Local Music

Hear interviews with guests on music programs produced here at WMUK, as well as program news.

C. Lieurance

When she saw the show on Broadway, Denene Mulay Koch thought she had found a role that fit her incredibly well: the character of Francesca was the right age, was also Italian, and the songs were in the right range for her voice. Additionally, it was a chance to work with her husband, actor Jeremy Koch, who was perfect for the role of Robert Kincaid, the photographer who upends Francesca's life while her husband and children are away at the state fair. Francesca's children? They could be played Jason and Carly Koch, the couple's two real-life children. There was one more family member to add to the mix: Kathy Mulay as director. The Bridges of Madison County, a musical adapted from the book by Robert James Waller, which won the 2014 Tony for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, comes to Farmers Alley Theatre on June 8 in the Little Theater on Oakland Drive. Jeremy Koch and Denene Mulay Koch joined Cara Lieurance to talk about this contemporary musical with music by Jason Robert Brown.


jazzandcreative.com

*UPDATE* The concert will now be held in the Dalton Center Multi-Media Room.

Formed last October by director Benje Daneman, the 18-piece Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra will finish its season with a live concert and recording session featuring special guest saxophonist Andrew Rathbun, at 7 pm in Western Michigan University's Dalton Center Multi-Media Room on Wednesday night. Benje Daneman and Ashley Daneman, who co-founded the Jazz & Creative Institute, say their expectations were exceeded with the response to the KYJO, which spawned a second lab band, and attracted students from 12 different schools in the region. Hear the Danemans talk about the first year of the program and their ideas for the future.


Andrew J. Swan

The Kalamazoo Bach Festival will open its 2018 Bach Fest Week on Saturday, June 2 at 8 pm in Chenery Auditorium with two visceral, all-hands-on-deck works for voices and orchestra: William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and Yevhen Stankovych's Requiem For Those Who Died Of Famine. The Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus and Kalamazoo Philharmonia are the first to perform the Requiem outside Europe.

In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Ludwa talks about some of the big attractions of Belshazzar's Feast, and Koehler explains the circumstances that brought his attention to the Requiem, honoring the victims of Holodomor (an artificially engineered famine orchestrated by the Soviet leadership in Ukraine in 1932-33). Koehler learned about the Requiem when he was put in touch with the director of the Ukranian Genocide Famine Foundation. Koehler was "blown away by the raw power, the immediacy of communication" upon hearing it, and agreed to give the Requiem For Those Who Dies Of Famine its first performances in North America.


Hans vander Woerd

In the new Fontana season, jazz, art song, and classical music will fill a season spanning October 28, 2018 - May 11, 2019. Executive director David Baldwin joins Cara Lieurance to discuss each of the 8 concerts in detail. 


Michael Lutch, IMG Artists

Julian Kuerti says he developed his feeling of "what's right" in music as a child listening to his musician parents - concert pianist Anton Kuerti and cellist Kristine Bogyo - rehearse at home in Toronto. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Kuerti talks about some of the reasons he became a conductor over becoming a mathemetician, and how his studies in Berlin helped focus his talent and energy.

Kuerti describes the two big works on the program - Beethoven's "Triple" Concerto and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 - in terms of their history, construction, and special features.


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