There is a rumor going around that classical music is hoity toity. At Classical Classroom, we beg to differ. Come learn with classical music newbie Dacia Clay and the music experts she invites into the Classical Classroom.
#215: Très Bien! Stéphane Denève Teaches the History of French Music
Conductor and music director Stéphane Denève is busy. He's got at least 4 jobs on 2 continents. But thanks (?) to the pandemic, we caught him sitting still for long enough to teach the ENTIRE HISTORY of French classical music! He starts at the beginning with chant, and goes all the way through to contemporary composers. Learn about pivotal moments in French music history, hear its evolution, and learn what defines it. Oh! And hear him sing up and down the solfege scale so fast it will make you say, "oui!"
#214: The Harp Will Go On with Yolanda Kondonassis
When it comes to the harp, Yolanda Kondonassis is kind of a big deal. She’s literally written the book on the topic. In this episode, she teaches all about the history of the harp, describes the different kinds of harp, its mechanics, its repertoire, and about harp music being written today. She also tells the story of her personal history with the harp and how those first few plucks altered her life FOREVAH!
#213: Orli Shaham Talks Piano (Man)
The piano. A seemingly normal instrument. But where did it come from, and how did it get here? Is it a percussion or a string instrument? Is it safe for young people, or will it influence your child to become interested in (gasp!) music, like it did one Orli Shaham? In this episode, Shaham describes how she was helplessly lured by the piano, as well as how this instrument wound up in peoples' homes. She also talks about its repertoire, and how your child can start playing. Listen at your own peril.
#212: All Together Now with Lisa Bielawa
Composer, producer, and vocalist Lisa Bielawa wants *you* for her project, Broadcast from Home! Each week during the pandemic, Bielawa is creating a "chapter"--a piece of music--based on the written and recorded submissions she gets from people all around the globe about their current experience. In this interview, Lisa teaches about other music made in times of plague, and talks about her crazy-ambitious creative process for Broadcast from Home, as well as how you can be a part of it!
#211: Music for (Sacred) Space with Michael Whalen
Have you ever wondered what the atmosphere of a space sounds like? Well look no further! In this episode, Emmy Award winning film and TV composer Michael Whalen teaches all about the history of ambient music. He talks about its classical music roots, how circuits and tape collages and German composers had a part in its evolution, and how Brian Eno changed everything. He also talks about his own new album of music for sacred spaces.
#210: Derek Bermel on Travels with Bartok
Academy Award-winning composer/clarinetist Derek Bermel travels a lot, soaking up musical traditions. His recent album, Migrations, received a Grammy nomination. In this episode, Bermel teaches about composer Bela Bartok who inspired a piece on the album. Bartok moved from Hungary to NYC during World War II, and while a lot of great music came out of his journey, he was also a stranger in a strange land. Plus, Bermel talks about the migration of his own European Jewish family and how it influenced his work.
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Your ears will thank you for subscribing
What's classical music? What's bel canto? What makes classical, or to quote Leonard Bernstein, precise music so relevant to so many? The answers to all those questions you've never dared to ask are in the Classical Classroom. Dacia, the "ingénue" librarian at Classical 91.7 of Houston Public Media, has a way of making your ears smarter with her pointed questions and clever listening. Her guests, who are incredibly musical beings, are also brilliant. Listening to this podcast will remind all music lovers that classical music is popular music. Like the best popular music, classical music is all about pleasure and fun! And so is Dacia's Classical Classroom. So if you haven't already subscribed, do it now. And your ears will thank you forever.
Great podcast for all levels
I've been a classical musician for 20 years since I picked up a French horn in middle school, and though I'm not a professional I regularly play with a handful of amateur orchestras here in London. I have a love and understanding of classical music and this podcast is amazing in that it is aimed at novices but is full of interesting facts and insights into pieces I love (and have played multiple times) that I never would have known otherwise. Quickly becoming my favorite podcast.
Exactly what I was looking for!
I too know very little about this genre but have really wanted to for so long. I just had no idea where to start. This is perfect. Great production values. Laid back atmosphere and really interesting.