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Intermezzo

Weekdays, 2pm to 4pm

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

 

Leora Zeitlin

For clarinetist Mike Sizer and cornetist Dave Jellema, jazz grabbed them early in life. “I knew at age 14 that’s all I ever wanted to do. Especially when I found they would actually pay you to play an instrument,” Sizer said in this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. Jellema agreed: “It chooses you. You wake up one day and say, ‘I’ve got to do this.”

An evening of popular Neapolitan songs can be just as ambitious for a tenor as performing a full opera, says acclaimed opera singer Alex Richardson, who is back in Las Cruces to perform just such a concert with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra this weekend. “To do eight long and big pieces all in a row, that’s kind of operatic in itself – just the stamina to get through those songs,” he told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in the KRWG studios. And, he adds, “each one is poetry with a story to tell,” requiring the singer to assume a variety of characters during the concert.

Leora Zeitlin

An afternoon of Italian classical music is in store for Las Cruces on Sunday, November 25, when the Vox Vallis Women’s Ensemble plays its second concert of the season, with music of Vivaldi, Corelli and Ottorini Respighi. While the first two composers date from the golden age of Italian Baroque music, the 20th century Respighi composed in an eclectic style that reflects numerous influences. His cantata “Il Tramonto,” is on the program, as well as the ever-popular “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and a concerto grosso by Corelli.

Jorge Martinez-Rios

When the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra began rehearsing in August for this weekend’s concert, the musicians could not have imagined the concert would be in memory of their conductor, Dr. Marianna Gabbi. The beloved conductor, who had been a pillar of the Las Cruces classical music scene for four decades, died on September 11 at the age of 90. She had conducted NHSO since 2012.

Leora Zeitlin

Echoes from a legendary murder in Mesilla’s famed Double Eagle Restaurant will be heard tonight in “Grave,” a new theatrical music piece that will be premiered in Las Cruces with area musicians and actors. Actress Monica Mojica wrote the libretto about the true Mesilla story in which Senora Maes, in a pique of rage, murdered her son and his forbidden lover. Composer Lester Pack, who has collaborated twice before with Las Cruces musicians, wrote the music. Mojica, Pack, and tubist Jim Shearer, joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this interview at KRWG.

Leora Zeitlin

Philippe Quint’s childhood dreams were to become a world-class chess player, soccer star, or perhaps a cosmonaut (he was born in what was then Leningrad, Russia) not necessarily a professional violinist. But at 13 – he began playing at the age of four – he went to Moscow to study at a school for talented young musicians, and there he found “the perfect ground” to develop his craft and a path to a musical career.

Leora Zeitlin

There’s a new music ensemble in Las Cruces, and they’re making their debut this weekend with one of the masterworks of the 18th century, the Stabat Mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Ana Maria Quintero and Jessie O’Hara, both graduate students in violin at NMSU, co-founded Vox Vallis Women’s Ensemble to bring high-quality concerts to the region. The decision to begin with Pergolesi’s masterpiece came from Quintero, who has performed it several times, beginning when she was 15.


Leora Zeitlin

The enchanting words of Shakespeare, the beautiful music of Felix Mendelssohn, and the young, talented actors of the Starlight Theatre Company will come together to make some magic this month when the company presents “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” in several performances. With a wink to previous Starlight productions, there will be an added delight: a song by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Leora Zeitlin

“What’s Othello really about?” asks Julian Alexander about “Othello: The Remix,” the rap version of Shakespeare’s play that he and three other actors will perform this month with the Scaffolding Theatre Co. In this interview with KRWG’s Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, director Megan McQueen suggests that it’s “about how we treat people as “Others.” As she wrote in her director’s notes, “Othello challenges us to consider who we value and who we oppress, who we envy and who we sabotage, and why.”

Leora Zeitlin

Fairies, sprites, magic and love are all part of Shakespeare’s enchanting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This weekend, they’ll all be on stage when the Las Cruces School of Dance and Music presents the Shakespeare-inspired ballet, choreographed by founder and artistic director Monique Foster. Her goal for every ballet, she says, is “to tell the story. Yes, we have ballet technique, dance, and a vocabulary, but I’m always trying to make sure the story is told.”

Leora Zeitlin Honored For Interviews On KRWG-FM's "Intermezzo"

May 22, 2018

KRWG-FM host Leora Zeitlin was honored by the New Mexico Press Women for interviews conducted on "Intermezzo," which is broadcast weekdays from 2pm to 4pm.  The interviews included: “Irish Fiddle Master Brian Conway" and “Legendary pianist Misha Dichter.”

Leora Zeitlin

Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of people walking around with ukuleles in Las Cruces this weekend. Ukulele enthusiasts, musicians, and teachers are gathering from around the country for the second Las Cruces UkeFest, with concerts, workshops, open mic, jam sessions and prize drawings all being part of the two-day festival. The festival is hosted by Las Cruces Ukes, a group that was founded five years ago by Cheryl Fallstead.

Leora Zeitlin

When he was growing up in Mexico, violinist Daniel Vega-Albela fell in love with the music of Mozart, and has been playing it ever since. This Sunday, he will perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Dr. Marianna Gabbi. “Mozart was probably my first love,” he said in this interview with Gabbi and Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. “I’ve been playing this concerto ever since I was a kid. It’s amazing to see that every time I pick it up again, I find something different. I can continue to grow with this concerto.”

Leora Zeitlin

As music students in Morelia, Mexico in the late 1990s, violist Jorge Martinez and pianist Alain Del Real often played together, became good friends, and promised they would continue making music together “in the near future.” Though 22 years have intervened, tonight the two musicians will make that dream a reality when they perform a recital in Las Cruces, joined by Radostin Konstantinov, principal clarinetist of the Juarez Symphony Orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

What began as a simple conversation thirty years ago outside the NMSU Music Building has today become one of Las Cruces’ most beloved and enduring musical institutions, the Mesilla Valley Concert Band. Founded by band conductors and teachers Dr. Bill Clark and John Schutz, along with White’s Music Box owner Mike White, MVCB has grown from 30 players to more than 100 auditioned musicians who together have played for tens of thousands of people over the course of three decades.

Leora Zeitlin

Giuseppe Verdi knew how to create unforgettable drama on stage, not only in his almost forty operas, but also in his Requiem Mass, a work whose emotional power and range has been known to terrify, astound in its beauty and chilling effects, and bring one to tears. In a section meant to evoke heavenly trumpets calling from the next world, four trumpets play on stage and four off-stage. “It just raises the hair on the back of your neck, it’s so beautiful,” says Dr. Lonnie Klein, who will conduct the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra in two performances of the Requiem this weekend.

Leora Zeitlin

It will be a night of Mozart, mountains, and even a little mariachi music when El Paso Opera offers its first-ever “Mozart by Moonlight” concert at McKelligon Canyon this Saturday night. Four opera singers from the region will join four young performers and a 30-piece orchestra to perform arias from four of Mozart’s operas in a concert performance led by conductor Bohuslav Rattay.

Leora Zeitlin

Ask members of the Great American Trio to describe the music of American composer James Grant, and you’ll hear a string of praise: “warm”, “beautiful,” “lyrical,” “challenging,” “extravagant.” To pianist Dena Kay Jones, “there’s something about his compositions that sounds so human to me,” and to horn player Celeste Shearer, he’s one of “the greatest musicians/composers [whose music] I’ve had the opportunity to play.”

Leora Zeitlin

Flamenco dancer and teacher Frank “Paco Antonio” Gilpin first heard flamenco music when he was a dance student at UNM, and immediately enrolled in a flamenco class. “This was really hard,” he said, but he soon realized “this is my passion. I’m going to discover some way to do this.” Gilpin went to study with flamenco masters in Spain, and has been bringing his passion, talent and skill to the stage and to his students ever since.

Leora Zeitlin

The Beatles are coming to town—through a new “fab four” band called the Ladybugs. The new group is formed by four young Las Cruces musicians, all of whom graduated from Las Cruces High School some years ago and have pursued musical careers. The shows will include their own arrangements of 19 Beatles tunes, with a variety of instruments.

Leora Zeitlin

It was in a shoe store that Sara Sant’Ambrogio’s destiny as a cellist emerged. She had begged her parents for a cello, but they thought she was too small. Then the five-year-old went to get her first pair of school shoes, and discovered her feet were bigger than her older sister’s, Sant’Ambrogio told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. When her mother told her father, he said, “'Really, hold your hands out,' and I held my hands out and he realized how massive my hands were – they looked like ET – and the next day, I got a cello. And I was so happy.”

Leora Zeitlin

There may be magic in the air when the Mesilla Valley Concert Band performs this Sunday. One of the featured works is “Concerto for Horn and Sorceress,” a new work written by local attorney and composer David Beasley for his horn-playing wife, Kim Beasley. Dr. William Clark, conductor of the ensemble of 101 players said of the work, “it has an energy… it’s indescribable until you hear it.” Clark came to KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the program, which will also include music by Rossini, Eric Whitacre, and Mark Camphouse.

Leora Zeitlin

As every performer and conductor knows, you have to be prepared for the unexpected: a slip of the memory, a violin string snapping, or a last-minute cancellation by a soloist. That’s what conductor Dr. Marianna Gabbi faced this week, when her long-time friend, acclaimed classical guitarist Javier Calderon, was suddenly hospitalized and had to cancel his concert this weekend with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra.

Leora Zeitlin

Valentine’s Day is over, but you can still share the love this weekend with the Scaffolding Theatre Company’s latest production, a five-course meal and theatrical romp called "Five Course Love." The musical by Gregg Coffin requires three actors to perform five characters each, taking the audience into five different restaurant settings, eras, and stories.

Leora Zeitlin

Mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chavez has been called “the Carmen of a lifetime,” and has performed the renowned opera by Georges Bizet in some 40 different productions worldwide. This weekend, she returns to Las Cruces to present her one-woman dramatic concert version, which intersperses Bizet’s music with original monologues that offer new insights into the famously fiery character. Chavez said she hopes “to set the record straight” about Carmen, who frequently is portrayed as a mean, even vulgar, woman of questionable morals.

Leora Zeitlin

What makes busy musicians want to start a new ensemble? For Venezuelan cellist Horacio Contreras, who teaches in Wisconsin and performs frequently around the world, it was a yearning to play with his old friend Simon Gollo, who teaches violin here at NMSU. They had met “more years ago than I want to say,” and later, he met pianist Ana Maria Otamendi in Venezuela. “I’d like to pay with Simon again, and what about playing with Ana Maria?,” he thought, as he recounted in this interview at the KRWG studios with Leora Zeitlin.

All-Beethoven concert to celebrate renovated church

Nov 16, 2017
Leora Zeitlin

Beethoven is coming to Las Cruces this Sunday to help celebrate the completion of major renovations at First Presbyterian Church. A special concert will feature musicians from the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and pianist Stephen Helmreich, performing Beethoven’s Wind Quintet in E-flat, Op. 16 and the ever-popular Septet in E-flat, Op. 20.

Leora Zeitlin

There’s a new professional chamber orchestra in town – Camerata del Sol, a 15-member string ensemble that will make its debut this weekend in concerts in Las Cruces and El Paso. Made up of players from Las Cruces, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and elsewhere in the country and the world, the group will perform works that aren’t played by large symphony orchestras, and that lend themselves to the more intimate sound of a chamber group.

Leora Zeitlin

For a conductor and music teacher, it’s a special thrill to perform with a student long after he or she has set out on a career far from home. “I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me,” says Dr. Marianna Gabbi, conductor of the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra, who will conduct the orchestra and cellist Lawrence Stomberg in Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto on October 29. Stomberg grew up in Las Cruces, and participated in special summer string programs that Gabbi led. “We had master classes, concerts, it was fabulous. Not only was the music wonderful, but the camaraderie was just great.

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