Classical Music

The Symphonia

When classical musicians are at home, do they go around dressed in their tuxedoes and evening gowns? Do they do nothing except practice their instruments 14 hours a day?

Nope and nope.

Chopin Competition: The 'Super Bowl Of Piano' Comes To Miami Beginning Saturday

Feb 20, 2020
Courtesy of Chopin Foundation of the United States

The repertoire of Frédéric Chopin is widely considered among the most challenging for pianists to tackle. And for nine days, beginning Feb. 22, young hopefuls from across the country will do just that, taking on the works of the great Polish composer for the 10th National Chopin Piano Competition.

The 26 contestants will perform at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium — half on Saturday and the other half on Sunday — for the preliminary sessions. They must be U.S. citizens between 16 and 30 years old.

Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony Unite For 'A Monumental Collaboration'

Jan 29, 2020
Courtesy of Alexander Iziliaev

If only one titan, Atlas, could support the Earth on his shoulders, for two together would even the sky be the limit?

The 20th century experienced just that when choreographer George Balanchine and composer and pianist Igor Stravinsky collaborated in Paris and Washington, D.C., in 1928 on their ground-shifting ballet, “Apollo.” Their artistic partnership shifted the tectonics of both classical dance and music.

Miami Grad Returns To Florida Grand Opera In 'Madama Butterfly'

Jan 17, 2020
Courtesy of Anne M. Peterson

Soprano Sandra Lopez — who is returning to South Florida in the Florida Grand Opera’s “Madama Butterfly” — has a story not many performers can tell.

She was one of the first singers on the second-largest performing arts stage in the United States: the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

In 2006, she had just completed Florida Grand Opera's Young Artists Program, when she was asked to help out at the soon-to-open Arsht, then named the Carnival Center.

Cherylynn Tsushima / Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Think chamber music is only for folks who drink tea with their pinky fingers up?

Balderdash.

New World Symphony is holding its season opener by going “off the wall” in grand fashion.

The concert this coming Saturday, October 12 will mark the symphony’s 100th Wallcast. Eight years ago, the orchestral academy led by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas started its free outdoor simulcasts of live concerts performed inside the New World Center in Miami Beach. Live video from the hall is projected onto the Center's 7,000 square-foot eastern facade and viewed from the adjacent SoundScape Park.

E. Berken

The previously posted story and comments are currently under review by WLRN’s editorial staff.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Like many Venezuelan expats living in South Florida, Kendall resident Paola Berriros still has family and friends suffering under the authoritarian regime of president Nicolás Maduro. She fled Venezuela when the country's humanitarian crisis was brewing 15 years ago. 

Now Berriros' 6-year-old daughter, Karina, has learned to play piano, violin and sing under Musicall - a South Florida non-profit that gives children from all backgrounds access to music education. 

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It's common for many young musicians to join a youth orchestra for a variety of reasons: some join for performance experience that might help snag a scholarship; others for fellowship or for  the sheer love of the music.

But perhaps what's not as common is performing solely for a good cause.

Luke Ballentine / Courtesy

The South Florida Symphony Orchestra's Maestra Sebrina Alfonso is bringing the groundbreaking George Gershwin 1930s opera “Porgy and Bess” to the region for a series of performances.

The opera follows the story of poor African Americans struggling to survive and make money in the fictional neighborhood of Catfish Row in South Carolina. The opera was significant for shining the spotlight on black art in America by featuring an all-black cast.

Frost Chopin Festival Comes to Miami

Jun 22, 2018
Courtesy of Kevin Kenner

University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and the U.S. Chopin Foundation are partnering to organize the first ever Frost Chopin Festival and Academy.

The Frost festival will give 20 pianists a chance to to immerse themselves in the work and legacy of composer Frederic Chopin. Most of the participants are from across the U.S. and some international.

Pianists were selected to  participate in masterclasses with Chopin experts and the week-long event will include public performances and lectures on Chopin's music and personal life.

Siggi Bachmann / New World Symphony

American orchestras are overwhelmingly white. Black and Latino musicians make up less than five percent of orchestra members, according to the Sphinx Organization, which works to increase diversity in the arts.

And the National Alliance for Audition Support—a collaboration between Sphinx, New World Symphony and the League of American Orchestras—wants to change that. 

You've probably heard it hundreds of times, especially in your childhood—that signature ascending glissando ("zoooooOOOOOMMMM!") followed by a full orchestra playing a rollicking, fast-paced calliope-style melody.

The tune "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" was written in 1937 and is perhaps best known as the theme song for Warner Brothers' "Looney Tunes" cartoon series. It's a safe bet that most cartoon aficionados know the melody, but not the title.

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