Classical music

composite of portraits of Beethoven, Ellington
MSU College of Music

Fri. Nov. 21 8pm - 90.5 WKAR | The best of classical and jazz: Beethoven and Ellington.

Tonight through Sunday, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor come to life on the big screen in the Hollywood classic "Singin' In The Rain". The Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra will perform live accompaniment to the HD screening at Grand Rapids’ De Vos Theatre.

This Sunday night at the Wharton Center, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg joins the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring works by Peter Tchaikovsky and Max Bruch. The multi-talented Salerno-Sonnenberg has performed with just about every major symphony orchestra on the planet.

Group photo on TV production set

5:30 p.m. Saturday 11/08/14 on WKAR-HD | Director Chad Parmenter makes a bold move, featuring soloists at state competition.

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next MasterWorks concert is Saturday at Wharton Center. The MSU State Singers, University Chorale and Choral Union get involved with this LSO concert.

Williamston High School Band on Forte

Oct 27, 2014
Group photo on TV production set

5:30 p.m. Saturday 11/01/14 on WKAR-HD | A director's unique approach could be the key to top marks in elite state competition.

Sachs with trumpet

Thu. Oct. 23 - 7:30pm on 90.5 FM WKAR | MSU Wind Symphony performs Aaron Jay Kernis's "a Voice, a Messenger" with guest soloist Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra. Kevin Sedatole conducts.

Holly High School Band on Forte

Oct 20, 2014
Group photo on TV production set

A former marine in his first year as director prepares students for elite competition.

A2SO on 90.5 FM WKAR

Oct 15, 2014
Group performing
courtesy / Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

Sat. Oct. 18 - noon on 90.5 | The second concert in the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's Main Stage series comes to 90.5 Classical this Saturday at noon.  The A2SO's Made In The USA program features works by Bernstein, Barber, Daugherty and Gershwin with violin soloist Joan Kwuon and local ensembles Boychoir of Ann Arbor and Vocal Arts Ensemble.  Arie Lipsky conducts and previews the next broadcast concert of the Main Stage series with WKAR's Peter Whorf.

This special broadcast is available exclusively over-the-air on 90.5 (no online streaming).

Group photo on TV production set

Sat. Oct. 18 - 5:30pm WKAR-HD | From a music program only ten years old, today’s students in Lowell High School Symphonic Orchestra compete for top honors at State Festival.

The next Lansing Symphony Orchestra concert is Saturday night at MSU’s Wharton Center. The concert features Chopin’s first piano and Mendelssohn’s Italian symphony, and a new piece that people may not have heard yet.

Group photo on TV production set

WATCH NOW | Student musicians strive to maintain a ninety-year legacy of excellence.

Woman holding violin close
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Sat. Oct. 11 - 8pm 90.5 FM | Live from the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor, this concert reflects the many facets of what makes American music American.

Owosso High School Symphony Band on Forte

Oct 5, 2014
Band in Performance Studio

Student musicians led by retiring director Carl Knipe compete at State Festival featuring the best of the best. WATCH NOW at

Courtesy - Lisa Mazzucco

It’s safe to say that the Emerson String Quartet is among the top such ensembles on the planet. In their more than three decades of existence, the Emerson’s  achievements include more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s "Ensemble of the Year" and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. The Emerson Quartet performs as part of the University Musical Society series at Ann Arbor’s Rackham Auditorium this Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Orchestral works of epic proportion dominate this year’s MSU Symphony Series. Mighty Symphonies by Mahler, Beethoven and Prokofiev will be featured on the stage of the Wharton Center as conductor Kevin Noe leads his Michigan State musicians.

Kevin Noe with Orchestra
courtesy / MSU College of Music

8pm Fri. Sept. 26 on FM 90.5 WKAR

The new original series from WKAR debuts Oct. 4 with Owosso High School Symphony Band. - Corey Hayes

Tonight’s Lansing Symphony Orchestra concert launches their 85th season. The program includes works by Gandolfi, Bruch and Tchaikovsky.

portrait: Andre Watts
Steve Sherman

8pm Sat. Sept. 13 on 90.5 FM | The debut of Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra LIVE from WKAR features piano legend André Watts performing an all-Beethoven program.

Resurrection | 90.5 Community Concerts

Jul 28, 2014
Conductor and performers on stage
Becky Shink Photography

Saturday, August 2 at 2pm on 90.5 WKAR | "Resurrection" featured in a special two-hour edition of 90.5 Community Concerts.

Flickr - Alice Carrier

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra and music director Timothy Muffitt recently announced their 2014-15 season. Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with Lansing State Journal classical music writer Ken Glickman for a preview.

Flickr - texasgurl

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra closes out its regular season with an unusual Wednesday night concert tomorrow. It features Brahms’ final symphony, a near-viral modern composition, and a piano concerto played by Andrew Hsu, a Gilmore Young Artist competition winner.

MSU Director of Orchestras Kevin Noe
Courtesy / MSU College of Music

Sat. Apr. 26 - 8pm - 90.5 WKAR | Kevin Noe leads the MSU Symphony and faculty soloist Melanie Helton in Mahler's Symphony No. 2

Orchestra on theatre stage
Ann Arbor YSO / flickr

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra closes its 2013-14 season Saturday night at the Michigan Theatre with an all-Brahms program.

Current State's Peter Whorf spoke with music director Arie Lipsky about the upcoming season and Saturday's concert.

Sat. Apr. 12 - 8pm - 90.5 WKAR | Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra live from the Michigan Theatre.

Flickr - Andrea Puggioni

MSU Opera Theater perform’s Giacomo Puccini’s "La Boheme" this weekend at Fairchild Theatre. Current State’s Peter Whorf spoke with director Melanie Helton and music director Daniel Beckwith, and the three are also joined by cast members for WKAR studio performances.

Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next MasterWorks concert is Saturday night at Wharton Center. It features music from American composers Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

Courtesy/Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys

An unusual choir of men and boys based in Grand Rapids will present a Lenten season program this Friday and Saturday at St. Andrews Cathedral in downtown Grand Rapids.

Mon., March 17, 7:30 pm on 90.5 FM |  MSU College of Music presents "Russian Gems" as part of the Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival.