Airs Thursday, December 13 at 9:00 p.m. Tune in to hear banjoist Bela Fleck with pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio, live from Savannah in their debut performance together. The history of the banjo in jazz dates back to the earliest ensembles of the 20th century in New Orleans, when banjo players were occasionally the star of the band. Over the next 100 years, however, the banjo changed within American musical culture, gradually falling out of favor as a primary instrument within a jazz band. In the spring of 2011, the Savannah Music Festival premiered a project featuring banjoist Bela Fleck with pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio. The results proved that the banjo has always been a wonderful solo instrument in jazz, particularly in the hands of a great improvisor like Bela Fleck. Tune in to hear Marcus Roberts on piano, Jason Marsalis on drums, Rodney Jordan on bass and Bela Fleck on banjo, live from Savannah in their debut performance.
Air Saturday, December 1 at 12:00 noon The ultimate blend of action, music, scene and dramatic expression was Richard Wagner's goal in his "total work of art." Deutsche Welle brings you another performance from the Festspielhaus, which Wagner designed explicitly for his music dramas. This year the festival, still in the hands of Wagner's descendents, currently led by his great-granddaughters Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Katharina Wagner, begins with a new production of Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) as staged by Jan Philipp Gloger and conducted by Christian Thielemann. Deutsche Welle's Rick Fulker is there, introducing you to the production team and soloists and looking forward to sharing the Wagner fun with those who can't make it to the festival. With the demand for tickets exceeding the supply by a factor of ten, they are not lacking in numbers and have responded warmly to the radio transmissions, which convey the sense of event.
Airs Thursday, November 29 at 8:00 p.m. Bassist Edgar Meyer and banjoist Bela Fleck had collaborated for nearly thirty years, but in 2008 when they formed a trio with tabla master Zakir Hussain, they created a small group in which each member offered up original compositions based upon their virtuosity and shared musical ideas. Tune in for part two of a 2011 Savannah Music Festival concert featuring Fleck, Meyer and Hussain live at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts.
Airs Saturday, November 24 at 12:00 noon Recorded this summer in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden between two gala performances celebrating the 20th anniversary of Angela Gheorghiu's international debut appearances, the acclaimed soprano specially made time available to look back on her legendary career and discuss some of her most famous roles, in conversation with Jon Tolansky.
In this intimate and revealing portrait of one of the very greatest artists of our time, Verdi's La traviata, Massenet's Manon, Puccini's La boheme, Puccini's Madama Butterfly and also Vladimir Cosma's Marius et Fanny are on the bill, and there is an aria that Angela Gheorghiu will be singing when she is the star soloist in the World Orchestra for Peace's Sir Georg Solti Centennial Concerts in New York and Chicago later this fall.
Airs Thursday, November 22 at 1:00 p.m. Described by the Washington Post as "a boatload of talent," Cantus bring their distinguished voices to a national audience for a vocal celebration of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. Alison Young joins Cantus, one of America's best all-male ensembles, for singing and storytelling about gratitude and what it is to be thankful.