91Classical | Nashville Public Radio


Candace Di Carlo

It’s not often the viola gets the spotlight. The alto voice in the string family is most often used to provide harmonic underpinnings and rhythmic structure while other instruments get the showy, hummable passages. But Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon maintains the viola is a virtuosic instrument in its own right that deserves to be heard front and center.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

This week, we welcomed back a longtime friend and met a new one as cellist Felix Wang returned to Live in Studio C with one of the newest faculty members at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music, pianist Heather Conner. The pair will perform a concert on March 26 in Blair's Turner Recital Hall.

Chris Lee

Joshua Bell is a very busy man. The violinist plays roughly 100 dates a year as a visiting soloist with orchestras around the world. But increasingly, he’s finding a home on the road in the other 30 to 40 concerts he performs with a venerable British chamber orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.


One of Nashville’s newest performing ensembles is redefining the pops concert. Promotional materials for chatterbird’s Thursday night show prompt audience members to bring sheep noisemakers (if you happen to have such a thing) and references New Wave keyboards, improvisational pygmy singing and Wendy Carlos.

Reed Hummel / Nashville Opera

A pair of time-tested audience favorites, Don Giovanni and Carmen, will anchor the Nashville Opera’s 2015-16 season. But between the mainstage bookends of Mozart and Bizet, the other half of the season is made up of the kind of newer works that are putting the company on the national map.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

After more than four decades on the faculty at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music, guitarist John Johns is retiring. He'll give his last recital as a teaching musician at 8pm this Thursday in Ingram Hall. But first, he returned to Studio C (by the way, he was our very first guest artist back in 1998) and gave us the chance to hear a selection of works on the program.

Featured Album: Bach

Feb 29, 2016

This week, Classical 91.1 is featuring a new album by Nashville oboist Jared Hauser. Hauser is on the faculty of Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music, and other Blair musicians join him on Bach. The album is an exploration of how three composers in the Bach family influenced each other even as they embodied major evolutions in musical style.

Passing Down A Legacy

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Johannes Brahms published three sonatas for the pairing of piano and violin, and next Tuesday Carolyn Huebl and Mark Wait will play them all in an 8pm concert at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music. They've brought one for a live performance in Studio C, marked by conversational passages between the two instruments.

Nashville Children's Theatre

The man who led the Nashville Children’s Theater for the last three decades has died. Scot Copeland passed away suddenly overnight.

As a teen, Copeland co-founded a children’s theater in a small Alabama town. He went on to devote his entire career to producing plays for young audiences, saying he enjoyed how willing children were to follow along with all kinds of stories. At the Nashville Children’s Theater, he built a reputation for staging immersive shows that introduced kids to fanciful worlds, historical events, and great works of youth literature.

Thistle Farms

Before she was a sex trafficking victim, Donna Dozier loved to sing. Now that she’s come out on the other side of prostitution and addiction, the Nashville woman is using her voice once again.

On Tuesday night, Dozier will narrate the world premiere of a cantata based on the women of Thistle Farms, the Nashville-based recovery program that helped her find stable ground. The music was commissioned by Abingdon House publishers as a companion piece to a book by Thistle Farms graduates, called Find Your Way Home.