Classical music

Christian Steiner


Current State is pleased to welcome Michigan State University music professor emeritus Ralph Votapek to provide today's live music.

Votapek’s daughter Kathryn is a violinist on the faculty at the University of Michigan and associate concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. The Votapeks will play a benefit concert for Lansing Catholic High School on March 9th.

WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Our featured musician this Friday is Micah Ling. This week, the Grand Rapids native and MSU grad surpassed her goal on Kickstarter to produce her debut solo album. She plays some the songs that will be featured on the new album and discusses her love for Old Time music. 

MSU Symphony features Copeland, Brahms.

Feb 5, 2014

The MSU Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Friday night at Wharton Center. It features the fourth and last symphony of Brahms, and Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

MSU musicians celebrate Mozart's birthday

Jan 27, 2014

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be celebrated tonight at 7:30 at MSU's Fairchild Theatre as the College of Music presents its annual "Happy Birthday Mozart" concert.  Woodwind musicians will perform several of Mozart's chamber works, and faculty vocalists will sing arias from three of Mozart's best known operas: "Don Giovanni", "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Cosi Fan Tutte".

LSO concert highlights Tchaikovsky's legacy

Jan 10, 2014
Trumpie Photography

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Saturday night at Wharton center. The program will be mostly Russian ballet music from several eras.

LSO celebrates season with holiday favorites

Dec 19, 2013
Trumpie Photography

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert is Sunday at Wharton Center. Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with conductor Timothy Muffitt about the music, starting with some pieces that will include local students.

MSU Opera presents 'The Magic Flute'

Nov 22, 2013

The Michigan State University Opera Theatre is presenting Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” starting Friday night in the newly renovated Fairchild Theatre.

Emanuele Berry

A group of musicians from Turkey will be at Kellogg Center tonight. The name of the concert is “Heritage of 1000 Years.”

MSU violinist performs Vivaldi at Cook Hall

Nov 13, 2013

MSU Violin Professor Dmitri Berlinsky performs a program of virtuoso violin works this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at MSU’s Cook Recital Hall.

LSO concert features Mozart's 'Requiem'

Nov 8, 2013
Trumpie Photography

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Saturday night at Wharton Center. Conductor Timothy Muffitt says he’s quite pleased with the lineup.

Maestro Neeme Jarvi returns to Michigan

Nov 6, 2013
Simon van Boxtel

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Conductor Emeritus Neeme Jarvi returns to Michigan to conduct the Estonian National Orchestra Friday.

Three sonatas take center stage at Fairchild Theatre

Nov 4, 2013

MSU cello professor Suren Bagratuni and assistant professor of piano Minsoo Sohn perform tonight at the newly renovated Fairchild Theatre.  WKAR will broadcast the concert live at 7:30.

MSU Symphony concert features Beethoven, R.V.W.

Oct 25, 2013
Kevin Noe
MSU College of Music

The MSU Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is tonight at Wharton Center. The program begins with Beethoven’s Second Symphony.

Current State #171 | October 3, 2013

Oct 3, 2013

Today on Current State: count day for public schools; Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps; Voices of Experience with Frank Kelley, Part II; and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra's second MasterWorks concert.

Latest LSO performance features all Russian program

Oct 3, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s second MasterWorks concert of the season is on Saturday at Wharton Center. It features music of Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov, and the two violin concertos by Prokofiev.

LSO wraps up season with Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff

May 9, 2013
Courtesy/Lansing Symphony Orchestra

Tonight, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra wraps up its season with a program featuring music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto Number One. Current State's Melissa Benmark caught up with conductor Timothy Muffitt for a preview.

Current State #70 | April 19, 2013

Apr 19, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing police chief retires; folk legend Tom Paxton; Michigan tourism; world renowned trumpeter Alison Balsom; and the Lansing Marathon.

Wikimedia Commons

Trumpeter Alison Balsom is one of the world’s premiere performers on the classical stage and on major recording labels.  She comes to Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium Saturday, April 20th. WKAR's Peter Whorf previews her concert.

MSU cello professor Suren Bagratuni plays live

Mar 15, 2013
Courtesy of MSU

The 13th annual Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival begins on March 17 at MSU. The festival will feature the music of Schubert, Beethoven, Bach and Brahms. 

MSU cello professor Suren Bagratuni details the line-up and plays live in studio.

Violinist Anne Sophie Mutter on life and music

Mar 14, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Violinist Anne Sophie Mutter is one of the true superstars of classical music. Since her first concerts on the world’s most prestigious stages, Mutter has inspired audiences around the globe with recitals, concerto performances and dozens of recordings.

Courtesy of Daniel Rothchild

The Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Chamber Orchestra was selected as one of 15 orchestras to play at the 2013 National Orchestra Festival Competition held at the American String Teacher’s Association conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Last week, the Pioneer Chamber Orchestra won first place in the string division and was named Grand Champion of the entire event.

Current State #40 | March 8, 2013

Mar 8, 2013

Today on Current State: Gay marriage in Michigan; a debate on the merits of "Common Core" education; MSU men's basketball with the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode; the new realities of the publishing world; Ann Arbor teen named to inagural Carnegie Hall youth orchestra; MSU hockey playoffs; Interlochen Radio at Elderly Instruments this weekend. 

New York’s Carnegie Hall has launched a new initiative to bring an orchestra of young American musicians to the world stage. The newly-formed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America finished its audition process this month to form an ensemble of 120-strong. The group will meet in New York in June to rehearse selected repertoire.

Current State #35 | March 1, 2013

Mar 1, 2013

On today's Current State: Detroit's financial future, a local practitioner of the ancient Japanese art form called mokuhanga, sports with the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode, the MSU football program's  legacy of racial integration, Friday fish fries and a preview of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra's next performance.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra performs this weekend

Mar 1, 2013

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s MasterWorks 5 concert is Saturday night at Wharton Center. Music of Barber and Dvorak is on the program, as well as a piece called “Ancestral Waters” by Brian Gaber.

WKAR’s Melissa Benmark talked to Gaber about his composition, and checked in with LSO conductor Timothy Muffitt to hear about the rest of the concert.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra Conductor Timothy Muffitt.
Courtesy / Lansing Symphony Orchestra

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s MasterWorks 5 concert is Saturday night at Wharton Center. Music of Barber and Dvorak is on the program, as well as a piece called “Ancestral Waters” by Brian Gaber. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark checked in with LSO conductor Timothy Muffitt for a preview of the concert.

Richard Munckton

This Sunday night at 9 p.m., WKAR TV presents the two-hour Season Three finale of the hit PBS TV series Downton Abbey. The “Sturm und Drang” of the third season brought us the wedding of Mary and Matthew, the death of Sybil, the near financial ruin of the estate itself and many more joys and heartbreaks. Millions of viewers nationwide will be tuned in to see what this year’s final installment brings and what it may promise for the coming Season Four.

The 55th Grammy Awards ceremony takes place Sunday night at 8pm on CBS. Millions of eyes and ears will be turned to some of the world’s most popular music that evening.

Classical music, as usual, will be somewhat of a sidebar. The classical Grammys are typically announced off-camera in a separate awards ceremony. But the fact remains that the breadth and depth of classical music leads to a large number of categories, nominations and awards.

The MSU Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Friday, Feb. 8, at the Wharton Center. They’ll play Beethoven’s First Symphony, music from Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid,” and “The Chairman Dances” by John Adams. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with MSU Director of Orchestras Kevin Noe about the the program, starting with the Beethoven, which has a beginning that almost sounds like an ending.

Current State #13 | January 30, 2013

Jan 30, 2013
Courtesy/City of Lansing

Today on Current State: Lansing City Council President Carol Wood, business start-ups with the NEO Center, serving the local homeless population, and a preview of the BBC's Concert Orchestra performance at the Wharton Center.