Voice of the Arts

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

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La Boheme - Sean Pannikar - Mar 27, 2019

Anna Singer spoke with Sean Pannikar, a graduate of the Resident artist program of Pittsburgh opera.  He returns to do the iconic role of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme.

La Boheme - Nicole Cabell - Mar 27, 2019

Nicole Cabell is singing the role of Mimi – Sean and Nicole have had several opportunities to perform these roles on stage together.


La Boheme - Maestro Jean-Luc Tingaud - Mar 27, 2019

Maestro Jean-Luc Tingaud talks about the mastery of Puccini – including the imitation of an accordion in Musetta’s waltz – the accordion being  a very popular instrument in Paris in the 1830’s.

La Boheme - Stepanie Havey - Mar 27, 2019

Stepanie Havey was the first director that participated in the Resident Artist program for Pittsburgh opera.  She is delighted to return to direct Puccini’s La Boheme.

Pittsburgh Concert Society - Mar 26, 2019

Sunday March 31 at 2pm in the Kresge Theater at Carnegie Mellon University the Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Audition Winners will perform. The musicians visited WQED-FM with the Vivo Quartet, Enoch Hsiao , violin Carolyn Carr, violin  Futen Wang, viola and Yunshu Li  playing Shostakovich and Mendelssohn, Aaron Berger joined pianist Amaury Morales to play Saint Saens and Gary Peng played the Brahms Rhapsody in D. They spoke with Jim Cunningham.

Kivie Cahn-Lipman - Acronym Ensemble - Mar 22, 2019

WQED-FM's Anna Singer has a conversation with Acronym Ensemble member Kivie Cahn-Lipman.  Acronym will be performing this Saturday night (3/23), 8pm at Calvary Episcopal Church.  

Cecilia Smith - Mar 22, 2019

Vibraphone virtuoso Cecilia Smith plays in a world premiere she has written for East Liberty Presbyterian Church Sunday March 24 at 3pm. Dr. Edward Alan Moore introduces Cecilia. He will conduct the choir and pianist Brian Sable in The Essence of Psalms along with music by Vaughan Williams and more. Cecilia Smith  trained in Cleveland, at the Berkleee College of Music and NewEngland Conservatory. She’s performed with luminaries of the jazz world including Milt Hinton, Donald Byrd, Rufus Reid, Hubert Laws, Gary Bartz, Cecil Bridgewater and Mrak Whitfield. She is also an authority on Mary Lou Williams having organized extensive research on the Pittsburgh jazz legend. The concert is free.

Dr. John Walker - Mar 20, 2019

Dr. John Walker, organist and choir director  at Shadyside Presbyterian Church will bring the Organ Artists of Pittsburgh 40th Anniversary Season to a close with a free concert April 26 2019 at 7:30 at his former sanctuary. John is the past president of the American Guild of Organists and is now teaching at the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore.  He will be honored at a special fundraising event for the AGO Endowment Fund at the mansions on Fifth immediately after his recital.  He spoke with Jim Cunningham about his wide ranging career, his work with Michael Tilson Thomas, Raymond Ocock, Virgil Fox, Leo Sowerby and many others. Introducing John Walker is Edward Alan Moore of East Liberty Presbyterian Church in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

Gerald Robbins - Mar 20, 2019

Pianist Gerald Robbins is in town for two maser classes at CMU. He teaches at the Manhattan School of Music today with a large catalog of recordings including some unusual repertoire by Carl Reinecke and Henri Litolf, plus the Schumann Concerto recorded in Moscow with Kenneth Klein, recordings with the New York Philharmonics’ concertmaster Glen Dicterow and Principal Clarinet Stanley Drucker. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham he remembers working with Nathan Milstein and William Primrose and runs down his Pittsburgh relatives including Flavio and Tatjana Mead Chamis.

Roger Schneider and Susan Sands - Mar 20, 2019

The  annual  Three Rivers Community Band Festival, founded in 2004, takes place March 30th, 2019 at the Upper Saint Clair High School Theater hosted by the East Winds Symphonic Band conducted by Susan Sands. The founder, Roger Schneider. who plays euphonium. and the Maestra joined Jim Cunningham in the Bayer Broadcast Center to discuss this year’s event starting at 2pm. There will be a Festival band and four participating bands along with a lively reception with giveaways to wrap the afternoon.  The Festival band will be prepared by Christopher Nichter, currently the 14th Director of Bearcat Bands at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, he held for 10 years the position of Assistant Director of Bands and Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. He served the WVU School of Music as the Founder and Director of the Mountaineer Music Academy, Director of the Concert Band.