KRWG

Intermezzo

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

Classical music and local features and interviews.

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.

Leora Zeitlin

Pianist Antonio di Cristofano says “one must enter into the mind of Beethoven” when playing his music, which is what he will do when he performs the Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor Concerto” with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra this weekend. The Italian piano soloist joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in a wide-ranging conversation about Beethoven’s monumental concerto, Di Cristofano’s teacher, the late Antonio Bacchelli, his strong interest in the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, and some of the differences in the training of pianists in Russia and Italy.

Leora Zeitlin

Usually percussion in a choral concert will accompany the singers, perhaps with some bold rhythms but mostly in the background. Contemporary composer Gene Koshinski turns that convention on its head in a composition that will be performed this weekend by the combined NMSU choirs under the direction of David Klement. Marimba soloist and NMSU faculty member Mike Armendariz and Klement discuss the work with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, pointing out how the choir is in the background singing percussive rhythms and sounds, while Armendariz makes the expressive marimba sing.

Leora Zeitlin

Opera music presents unique challenges not just for the singers but also for the orchestra, and the members of the community-based New Horizons Orchestra have been working hard to prepare for this weekend’s “An Afternoon at the Opera,” says conductor Dr. Marianna Gabbi. “There will be beautiful moments -- like life!” she promises in this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. The program includes music by Rossini, Wagner, Bizet and Strauss, including solo arias sung by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Sanchez, a NMSU graduate who recently joined the Houston Grand Opera.

Leora Zeitlin

Concert soloist Lindsay Deutsch likens playing the violin to being a gymnast on a balance beam who is asked to “cry, or also get very angry, or be very joyful,” without falling off. In this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, Deutsch talks about the challenge of keeping the music fresh and new, despite hundreds of hours of practice time, and her particular interest in awakening a love of classical music in young people-- through concerts and a special web page for kids. She was in Las Cruces to perform with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lonnie Klein.

KRWG-FM Host Leora Zeitlin Brings Home National Award

Oct 11, 2014

  Leora Zeitlin, long-time classical music host at KRWG-FM, was nationally recognized recently for her interviews with musicians on her program, “Intermezzo.” The National Federation of Press Women awarded her “First Place in Radio/Television Interviews” in its annual communications contest. Zeitlin received the award at the NFPW’s national conference on September 6, in Greenville, South Carolina.

Leora Zeitlin

“Whatever you do, do it at the highest level,” says conductor Dr. William Clark, recounting advice that he’s been giving students and musicians throughout his career. The conductor of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band returns to the podium this fall to lead the band in a concert featuring music by Robert Russell Bennett, Mark Camphouse, Leonard Bernstein, and as always, John Philip Sousa. Clark joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin to talk about the composers, the unusual pieces he’s chosen by them, and how long it takes to learn a piece before he begins rehearsing the 102-member ensemble.

Leora Zeitlin

Renaissance costumes, humor, dancing, food and most of all music, will be showcased at a grand “King’s Feast” that will entertain plenty of lords and ladies in Las Cruces this weekend. Presented by NMSU’s University Singers and Dancers Unlimited, the event is a fundraiser for a trip the chorus plans to take to Germany and the Czech Republic in the spring. Conductor and Director of Choral Activities David Klement and two students, Zel Hartman and Hannah Hopper, came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the festivities.

13-year-old Sujari Britt devotes her life to music

Sep 12, 2014
Leora Zeitlin

Born into a musical family, Sujari Britt began studying violin, piano and guitar before settling at the age of four on the instrument that has made her famous: the cello. The 13-year-old prodigy has played at the White House, is in demand as a soloist with orchestras, and has just started college classes at the Manhattan School of Music. She visited Las Cruces to perform the opening concert of the 2014-2015 season with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

Though Mozart was one of the foremost pianists of his time and a virtuoso violinist, another instrument he truly adored was viola. He wrote his Sinfonia Concertante to showcase both violin and viola, but gave special attention to the lower instrument, which he himself most likely played in performances of the piece. Daniel Vega-Albela, first violinist and founding member of La Catrina Quartet, talks with KRWG’s Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the work, which he and violist Jorge Martinez will perform this weekend in concert with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

The “Stabat Mater” is an ancient text that has been set to music numerous times across the centuries, including by the brilliant 20th-century composer Francis Poulenc, who wrote it after a mid-life religious awakening. David Klement, conductor of NMSU’s University Singers and Masterworks Chorus came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about this massive and beautiful work by Poulenc, who has long been one of his favorite composers.

Leora Zeitlin

When she was 16 years old and studying at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, violinist Qing Li was selected to play in a master class with the renowned violinist Berl Senofsky, who then invited her to study with him at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Qing Li has been there ever since, performing as Principal Second Violinist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and maintaining a busy career as a soloist and chamber musician.

Leora Zeitlin

At every concert he performs in, trumpet virtuoso Ryan Anthony strives to connect deeply with his audience and bring them the best he can, whether as a soloist, in a chamber group – such as the acclaimed Canadian Brass, which whom he performed for several years – or as principal trumpet player for the Dallas Symphony.

Jessica Medoff reflects on her role in La Boheme

Mar 27, 2014
Leora Zeitlin

One of the most popular operas of all time, “La Boheme” takes us into the lives of a group of poor Paris artists in the 19th century, but for soprano Jessica Medoff, the characters are not so different from young artistic people today. “Puccini breathed his life into these people. They’re not just notes on a page; they’re humans,” she says in this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.

Leora Zeitlin

The heartrending ancient myth of Orpheus and Eurydice hardly seems like material for a scathing satirical opera, but that’s exactly what the 19th-century French composer Jacques Offenbach turned it into in his “Orpheus in the Underworld.” This week, the Dona Lyric Opera performs the opera, and Artistic Director John Carlo Pierce came by to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the myth, the parody, its most famous can-can music, and more. Recorded on March 13, 2014.

Leora Zeitlin

Margot Leverett, one of the foremost klezmer clarinetists in the country, has combined the traditional eastern European Jewish music with rock and roll sounds, bluegrass and American folk music. On March 2, she’ll explore a new combination when she performs “Klezmer Fantasy” – arranged specifically for her – with the Mesilla Valley Concert Band. She and MBCB conductor Dr. William Clark came by the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about klezmer music and the genesis of this particular work. Recorded on February 21, 2014.

Leora Zeitlin

Laurie Rubin is an acclaimed mezzo-soprano and opera singer, published author, jewelry maker, the co-founder of the Ohana Arts Festival and school in Hawaii, and an advocate for pursuing one’s dreams regardless of the naysayers. Her most recent recital cd and memoir, both of which are entitled “Do You Dream in Color?” explore her own dreams and aspirations as someone who has been blind since birth.

Leora Zeitlin

Although Victor Herbert enjoyed superstar fame at the turn of the 20th century, his name – and his famous Cello Concerto No. 2 – are less known today. Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled hopes to bring the concerto back into the repertoire by performing it around the country, including in an American music concert with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. For former U. S. Ambassador to South Africa Delano Lewis, narrating Aaron Copland’s powerful “Lincoln Portrait” in the same concert has powerful personal meaning.

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