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  • Sir Thomas Beecham had flair, on and off the podium. His considerable experience in opera gave him a remarkable sense of proportion, pacing and – in the best sense of the word – theatricality. That made Beecham performances anything but routine. In this show, we will hear two live Beecham performances with the Royal Philharmonic, including a thrilling Brahms Symphony No. 2. Wagner’s Rienzi Overture provides the ideal first course.
  • British conductor and impresario Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) was one of the world’s greatest conductors. He brought music to life in ways that very few conductors could. Adored by the musicians who played for him and by his audiences, he pretended in interviews that he was very casual but, in fact, he was intensely devoted to music. In this first program, we’ll hear some of his specialties with music by Berlioz, Delius, Gounod, Massenet and Handel.
  • This week, we'll hear "incomplete" masterpieces and a living, breathing modern work: Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, Mozart's Requiem and excerpts from Michael Gandolfi's musical trek through "The Garden of Cosmic Speculation."
  • German composer Richard Strauss wrote a wide range of music, some charming and some shocking. We’ll hear examples of both in this week’s show with a showpiece for organ and orchestra, two diverse works for winds, an homage to his hometown of Munich, and finally a dramatic scene that’s been described as the most appalling moment in all of opera. It’s one peek into the world of music Strauss composed in his long career.
  • The viola takes center stage this week as Kansas City Symphony violist Jenifer Houck shares her perspectives on Mozart and Wagner. Plus guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto leads Prokofiev's 5th Symphony and Pinchas Zukerman makes the viola sing as soloist and conductor for Hindemith's Trauermusik.
  • Kansas City "Alternative String Duo" The Wires speaks with Classical KC about creating and performing their original music, finding ways to connect with students and audiences, and their personal and musical bond.
  • Richard Strauss was one of the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th century with incredible tone poems that eclipsed those of the great Franz Liszt. Also a major conductor of operas, Strauss knew how to tell a story, and in 1915 he completed his most epic tone poem, his Alpine Symphony. It’s a glorious and cinematic work that doesn’t often get radio airplay, so we will enjoy it in one of the finest recordings ever.
  • Co-host Dan Margolies selects American music from Steven Stucky, John Corigliano, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and Samuel Barber, with whom he has an interesting connection. Plus, we'll enjoy some surprises from Michael Stern and Soloist Joyce DiDonato.
  • Guest host Robert McNichols Jr. speaks with pianist and composer Evangelos Spanos about growing up in Larissa, Greece, his versatility and compositional style, and some Greek composers we need to know about.
  • This week we have a program of orchestral rhapsodies–exciting showpieces by Rachmaninoff, Enesco, Delius, and Liszt. Our first rhapsody features the piano and the final one was originally composed for piano, later being adapted for orchestra. Chances are you’ll hear music that sounds very familiar, and we have dynamic performances full of folk rhythms and real excitement.
  • One of the most iconic and popular works of all classical repertoire is Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. But it’s not the only music inspired by the seasons of the year. English composer Frederick Delius wrote the hauntingly beautiful “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” and we’ll hear a remarkable performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons incorporating the original sonnets written to accompany each of the four concerti, read masterfully by Sir Patrick Stewart. Combined, it’s a remarkable musical experience.
  • Steve Lewis and Kathryn Hilger from Kansas City's Midwest Chamber Ensemble visit with Classical KC.