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The best in classical music programming on KRWG-FM. From the Renaissance to comtemporary, it's on KRWG!


Leora Zeitlin

Every summer, the Starlight Children’s Theater Company gives young people in Las Cruces the chance to delve deeply into a classic play or musical, and then put on a show. This summer, the production is Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic, “The Pirates of Penzance.” Founder and director Ginger Scarbrough Anderson brought Alyssa Gose and Heather Hosford to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the rigors and delights of singing in the comic opera.

Leora Zeitlin

A typical day for dancer Morgan (Mo) Williams is long: ensemble classes and rehearsals run every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, followed by teaching and, when on tour, evening performances. The visiting artist from the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble joined his assistant, Brynn Fehir, and Las Cruces School of Dance and Music director Monique Foster in a conversation with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about new directions in contemporary dance, the passion that keeps them going, and upcoming productions at the School.

Gabbi and Leland to perform Beethoven with NHSO

May 16, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Conductor Marianna Gabbi and pianist William Leland met in 1975, when Gabbi first came to Las Cruces. Their friendship and musical kinship has not wavered, and this weekend, they perform Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto together, with Leland as soloist and Gabbi leading the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra. Gabbi reflects on music by Beethoven and Dvorak, as well as her long friendship with Leland, in this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.

Credit Leora ZeitlinDr. WIlliam Clark, conductor of the Mesilla Valley Concert BandEdit | Remove

Leora Zeitlin

Terry Kay Gilbert saw a need for a high-school age choir in Las Cruces, so eight years ago she started one -- the Mesilla Valley Teen Singers. The ensemble has grown from its original size of seven singers to almost 50, and includes students from several area high schools as well as home-schoolers. She came to the studios of KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about their spring Celtic music concert, and the gratification she gets from leading teens into the world of music.

Leora Zeitlin

Las Cruces boasts numerous top quality musicians, including several retirees from major orchestras who continue to share their musical talents with the community. Pamela Shaffer Reinhard, retired violinist from the Minnesota Orchestra, and L. William Kuyper, retired horn player from the New York Philharmonic, met here in Las Cruces, and have now formed the Southwest Trio, with Palm Springs-based pianist Robert Miller.

Leora Zeitlin

Acclaimed cellist Mark Kosower maintains a busy solo career while also serving as the Principal Cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra and teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Music. While in Las Cruces to perform the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Las Cruces Symphony, he and conductor Lonnie Klein came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Kosower’s renowned teacher, Janos Starker, who died earlier in the week.

Love Spurned: John Carlo Pierce discusses two operas

May 1, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Henry Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas” tells of how Queen Dido is rejected by her beloved Aeneas, and how she chooses death rather than live without him. Gilbert & Sullivan wrote of another jilted lover in their operetta, “Trial by Jury,” but in that case, the aggrieved bride takes the man to court. Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin interviews Dona Ana Lyric Opera director John Carlo Pierce about these two vastly different treatments of love spurned, as well as his background, some of his favorite tenor roles and more.

Leora Zeitlin

The subtle colors, delicate brushwork and subject matter of Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting “From the Faraway, Nearby” inspired Texas Poet Laureate Larry D. Thomas to write a poem that would allow him “to enter the mind of the painter.” His poem was then used by composer and NMSU Music Department Chair Lon Chaffin to compose a choral work that was premiered at the spring concert of the University Singers.

Leora Zeitlin

Beethoven’s famous “Triple” Concerto for piano, violin, cello and orchestra is “chamber music on a grand scale” -- “nothing short of sublime… and one of the most genial pieces Beethoven ever wrote,” say violinist Ruggero Allifranchini and cellist Edward Arron, respectively, who were in Las Cruces to perform the work with pianist Jeremy Denk, conductor Lonnie Klein and the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

How does a melody get transformed into a fully orchestrated piece? Indumati Roychowdhury and Mikayla Smelker,  both freshman at Las Cruces High, found out in 2011, when they were that year’s Las Cruces winners of the Hey, Mozart! New Mexico Child Composer Project. They each submitted melodies they had composed on the piano, and then heard  professionally-arranged versions in a gala concert in Albuquerque. Dr. Greg Fant, Associate Vice President and Deputy Provost at NMSU and former Music Department Chair arranged Mikayla’s piece for band.

Leora Zeitlin

Jorge Martinez-Rios is a man of many musical talents. Though mainly known as the violist in La Catrina Quartet, he is also a singer, and in February, he made his debut with orchestra in several songs from West Side Story – performed with soprano Thea Cordova and the New Horizons Orchestra, with Maestra Marianna Gabbi conducting.

A Choral Concert of Three Contemporary Masterpieces

Mar 13, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

When young people are exposed to great music, their lives can be forever changed. Contemporary

Leora Zeitlin

Legendary classical/jazz/world music composer and performer David Amram is the focus of the third annual NMSU Warner Hutchison Contemporary Arts Festival, taking place next week in Las Cruces. Percussion professor Fred Bugbee, who organized the festival with horn professor Nancy Joy, came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Amram, and the concerts, lectures and films that will explore his career and multi-faceted music.

Sharing the Music: A Conversation with Ilya Yakushev

Feb 1, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Pianist Ilya Yakushev maintains a packed schedule of concerts, and

wherever he goes and whatever he plays, his goal is to give the audience the best music he can. “I love sharing what I do with people who come to my concerts,” he says, and the reviews he’s been receiving indicate the audience loves it as well. He was in Las Cruces for a pair of concerts with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, and he came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about two youthful concertos by Prokofiev and Mendelssohn, his own teachers and background, and more.

Leora Zeitlin

David Klement is the new director of the NMSU choirs, and the underlying theme he chose for their concerts this year is “Light, life and newness.” He came by the KRWG studios on Dec. 4, 2012, to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about his plans for the choirs, how he prepares them for a performance, a recently-discovered Magnificat written by a young Mendelssohn, and his own background as a singer and choral conductor.

Leora Zeitlin

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is one of the most difficult works in the piano repertoire, so to get a request to perform it in just three weeks can be a daunting challenge. Faced with a last-minute cancelation by his scheduled artist, Lonnie Klein found Gleb Ivanov to stand in and perform the massive work. They came to the KRWG studios on November 30, 2012 talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Rachmaninoff, what makes Russian music “Russian,” and more.

Leora Zeitlin

Several years ago, the string quartet Ethel – often acclaimed as America’s first “first post-classical” quartet -- began reaching out to master musicians from other cultures to see what kind of music they could perform together. In 2008, they began working with Grammy-Award winning Native American flutist, composer and artist Robert Mirabal, and since then, have come to the southwest every year to work with him and the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project.

Guitarist David Rogers brings his pluck to Las Cruces

Nov 19, 2012

When he was in high school. David Rogers alternated each week between classical guitar and jazz guitar lessons, a training that well-prepared him for his multi-faceted career as performer, composer and ensemble guitarist. “Musicians’ Survival 101 -- be versatile,” he told Intermezzo Host Leora Zeitlin in this interview that ranges from the improvisational demands of baroque and renaissance music, to the arrangements he has made of songs by Leonard Cohen and the Rolling Stones.

Organist John Hutchinson knows pipe organs inside and out, having worked with organ builders, built them, fixed them, and studied and performed on the instrument since he was a kid. Hutchinson was invited to perform the first concert in the Ben & Janis Boykin Organ Series at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, playing on the very organ that inspired him when he was in sixth grade to be an organist. He is now the Director of Music & Arts and Organist at Cumming First United Methodist Church, outside of Atlanta.

Among the many musical innovations made by 20th-century composer John Cage were his experiments with “prepared piano,” whereby he put various objects on and between the piano strings to alter the sound. Pianist Michelle Schumann has performed tribute concerts marking Cage’s birthday every September since 2000. She came to KRWG’s studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about how one prepares a piano, her interest in Cage’s music, this centennial year of his birth, and her own musical pursuits in Austin, Texas and around the world.

Marianna Gabbi takes up the baton once again

Sep 5, 2012
Leora Zeitlin

Marianna Gabbi's life-long passion for music and teaching is bringing her back onto the podium, with baton in hand, as she becomes the new conductor for the New Horizons Orchestra for the 2012-2013 season. The former conductor of the Las Cruces Symphony was the first woman to conduct an orchestra in China, and the first American woman to conduct in Russia. She came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about her love of music and her new role with New Horizons.

Lonnie Klein, long-time conductor of the Las Cruces Symphony, makes his debut with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra this weekend with a pops concert featuring the Beatles tribute band, "Magical Mystery Tour." Klein came by the KRWG-FM studios to chat with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the concert, the Beatles and their early use of orchestral instruments in their music.

Bill Hastings has performed in more 40 musicals and plays, and choreographed more than 40 productions around the world, and has worked with some of the biggest names in show business, including Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, Chet Walker, Gwen Verdon and others. While in Las Cruces teaching a week-long workshop at the Las Cruces Academy of Music and Dance, Hastings came to the KRWG studios to talk about some of the highlights of his career and the inspiration he received from his teachers.

While New Mexico is commemorating its 100th anniversary as a state this year, three choruses joined forces to celebrate through song. A special Centennial Concert at the Rio Grande Theatre featuring the Albuquerque Civic Choir, the Singing Out Chorus, and the Mesilla Valley Chorale will showcase composers from New Mexico, including Las Cruces' own Christine Sanders and Bob Diven.

High-energy music and dance from the 1940s, 50s and 60s will highlight the summer concert of the New Desert Harmony Singers, called "Jukebox Saturday Night!" In addition to the 30-person community mixed chorus, the NMSU Dance Theater Group will perform dances choreographed by Dr. Debra Knapp. Conductor Dave Kinkaid came to the KRWG studios to chat with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about what the night will offer.

A Conversation with Jeffrey Biegel & Lonnie Klein

Apr 18, 2012

Classical pianist and composer Jeffrey Biegel was one of the students of the famed Juilliard School piano professor, Adele Marcus, as was songwriter and pop/rock star Neil Sedaka, before he went into the pop world. In this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, Jeffrey Biegel -- who was in Las Cruces for a performance with the Las Cruces Symphony -- talked about his recent collaborations with Neil Sedaka, the lasting influence of their teacher Adele Marcus, and his experience of being deaf until the age of three.

We've all seen beautiful paintings and photographs of doors; far less common is music inspired by them. NMSU tuba professor Dr. Jim Shearer asked his colleague, Lon Chaffin (Music Department Chair) to write a work inspired by doors -- and using photographs taken by Albuquerque artist Jim Gale, Chaffin incorporated the images into a multi-media composition. Shearer also commissioned Arkansas-based composer Lester Pack and NMSU alumnus Justin Raines to compose new works.

Two horn players -- professor Nancy Joy of NMSU, and Victor Valenzuela, third horn player for the Tucson Symphony and an NMSU graduate -- came to the KRWG studios to talk about their love of music, playing the horn, and their collaboration on a concert to honor Dr. Warner Hutchison, professor emeritus and former composer-in-residence here. The concert brought together Prof. Joy's "Corno Crew" -- her affectionate name for the horn choir she leads on campus -- and horn players from all around the area. They spoke with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.