Voice of the Arts

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

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Andres Cardenes - Aug 3, 2021

Andrés Cárdenes has had an outstanding career as a solo violinist, conductor, chamber musician and former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He also holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Violin Studies and the Dorothy Richard Starling/Alexander Speyer Jr. Endowed Chair at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music, and he is the co-founder and Artistic and Music Director of the Josef Gingold Chamber Music Festival of Miami, a program geared towards educating young musicians in chamber music and solo repertoire. Maestro Cárdenes' conversation with Jim Cunningham focuses on the festival as well as Josef Gingold's legacy.

Pittsburgh Savoyards - Aug 3, 2021

The Pittsburgh Savoyards open their 84th season (and resume live performances!) this July with a touring production of Molière’s final theatrical work, "The Imaginary Invalid." Performances will be held on the outdoor stage at South Park Theatre in South Park, PA; outside the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA; and air-conditioned indoors at Pittsburgh Savoyards headquarters, 523 Lincoln Ave. in Bellevue, PA.  David Peebles spoke to the group about this production.  

Rick Smith - South Hills Chorale - Aug 2, 2021

Katie Brill talks with Rick Smith, Executive Director of the South Hills Chorale. The South Hills Chorale is performing a free concert on Sunday, August 8.

Justin Spenner - Jul 29, 2021

"I Enter as a Stranger" is a multi-discipline production of Franz Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise (1828) featuring Minnesota based singer Justin Anthony Spenner (Producer/Baritone) who speaks with Jim Cunningham. WQED's Emmy award winning editor and producer Ash Warren prepared the second section of the production. "I Enter as a Stranger" removes the romantic narrative from Die Winterreise, focusing instead on the poetic themes of mental illness. Music, dance, photography, and film merge to tell the story of four individuals searching for connection and recognition as they navigate their own neurodiversity. Their worlds intersect, and lines of reality blur together as they gain an understanding of each other. “This project comes as a response to a massive increase of people talking about their mental health over the last 15 months. The pandemic has created a time where many have found community in trauma- a topic that our society tends to ignore. This work reflects on the effort it takes to maintain that community and the idea that connection can be attainable through empathy.” -Justin Anthony Spenner, Producer This self-produced work was conceived to normalize conversations about mental health and advocate for individualized treatment. It utilizes film, music, and photography to explore themes of human connection, isolation, internal/external realities, and living with an invisible illness.

Bach Beethoven and Brunch - Alex Jones - Pgh Festival Winds - Jul 26, 2021

Alex Jones of the Pittsburgh Festival Winds spoke with WQED-FM about this weekend's Bach, Beethoven and Brunch concert.  They'll perform at Mellon Park on Sunday August 1st from 10:30am to noon.  Alex talks about their program, performing in the great outdoors, the importance of classical music, and much more.



Laura Gordon & Robb Miller - Band of Brothers Shakespeare Company - Jul 23, 2021

The Band of Brothers Shakespeare Company performs Richard III, their first production for live audiences since the pandemic. Katie Brill talks about the upcoming production with Laura Gordon, co-founder of the Band of Brothers Shakespeare Company, and Robb Miller, who stars as Richard III. Opening night is July 29 at 7pm in Stackhouse Park.

Bach Beethoven and Brunch - James Gourlay - River City Brass - Jul 22, 2021

The 2021 Bach, Beethoven and Brunch concert series continues this Sunday (7/25) with the River City Brass.  David Peebles spoke with Artistic and General Director James Gourlay about performing at Bach, Beethoven and Brunch, what will be on their program, and more.  

Marianne Cornetti - Pittsburgh Festival Opera - Young Artists & Legends in the Limelight - Jul 21, 2021

Marianne Cornetti of Pittsburgh Festival Opera stopped by to chat with WQED-FM's Anna Singer about some of the exciting events they have coming up - including the Hans and Leslie Fleischer Young Artists Program, the Legends in the Limelight series, and more.  

Tenor Timothy Stoddard - Jul 20, 2021

Tenor Timothy Stoddard has recently joined pianist Ellen Fast to record the world premiere of Michael Markowsky's "Mortaly Wounded" with poetry from Federico Garcia Lorca. Timothy has made Pittsburgh his home after living in New York. He sang as soloist with Pittsburgh Camerata and the Shadyside Presbyterian Choir. He worked with Sir Simon Rattle at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, premiered the tenor role in Karson Kievman's opera "Tesla" about inventor Nikola Tesla, performed in Trondheim, Norway. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham, he talks about his career and the wold premiere. He has sung as a young artist at the Utah Festival of Opera and Musical Theater. He has performed outreach for the Metropolitan Opera, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Opera Idaho. He has served as resident tenor for the American Opera Project’s Composers and the Voice Fellowship. Timothy has received artist awards from the NATS competitions of Chicago and Spokane, Arleen Auger Foundation, the American Scandinavian Society, and the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust. He holds degrees from the University of Idaho and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Mark Fleischer & James Cunningham - Pittsburgh CLO 75th Anniversary - Jul 16, 2021

WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke with the "other" James Cunningham, Music Director of Pittsburgh CLO, as well as CLO's Executive Producer Mark Fleischer to talk about their 75th Annivesary - their "Broadway Musical Celebration" taking place at Heinz Field July 21-24; their favorite selections from different CLO productions and much more.