Musical Conversations

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British-born conductor Andrew Massey died last Friday at his home in Vermont at the age of 72. 

Peter Konerko

Around the world, contemporary opera is having a “moment”, with an incredible amount new opera being composed and performed. The Vermont Opera Project was founded last year in Barre, with the mission of bringing new and rarely-performed operas to Vermont.

A call to artists for theater submissions, a new art exhibit in Windham and a musical about headstones top this week's list of arts events.

The Crisantemi Quartet of Havana are on their first trip to the United States as a group.
Kari Anderson / VPR

The members of Havana's Crisantemi Quartet range between 19 and 22 years old, but the music they play has a much longer history. Trained at the Lyceum Mozartiano de la Habana, and the Havana Arts College, the group pairs traditional classical compositions with high-energy renditions of Cuban folk songs.

Courtesy of Vermont Chamber Artists

Jessica Pierpont is the artistic director of the newly formed Vermont Chamber Artists, a professional choral group based in Sharon, Vermont. The group has their first-ever concerts this weekend in Sharon and Thetford.

Dennis Bathory-Kitsz

Jul 19, 2016

Dennis Bathory Kitsz, a Northfield Falls composer and teacher, has written a new book that highlights the accessibility and common humanity of classical music.

Opera Company of Middlebury

The Opera Company of Middlebury will give 5 fully staged performances, with orchestra, of Verdi's Macbeth, from June 3 to June 11.  We'll get a preview from Artistic Director Douglas Anderson.

Listen Thursday May 26 at 11 a.m.
Listen online now.

Fernando Baez /

Pianist Olga Kern will play the Grieg Concerto with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Saturday evening.  She visits Walter Parker for a chat on Friday morning.

Listen Friday April 29 at 11 a.m. and online now.

photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco /

Walter Parker speaks with violinist Bella Hristova who will be soloist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra this weekend, premiering a violin concerto written for her by her husband David Ludwig, who will also be present.

Simone Dinnerstein

Mar 3, 2016
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco /

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein chats with Walter Parker about her Lane Series recital Friday evening featuring music of Schubert and Philip Glass.

Listen Friday March 4 at 11 a.m.

Karen Kevra

Walter Parker speaks with Karen Kevra, director of Capital City Concerts, about A Place on Earth concerts this weekend in Colchester and Montpelier.

Broadcast Thursday November 19 at noon.

William Metcalfe Live

Nov 10, 2015

Walter Parker speaks with William Metcalfe of the Oriana Singers about their upcoming performance of Bach's Mass in B minor.

Broadcast Tuesday November 10 at noon.  Listen online now.

Violinist Jinjoo Cho

Oct 22, 2015
Woo Ryong Chae

When the Vermont Symphony Orchestra opens its Masterworks season this Saturday, the violin soloist in the Korngold Concerto will be a former student of Jaime Laredo, Jinjoo Cho.  She speaks with Walter Parker Friday at noon on VPR Classical.

Broadcast Friday October 23 at noon.

Yutaka Kono Live

Oct 8, 2015
Yutaka Kono

Walter Parker speaks with the new artistic director of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Yutaka Kono, and the two soloists for Saturday's concert, violinist Letitia Quante and oboist Katie Oprea.

Listen online now.

Felix Broede

This Wednesday, August 5th in Montreal marks the kickoff of the 4th annual Festival Virée Classique - the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's Classical Spree. The festival itself is a series of short concerts, 30 to 45 minutes long, laid out in a near-marathon over the weekend of August 7th and 8th.

Courtesy of Apple Hill

New Hampshire's Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music is now in its 45th season. This year Apple Hill received the CMAcclaim Award from Chamber Music America, presented in a gala concert on Tuesday evening, July 28.

On Sunday, Anthony Princiotti will conduct the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra in Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6.  He spoke about it with Walter Parker.

Broadcast Friday May 29 at 11 a.m.

Courtesy of Marlboro College

Marlboro College music professor Stan Charkey has written a new work and it’s one that poignantly brings to life quiet moments from Vermont’s history.

Lindsey Huddle

This weekend, the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble has their annual concert featuring new works inspired by a Vermont poet, a show that intersperses the poet reading their works with musical responses from Vermont composers. David Huddle is this year's poet, and he joins VPR Classical's Kari Anderson and Steve Klimowski of the VCME to talk about the project. 

Concerts are Friday at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, and Saturday at the Black Bock Theater, Main Street Landing in Burlington.


Thursday marks the 5th anniversary of the Green Mountain Mahler Festival's New Year's performance of Beethoven's Symphony #9. GMMF President Dan Weiss tells us about the tradition, and about the festival's history.

Listen Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

Performance Details: Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 3pm at the Elley Long Music Center, Colchester. Find out more at or