music

Operatic Firsts
1:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Two Leads, Two Deaths In 18 Hours

Kristine Opolais made her Madama Butterfly debut as Cio-Cio-San, only to get a last-minute call to play Mimi in La Boheme.
Marty Sohl Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:29 pm

Over the weekend, soprano Kristine Opolais sang her heart out — and died twice.

Friday evening she had sung the lead in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. It was her debut in that role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was a big deal. Opolais was so excited about it that she stayed up until five the next morning.

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Traveling With Ivory
1:44 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Musicians, Take Note: Your Instrument May Be Contraband

Antique bows were often made with a small piece of ivory that clamps the bow hairs onto the wood.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:29 pm

New Obama administration rules aimed at protecting African elephants are causing widespread anxiety in the music world. From country to classical, working musicians say the policy will make them think twice about touring abroad.

The proposed regulations would place a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.

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Rare Music Scores
11:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

UW Music Library Scores Big With Large Bequest

First edition score by Peter Tchaikovsky from the William Crawford III Rare Music Collection, University of Washington.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

William Crawford had a passion. During his lifetime, he collected rare, first edition vocal musical scores. By the time he died in 2013, he had amassed more than 700 scores by such famous composers as Beethoven, Bach and Wagner. Now those scores have found a home in Seattle.

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American Music
2:19 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

A Man Apart: Terry Teachout On Jazz Giant Duke Ellington

Terry Teachout's book "Duke."

Ross Reynolds talks with Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout about his book, "Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington."

Ellington is regarded as perhaps the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century. The conductor Andre Previn once compared him to Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev.

This interview originally aired on October 16, 2013.

Music Interviews
10:03 am
Thu March 20, 2014

From Preacher To Grass Cutter To Earth-Shaking Soul Singer

St. Paul and The Broken Bones is led by singer Paul Janeway (front).
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:08 am

One of the hottest new bands out of Birmingham, Ala., doesn't sound new at all. On the new album, Half the City, St. Paul and The Broken Bones hits all the marks of a classic Southern soul band, complete with a fiery lead singer. Speaking with NPR's David Greene, bassist Jesse Phillips recalls the first time he experienced the voice of frontman Paul Janeway.

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Mancini Lives!
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

'Swing Years' Theme Song Explained

The most frequently asked question of The Swing Years and Beyond is “What is your theme?”

Played at the top of each Swing Years show, it’s "Royal Blue" from "The Pink Panther" soundtrack. The film came out in 1963 and the album was released in 1964, featuring lounge and lush instrumentals by Henri Pancini … er, Mancini!

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Seattle Symphony Media
9:33 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Seattle Symphony Launches New Venture To Release Own Recordings

The Seattle Symphony performs at Benaroya Hall.
Flickr Photo/kmaschke (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The Seattle Symphony is joining the ranks of other major orchestras across the country with the creation of an in-house production company called Seattle Symphony Media.

The venture launches with the release of three new recordings, one of which was made during a live performance.

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Drunk Driver
8:48 am
Thu March 13, 2014

'Bodies Went Flying' As Car Tore Through Crowd At SXSW

Bystanders rushed to help those who were struck by a vehicle early Thursday on Red River Street in Austin, which was crowded with people headed to South by Southwest events.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:51 pm

This post has been updated. Click here to jump to that news.

Revelry turned to horror early Thursday "after a car plowed through South by Southwest crowds in Downtown Austin," KUT reports.

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Entertainment
10:29 am
Wed March 12, 2014

NPR Music's SXSW 2014 Showcase

St. Vincent
Credit Handout photo
Local Music
4:18 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Seattle Band Ravenna Woods Plays Live At KUOW

(Left to right) Sam Miller, Chris Cunningham, KUOW's Steve Scher, Nicolas Danielson, Matt Badger and Brantley Duke at the KUOW studios. Miller, Cunningham, Badger and Duke are members of the Northwest indie rock band, Ravenna Woods. Danielson is a Seattle-based musician, composer and sound designer.
Credit KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Steve Scher talks with guitarist Chris Cunningham and drummer Matt Badger of the Northwest indie band, Ravenna Woods. The band performed a few songs from its new album, "The Jackals," in the KUOW studios.

Oscar History
2:19 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

How One Winner Changed The Academy Awards

Flickr Photo/Davidlohr Bueso (CC BY-NC-ND)

In anticipation for the Oscars this weekend, Steve Scher sat down with Swing Years host Amanda Wilde to discuss the history of the Best Original Song category.

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Young Love
10:35 am
Thu February 27, 2014

A Belated Valentine From RadioActive

Hosts Sophie Ding and Ann Kane.
Credit KUOW Photo/Jenny Asarnow and Sophie Ding

In honor of Valentine’s Day, RadioActive hosts Ann Kane and Sophie Ding bring you stories of young love. We find out what love means to preschoolers and retired folks, hear what the Greeks had to say about love and enjoy a love poem written to the world. Plus, Nina Tran plays a love song for her wisdom teeth on the banjo.

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Washington's Favorite Band
8:29 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Mapping Differences In America's Musical Tastes, State By State

A map of the U.S. lists the musical acts that set states apart from each other. It's not a matter of an artist's popularity, says Paul Lamere, who made the map, but of a state's distinct preferences.
Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:24 am

Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."

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Television
3:29 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Music From Above: Building A Studio In The Trees

The treehouse at Bear Creek Studio featured on "Treehouse Masters."
Screenshot from Animal Planet video.

If you’re walking outside this weekend in Woodinville, Wash., that’s not just birdsong coming from the trees.

Bear Creek Studio was featured on an episode of Animal Planet’s show Treehouse Masters. The crew from the reality show built a recording space for the music studio 18 feet up in the cedar trees.

The episode airs Friday at 10 p.m. and has brought in a couple of musical guests. CeeLo Green drops in to play and is joined by the treehouse’s Fall City designer Pete Nelson, who takes a turn at the microphone – for better or worse.

Youth Music
2:33 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Local High Schools Headed To National Jazz Competition

Flickr Photo/Arild Nybø (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Matt Wenman, director of Mount Si High School's band program in Snoqualmie, about winning one of 15 spots in Jazz at Lincoln Center's prestigious Essentially Ellington competition. Roosevelt and Garfield high schools are also headed to compete in New York.

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