Voice of the Arts

Insights and anecdotes from musicians, dancers, artists, actors and directors, as well as audience response.

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Eric Crosby - Carnegie Museum of Art - Jan 14, 2022

The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art, Eric Crosby, talks with Jim Cunningham about the plans for exhibitions in the year 2022, including Gordon Parks in Pittsburgh,” 1944/1946, running April 30th through August 7th; "Working Thought,” running March 5 through June 26th which examines how 37 contemporary artists have engaged with the history of labor and conditions that structure inequality in contemporary American life; and the Carnegie International running September 24th 2022 through April 2, 2023.

James Blachly - Jan 12, 2022

Johnstown Symphony Music Director James Blachly joins Johnstown NAACP President Allan Cashaw and Jim Cunningham to discuss the 37th remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday January 16th at 2pm in Christ Centered Community Church, 531 Somerset Street in Johnstown and available on Zoom through eventbrite. A Johnstown Symphony String Quartet will play music by African American composers in this tribute to Dr. King. The Urgency is Now shirt sales will benefit the effort. James Blachly has the details on the music to be played and Allan fills us in on the church and its community involvement and Dr. King's work as well as the spirit of the work of the NAACP in Johnstown and Allan's career working as a chemist for Johnson and Johnson.

Dr. VRP Herbert Jones - Let Freedom Sing - Jan 11, 2022

Dr. VRP Herbert Jones conducts the "Let Freedom Sing" concert streaming from the Hill District on Saturday January 15th at 7pm at letfreedomsing.net for free with any free will offering to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food bank . In this conversation with Jim Cunningham, he explains how it began over 13 years ago and what the program will be like with singers from many choirs and traditions coming together in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. He suggests the best way to observe MLK Jr. day on Monday and chooses his favorite Moses Hogan spiritual  who inspired his dissertation. Dr. Jones tells us about his work at Bethany Baptist Church and Geneva College and surveys the black gospel tradition as it is sung in western Pennsylvania. He remembers Dr. King’s deep love of all types of music including classical music and Coretta Scott King who sang and trained at the New England Conservatory. Dr. Jones explains what the VRP in his name stands for. It isn’t Very Reverend Protector as you might guess. There is a blessing and singing at the end of the interview just for you.

Daniel Curtis - Jan 6, 2022

Maestro Daniel Curtis, director of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music Contemporary Ensemble, talks with Matthew Rygelski about the CMU School of Music Philharmonic season. Maestro Curtis also talks about the return to live performances and his personal experience teaching at CMU. 

Ed Simon - Jan 5, 2022

Ed Simon is the author of An Alternative History of Pittsburgh from Belt Publishing choosing figures from the story of Pittsburgh and updating the relevance of events along the way. His choices include prehistoric Pittsburgh, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman with the assassination attempt on Henry Clay Frick, the Carnegie International with Pablo de Sarasate, Billy Strayhorn meeting Duke Ellington, Evelyn Nesbitt The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing, John Kane, Stephen Foster, Andrew Carnegie, Andy Warhol. Rachel Carson, with a stop at Shadyside Presbyterian Church and East Liberty at the end.. Ed Simon writes for the History News Network, the Atlantic, Paris Review, Newsweek, The Washington Post and and several websites including The Millions. His fondness for the city where he spent his formative years is obvious in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

JoAnn Falletta - Jan 5, 2022

Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta, has been associated with the Sorel Organization since 1996 when her friend Claudette Sorel launched the foundation with JoAnn as a founding Advisory Board member. Joann discusses Claudette Sorel Rediscovered newly released with gems from Sorel's out of print recordings on two discs of solo pieces and American concertos. Joann Falletta honors her legacy as a musician and as a philanthropist fiercely dedicated to creating opportunities for women in music through her charitable foundation. Also in this discussion with Jim Cunningham is the wide ranging repertoire Joann has recorded, the state of women conductors in America, the vast catalog of recordings from the Buffalo orchestra, her work in radio, and more.

Mark Nuccio - Jan 4, 2022

Matthew Rygelski spoke with Mark Nuccio, current principal clarinetist of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and former clarinetist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Mark Nuccio spoke about his time studying clarinet, his experience performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and how his time living in Pittsburgh made him the successful clarinetist he is now. 

William Bolcom - Dec 23, 2021

Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom, now 83, has recently recorded a CD of Robert Schumann's "Album for the Young," which he began playing in the 1940's working with his pianist colleague Logan Skealton on the faculty of the University of Michigan. William Bolcom talks about the Schumann and his most famous piece - "Graceful Ghost," along with the song "Lime Jello Marshmallow Surprise," which was a popular concert favorite of the duo with his wife Joan Morris. Joan jumps in for a moment during the conversation with Jim Cunningham.

Edward Alan Moore - Christmas in East Liberty 2021 - Dec 16, 2021

Cathedral Concerts return with Christmas in East Liberty, on Friday, December 17, 7:30 pm. The concert will feature The Brass Roots and conductor Daniel Curtis, the ELPC Chancel Choir and conductor Dr. Edward Alan Moore, and organist Ethan LaPlaca. Hear holiday favorites and the premiere of two newly commissioned pieces: Carol Fantasia by Mary Beth Bennett and Spiritual Suite by Marcus Grant.  Edward Alan Moore stopped by the QED Morning Show with Jim Cunningham to tell us more about the concert.  

Maria Sensi Sellner and Ben Robinson - Dec 14, 2021

Resonance Works present a new film version of Engelbert Humperdinck’s beloved opera, Hansel & Gretel! In this modern reimagining of the 19th century original, the two siblings, lost in the woods, stumble upon the set of a celebrity pastry chef’s cooking show, where they are invited to be the guest stars (and main ingredients!).  The Premiere event on December 18th will feature live performances by members of the Resonance Chamber Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus preceding the film premiere.   Artistic and General Director Maria Sensi Sellner and opera director Ben Robinson chatted with WQED-FM's Anna Singer.