On the Air This Week

Highlights from August 7 to 14

Wednesday, 8 p.m.: Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest: Music of Rossini, St.-Saëns, and Dvořák; with guest pianist Benjamin Grosvenor

Thursday, 3 p.m. hour: Regional Spotlight: Schubert, from the Bridge Chamber Music Festival in Northfield

Friday, 8 p.m.: The Mozart Festival, Part 2

Sunday, 6 a.m.: Pipedreams: (Not Your Average) Sunday Music

Sunday, noon: From the Top

Sunday, 1 p.m.: SymphonyCast: From this year’s BBC Proms: the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, in an ocean-themed concert

Monday, 7 p.m.: Roll Credits

Mihaela Ursuleasa, in Memoriam

The excellent Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa has died suddenly at the age 33.

She was found dead in her apartment in Vienna.

The cause of death is thought to have been a cerebral hemorrhage.

She was in St. Paul several times to perform for the Chopin Society of Minnesota. In 2007 she played the premiere of a new Aaron Jay Kernis piece commissioned for her by the Chopin Society for its 25th anniversary season. In 2008, she came to Classical Minnesota Public Radio for conversation and performance with Steve Staruch. You can hear that session here.

And Performance Today remembers her.


New Classical Tracks – Exploring the Viola Bonus Content

Kraus: Viola Concertos - David Aaron Carpenter, viola/Tapiola Sinfonietta (Ondine 1193-2) (Courtesy of Ondine)

Not all of the content from an episode of New Classical Tracks makes the audio cut. Here is further information and interviews relating to the new disc, Kraus: Viola Concertos by David Aaron Carpenter.

American violist and violinist David Aaron Carpenter was in the midst of his final exams at Princeton University a few years ago when he got the news that he’d be performing with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. And Carpenter says it wasn’t your average performance. Not only was he filling in for a violin superstar — Maxim Vengerov — he also WASN’T going to be playing a concerto by Beethoven or Brahms or Mozart. Instead, Carpenter had to learn a NEW concerto, the Viola Tango Rock Concerto, written especially for Vengerov by composer Benjamin Yusupov.

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And even after all the training and practice — Carpenter says there was no avoiding an unfortunately altercation during one of the performances:

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That’s David Aaron Carpenter. Take a look at his performance of the Yusupov Concerto below — though no violists were harmed in this particular performance! (The electric violin/viola starts around 1:34 and the dancing starts around 4:03!)