Members Only: Rachel Grimes


Louisville Public Media members can join Louisville composer and pianist Rachel Grimes as she plays from her third solo album “The Clearing” on June 15 at 2pm. She’ll be joined by Jacob Duncan, Scott Moore and Christian Frederickson. Members at any level can reserve a seat by calling (502) 814-6565 or emailing If you’re not a member, it’s easy to join!

Concerto for Ukulele, “Campanella”


A concerto for ukulele and orchestra by Byron Yasui will be premiered by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra with soloist Jake Shimabukuro this weekend. The conductor will be JoAnn Folletta.

Byron K. Yasui has been on the music theory/composition faculty at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa since 1972, where he presently chairs the graduate studies in music. Jake Shimabukuro became well-known after his ukulele version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on Youtube. Shimabukuro has appeared in the Kentuckiana area several times in the past decade. This is the first concerto to be written for ukulele and traditional orchestra. It is also very virtuosic. Yasui’s composition was created specifically with Shimabukuro in mind, giving it the nickname “Concerto for Jake.”

Classical 90.5 will post a recording of the concerto when it becomes available. In the meantime, learn more about the production of this work’s premiere.

Great Contemporary Concertos


Alan Brandt begins a new blog series about great concertos from the past 40 years.

“Reminiscences of Yunnan” is the title of the concerto for zhongruan and orchestra by Chinese composer Liu Xing (born 1962) written in 1984. The zhongruan (pictured), or ruan for short, is sometimes called the “Chinese lute.” It has four strings and circular body. Although the instrument is over 2000 years old, “Reminiscences” was the first major work to feature the ruan in a solo role.

At the age of 12, Liu’s parents intended for him to learn the violin. But a neighbor was an exponent of traditional Chinese instruments and convinced the boy to learn the yueqin, which is similar to the ruan. He mastered the instrument and four years later was enrolled in the Shanghai Music Conservatory. Liu became bored with his classes and instead took to improvising on the zhongruan and listening to Stravinsky.

Since the premiere of the concerto, the ruan has become more popular in both traditional and popular Chinese music. Liu Xing recently wrote a 2nd concerto for zhongrun which premiered in 2014.

Enjoy the third movement of Reminiscences of Yunnan in the original arrangement for folk orchestra.

Featured Album & Giveaway: Goodyear’s Rachmaninoff

Stewart Goodyear credit Andrew Garn CAMI

(Photo credit Andrew Garn for CAMI)

Stewart Goodyear follows his first album of concertos on the Steinway & Sons label with two monumental Rachmaninov concertos, recorded with the Czech National Symphony conducted by Heiko Mathias Forster.

Listen to the album this week on Classical 90.5 and enter to win a copy for yourself!

Local Cello Sensation on From the Top

Photo by Mary Richardson

(Photo by Mary Richardson)

A former Classical 90.5 Young Artist Competition winner will appear on this week’s episode of From the Top (Sundays at 6 pm). Louisvillian Anne Richardson, cello, who has also appeared on Classical 90.5’s Lunchtime Classics program, will perform as part of the Alumni Finale Trio. Ms. Richardson was part of the trio while she attended summer classes at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Anne is finishing her time in the pre-college program at The Julliard School in New York City for music, drama and dance. She is giving her senior recital in May in Juilliard’s Morse Hall. Ms. Richardson’s future options are wide open as she has recently been accepted into Colburn, New England Conservatory, and Juilliard. Anne has appeared on From the Top previously.

Enjoy this video of Anne performing part of Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto.