Intermezzo

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

Classical music and local features and interviews.

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.

Leora Zeitlin

Drawing on talent from throughout the region and beyond, the El Paso Opera will showcase seven singers from their Young Artists Program in the premiere of “A Grand Night for Singing!,” an evening of great American songs followed by champagne and dessert.

Leora Zeitlin

Conductor Dr. William Clark says he likes to stretch the musicians of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band, and their March 1st concert includes a wide range of pieces that will do just that. From Tchaikovsky and Holst to contemporary composers Roger Cichy and Tom Dossett, and, as always, a Sousa march, the concert will showcase the many talents of the ensemble, particularly the trombones – who will play Meredith Willson’s “76 Trombones,” transcribed by local trombonist Tom Wildman. Clark came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the concert.

Cellist Evan Drachman, following in the footsteps of his famous grandfather, Gregor Piatigorsky, has made it his life’s work to bring the highest quality classical music to audiences who might not otherwise hear it: in schools, prisons, retirement communities, houses of worship, community centers, and other non-traditional venues. He founded the Piatigorsky Foundation 25 years ago to make music part of daily life across the United States.

Leora Zeitlin

Kurt Weill’s enormous contributions to music and musical theater will come to life in two performances of “From Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill,” the show that traces his life from Germany in the 1920s, where his legendary collaborations with Bertolt Brecht were first staged, through the many Broadway shows that he went on to write after fleeing Nazi Germany for the United States.

Leora Zeitlin

The late guitarist and composer Philip Rosheger said that his music came to him fully composed during his night-time dreams, and his task was to write the music down as soon as he woke up. He and others who have had similar experiences call the process “dreamscaping.” El Paso-based guitarist Eric Slavin has dedicated his new CD – called “Dreamscape” – to his friend Rosheger, who died in late 2013.

 Julian Gargiulo calls his concerts “Piano Conversations” because in addition to playing music, he picks up the microphone and verbally interacts with the audience, sometimes bringing them up to the stage and always entertaining them. “You should come expecting to have a good time and to be interacting with everything that is going on,” Gargiulo says in this phone interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, while he was in an airport between flights.

Leora Zeitlin

Violinist Roberta Arruda lived in several countries in her youth, including Brazil, France, the US and Hungary, and at 21, toured ten other countries with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, playing with conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Now Arruda brings that international background to her life and work in New Mexico, where she is a member of La Catrina Quartet and where she has performed extensively as a soloist, in chamber ensembles and in orchestras.

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