Monday, April 12, 2021

New Music from Miami University’s Frank Huang

By Elaine Diehl

Miami University Professor of Piano, Dr. Frank Huang announces his new album, Solo Piano Works of Nikolai Medtner, Vol. 1, scheduled to be available on Amazon, iTunes, and other various outlets on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Dr. Huang remarks, “This album, the first of a nine-disc set, marks the beginning of a long journey that I decided to take in 2017. I had always wanted to perform and record the music of Nikolai Medtner, a composer that I felt has long been neglected by the general public. This project is my humble attempt to bring Medtner’s music to the forefront with the hope that you will appreciate these works as much as I do!”

Frank Huang and I talked about the album and the composer:

Monday, April 5, 2021

A Conversation with Michael Torke

by Brian O'Donnell

It’s always a thrill when we at WGUC are able to play music by living composers... composers whom we may even be able to interact with at times. 

Michael Torke is one such composer. Here, he talks about growing up in the Midwest, taking piano lessons as a young boy AND starting to compose music at a very young age.

Later, Torke got a good break when he was summoned to write music for the Olympic games and that worked out very nicely.

In his own words, listen to composer Michael Torke tell it:

Monday, March 29, 2021

Laughing Along

Why couldn't the string quartet find their composer? He was Haydn.

Everyone loves a good joke... or a really corny one. And classical music composers were no different.

Mozart loved pranks and jokes, in his life and in his music. His Divertimento for two horns and string quartet, also known as A Musical Joke, includes passages designed to mimic bad music notation and terrible playing as a way of having some fun.

Haydn also put jokes in his music, the most famous being his Symphony No. 94, nicknamed The Surprise Symphony for its sudden fortissimo chord in the second movement.

At WGUC, April 1st provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the funny side of classical music.

As we look towards April Fools’ Day, Naomi Lewin gets us laughing with more musical jokes on Classics for Kids.

And there’s more – April Fools’ Day is also a day that we remember our dear friend Frank Johnson who enjoyed collecting music of all kinds, including some of the funniest interpretations of classical music from the likes of Monty Python, Bugs Bunny, PDQ Bach, Victor Borge, Spike Jones and more. 

Frank put together this April Fools’ Day Playlist, not as a practical joke but as a celebration of the joy that music brings to us every day. Get ready to laugh!

Happy April Fools' Day!