Voice of the Arts

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

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Matthew Mehaffey - Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh - Nov 18, 2021

The Music Director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Matthew Mehaffey, talks with Jim Cunningham about the "Promise of Light" concert running December 10th through the 18th in several  venues starting at Westminster Presbyterian Church in the South Hills and ending at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, downtown. All are free, Wear your mask, please register in advance so they know you are coming.  It’s a wide ranging program with a celebratory mood and a hopeful theme with poetry by Robert Frost, Mary Oliver and Ogden Nash plus singing about winter, the solstice and the holidays. Music by Carol King, Dolly Parton, Randall Thompson, Eriks Esenvalds and Melissa Dunphy. Matthew talks about his work at the University of Minnesota where he is a full professor, the challenges of the pandemic time and the specifics of the program.  For complete details on the presentations check out themendelssohn.org website. 

Dana Bishop-Root - Carnegie Museum of Art - Nov 18, 2021

Dana Bishop-Root, Director of Education and Public Programs, talks with Jim Cunningham about the holiday celebration at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The trees in the Hall of Architecture in their 60th anniversary year lit and adorned with handmade ornaments, the Neapolitan Presepio in its centuries old tradition, how to shop local and make your own ornament, pick up the new Collection Handbook published on the occasion of the Museum's 125th anniversary, the Friends and Family photo studio, the Out of Office Party and concerts by the River City Brass on November 27th, Roger Humphries and RH Factor on December 4th, the Mount Ararat Baptist Church Ensemble on December 11th and December 18th has Hugo Cruz and the Caminos. Plus, the art in the galleries including Elizabeth Murray who is linked with the Pittsburgh Symphony's recent performance of Prokofiev,  Art from Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Sharif Bey and much more with the theme of being together this season. Dana discusses her long association with the Braddock Carnegie Library as part of her thinking about connecting with the wider community.

Rolando Villazon - Nov 16, 2021

Opera star returns to Pittsburgh for a recital on Sunday November 21st, 4pm at Pittsburgh Opera headquarters.  Rolando was a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist in 1998-1999.  WQED-FM's Anna Singer spoke with him about his time as a resident artist, his upcoming performances, and how he is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan!! 


Scott Pauley - "The Art of the Trio" - Nov 16, 2021

Chatham Baroque's Scott Pauley stopped by WQED-FM to talk to Anna Singer about their "Art of the Trio" concerts taking place this weekend.  

Nanette Kaplan Solomon - Friday Afternoon Musicale - Nov 15, 2021

Pianist Dr. Nanette Kaplan Solomon, Professor Emerita from Slippery Rock University, discusses with Jim Cunningham her Chatham University Friday Afternoon Musicale Recital which debuts Friday November 19th at 4 pm on the Chatham Youtube Channel. She plays in the WQED-FM studio a preview of a new piece by her Yale colleague Stefania de Kenessey-- Spontaneous D Combustion. The concert also includes a baroque rarity, Chopin, a Schubert Sonata, and a Scarlatti Sonata. It’s available indefinitely if you miss the event on Friday. Nanette also has the lowdown on the upcoming Tuesday Musical Club events which she also participates in.

Maria Sensi Sellner & Jeffrey Turner - Nov 8, 2021

Resonance Works Conductor Maria Sensi Sellner joins former Pittsburgh Symphony Principal double bass and soloist Jeffrey Turner in their return to in-person performances at the Greer Cabaret Theater downtown Pittsburgh November 13th and 14th with some of the hottest and brightest lights on the scene today - Missy Mazzoli with Jeff in the spotlight, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jessie Montgomery and Chen Yi.  Maria has the deep dive into the composers world and Jeff describes his work at Indiana University, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at the Townsend School of Music, and his recent recordings including Mozart concertos for Nonesuch with Jeremy Denk. Also, why he has returned to his colleagues at Heinz Hall this season and when we might hear him again.  This conversation with Jim Cunningham took place in the Green Room at Heinz Hall.

Joseph Hall & John Shannon - Suite Life - Nov 5, 2021

WQED-FM is the official media sponsor for "Suite Life" - the 14th annual celebration of the namesakes of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty on November 27th. It's a jazz concert, panel discussion, VIP reception at Duolingo in their newly designed headquarters, and party featuring video images of Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn. Jim Cunningham speaks with Joseph Hall, the Executive Director of the theater and John Shannon, who curated the music for the concert and for the restaurant jazz happenings at Con Alma in Shadyside and downtown in the Cultural District.

Janet Stivanson - Tuesday Musical Club - Nov 5, 2021

Composer and keyboard artist, Janet Stivanson, talks about her life in music since graduation from Carnegie Tech and the long service she has given to South Avenue Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg. Janet has organized the Composer's Workshop with her music and her colleagues for Tuesday Musical Club November 9th at 1pm at Rodef Shalom Temple and on line from Youtube. 

Butler Symphony Orchestra - Nov 4, 2021

The Butler County Symphony Orchestra conducted by Matthew Kraemer presents Mozart's 40th Symphony, with music by Ginastera and Gabriela Lena Frank - Saturday night at the Butler Intermediate High School at 7:30pm. Executive Director John Furman joins Jim Cunningham and Matthew to talk about the special features of the concert, the great strides the orchestra has made in the past ten years, and where to get a good meal in Butler.

Adelaide Boedecker - Pittsburgh Opera's "The Magic Flute" - Nov 3, 2021

Pittsburgh Opera returns to the Benedum Stage with Mozart's "The Magic Flute" running November 6-14th.  Adelaide Boedecker sings the role of Pamina and she talks to WQED-FM's Anna Singer about the role.