Monday, June 25, 2018

Leonard Bernstein: A Celebrated Teacher

August 25th of this year marks the centennial of a great American. Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990) is remembered for his work as a composer, conductor, pianist, educator, and so much more. To celebrate his legacy, WGUC is in the middle of 100 Days of Bernstein during which at least one piece he either composed, conducted, or performed will be aired each day for the 100 days leading up to his birth. The celebration will culminate in August with Bernstein being featured as the Classics for Kids composer of the month, two special encore broadcasts from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra featuring Bernstein’s music, and a special radio program from WGUC. Clef Notes is also taking part in the festivities by including a Bernstein-related post once a month now thru August.

Last month we looked at Bernstein’s life as a conductor and the famous story about how he got his start. Today let’s focus on the area of his life for which Bernstein was most proud – his life as an educator.

Bernstein had a passion for learning and devoted much of his life to absorbing knowledge on all subjects he found fascinating, including music. He would then take his acquired knowledge and share it with others. One of the ways he did this was thru television, which had recently become popular. During the early 1950s, Bernstein created several music segments for the educational show Omnibus, hosted by Alistair Cooke. Eventually, he convinced CBS to carry his Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. These concerts aimed to teach children about music-related topics in a fun and relatable way. Bernstein created over 50 programs that aired between 1958 and 1972. These concerts are what sparked many children of the mid-twentieth century to become today’s leading musicians. Mark Gibson is Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He studied with Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood but before that, attended a Young People’s Concert in New York City when he was just a boy. Listen to Gibson describe the impact Bernstein’s teaching had on him at this concert:

Hear more from Mark Gibson and others who were impacted by Bernstein on an upcoming special from WGUC that will air August 19 at 8pm – Leonard Bernstein: A Legacy.

Did you ever see Leonard Bernstein on television? What program did you see and what did he teach you about music? Let me know in the comments below and check back next month as we explore how Bernstein’s Jewish heritage impacted his life as a composer.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Music Cincinnati: Linton Chamber Music Series

Coming up this Sunday, June 24 at 8pm, 90.9 WGUC presents its Music Cincinnati series, this month spotlighting the Linton Chamber Music Series. Just what exactly is Linton and what can listeners expect to hear on this special from 90.9?

Linton Chamber Music Series was founded nearly 40 years ago by former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinetist Dick Waller, who once described his vision for the series to create a format for “music-making among friends.” Under the artistic leadership of Sharon Robinson and Jaime Laredo, Linton promotes community interest in chamber music, bringing Cincinnati world-class musicians to perform in intimate settings. The series takes place Sunday afternoons at the First Unitarian Church on Linton Street (the series’ namesake) and then an encore performance on Mondays at Congregation Beth Adam in Loveland. The series often highlights musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in a chamber music setting, as well as world-renown artists including the Ehnes Quartet and Peter Serkin – both featured on this month’s Music Cincinnati program.

What can you expect to hear this Sunday? The Music Cincinnati broadcast will feature three works that appeared during Linton’s 2017-2018 season. Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major is performed by the Ehnes Quartet with Stephen Williamson of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on clarinet from their concert on October 30, 2017. Following that, it’s Three Romances by Clara Schumann, some of her last compositions ever written! These are performed by up-and-coming artists Elena Urioste and Tom Poster who made their Linton debut February 11, 2018. Finally, it’s the Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor by Johannes Brahms. This was featured on Linton’s 2017 season opener and featured legendary pianist Peter Serkin, along with Linton Artistic Directors Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson. Audience favorite Bella Hristova returns for this concert along with New York Philharmonic violist Cynthia Phelps.

Like what you hear? You can access WGUC’s Music Cincinnati series archived hereAlso be sure to check out Linton’s 2018-2019 series, which celebrates their 40th anniversary! 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Charles Gounod Turns 200!

June 17, 2018 marks 200 years since Charles Gounod’s birth. Many associate Gounod with one of his more famous works, the Funeral March of a Marionette or perhaps his setting of Ave Maria. Want to hear more from Gounod? Check out this Spotify playlist assembled by WGUC intern Connor Annable and help us celebrate this composer’s birthday!