Podcast: Guitar Laureate: Xavier Jara

Raymond Bisha introduces the latest release in the Naxos Guitar Laureate series. The featured performer is Xavier Jara, winner of the 2016 Guitar Foundation of America Competition, adding to the artist’s ongoing string of successes. The acoustic guitar has an ancestry that can be traced back thousands of years; this recording presents music from the Read More …

Bard lines


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Pinpointing the dates of Shakespeare’s birth and death has always involved a margin of error, but arts communities all over the world will be using tomorrow, April 23, as a focal point of reverence for the English playwright and poet, whose passing is generally reckoned to have occurred on this date in 1616. As part Read More …

The barbers of the quill

Papa Haydn’s morning routine probably wasn’t quite so bothersome as for many of us today. No dithering over which tie to match with which shirt, shoes, suit, and the rest. His obligatory Esterházy Court livery decided itself. Bad hair days must also have been less of an issue with courtly wigs at his disposal. But Read More …

Sounds disastrous

The ease of global communication nowadays brings home the frequency of natural disasters and their tragic consequences. The only positive offshoot of such terrible occurrences seems to lie in the artistic reflections that composers have made in trying to capture these events, born of the less comforting side of Mother Nature. Picking through the catalogue Read More …

Podcast: Simply unmissable

Once in a while you hear such incredibly beautiful music for the first time that you just can’t understand why it has remained under wraps for so long. The Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 by the Italian-born composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco are a case in point. Originally championed in the 1920s and 30s by no less Read More …