On December 24th, 1945, a small town businessman from upstate New York was in the fight of his life. Deeply troubled by a fiscal misdeed, 38-year-old George Bailey was suicidal. That evening’s events have since evolved into an American myth. Today, we re-examine his vision and explore other interpretations, including a couple of theories his “guardian angel” was not heaven sent.
This napkin ring set from Quito, Ecuador will be part of the exhibit.
When weaving a basket, form does not necessarily follow function. The basket-making tradition runs deep in both Appalachian and the Andean Mountains of South America. Arts professor Herb Goldman says the baskets may share the same job, but, they often look quite different. Goldman, who teaches at Eastern Kentucky University, recently curated a show for the Lexington Public Library.
The Kings Singers are a vocal ensemble with a range that crosses boundaries….both stylistically and geographically. In fact, during the past year, the six-member group has performed in over three dozen countries. They sing the work of contemporary composers, long-established classics and even specially-commissioned pieces. Kings Singers, Jonathan Howard and Paul Phoenix, spoke with John Hingsbergen about the group itself and Friday night’s performance of “Travel Songs” at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts.
When a celebrated piece of sacred music is performed next Friday inside the Singletary Center, there’s a lot of room for conflict. The composer of the Five Mystical Songs was Ralph Vaughn Williams, who was an agnostic. But,Vaughn-Williams uses poetry written in the 16-hundreds by an Anglican priest.
Composer Joseph Baber listened to a playback of his An American Requiem, which the Lexington Singers commissioned and will perform a third time.
Credit Mark Cornelison
Several American classics are offered in the wake of this week’s elections. A choral work remembering the Civil War and a multi-media celebration of a groundbreaking piece of southern literature are performed tonight in Lexington. There’s also a new musical that premiers at Georgetown College. Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, spoke about it with WEKU’s Charles Compton.
Four rock ‘n roll bands will take the stage next Saturday in Berea as yet another benefit for the victims of this year’s tornado in West Liberty. The event is being put together by Blackii Whyte. He’s the proprietor of the Blackii Whyte Barn & Grill.
The Carnegie Community Arts Center in Somerset, KY welcomes singer/songwriter Pierce Pettis next weekend. He’s the man behind songs performed by artists such as Dar Williams, Garth Brooks, Dion & the Belmonts, Sara Groves, Randy Stonehill and even Joan Baez and Art Garfunkel.
Melanie Kleinwas a brilliant and unorthodox woman who came to Britain from Berlin to extend her brand of psychoanalysis to young children. A new production, opening Sunday October 21 at Lexington’s Balagula Theatre, portrays a slice of her life in 1934.
A Lexington house of worship presents the sacred and spiritual music of legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. The Dick Sisto Quartet will perform at the Church of the Good Shepherd Sunday October 28th.
The art of the politician and the artistry of Kentucky’s musicians are on display next week in Danville. Thursday, Centre College hosts the nation’s vice presidential debate. And on Centre’s main lawn, will be the debate festival. Unlike the debate itself, organizer Steve Hoffman says the festival’s open to everyone. They’ll gather to watch the debate, but, there’s also entertainment. Hoffman says the celebration begins Thursday at noon.
In 2010, Chely Wright became the first country music star to come out as gay. Wright’s three-year journey to her coming out day is the subject of a new documentary by filmmakers Bobbie Berleffi and Beverly Kopf.
Since its debut 24 years ago, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has been Broadway’s longest-running and highest-grossing production ever. Since 1988, over 12 and a half million people have seen the productions in New York City. And that number does not include audiences who’ve seen the eight productions on tour around the world.
Israeli-born Itzhak Perlman is known as one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Following a 2011 performance with the University of Kentucky Symphony, he returns this Sunday to open the orchestra’s 2012-13 season.
The end-of-summer and the beginning of the Lexington Philharmonic’s season coincide this weekend. Internationally-renowned pianist Alessio Bax, who’s no stranger to the Lex-Phil, returned to central Kentucky this week for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. Bax is featured in Friday’s Lex-Phil season opener. Also on the program is Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” Bax has done numerous concerts here, participating just a couple weeks ago in the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington. Reporter Charles Compton spoke with Bax about his growing connection to the Commonwealth.
The second season at the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts begins next week with a performance by the world-renowned Cincinnati Pops. On Tuesday, the orchestra, under the leadership of John Morris Russell, presents a show being called “Summon the Heroes," a celebration of America honoring the heroes of 9/11 and our nation’s storied history.
Chamber music bookends summer in the Bluegrass. The season starts with concerts at Shaker Village and ends this Labor Day weekend with the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington. Rich Copley, who’s an arts reporter with the Lexington Herald Leader, promises he’ll provide gavel to gavel coverage. Rich spoke about the festival with WEKU’s Charles Compton.
This year's fine arts series at the University of Kentucky's Singletary Center begins this weekend with a performer who's not exactly known for his music. Hugh Laurie is the actor who starred in the TV series “House,” that wrapped up production earlier this year.
Most public art is at street level, where people can see it. But a new sculpture in Lexington is up on the roof. The piece, which resembles a multi-story, black metal wine rack, sits atop the Downtown Arts Center. The 70-thousand dollar structure was unveiled over the summer. Called “Concordia,” it was created by Dewitt Godfrey, who’s an arts professor at Colgate University. In a conversation with reporter Charles Compton, Godfrey explained “Concordia” is not just an expression of his imagination. It’s also some heavy-metal engineering.
It’s a weekend for the vocal arts in Lexington. A classically-trained, but relatively-unknown singer who demolished the competition in a national search has his first concert on Saturday. And, the Bluegrass Opera Company revives a work that’s spent 65 years on the shelf. Rich Copley, who reports on the arts for the Lexington Herald Leader, discussed the opera with WEKU reporter Charles Compton.
Summer allows music students time to practice their craft. They can found in numerous camps, including a recent week long workshop at Eastern Kentucky University. As Stu Johnson reports, this long standing camp focused on the guitar.
Whether non-fiction or fiction, history inspires authors. Rather than a straight history, author and former GQ editor Thomas Mallon brings the Watergate-era Washington back to life in a historical novel. Watergate-- a Novel, offers a fictionalized view of the scandal from the perspectives of seven lesser-known players. From his office in the nation’s capital, Mallon spoke with Kentucky Public Radio’s Rick Howlett.
In his books, Canadian Army Captain John Rickard is pure historian. University Press of Kentucky this summer published Rickard’s examination of General George Patton’s performance during the Battle of the Bulge…which is considered the American General’s finest hour. It’s Rickard’s second book on Patton. Rickard spoke with me about the art practiced by military historians, his commitment to a “just-the-facts” kind of objectivity, and his interest in George Patton.
Next Saturday is the 100th anniversary of the birth of folk singer Woody Guthrie. Among other songs he wrote and made famous is "This Land Is Your Land". Folk singer Michael Jonathon who you probably know as the host of the nationally syndicated radio program, "WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour", is the creator of a new work of opera based on Woody Guthrie's life and music.
Don't be surprised over the next couple of weeks if you're out and about in Lexington and all of a sudden classical chamber music breaks out. The music will be courtesy of the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington.