new release

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.

We're for sure you're going to love this new release! 

Pianist Lara Downes celebrates Leonard Bernstein with her new album For Lenny that includes "special friends and family tribute to the man behind the music." Lara has quite a diverse group of artists: beatboxer and Pentatonix member Kevin “K.O.” Olusola, folk/roots singer Rhiannon Giddens, baritone Thomas Hampson, and clarinetist Javier Morales-Martinez.

WBAA's John Clare spoke to Downes about the new release, and how she put together the music and the musicians.

Josef Karl/Greg Firlotte

People throughout the world are familiar with and treasure Ludwig van Beethoven's Nine Symphonies. We'll feature not one, but TWO new sets of Beethoven’s symphonies: Peter Stangel with the Pocket Philharmonic AND Anima Eterna with conductor Jos Van Immerseel.

What's New: Avner Dorman

Feb 27, 2018

A native of Israel, Avner Dorman has collected a number of international awards throughout his distinguished career. He is a respected educator, conductor and composer. Over the last several years, Dorman’s compositions have been performed by the New York, Los Angeles, and Munich Philharmonics. We’ll hear music and new releases from composer Avner Dorman on today’s What’s New.

What's New: Elena Ruehr

Feb 20, 2018
Christian Steiner

Her work has been described as “sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies” by The New York Times, and “unspeakably gorgeous” by Gramophone! Composer Elena Ruehr is known for her lyrical and rhythmically vibrant music.  Her music "has an organic, breathing flow, derived from its origin in the movement of the body and the vitality of the natural world; her melodies often incorporate details and figurations of improvised performance, sometimes with exotic touches." Elena says her music that “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.”

We’ll hear chamber music from MIT composer Elena Ruehr on today’s What’s New.

A smackdown is a bitter contest or confrontation, often associated with wrestling – not chamber music! But there’s an annual competition in Austin, Texas that pits string quartet versus string quartet for one night only.

We’ll hear two evening length quartets in a new release smackdown of sorts – Michael Hersch versus John Luther Adams with two incredible groups, the FLUX and JACK Quartets on today’s What’s New.

What's New: Jake Heggie

Jan 30, 2018
Karen Almond, The Dallas Opera

Adam Sandler fans know one of his characters, Opera Man who debuted in April 1992. He sang silly lines, and over the next two years appeared in Saturday Night Live newscasts, and even in a stand alone sketch. We’ll hear someone who could easily be called Opera Man in real life, not because of made up arias, but his incredible output of operas, composer Jake Heggie on today’s What’s New.

Kousaku Nakagawa

You might have the world on a string according to Harold Arlen, or the world could be your oyster, as Shakespeare wrote in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Composer Gustav Mahler said "A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything." We’ll hear symphonies that contain everything, including a wonderful new release of the Symphony of a Thousand by Gustav Mahler on today’s What’s New.

What's New: John Adams

Jan 17, 2018
Lambert Orkis

About sixty miles and a few hundred years separate John Adams, president, and John Adams, composer. We’ll focus on John Coolidge Adams, Pulitzer Prize winning composer from Worcester, Massachusetts. During the 2016/2017 season, Adams served as their composer in residence for the Berlin Philharmonic. The orchestra performed well-known works and new discoveries – which are now available in an exclusive edition on CD and Blu-ray.

It's a new winter and Christmas-inspired album on Decca Classics that has music for choir, piano and strings, with performances by the Choir of Royal Holloway, 12 Ensemble and composer/pianist Ola Gjeilo. WBAA's John Clare spoke with Gjeilo about Winter Songs.