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Inside Appalachia

Classically Speaking

Classical music in West Virginia and Beyond

Discovering Douglas Lilburn

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · January 26, 2011


This weekend, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will play two compositions by Douglas Lilburn, a twentieth-century composer from New Zealand. Lilburn’s orchestral music is expressive and melodic. It has the impassioned yearning, the sense of bittersweet sadness paired with sweeping optimism that characterizes much of my favorite orchestral music. And yet, I’ve only just discovered Lilburn’s music because of the upcoming WV Symphony concert.  

 

Douglas Lilburn Portrait
Douglas Lilburn

WV Symphony Artistic Director and conductor Maestro Grant Cooper studied with Lilburn in New Zealand.  He attributes the sense of space in the music partially to the New Zealand landscape, and the expression of yearning to Lilburn and New Zealand’s role as outsiders in the European classical music mainstream.

Cooper is an advocate for Lilburn’s music, and he’s performed and conducted his music with different ensembles over the years. In our interview, Cooper gave a compelling description of Lilburn and New Zealand’s struggle for recognition and search for identity within the world of classical music. Listen to our discussion of Lilburn and his music:

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Maestro Grant Cooper discusses Douglas Lilburn

Maestro Grant Cooper leads the WV Symphony in Lilburn’s Aotearoa Overture and Second Symphony on Friday and Saturday in Charleston and Sunday in Parkersburg. The concert also includes a performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring guest pianist Adam Golka. Tune into WV Public Radio during Classical Music with Jim Lange this Thursday to hear Lilburn's music on the radio.

Russian Cello and Chopin Essentials

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · January 26, 2011

Like classical music? Enjoy hearing it on the radio and learning more about it online? We need your help to support classical music; your donation right now to WV Public Radio help keep your trusted source for classical music.

You can donate and become a member here: Support WV Public Radio.

This is the Chocolate Challenge, so when you donate, you can also choose to have Holl’s Chocolates mailed anywhere in the country by Valentine’s Day (and if you donate by midnight January 27, you’ll be automatically entered to win an iPad). 

As if chocolate wasn’t incentive enough, I’m really happy with the classical recordings we have to share as thank you gifts.


Warner/Nuzova Duo: Russian Cello Music / Wendy Warner, cello; Irina Nuzova, piano

Russian Cello Music

Wendy Warner studied with Rostropovich, and she carries on his legacy of great cello playing. She and Irina Nuzova play beautifully in these recordings of music by Rachmaninov, Miaskovsky, Prokofiev, Schnittke, and Scriabin. Especially of note is that this is the first American recording of Miaskovsky’s mellifluous Sonata No. 2, a work that’s rarely performed outside of Russia. This music was recently featured on Performance Today and was one of our favorite classical albums of 2010.  This recording of Russian cello music can be sent to you as thanks for a donation of $90 (or about $7 per month).


Chopin: The Essentials

Chopin Essentials

When you donate $60 (or choose to send $5 per month) to WV Public Radio, we can send you this lovely Chopin collection. Beautiful, romantic piano music performed by great pianists that you frequently hear on the radio, including Olga Kern (interview), Jon Nakamatsu, Nobuyuki Tsujii, Frederic Chiu, and Alexandre Tharaud.  It’s a quick and pleasant tour through the essential Chopin – his waltzes, polonaises, mazurkas, ballades, sonatas, and concertos. Chopin: The Essentials wonderful introduction to Chopin and a great gift (perhaps paired with a box of chocolates?:)

It takes just a few minutes, and you'll contributing to keeping quality classical music programming on the radio and online. Here's how you can become a member and support WV Public Radio with your donation.

You can also encourage your friends to join you. Mark that you’re “attending” the Chocolate Challenge on Facebook, and then you can invite others to do the same! Thank you for your support!

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