Local Music

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

Flickr user Ain't Looking For Nothing. All Creative Commons.

Each year, the Stulberg International String Competition receives applications from hundreds of violinists, violists, cellists and bassists, all age 19 and under. These applications are reviewed and narrowed down to just 12 finalists, who travel from all corners of the continent to perform not only for prizes, but for the experience and the opportunity to meet other top players of their generation. In these interviews, you'll hear nine of the talented young musicians talk about their backgrounds and the music they've prepared to play in front of the public and judges Paul Coletti, Emilio Colón, and Jennifer Frautschi on Saturday, May 18.

Semifinals run on the half-hour between 9 am and 4 pm, and are free to attend. The six finalists chosen from the field of 12 will perform in the Finals Concert at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, after which the awards will be announced. The Stulberg judges teach masterclasses the following day, and are open to the public.


J.B. Millot

Violinist Corey Cerovsek will perform the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Bela Bartok in the season-ending concert by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra on Friday, May 17 at 8 pm in Miller Auditorium. A nomadic musician from Vancouver, British Columbia who began performing professionally as a child, Cerovsek also maintains an equal interest in mathematics, and recently launched a start-up company in the field of medical technology. For this concert, Cerovsek was up to the challenge of re-learning the Bartok concerto, a piece he has performed 20 years before, in a short period of time as a replacement for the scheduled soloist. 

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will also perform Stravinsky's 1913 ballet The Rite of Spring. It's a work that completely transformed orchestral playing, according to assistant conductor Daniel Brier. He points to the fact that the original performance required 17 orchestral rehearsals to learn the piece, and today, orchestras routinely learn it in four. As for conductors, Brier says that anyone who masters the Rite of Spring will find conducting nearly any other work a little easier.


Katherine Lane

Jazz pianist and composer Nicholas Olynciw (OH-lin-shoo) recently completed his master's degree in jazz performance at Western Michigan University, where he studied with Matthew FriesJazz Currents host Keith Hall visits with Olynciw in the Takeda studio at WMUK, where they talked about his Long Island, Texas, and Michigan connections, and Olynciw plays several new solo works:  "New Blues," "Associated," "Thermos," "Re-Pete," and "Dream Dancing."


Marco Borggreve

Kirill Gerstein will perform on the Gilmore Keyboard Festival's Piano Masters Series on Tuesday, May 7 at 8 pm in Chenery Auditorium. In a wide-ranging musical conversation with Cara Lieurance, Gerstein discusses the many-sided life of Franz Liszt, the legacy of Beethoven, rare works of Debussy and the Gilmore premiere of Thomas Adès' Berceuse from The Exterminating Angel, which the composer adapted from his new opera for Gerstein. 

Gerstein says the Gilmore Keyboard Festival is a special event for the pianists themselves, who rarely have time to meet and socialize in the course of their solo careers. His latest recording, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is of Ferrucio Busoni's Piano Concerto, a mammoth, late-romantic work for which he is a passionate advocate.


Gord McKenna, via Flickr. All creative commons.

The Kalamazoo Singers have prepared a collection of contemporary Canadian choral works for its final concert of the season, which will be held Sunday, May 5 at 3 pm in First United Methodist Church. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Rick Phelps talks about the varied works on 'O Canada," after relating shared memories of Dawson Creek, British Columbia and Phelps' road trip to Alaska. 


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