Classical Music | Nashville Public Radio

Classical Music

Courtesy of Nashville Ballet

This weekend, Nashville Ballet will debut Modern Masters, a new initiative designed to bring the work of the world's finest choreographers to Middle Tennessee audiences. The program includes works by George Balanchine, Jiří Kylián and Christopher Wheeldon— and while these names might be unfamiliar to the ballet novice, Nashville Ballet company member Judson Veach emphasized just how iconic they are in the dance world. 

Nashville Opera

The Nashville Opera's next season draws from three centuries of music making and runs the gamut of operatic storytelling, from fanciful escapism to serious treatment of pressing social issues. Here's a look at what's on offer:

October 4 & 6 La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

Colleen Phelps stopped by this week with selections from the Animal Ambassador Album Project— works for marimba by five different composers, all dedicated to zoo animals born in 2017. The collection, inspired by the likes of Fiona the hippo from Cincinnati and Nashville Zoo's own clouded leopard, Niran, contains both composed works and poetry to which Phelps improvises. 

Kara / Nashville Public Radio

Lipscomb University piano professor Jerome Reed made his first appearance on Live in Studio C in April 1999. On that program, he performed music from Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. 19 years (and many Live in Studio C performances) later, Reed was here this week with a very similar program to the one he first performed nearly two decades ago. 

Tyler Boye / Courtesy of the artist

Over the course of the last six months, Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux estimates he's spent well over 150 practice hours preparing for his debut with the Nashville Symphony this weekend. "This is the most time I've ever spent on any piece of music, ever, in my 25-year career as a performer," Vieaux told us over the phone. "That's how hard it is." 

Wikimedia Commons

On the cover of Black Violin's 2015 album Stereotypes is a violin, shattered and artfully arranged in a new, angular shape. It's a fitting visual for what the duo has been doing together for nearly 15 years: defying expected conventions about what music can sound like, and who can play it. 

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

Last month, Robert Thompson visited the studio as half of Duo Sudeste. This week, he returned as a director to showcase students from the Belmont University Guitar Ensemble. Ranging from freshman to seniors, the students performed music as duets and quartets in a variety of styles across the guitar repertoire. 

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

Flutist Bart Feller is used to traveling the country with his instrument. While his main gigs are playing principal flute with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and teaching at Rutgers University, he spends summers in the desert playing with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and weekends teaching the pre college division at Julliard. 

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

Composer Nicholas Wing gave the world premiere of three works on this week's program, including a piece performed with a violin once played by a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (then known as the Palestine Philharmonic), founded by Bronisław Huberman.

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

When the idea of performing all of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonatas came to Matthew Phelps, Music Minister at West End United Methodist Church, he thought no one would take it seriously. Soon, however, Phelps had a roster of over 20 professional pianists—many of whom are professors at Belmont, Vanderbilt and Lipscomb— lined up to play the entire sonata cycle.