Artist Interviews

Featured interviews and performances from top artists, direct from FM89's Bonner Performing Arts Studio.

This Saturday the Fresno Philharmonic will perform a special concert in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The centerpiece of the evening will be a world premier of a piece by composer Serouj Kradjian, "Cantata For the Living Martyrs." 

Antonio Pompa-Baldi

Pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi is in Fresno this weekend on an unusual mission: performing the complete cycle of Beethoven piano concertos over three concerts with the Fresno Philharmonic. The concerts will take the listener through Beethoven's musical evolution from his early works to the famous Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor."

This Sunday the sounds of Spain and Latin America will fill the William Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno as the Fresno Philharmonic presents a concert titled Bolero. Featuring music by composers like Astor Piazzolla (Tangazo), Joaquin Rodrigo (Concierto de Aranjuez), and Ravel (Bolero) it's a multi-continental tribute to the romance and rhythms of a fascinating culture. The concert features a performance by guitarist Charles Ramirez with Rodrigo's beloved ma

Paul Body / Opus 3 Artists

Pianist Garrik Ohlsson is one of the world's foremost interpreters of the music of Chopin. The San Francisco-based pianist is a also a familiar name for Central Valley audiences, as he's made numerous performances in the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series.

Vadim Gluzman is one of the world's premier violin soloists. Born in the former Soviet Union in the early 1970's, Gluzman career took off in Israel, where he met cellist Thomas Loewenheim, establishing a friendship that continues to this day.

Violinist Sarah Chang and conductor Theodore Kuchar have worked together for years, with performances in Central California with the Fresno Philharmonic, and around the world with other orchestras, most recently on a three week tour of South Africa in 2013. Chang, who is performing in Fresno this weekend  to celebrate the orchestra's 60th anniversary joined us in the studio with Maestro Kuchar to talk about her career and her relationship with the maestro.

IMG Artists

Sarah Chang is one of the world’s premier violinists. Since debuting with the New York Philharmonic at age 8, she has performed with the greatest orchestras and on the world's biggest stages.

Pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation. His visits Fresno this weekend to perform with the Fresno Philharmonic for a concert titled "I Got Rhythm" which features music by Gershwin, Ravel and several Latin-American composers, including Marquez, Fernandez and Revueltas.  In our interview, we talk to Weiss about his career, working with his former teacher Emmanuel Ax, and about performing the music of Gershwin and Ravel. 

Anna Chobotova / IMG Artists

Earlier this year Ukranian pianist Vadym Kholodenko walked away with one of the highest honors in the world of classical music – the Gold Medal at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since then, he’s become one of the most in-demand artists in the world, and performs in Fresno Wednesday night at 8:00 pm as part of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series. He joined us live at Valley Public Radio to talk about the concert and the effect winning the Van Cliburn competition has had on his career.

Pianist Inon Barnatan joins us at Valley Public Radio to talk about his new CD of works by Franz Schubert, and about his upcoming performance in Fresno, in the debut concert of the Fresno Philharmonic's 60th anniversary season. Barnatan will perform Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2, a rarely heard work by the Russian master. In this interview we discuss Barnatan's career, his beginnings in classical music as a young child in Israel, his approach to the recording studio, and much more.

The New York Times called Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez “compelling, elegant, and incisive." She performs this weekend with the Fresno Philharmonic, in a concert titled Russian Romantics. She will be the featured soloist performing Rachmaninoff’s  Piano Concerto No. 2. She recently joined us to talk about her career, her upcoming performance and more.

Mark Harrison

Pianist Barry Douglas has been an star of the international classical music world since 1986, when he won the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.

In addition to a busy touring schedule, Douglas also serves as artistic director of Camerata Ireland, a group which brings together musicians from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to celebrate Irish culture. 

Matt Stuart

As violinist Elena Urioste tells it, when she was just two years old, she knew she wanted to be a violinist, after seeing Itzhak Perlman perform on a broadcast of Sesame Street. Now as a star artist in her own right, she travels the world sharing her musical gift with thousands, including here in Central California. 

Guest conductor and clarinetist Carl Topilow joins us in-studio to talk about Saturday's "Home for the Holidays" concert with the Fresno Philharmonic. Local theater icon Dan Pessano also joins the conversation as he will perform a reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" with the orchestra. 

Two years ago, then 16 year-old violinist Chad Hoopes made his debut with the Fresno Philharmonic and Maestro Theodore Kuchar. Now a senior in high school, the Ohio native returns to the Central Valley to perform with the Fresno Philharmonic this weekend, performing Lalo's Symphonie espagnole.

In our interview, we talk to Chad about his development as an artist over the past two years, Lalo's famous work, his Stradivarius violin, and his upcoming plans after he graduates from high school. 

Zachary Maxwell Stertz

Mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor has received international acclaim performing with the world’s premier orchestras and conductors, premiering exciting new works, and breathing new life into familiar favorites.

Interview: Audra McDonald

Sep 22, 2011
Michael Wilson / IMG Artists

Audiences throughout the world know Audra McDonald as a star of both the stage and screen, a three time Tony Award winner, a two time Grammy winner, and until recently a star on the hit ABC television series Private Practice. Her latest project finds her returning to the world of musical theatre, starring in a new production of Porgy and Bess, currently on stage in Cambridge Massachusetts, and scheduled to make its way to Broadway in December.