KRWG

Intermezzo

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

Classical music and local features and interviews.

Leora Zeitlin

Greg Kennen worked as a classical music radio host in California for 20 years, and has a lifetime love of music. As the new part-time host of Intermezzo, he’ll be sharing his insights into the composers, the musicians, the music, and its history, often bringing recordings from his own extensive library to his programs. Greg came by the KRWG studios to talk with Leora Zeitlin, who created Intermezzo and has hosted it since its inception in 2000, to offer listeners a glimpse of what’s to come. Beginning the week of January 6, 2014, Intermezzo will be aired from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Leora Zeitlin

American composer Alfred Reed may not be a household name like Beethoven, but his music is played all over the world, including at numerous band concerts here in New Mexico. In this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, Dr. William Clark reflects on some of his favorite music by Alfred Reed, British composer Gordon Jacob, and Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, as well some of the skills required in conducting a large wind ensemble. He will conduct music by Reed, Jacob and Scriabin at the December concert of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band. Recorded on December 10, 2013.

Leora Zeitlin

The Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff suffered a three-year depression before a doctor used hypnotherapy to bring him out of it, which enabled him to write his second Piano Concerto, one of his most beloved and famous works. Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev and LCSO conductor Lonnie Klein came to the KRWG studios to discuss with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin whether it is important to know such stories when performing music, some of the similarities and differences between Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev, and more. Recorded on December 6, 2013.

After seeing the famous painting “The Peaceable Kingdom,” by Edward Hicks, at the Worcester Art Museum, composer Randall Thompson wrote a large-scale choral work with the same name. Thompson’s “The Peaceable Kingdom” includes texts that graphically describe a world filled with evil, but resolves with music describing a beautiful vision of a better world. Conductor David Klement came to the KRWG studios to discuss the famous choral work with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, as well as works by Gerald Finzi and Mozart. Recorded on December 3, 2013.

Leora Zeitlin

Acclaimed jazz composer, arranger and teacher Fred Sturm had numerous musical influences in his youth – from the classical music his father played in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Beatles he secretly listened to in his bedroom. Now, he’s expanded those influences to include music from all over the globe, which he incorporated into a work called “Migrations,” written for vocalist Bobby McFerrin and the North German Radio Jazz Ensemble.

Leora Zeitlin

Classical guitarist Brad Richter and cellist Viktor Uzur are both virtuoso musicians with their own careers, but when they play together as the Richter-Uzur Duo, a unique style emerges that blends classical with world, pop, rock and folk tunes. Their wild and unexpected combinations, or “mash-ups,” might meld Stevie Wonder with Isaac Albeniz, or Rimsky-Korsakov with a Greek “miserlou.” While visiting Las Cruces, the two joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in a conversation about their early influences, and their love of composing and arranging music in new ways.

Leora Zeitlin

Conductors John Schutz and Judy Bethmann have brought the joy of music to thousands of young people over several decades as school band directors. Now they find that they are leading some of their students’ parents – and even grandparents – in the New Horizons Band, a local ensemble that is part of an international movement of community bands for people over 50. “A lot of times, the grandparents go hear the kids play. Now, the grandkids are coming to hear grandma and grandpa play. So, it’s pretty exciting,” says Schutz.

Pancho Romero: A Life in Music

Oct 30, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Dr. Pancho Romero comes from a long tradition of music-making and music education in his extended family, going back at least three generations. As the trumpet professor at New Mexico State University, the lead trumpet player in the Las Cruces Symphony, and the director of the NMSU Jazz Ensembles, he devotes his life to playing and teaching all kinds of music.

La Catrina Quartet: From Haydn to the Day of the Dead

Oct 29, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Violinist Daniel Vega-Albela and violist Jorge Martinez-Rios named their string quartet “La Catrina” to give it an immediate Mexican association, and to draw on the iconic skeletal image’s message that life is fleeting. In this conversation with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, they talk about the quartet’s name and its association with the upcoming “Dia de los Muertos” holiday, and the music that they love to play, from Haydn to Mendelssohn to signature pieces by Mexican composers such as Emmanuel Arias y Luna, Eduardo Gamboa and Manuel Ponce.

Leora Zeitlin

Richard Dowling has given almost 1,000 concerts for the Piatigorsky Foundation, whose mission is to make classical music an integral part of everyday life for Americans all over the country. Piatigorsky artists perform in unusual venues, such as schools, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, and in rural communities that are not on the usual concert circuits.

Eric Ruske: A Passion for Music

Sep 27, 2013

Horn player Eric Ruske’s virtuosity has been described in reviews from all over the world as “ebullient,” “impeccable,” “gorgeous,” “sensitive,” “mellifluous,” and more. While in Las Cruces to perform the Horn Concerto by Reinhold Gliere with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, he and LCSO conductor Lonnie Klein came to KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Gliere, the challenges of practicing and rehearsing, the orchestral side of the concerto, and the passion for life and music that Ruske’s teacher, Dale Clevenger, inspired in him.

Leora Zeitlin

Every summer, the Starlight Children’s Theater Company gives young people in Las Cruces the chance to delve deeply into a classic play or musical, and then put on a show. This summer, the production is Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic, “The Pirates of Penzance.” Founder and director Ginger Scarbrough Anderson brought Alyssa Gose and Heather Hosford to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the rigors and delights of singing in the comic opera.

Leora Zeitlin

A typical day for dancer Morgan (Mo) Williams is long: ensemble classes and rehearsals run every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, followed by teaching and, when on tour, evening performances. The visiting artist from the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble joined his assistant, Brynn Fehir, and Las Cruces School of Dance and Music director Monique Foster in a conversation with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about new directions in contemporary dance, the passion that keeps them going, and upcoming productions at the School.

Gabbi and Leland to perform Beethoven with NHSO

May 16, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Conductor Marianna Gabbi and pianist William Leland met in 1975, when Gabbi first came to Las Cruces. Their friendship and musical kinship has not wavered, and this weekend, they perform Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto together, with Leland as soloist and Gabbi leading the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra. Gabbi reflects on music by Beethoven and Dvorak, as well as her long friendship with Leland, in this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.

Credit Leora ZeitlinDr. WIlliam Clark, conductor of the Mesilla Valley Concert BandEdit | Remove

Leora Zeitlin

Terry Kay Gilbert saw a need for a high-school age choir in Las Cruces, so eight years ago she started one -- the Mesilla Valley Teen Singers. The ensemble has grown from its original size of seven singers to almost 50, and includes students from several area high schools as well as home-schoolers. She came to the studios of KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about their spring Celtic music concert, and the gratification she gets from leading teens into the world of music.

Leora Zeitlin

Las Cruces boasts numerous top quality musicians, including several retirees from major orchestras who continue to share their musical talents with the community. Pamela Shaffer Reinhard, retired violinist from the Minnesota Orchestra, and L. William Kuyper, retired horn player from the New York Philharmonic, met here in Las Cruces, and have now formed the Southwest Trio, with Palm Springs-based pianist Robert Miller.

Leora Zeitlin

Acclaimed cellist Mark Kosower maintains a busy solo career while also serving as the Principal Cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra and teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Music. While in Las Cruces to perform the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Las Cruces Symphony, he and conductor Lonnie Klein came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Kosower’s renowned teacher, Janos Starker, who died earlier in the week.

Love Spurned: John Carlo Pierce discusses two operas

May 1, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Henry Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas” tells of how Queen Dido is rejected by her beloved Aeneas, and how she chooses death rather than live without him. Gilbert & Sullivan wrote of another jilted lover in their operetta, “Trial by Jury,” but in that case, the aggrieved bride takes the man to court. Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin interviews Dona Ana Lyric Opera director John Carlo Pierce about these two vastly different treatments of love spurned, as well as his background, some of his favorite tenor roles and more.

Leora Zeitlin

The subtle colors, delicate brushwork and subject matter of Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting “From the Faraway, Nearby” inspired Texas Poet Laureate Larry D. Thomas to write a poem that would allow him “to enter the mind of the painter.” His poem was then used by composer and NMSU Music Department Chair Lon Chaffin to compose a choral work that was premiered at the spring concert of the University Singers.

Leora Zeitlin

Beethoven’s famous “Triple” Concerto for piano, violin, cello and orchestra is “chamber music on a grand scale” -- “nothing short of sublime… and one of the most genial pieces Beethoven ever wrote,” say violinist Ruggero Allifranchini and cellist Edward Arron, respectively, who were in Las Cruces to perform the work with pianist Jeremy Denk, conductor Lonnie Klein and the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

How does a melody get transformed into a fully orchestrated piece? Indumati Roychowdhury and Mikayla Smelker,  both freshman at Las Cruces High, found out in 2011, when they were that year’s Las Cruces winners of the Hey, Mozart! New Mexico Child Composer Project. They each submitted melodies they had composed on the piano, and then heard  professionally-arranged versions in a gala concert in Albuquerque. Dr. Greg Fant, Associate Vice President and Deputy Provost at NMSU and former Music Department Chair arranged Mikayla’s piece for band.

Leora Zeitlin

Jorge Martinez-Rios is a man of many musical talents. Though mainly known as the violist in La Catrina Quartet, he is also a singer, and in February, he made his debut with orchestra in several songs from West Side Story – performed with soprano Thea Cordova and the New Horizons Orchestra, with Maestra Marianna Gabbi conducting.

A Choral Concert of Three Contemporary Masterpieces

Mar 13, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

When young people are exposed to great music, their lives can be forever changed. Contemporary

Leora Zeitlin

Legendary classical/jazz/world music composer and performer David Amram is the focus of the third annual NMSU Warner Hutchison Contemporary Arts Festival, taking place next week in Las Cruces. Percussion professor Fred Bugbee, who organized the festival with horn professor Nancy Joy, came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Amram, and the concerts, lectures and films that will explore his career and multi-faceted music.

Sharing the Music: A Conversation with Ilya Yakushev

Feb 1, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Pianist Ilya Yakushev maintains a packed schedule of concerts, and

wherever he goes and whatever he plays, his goal is to give the audience the best music he can. “I love sharing what I do with people who come to my concerts,” he says, and the reviews he’s been receiving indicate the audience loves it as well. He was in Las Cruces for a pair of concerts with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, and he came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about two youthful concertos by Prokofiev and Mendelssohn, his own teachers and background, and more.

Leora Zeitlin

David Klement is the new director of the NMSU choirs, and the underlying theme he chose for their concerts this year is “Light, life and newness.” He came by the KRWG studios on Dec. 4, 2012, to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about his plans for the choirs, how he prepares them for a performance, a recently-discovered Magnificat written by a young Mendelssohn, and his own background as a singer and choral conductor.

Leora Zeitlin

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is one of the most difficult works in the piano repertoire, so to get a request to perform it in just three weeks can be a daunting challenge. Faced with a last-minute cancelation by his scheduled artist, Lonnie Klein found Gleb Ivanov to stand in and perform the massive work. They came to the KRWG studios on November 30, 2012 talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Rachmaninoff, what makes Russian music “Russian,” and more.

Leora Zeitlin

Several years ago, the string quartet Ethel – often acclaimed as America’s first “first post-classical” quartet -- began reaching out to master musicians from other cultures to see what kind of music they could perform together. In 2008, they began working with Grammy-Award winning Native American flutist, composer and artist Robert Mirabal, and since then, have come to the southwest every year to work with him and the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project.

Guitarist David Rogers brings his pluck to Las Cruces

Nov 19, 2012

When he was in high school. David Rogers alternated each week between classical guitar and jazz guitar lessons, a training that well-prepared him for his multi-faceted career as performer, composer and ensemble guitarist. “Musicians’ Survival 101 -- be versatile,” he told Intermezzo Host Leora Zeitlin in this interview that ranges from the improvisational demands of baroque and renaissance music, to the arrangements he has made of songs by Leonard Cohen and the Rolling Stones.

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