Intermezzo

Weekdays, 2pm to 4pm
  • Hosted by Leora Zeitlin and Cherokee Sullinger

Classical music and local features and interviews.

Leora Zeitlin

When choral director John Flanery heard Mozart’s Requiem in a concert last summer, he thought, “I need to get that back to the top of my bucket list.” The piece, he says, always has “a new emotional connection and emotional charge,” and comes from “perhaps the most perfect composer of all time.” Flanery will conduct the Requiem in a pair of concerts this weekend with the combined NMSU choirs. He and Taylor Hightower, who will sing the bass solo part in the concerts, came to KRWG to talk about the Requiem with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.

Leora Zeitlin

Canadian harpist Caroline Cole says people sometimes have a limited notion of what a harp can do and sound like. Her varied career includes performing with symphony orchestras and indie rock bands, in New York performances of The Fantastiks and in the restaurant of the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel, with choirs and dance companies, and in chamber and solo recitals. “It’s a whole new world of opportunities,” she says, and her hope is to “stretch the ears” of her audiences to recognize the versatility of the instrument.

Leora Zeitlin

Soprano Adrienne Danrich grew up singing pop with her father’s band, then developed an active opera career, and now simply calls herself a “singer.” “I used to label myself an operatic singer,” she told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this interview at KRWG, “but that doesn’t encompass everything a singer has to do.” She performs this Sunday with pianist Djordje Nesic at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in a program that includes Broadway, opera arias, spirituals, pop and the premiere for her own poetry set to music by Dave Hall. Doug Weeks, music director at St.

Leora Zeitlin

When Yevgeny Kutik’s family left the Soviet Union in 1990, they were forced to leave most of their belongings behind. But his violinist mother insisted on filling one of her suitcases with sheet music, and much later, when Kutik – who by then was also  a violinist – took a closer look at it, he discovered many musical treasures, some of which he has now recorded.

Leora Zeitlin

Countless symphonic bands are thriving in towns, cities and schools all over the US, and one of the most prolific composers writing for these ensembles is James Curnow. One of his works will be performed this Sunday by two of the most beloved groups in the region: the Mesilla Valley Concert Band and the El Paso Brass Quintet. Conductor John Schutz and El Paso Brass tuba player James Shearer came to talk with KRWG’s Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about how they procured this out-of-print music, the rise of community bands, and some of the other musical pieces on the program.

A musical collaboration at upcoming NHSO concert

Feb 18, 2016
Leora Zeitlin

Horn player L. William Kuyper says that an orchestral player who steps out in front to be a soloist has to “be a leader, and give forth his or her own interpretations,” instead of adapting to that of the conductor. “And we must honor his ideas,” says conductor Marianna  Gabbi, who will lead the New Horizons Orchestra in several works this weekend, including Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 3, with Kuyper as soloist. Kuyper retired from his position as horn player in the New York Philharmonic several years ago, and has been making music in Las Cruces ever since.

Leora Zeitlin

Sixty talented students and community members will take to the stage this weekend to bring some of the latest and greatest Broadway show tunes to Las Cruces audiences. “Broadway Today” will include 22 songs from shows that were produced on Broadway in the last year, some as new productions and some as revivals. Director Megan McQueen came to KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the new revue, which reflects the diversity of contemporary American theater by including voices and songs from Latino, African-American, Asian, deaf and other minority communities.

Leora Zeitlin

Chris Sanders once said that when she and fellow Hard Road Trio members play with musicians from diverse backgrounds, they all become “ambassadors of joy.” She and the Hard Road Trio have a new cd out, “Smoke and Redemption,” and they invited Senegalese guitarist/composer/singer King Ibu to join them in the cd-release concert on Saturday, Dec.

Leora Zeitlin

Most Americans know the music of Henry Mancini, including his renowned “Pink Panther” theme, but fewer know the composers Clare Grundman and John Edmondson, though they each wrote prolifically for band. All three are among the composers to be featured in the December concert of the New Horizons Band, conducted by John Schutz. Schutz came to KRWG to talk with Intemezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the concert, which will also include an appearance by the Good Time Singers, conducted by his wife, Diane Schutz.

Leora Zeitlin

American composer Alfred Reed’s band suite “Othello” is so challenging, evocative and “absolutely delightful” that it becomes “the centerpiece of the concert whether you want it to or not,” quipped Dr. William Clark in a brief conversation about the upcoming concert of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band. The ensemble will perform Othello in its entirely, along with works by Roger Nixon, Claude T. Smith, and as always, John Philip Sousa. Dr. Clark talked with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the composers and the concert, which takes place on Sunday, Dec. 13.

All-Latin American music concert by La Catrina Quartet

Dec 10, 2015
Leora Zeitlin

A concert with the Latin-Grammy Award winning La Catrina Quartet always includes something new, and tonight, the ensemble is offering not only a program entirely by Latin American composers but also its first foray into jazz. Violinist and founding member Daniel Vega-Albela came to KRWG to speak briefly with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the music, including some arrangements by La Catrina’s cellist, Jorge Espinoza.

Leora Zeitlin

Elena Ulyanova has a special relationship with the music of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” she will perform with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra this weekend.

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Natasha Korsakova grew up surrounded by music: her father and grandfather were virtuoso Russian violinists (Andrei and Boris Korsakov), her mother a pianist, and even the neighbors in their Moscow apartment building could be heard practicing through the walls. Today, she carries on her family tradition as an acclaimed concert violinist who in the last month alone has performed in Germany, Italy and several states in the U.S. Korsakova is also fluent in five languages.

Two old friends take to the stage with Beethoven

Oct 29, 2015
Leora Zeitlin

Long-time friends and colleagues, conductor Marianna Gabbi and pianist William Leland, will reunite on stage this weekend, when Leland – who taught piano at NMSU for decades and now lives in Oregon – returns to Las Cruces to perform with the New Horizons Orchestra. The program features the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4, written when Beethoven was already growing quite deaf, which Gabbi describes as “an incredible concerto” whose great depth stems from Beethoven’s suffering.

Leora Zeitlin

The challenge for anyone producing opera in the 21st century is “to make the music jump off the page and into the hearts and ears of our listeners,” says John Carlo Pierce, director of the Dona Ana Lyric Opera. Pierce hopes to do just that this weekend when DALO and the Dona Ana Arts Council present two contemporary one-act operas that are perfectly themed for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos: “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Daniel Pinkham based on the Edgar Allen Poe’s story of revenge, and “The Verloren Opera,” by NMSU Music Department Chair Lon W. Chaffin, about a haunted opera house.

Leora Zeitlin

Ghosts, spook lights and other strange phenomena inspired the “Haunted America Suite,” by Justin Raines, an NMSU graduate now working as a composer in Los Angeles, and in the first performances and recording sessions, doors slammed, lights went out, and other spooky things happened. Just in time for Halloween, Jim and Celeste Shearer, and several other musicians from Las Cruces and El Paso, will offer an encore performance of the suite at 7:30 p.m on October 29, at the Atkinson Recital Hall, along with works by Frank Gulino, Elizabeth Raum and NMSU Music Department Chair Lon W. Chaffin.

Leora Zeitlin

Three NMSU choirs will perform a concert this week entitled “Beginnings,” an appropriate theme as the singers and the audience welcome Dr. John Flanery as the new Director of Choral Studies at the university. Originally from Iowa, and more recently Mississippi, Flanery  has conducted numerous ensembles at the high school and university levels.

Leora Zeitlin

They may not have the fabled 76 trombones in their brass section, but the Mesilla Valley Concert Band does have nine, and they will all be featured in the opening concert of the season this weekend. Trombonist and arranger Tom Wildman, who has played with the MVCB for some 25 years, has arranged a version of Meredith Willson’s “76 Trombones” for the entire ensemble. He and conductor Dr.

Leora Zeitlin

Allison Eldredge says that if you had asked her at age 11 what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have a said a great concert cellist. Within five years of that age, she was performing as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim, and has continued to bring her music to audiences around the world in recitals, orchestral concerts, chamber music performances and on multiple recordings. Eldredge will perform Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” as the soloist with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra in the opening concerts of the 2015-2016 season.

Leora Zeitlin

Young Las Cruces ballet dancers have been working hard during a week-long intensive course with Russian dancer, choreographer and ballet mistress Marina Fliagina ­-- taking classes, learning a dance from the classic repertoire, and discussing the background of composers and choreographers they are studying. Fliagina has a long-time friendship with Monique Foster, founder and artistic director of the Las Cruces School of Dance and Music, where she has been artist-in-residence for the second summer in a row.

Leora Zeitlin

Young actors of the Starlight Children’s Theatre Co. have been busy for weeks preparing their summer production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operetta, “Iolanthe,” which opens in Las Cruces on Friday, July 10. Along the way, they have memorized thousands of words and a great deal of music, learned to understand British English from the 19th century, found out about the history of Parliament and the British class system, and engaged in the myriad details of putting on a show. “In every aspect of our theatre, we plan for the highest quality,” says Dr.

Leora Zeitlin

The ukulele has enjoyed great popularity since it was developed in Hawaii in the 19th century, and Las Cruces now boasts its own ensemble, the Las Cruces Ukes. Musicians Cheryl Fallstead and Bob Hull – with ukulele in hand – came to the KRWG studios to talk about a special weekend coming up with visiting ukulele artist Mark Baker, who will perform a concert with the group and teach two workshops in Las Cruces. Fallstead and Hull also talked about the history of the ukulele and the origins of their local  ensemble, and Hull provided some musical entertainment.

Leora Zeitlin

Just a few weeks before its spring concert, the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra lost one of its board members and musicians, horn player Larry Jonas, in a tragic motorcycle accident. The concert will take place on Sunday, May 17, and will be dedicated to the memory of Jonas, who died on April 30. Conductor Marianna Gabbi and fellow horn player Cora Patterson came to the KRWG studios to talk about the loss of their friend and colleague, and the music the orchestra will play, including Beethoven’s 8th symphony, an overture by  Carl Marian von Weber, and waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.

Leora Zeitlin

Some forty singers from the NMSU choirs have been rehearsing for several months for a tour to Germany and Prague at the end of May. Two of the singers, NMSU junior Teresa Acosta, and community member and pianist Leah Houpt, joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin – who will also be on the tour – to talk about the music they’ll perform, the places they will visit, and a “preview concert” that takes place at San Albino in Mesilla on Sunday, May 17.

Natasha Paremski performs Tchaikovsky in Las Cruces

May 1, 2015
Leora Zeitlin

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 “pushed the boundaries of virtuosity in its time,” says pianist Natasha Paremski, noting that it was originally considered unplayable but went on to become one of his most famous and beloved works. The Russian-born pianist, who has lived in the United States since she was eight, will perform the work this weekend with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Lonnie Klein. Paremski came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Tchaikovsky, her career, how she handles nerves on stage, and more.

Leora Zeitlin

Sir Michael Tippett wrote his oratorio, “A Child of Our Time,” as a profound protest against the persecution of Jews during World War II, and the persecution of African-Americans in this country (the text declares, “pogroms in the East, lynchings in the West”). Conductor David Klement and baritone Antonio Quaranta, who will perform the work this weekend with the NMSU Choirs, say that Tippett’s powerful message about suffering and hope continues to resonate with listeners in our own day.

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A rarely-heard piece of music for string quartet and tuba by jazz composer and musician Manny Albam is on the program this Sunday in a concert performed by La Catrina Quartet and tuba professor James Shearer. The group has performed Albam’s “Quintet for Tuba and Strings” before, but wanted to perform it for an audience again in advance of recording it. Violinist Daniel Vega-Albela came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the concert, providing background on the Albam piece, as well as an early string trio by Beethoven and the famous String Quartet by Maurice Ravel.

Leora Zeitlin

The New Horizons Symphony Orchestra will feature NMSU freshman pianist Joseph Seth Zamora as the winner of its first Young Artist Competition at their March 15 concert, and the piece he’ll perform – the Piano Concerto in G Major by Maurice Ravel – was described in one word by conductor Marianna Gabbi and concertmaster Gordon Butler: “difficult!” Gabbi and Butler came to KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the competition, the concert program, and the rewards of performing with the community orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

Harmonica virtuoso Robert Bonfiglio has played hundreds of concerts in all the great concert halls of the world, but to this day, his love for the instrument and the music takes him back to his earliest days. “It brings me back to my childhood. They call it ‘playing’ music, they don’t call it ‘working’ music. When it becomes ‘work,’ I’m not doing it anymore,” he said in an interview with Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra conductor Lonnie Klein, and KRWG’s Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.

Leora Zeitlin

Bela Bartok frequently incorporated native folk melodies into his music, but he was also inspired by the Hungarian language and countryside, and his desire to mend the relationship between Hungary and both Romania and Turkey. Violinist Roberta Arruda, who lived in Hungary and speaks fluent Hungarian, and pianist Laura Spitzer, joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in a conversation about the music of Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly, Ravel and other composers they will perform in a recital on Monday, March 9, 2015.

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