments. Join in the festivities and boost your awareness of unusual instruments with this collection of musical oddities that you definitely won't hear every day.

attributed to Pietro Paolini / Wikimedia Commons

For more than 200 years, the musical term "sonata" has essentially meant an instrumental solo piece, generally following a specific pattern of movements. The featured instrument might be accompanied by a piano, but the spotlight is definitely on just one player.

However, when the term first came into use it simply meant there weren't any singers involved. In the Baroque era, composers attached the sonata title to a range of compositions for small groups of musicians.

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio


Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck has made the banjo feel equally at home with the orchestra and string quartet. His work in bluegrass, jazz, rock, world and classical music has left him nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history. He brought a blend of new and old music to Studio C.

Wikimedia Commons

Each weekday on 91Classical we celebrate the end of the workday with a 5 o'clock waltz, and often our selection comes from a member of the Strauss family. Together, the composers in the family were largely responsible for the popularization of the waltz, which swept through Vienna's ballrooms beginning in the late 18th century. They're also known for composing a number of polkas, marches and other orchestral music. 

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

As a musician, flutist Jessica Dunnavant wears many hats. In addition to teaching, editing and performing in a number of local ensembles, she's well-versed in the vast body of flute repertoire. This week she brought a thoughtful collection of solo flute music spanning eras, styles and cultural influences, including a work composed by one of her own teachers, Charles DeLaney. 

Wikimedia Commons

Chances are, you've heard one. From the pages of J.S. Bach's preludes and fugues, to circus big tops and churches on Sunday mornings, the pipe organ's distinct timbre has served as the soundtrack to a wide variety of cultural activities and rituals.

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