Suzanne Farrin and the ondes Martenot

ondes martenot


Hear Suzanne Farrin play the ondes Martenot, again, on Sunday August 21st at 7pm, at Dreamland.

LYO Gets a New Music Director

Deanna Tham

Mahler and Tchaikovsky symphonies are often big, expensive endeavors for professional orchestras, and they may seem out of reach for youth orchestras.

But the newly appointed music director for the Louisville Youth Orchestra sees opportunity in big symphonies for young players.

I spoke with Deanna Tham about her goals as the new conductor of the Louisville Youth Orchestra, and how to approach teaching orchestral music to the next generation of musicians.

On the balance between being a teacher to young people and coaching musicians in a mock professional setting:

“You let the music do the teaching. The music, it’s been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. The music that’s being created now is going to be around hopefully for hundreds and hundreds of years, and it offers so much on its own.

“I don’t even think about teaching. The music is teaching me, and I am just relaying that information to those students. I might frame it in a different way. I might have to coach them in, hey, if we want to get this effect, you’re going to have to do these things. And those are just mechanics. But that’s what the music is teaching me. I hear something that comes back from them at me from the orchestra and I go, look, it’s nothing personal, it’s nothing about education, this is just the way it’s supposed to sound, this is what the music is supposed to do.”

On her ambitions for the Louisville Youth Orchestra:

“That’s what really got me — being in that culture — really got me excited about playing classical music was playing those huge pieces, and you can do that in youth orchestra. There are limitations in youth orchestra, which is what allows me to play those, I take advantage of those limitations in the sense that in a professional orchestra, you have to program down or program smart. And it’s not that I don’t program smart. But in a youth orchestra, I’m trying to get as many people to play as I can.

“That opens up to things like ‘Pines of Rome’ is absolutely something we can do, anything that’s Mahler is absolutely something we can do because the numbers are so huge. And you know what? That’s what got me excited about music. And that’s what I want to get these kids excited about.”

In-Studio: Longleash + Suzanne Farrin


Longleash (a piano trio) returns to Kentucky, this August, for their annual Loretto Project, and will stop by Classical 90.5 for an in-studio on August 17th at noon. They’ll be joined by composer Suzanne Farrin, who will also play the ondes Martenot.

Longleash In-Studio
Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at noon
Classical 90.5
619 S. Fourth Street
Free and open-to-the-public

ondes martenot

Pinchas Zukerman’s Recording Career

pinchas z album cover

Pinchas Zukerman’s recording career spans almost 50 years and over 100 recordings. He’s been nominated for a Grammy 21 times, and has won two of them. Now Deutsche Grammophon is re-releasing some of his best work with the prolific German recording company, and his work on the Philips label, in a limited edition, 22-disc set. Daniel Gilliam spoke with Zukerman about his career in the recording world.

A Poet of Words and Music


We don’t hear the name Agustin Barrios (1884-1944) much today, but in his home country of Paraguay – and in certain guitar circles – he is still revered. Guitarist John Williams once said of Barrios “…is the best of the lot, regardless of era. His music is better formed, it’s more poetic, it’s more everything!” Barrios dedicated his life to both music and poetry. He composed over 300 individual compositions. During his travels throughout South America, Barrios would sign copieds of this poems and give them to anyone who wanted one. Collectors warn that the originals are difficult to authenicate.

Barrios’ music fell into three major categories: imitative, folk and religious. Many musicians consider his work call “La Catedral” his greatest composition. Barrios played parts of it to Andres Segovia and Segovia was entranced by it. He called it “… ideal for the repertory of any concert guitarist.”

Our Guitar Picks this week:

Agustin Barrios – Waltz No. 3 – Alexander-Sergei Ramírez
Antonio Vivaldi – Guitar Concerto, RV93 – John Williams
Joseph Haydn/Francois de Fossa – Grand Duo Op.9/5 – Castellani-Andriaccio Duo
JS Bach – Prelude, Fugue and Allegro for Lute in E flat major, BWV 998 – David Lippel
Manuel de Falla – Danza del Molinero – Miloš Karadaglić

My ukulele pick this week is my friend Ken Middleton’s version of a Bob Dylan classic: