Classical 90.5 Presents: Lara Downes at Decca

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Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday, acclaimed pianist Lara Downes will play a show highlighting her new album A Billie Holiday Songbook, on April 15th, 9pm at Decca Restaurant.

Downes grew up listening to Holiday’s recordings with her father, who was born and raised in Harlem only blocks from the iconic jazz clubs where Lady Day was a star presence in the 1930s and ’40s. Downes acknowledges that Holiday’s singing has been a lifelong influence. “As a musician, I learned from Billie Holiday to make something completely personal when you make music,” she says. “To make something that is completely your own – maybe something unexpected, something indefinable, perhaps complicated, but beautiful. To take a chance. To quote this album’s final song: “But beautiful to take a chance, and if you fall, you fall. And I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind at all.”

Check out this preview of the concert. And also join her for Lunchtime Classics on April 15th at noon.

Bach is Still Hot

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Classical 90.5 is giving away a copy of Joshua Bell’s latest release which is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Felix Mendelssohn is credited for putting Bach’s music back into popular culture. If the current list of new recordings are any indication, Bach is still grabbing listeners’ ears.

Violinist Lisa Batiashvili put out her own recording of Bach’s violin and orchestra works recently. The Georgian violinist paired the concertos with chamber works by Bach and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel.

Pianist Andrew Rangell released a 3-CD set of keyboard masterworks by Bach. The Steinway & Sons recording includes the Goldberg Variations and the six partitas. This 2013 set is a collection of previously released recordings by Mr. Rangell.

Pianist Igor Levit has created quite a stir in the the classical recording world with his fiery performances. That includes his Sony Classical release of the six partitas by Bach.

The six French Suites by Bach are performed by pianist Sergey Schepkin on a new 2-CD set by Steinway & Sons. The set includes Bach Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue and Fantasia & Fugue in A minor.

Music eX with Dror Biran and Paul York

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Paul York, professor of cello and Dror Biran, professor of piano at University of Louisville joined Daniel Gilliam in the studio to talk about their upcoming concert on Sunday February 22nd at 3:00pm. The concert will take place in Comstock Concert Hall on UofL’s campus as part of The Music eX Series. They will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor BWV 1008 and Felix Mendelssohn’s Sonata for Cello & Piano in D Major, Op. 58, No. 2.

Featured Album: Myung Whun Chung Solo

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After 60 years, Myung Whun Chung, a world-renowned conductor, releases a solo piano album with some of his favorite music.
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Taka Kigawa Plays Boulez

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Pianist Taka Kigawa will perform Boulez’s piano music later this year at (le) Poisson Rouge.

We’re giving you a chance to hear and see Taka Kigawa play Boulez, at Classical 90.5, Thursday, June 19 at 11am. Daniel Gilliam will talk with Mr. Kigawa and we’ll take your questions. The event will be recorded for online listening (not a live broadcast).

It’s free and open to the public, but we’d like to know you’re coming. You can RSVP by filling out the form below, or just show up. 619 S. Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40202. More information at studio@wuol.org