Veronica Nelson

“We are in the world of Mahler where musical references and symbolism play a role,” Thomas Dausgaard, guest conductor of the Seattle Symphony, says of Mahler’s 10th symphony.

Although ultimately left unfinished, at the time it was written it reflected his tumultuous relationship with his wife Alma, who was unfaithful to him. The turmoil that Mahler struggled with and eventually overcame is, therefore, represented throughout the piece. Hear it performed by the Seattle Symphony under Thomas Dausgaard, from 8 to 10 p.m. on KUAF.

“He is the future!” says The Los Angeles Times of German-Russian pianist Igor Levit.

His newest release is a powerhouse of an album featuring Beethoven, Bach, and Rzewski. Rzewski’s piece, “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” was penned as a tribute to the Chilean people struggling against an oppressive government. Hear this stunning piece performed by Levit from 8 to 10 p.m. on KUAF. You can also listen to it in its entirety on demand until July 27.

“Unless we’re playing transcriptions, we’re always playing new music,” says percussionist Aaron Ragsdale.

“I must confess that I lead a miserable life,” said Beethoven in a letter to a friend in 1801.

“I was just a kid, caught up in the music’s magnificence, and marveling at my new discovery—the first jewel I had found in the treasure chest of symphonies by Beethoven,” violinist Joshua Bell says of hearing Beethoven’s 7th Symphony for the first time, his mom playing her favorite symphony on the record player at home.

“It could be argued that art—and music in particular—represents an engagement with the transcendental,” said Austrian conductor Nikolas Harnoncourt in an interview.

In 1824 composer Franz Schubert writes, in a letter to his friend, that he has “not written many new songs,” a claim that is just one example of how hard Schubert was on himself, as he had written his Octet and two string quartets prior to this letter, and they went on to be some of the greatest chamber pieces of his career.

As the only classical performers to have ever played at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, it might be no surprise to hear that the string quartet Brooklyn Rider has an unconventional approach to classical music.

They bring this fresh outlook to their release A Walking Fire, in which they seek to celebrate the “transformative nature of travel and its potential to act as a creative catalyst.” Hear music from this album from 8 to 10 p.m. on KUAF.

“As I started to understand the great possibilities of minimalist style, my mind began to make connections to the same techniques – specifically the manipulation of patterns and ‘cells’ of material—as practiced by composers of the 17th and 18th centuries,” says Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani.

Esfahani’s Deutsche Grammaphon debut, Time Present and Time Past, features a mix of baroque era Harpsichord pieces, like Bach, and minimalist modern pieces like Reich. Hear Mahan Esfahani and much more from 8 to 10 p.m. on KUAF.

“This eloquent composition [Shostakovich], pushing all bearable limits with its melancholic and dazzlingly expeditious features found a perfect match in the stunning soloist, Nicola Benedetti,” says German publication Frankfurter Rundschau.

Benedetti explores Shostakovich’s melancholic Violin Concerto No. 1 in her latest Decca release, which she describes as a piece with “honesty and transparency.” Hear it in its entirety from 8 to 10 p.m. on KUAF.

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