If you’re a fan of classical music but you don’t get out as
much as you’d like, there may be Grand Rapids Symphony concerts you wish you
had been at.
Thanks to Blue Lake Public Radio, you have a second chance
to hear your Grand Rapids Symphony.
Enjoy concerts all in the comfort of your home on Sunday
afternoons at 1 p.m. Broadcasts begin on March 6 and continue through the end
of May. Go online to listen to Blue Lake Public Radio here.
Blue Lake Public Radio producer Steve Albert (left) and Grand Rapids Symphony associate conductor John Varineau.
Associate conductor John Varineau narrates each program, which airs from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Meijer, Inc.
Grand Rapids Symphony’s concerts, which are recorded live in either DeVos Performance Hall or St. Cecilia Music Center’s Royce Auditorium, are broadcast according to the order they were performed.
The Classical Series in DeVos Hall features eight guest
conductors, all of whom are candidates to become the next music director of the
Grand Rapids Symphony.
The series opens March 6 with the 2015-16 season opening
concerts that were held Sept. 18-19, 2015.
Music advisor Larry Rachleff led the Grand Rapids Symphony
in selections from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and cellist Jakob Koranyi
joined the orchestra for Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1.
Broadcasts continue through May 29 with the rebroadcast of
Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” which will feature soloists plus the Grand Rapids
Symphony Chorus and the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus.
The Classical Series season-ending concert, which will be
held May 13-14, also features Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 “Age of
Here’s the lineup for
the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2015-16 Blue Lake Broadcast Schedule
& Juliet (performed
on Sept. 18-19, 2015)
Berlioz - Beatrice and Benedict Overture
Saint-Saens - Cello Concerto
Prokofiev - Selections from Romeo and Juliet Suites 1 & 2
program inspired by Shakespeare revels in music both comic and serious,
starting with Berlioz’s ode to the witty Beatrice and Benedict. A cello concerto’s headlong energy evokes the
great soliloquies, and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” vividly tells the story
of the doomed star-crossed lovers.
Concerto (performed on
October 9-10, 2015)
Dalbavie - Color
Ravel - Piano Concerto in G
Shostakovich - Symphony No.1
The first half of this program
dives deep into the unique quality of French music—color—with Marc-André Dalbavie’s
2001 tone poem and Ravel’s sultry Piano Concerto. To end, Dmitri Shostakovich’s
first symphony gives us a riot of Russian
Mahler’s Titan (performed on October 23-24, 2015)
GR Symphony Chorus,
Pearl Shangkuan, director
John Harbison - Remembering
Gatsby from The Great Gatsby
Mozart - Violin
Concerto No. 5
Mahler - Symphony No. 1
great symphonic masterworks span the range of human emotion and experience, and
it all begins here with his “Titan.” Setting the scene is John Harbison’s
evocation of the roaring twenties hero, Jay Gatsby, and Mozart’s final concerto
Great Eras - The Romantic Concert (performed on November 6, 2015)
Schubert - Overture to Rosamunde, Op. 26
Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto
Mendelssohn - Selections from A Midsummer
Night's Dream, Op.61
genius is on display with this concert featuring Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer
Night’s Dream,” written when he was only seventeen. Schubert was merely in his
early twenties when he wrote the “Overture to Rosamunde” which captures his
trademark simple joy.
Brahms’ A German Requiem (performed on November
Chorus, Pearl Shangkuan, director
Sibelius - In
Pärt - Cantus In
Memoriam Benjamin Britten
Brahms - A German Requiem
A hero, a
kindred spirit and a parent inspire this deeply moving and uplifting concert.
Anchoring the program is Brahms’ most ambitious and thoughtful composition
written to honor the passing of his mother.
Pastoral (performed on 8-9 January 2016)
Rodrigo - Fantasia para un Gentilhombre
Beethoven - Symphony No. 6
Marquez - Danzon No. 2
joy of dancing as acclaimed guitarist Pablo Villegas performs a concerto based
entirely on baroque dances. Beethoven’s most genial symphony is at the heart of
the concert, expressing his love of the countryside surrounding Vienna.
Great Eras - The Classical Concert (performed on January 14, 2016)
Xiang Yu, violin
Stravinsky - Concertino for Twelve Instruments
Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 4
Beethoven - Symphony No. 2
works by great composers who were also great performers, this program opens
with Stravinsky’s concerto filled with dry wit, spiky rhythms and bittersweet
lyricism. Mozart’s most charming violin concertos and Beethoven’s witty second
Seventh (performed on Jan. 29-30, 2016)
Stefan Milenkovich, violin
Korngold - Much Ado about Nothing Suite
Bruch - Violin Concerto G
Dvorak - Symphony No. 7
conductor Mei-Ann Chen returns to lead three works filled with joy, love and
sunshine. Superb young violinist Stefan Milenkovich traverses Max
Bruch’s sunny concerto, and Dvořàk Seventh Symphony brings melodies and rhythms
evoking his native Bohemia.
Mer (performed on
Izcaray, guest conductor
Kathleen Pracht, mezzo soprano
Brahms - Symphony No. 3
Peter Lieberson - Neruda Songs
Debussy - La Mer
extols three of the many types of love, starting with Brahms’ most intimate
symphony about personal freedom. Peter Lieberson’s creates an orchestral cycle
from Pablo Neruda’s poems, and Debussy’s evocative symphonic suite translates
the majesty, beauty and mystery of the oceans.
Great Eras - The Baroque Concert (performed on March 4, 2016)
Eppinga & Jeremy Crosmer, cello
Porpora - Overture to Arianna in Nasso
Vivaldi - Concerto for Strings in C major
Vivaldi - Concerto for Two Violin-cellos and
Strings in G minor
Telemann - Selections from Water Music
Mozart - Overture to Cosi fan Tutte
Travel to 18th
century Italy and fall under the spell of the lively and poignant adventures of
baroque. This concert spans the length of Italy with the Neapolitan Porpora to
the Venetian Vivaldi. Telemann pays homage to the water gods of Roman mythology
while Naples provides the setting of Mozart’s amusing opera!
Emperor (performed on March 18-19,
Perry So, guest conductor
Martin Helmchen, piano
Connesson - Supernova
- Concerto for Piano
and Orchestra No. 5, The Emperor
- Symphony No. 2
last concerto radiates a majesty and sheer joy that belies the sufferings of
its creator. Complementing “The Emperor” is a riotously colorful tone poem by
new French composer Guillaume Connesson and Schumann’s most uplifting symphony.
Rome (performed on April 22-23, 2016)
Marcelo Lehninger, guest conductor
Bartok -Violin Concerto No. 2
- Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
Colin Matthews) - Two
– Pines of Rome
of home influence this concert with Bartok’s virtuoso concerto echoing his
native Hungary, the colorful sounds of Brazil and autumnal piano preludes.
“Pines of Rome” crowns the program as Respighi conjures images of ancient Rome,
led by returning guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger.
Burana (performed on May 13-14, 2016)
Larry Rachleff, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano
GR Symphony Chorus, Pearl Shangkuan, director
GR Symphony Youth Chorus, Sean Ivory, director
- Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety
Orff - Carmina Burana
Empress of the Word” – so begins one of the most beloved of all choral
masterworks. Beginning the program—as only Bernstein can—is a jazzy,
introspective work brimming with the energy of mid-century America.