Classical Music

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

When Merlin Oehrke walked into that diner last summer, he couldn't have guessed that his lunch would come with a side order of answered prayers.

The 89-year-old retired musician still doesn't know why he ended up in that particular diner – it wasn't one he normally went to. He sat down at the counter and spotted a teenage boy and middle-aged man nearby, going over some sheet music – his kind of music.

“A violin score. It looked like a violin concerto," he says. "I said, 'Lord, I think this is the person.'"

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.

WLRN Education reporter Jessica Bakeman spent time talking to black students at Miami Country Day School, a private institution with a predominantly white student body. According to the students, racism presents itself in many ways.

Bakeman reports on Sundial:

Palmbeachschools.org

Guests for Sundial Tuesday, May 1, 2018:

Dr. Donald Fennoy took over as the Palm Beach County School District's new superintendent this past March. He is the youngest superintendent in Palm Beach County history and is also the first African-American to hold the position. He joined the program to discuss teacher pay, school safety and his plans for the future of 11th largest school district in the country.

Yo-Yo Ma
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A program from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts called Arts Across America came to Fort Lauderdale Sunday to sponsor master cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a community discussion about the power of art.  

"Billy B"

"It is no longer proper."

With those five words, Leopold Mozart put an end to his daughter's music career.

The current owners of the Marlin’s are clearing  house. Notable examples include slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Mr. Marlin himself, Jeff Conine. Reportedly, Derek Jeter has also expressed interest in removing Homer,  the moving monument designed by Red Grooms and set off when a Marlin hits a home run.

Jeter’s hands are tied when it comes to dispatching the colorful structure.

Homer belongs to the taxpayers and it is owned by Miami-Dade County. The structure cost around $2.45 million  to complete and 75 percent of the funding came directly from taxpayers.

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