Frederic Chopin

Sol Hurok

The Iron Curtain, U-2 and Gary Powers, and culture all came together for pianist Byron Janis in 1960 as a United States cultural ambassador to the Soviet Union. While the US enjoyed pianist Sviatoslav Ritcher performing concerts in America, Janis performed in Moscow and Leningrad in 1960. While it has often been thought that officials and citizens were "bugged" and recorded for espionage, it came as quite a surprise that a concert had been recorded without the artist's knowledge.

Fast forward 48 years, and that historic performance by Byron Janis is now released by the artist himself. WBAA's John Clare spoke to Janis about the concert.

christinaandmichellenaughton.com

Christina and Michelle Naughton have been hailed by the San Francisco Examiner for their “stellar musicianship, technical mastery, and awe-inspiring artistry”. The sisters perform Friday evening in Loeb Playhouse for Purdue Convocations. WBAA's John Clare spoke to them about the concert, about recording, and social media.

Find out more about the concert here. There is a 7pm pre-concert talk by WBAA's John Clare in Stewart 206 that is free and open to the public.

Holger Hage

Jan Lisiecki ("Remember the name." - The Financial Times) just turned 22 years old and has released his fifth recording, Chopin: Works for Piano and Orchestra. You may have seen the young Canadian with Polish roots not long ago with the Indianapolis Symphony, and this latest disc is led by conductor Krzysztof Urbanski!

Lisiecki spoke with Music Director John Clare about the release.

Decca

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor latest release, Homage, features musical tributes. Among these are Felix Mendelssohn and Cesar Franck looking back to Bach; Busoni transcribing Bach’s monumental Chaconne; Frederic Chopin reviving the traditional Barcarolle of Venetian gondoliers; and Franz Lizst’s tribute to Italian folksong, Venezia e Napoli. Finally in the digital release only, Maurice Ravel looks to the baroque for his Tombeau de Couperin.

WBAA's John Clare spoke to Grosvenor about Homage.