Weekdays, 2pm to 4pm
  • Hosted by Leora Zeitlin, Peter van de Graaff
  • Local Host Leora Zeitlin

The best in classical music programming on KRWG-FM. From the Renaissance to the 21st Century, it's on KRWG Public Media!  Join Peter van de Graaff Monday through Wednesday and Leora Zeitlin Thursday and Friday.



Leora Zeitlin

American composer and performer Barbara Harbach, who has written numerous symphonies, piano works, musicals, film scores, chamber music, and much more, thinks of herself primarily as a “melodist” in her music. “People like melodies. They like them combined, taken apart and put back together,” she told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this Zoom interview.

For 27 years, Leslie Kowalski has been teaching children and their families how to bring music into every aspect of their lives. When her own twin daughters were young (they are now 31), she says, “I had a song for everything,” and very soon, she wanted to share that with other youngsters and families.

Richard Lee started studying piano when he was just three, but it wasn’t until he was 16 that a turning point took place. As he told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this Zoom interview, he was about to play in a recital when, “I really got it. I just sort of said, I’m supposed to do something with this, I’m supposed to elicit a response, an emotional response from the audience, and from myself, when I play this.

Six acclaimed international musicians will present a concert tomorrow evening, Friday, Dec. 10, featuring music from Sephardic, Yiddish and other Jewish musical traditions, called “Nefesh Jehudi: A musical journey through the Jewish Soul.” The concert will feature the Latin Grammy-award winning Cuarteto Latinoamericano, which is based in Mexico, Israeli soprano Sivan Rotem, and pianist Sally Pinkas, who was born in Israel but has lived in the Boston area for most of her adult life.

For the musicians, the connection to the music and to each other is personal.

A new symphony gets its world premiere in Las Cruces

Nov 12, 2021

It’s not often that Las Cruces hosts the world premiere of a symphony. But we will next week, when the NMSU Wind Symphony premieres “Reaching Nirvana,” the first symphony written by Austin-based composer Joni Greene. The work is the result of the long-time friendship between NMSU band director Michael Mapp and Greene, who will be in residence all week working with students ahead of the premiere on Nov. 18.

Leora Zeitlin

Broadway is back, and it’s coming to El Paso. On Nov. 13, El Paso Opera will join more than 2,500 organizations and theatres from all 50 states and more than 40 countries to entertain  local audiences with an exclusive Broadway musical revue called “All Together Now! A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre.”

The licensing organization Music Theatre International waived all fees for schools and theatres to present the revue over a single four-day weekend.

For many musicians, a piece first played in childhood or adolescence stays with them throughout their lives. That’s the case for clarinetist John Pleasant who first performed the Concertino for Clarinet by the 19th century composer Carl Maria von Weber as a high school student in 1968. Pleasant will perform the music again this Sunday, Nov. 7, when the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage under the baton of Jorge Martinez after almost two years.

Sometimes a close friendship can inspire some beautiful music, and that is exactly what happened between the 19th century clarinetist Heinrich Baermann and one of his greatest champions, the German composer Carl Maria von Weber. Among many works that Weber wrote to show off Baermann’s talents is his Clarinet Quintet, a work that combines technically dazzling passages with operatic aria-like melodies that the whole ensemble shares. Audiences will have two opportunities to hear the music when Camerata del Sol performs it twice in the next two weeks.

In 1996, German author Lea Singer read that a man named Nico Kaufmann had, before his recent death, donated a bundle of letters from his teacher, Vladimir Horowitz, to a Swiss archive. Singer had heard Horowitz perform in Berlin ten years earlier and was struck by a certain sadness in his shy smile. But when she checked a biography of Horowitz, not a word was mentioned about a student in Europe. Many more years passed before Singer got the idea to research these mysterious letters.

Leora Zeitlin

When Ming Luke learned he would conduct the first concert of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra since the pandemic hit, he wanted to play music that evoked new beginnings. Next week, he’ll lead the orchestra in works that do just that: the “Reformation” Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn and “The Firebird Suite” by Igor Stravinsky.

The first thing one sees on the website of composer James Grant is his invitation to “connect and collaborate.” And that’s exactly what he and local musicians Celeste Shearer (horn, Dena Kay Jones (piano) and Jim Shearer (tuba) did to create their new album, “Sultry and Eccentric: The Music of James Grant.”

The timing couldn’t have been better. The very week that Las Cruces Museums and friends were about to host their inaugural Juneteenth Jazz Festival, Congress declared the day a national holiday. The festival brings together speakers, local jazz bands, music and improvisation workshops, family activities, a virtual jam session, a roundtable on Black Movements, and much more, to celebrate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the 19th century. The jazz fest has been in the works for several months, so it was organized to be entirely virtual.

Leora Zeitlin

Although we’re still not able to go to full performances in indoor venues, soprano Heather Dials and Camerata del Sol have been offering a musical gift to listeners in Las Cruces and El Paso: free mini-concerts at area churches with music selected for the weeks leading up to, and now following, Easter. The 30-minute program of arias by Bach and Handel has already been presented in several churches with more scheduled for the coming weeks.

Leora Zeitlin

When NMSU violin professor Simon Gollo was still a student in Switzerland, he was introduced to a work by the French Romantic composer Ernest Chausson, a concerto scored for the unusual combination of violin, piano, and string quartet. Now, for his debut recording that has just been released, Gollo chose the massive and technically challenging work to be the centerpiece of the cd. “I could say that I grew up artistically with this piece,” he told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin on this Zoom-recorded interview from their homes.

El Paso Opera singers bring music to the neighborhoods

Jun 26, 2020
El Paso Opera

Although the Covid19 pandemic forced El Paso Opera to cancel its spring productions in March, the organization came up with an innovative way to keep the music alive: bring opera to the streets and parks of El Paso. Throughout the summer, they are offering Curbside Concerts where opera singers perform on the back of a company truck in public spaces and at private residences, allowing listeners to keep a safe distance from the performers.

Leora Zeitlin (left) and Emily Guerra (right)

This hour-long program celebrates a true milestone: Leora Zeitlin (Intermezzo, Thursday/Friday-2pm to 4pm) and Emily Guerra (Fiesta!, weeknights-7pm to 9pm) are marking 20 years as KRWG hosts.

Listeners reflect on memories of talking with Leora and Emily over the years, their contributions to the arts in our community, and the profound impact they've had through their love of music and public media.

MVCB features Tai Mikulecky in March 8 concert

Feb 29, 2020
Leora Zeitlin

When you’re one of the 98 players in the Mesilla Valley Concert Band, you’re used to playing in a large ensemble, usually  in a sizable section of other musicians who play the same instrument as you. But every so often, one of those players gets to step out to the front of the band as a soloist. In the March 8 concert, saxophonist Tai Mikulecky, assistant director of bands at Las Cruces High School and a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at the University of Indiana, will be the soloist in the Concerto for Alto Saxophone by 20th century Italian-American composer Paul Creston.

Leora Zeitlin

There are many ways to describe the upcoming March 1 concert of the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra. It’s a “side-by-side” with a youth orchestra from Mexico, it’s a Sister City concert, it’s intergenerational, cross-cultural and cross-border. But for conductor Jorge Martinez, it’s also “a concert of coincidences,” a coming together of numerous unexpected events and alliances.

Leora Zeitlin

One of the world’s most beloved operas, “Pagliacci,” presents a play within a play (or, more properly, an opera within an opera) that tells a story of love, infidelity, jealousy and revenge that blurs the line between art and life. El Paso Opera is presenting two performances this month at St. Rogers Depot, the 1903 downtown building that has been redesigned as an entertainment space. Arianne Marcee, executive director of El Paso Opera, said “we’re creating an opera pop-up theatre inside the venue space,” presenting “a traditional opera […] in a very untraditional way.”

Leora Zeitlin

Three dozen Las Cruces students will make their concert debut this weekend as the newly-formed Las Cruces Youth Orchestra, fulfilling a dream of Simon Gollo, founder of the orchestra and violin professor at NMSU. “We need to have more kids making music,” Gollo told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this interview. Gollo and several faculty members have been training the students for three hours every Saturday this fall. “[The Las Cruces Youth Orchestra] is a wonderful program.

Leora Zeitlin

December may be the one month of the year most associated with music, and every December, the Mesilla Valley Concert Band delivers with a concert of wide-ranging music for symphonic wind band. This time, the program includes the “Fantasia in G,” by Bach, a work originally written for organ, and which conductor William Clark calls the centerpiece of the concert. “It’s a long piece and there’s not one measure that doesn’t have movement on every beat – until the end. And the energy is unbelievable.

Leora Zeitlin

Opera and crossover singing star Barbara Padilla says “when we listen to music, we are looking for beauty. And the beauty in the music – whether it is sad, or mad, or happy – it’s going to make us feel better.” Padilla learned this lesson early in her childhood in Guadalajara, when her family would drive five hours to reach the beach, traveling from the high plateau where Guadalajara is located, down the mountains, through the jungle and finally to the coast.

Two community ensembles team up for Mozart’s Requiem

Nov 21, 2019
Leora Zeitlin

From its haunting and melancholy opening melody until its powerful conclusion, Mozart’s famous Requiem in D Minor continues to captivate and inspire audiences the world over, as it has for 228 years. This week, two community ensembles will come together to present the work that Mozart was working on – and never finished – when he died at the age of 35 in 1791.

Leora Zeitlin

One of the foremost composers of our day, Osvaldo Golijov grew up in Argentina when Astor Piazzolla was composing and performing his famous tangos worldwide. After Piazzolla’s death, Golijov wrote a work for nine string players called “Last Round” that pays tribute to his fellow Argentinian composer. His goal was to “imitate the wonderful, amazing, beautiful sound of Astor Piazzolla’s bandoneon,” said Daniel Vega-Albela, speaking of the small accordion-like instrument that Piazzolla made famous.

Two concerts to feature music from South America

Nov 4, 2019
Leora Zeitlin

If you’ve never heard music by Camargo Guarnieri, Francisco Mignone or Astor Piazzolla, then this week is your chance to hear and learn about some of South America’s greatest composers in two free concerts. And if you do know their work, you’ll already know there’s a treat in store. On Thursday, visiting guest pianist Justin Badgerow will present a recital of classical music from Brazil, including by Mignone, Villa-Lobos, Milhaud and Guarnieri.

Pianist Bryan Wallick opens EPPM season in Las Cruces

Oct 17, 2019
Leora Zeitlin

If you think classical music is only performed in concert halls, think again. One of the goals of El Paso Pro Music and its Grammy Award-winning artistic director Zuill Bailey is to bring concerts into a variety of venues to make classical music as accessible as possible. To that end, the opening concert of the season will feature pianist Bryan Wallick in a recital amidst the art work  at the Dona Ana Arts Center Gallery in Mesilla on Monday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Leora Zeitlin

When guitarist Marcos Cavalcante was growing up in Brazil, his parents – both of whom were musicians – would not allow popular music to be played in their home. Their maid, however, took out her guitar when they would leave, and Cavalcante discovered it was “the instrument of my heart.”  Cavalcante went on to study composition and conducting, eventually earning graduate degrees at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. After teaching in higher education for many years in Indiana, Brazil and northern New Mexico, he recently moved to Las Cruces to teach at MacArthur Elementary.

Leora Zeitlin

For the 12th year, the NMSU Dance department will pair up ten high-profile members of the Las Cruces community with ten high-performing student dancers in a competition where both professional judges and the audience get to choose their favorites. The event takes place on Oct. 17, from 6 -8 p.m., and will feature the ten starring couples, each of which has rehearsed two dances – choreographed by the student dancer -- over the past six weeks. Several dance ensembles, including the NMSU DanceSport (ballroom), hip hop, and flamenco ensembles, and a visiting dance troupe, will also perform.

Leora Zeitlin

The music of Percy Grainger has charmed audiences for decades with his inventive arrangements and use of traditional English folksongs in works for orchestra, band, piano and other instruments. The Mesilla Valley Concert Band will open their season this weekend with a concert showcasing some of Grainger’s music, including his masterpiece “Lincolnshire Posy,” based on folksongs he collected at the beginning of the 20th century. “In his category, he was just a genius mind,” said Dr.

Leora Zeitlin

Tim Fain wears diverse musical hats: he’s a world-class violinist who plays with major orchestras and at festivals around the world; he’s played on and off screen in  several movies (Black Swan, 12 Years a Slave, Bee Season, Moonlight); he uses cutting edge technology to produce innovative music videos and productions, often incorporating film, digital art, live performance and even culinary arts for the audience; and he uses his music to support several causes, as he says, “to make the world a better place not only for us, but for our children.”