Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author Thomas Nance, "Dad's Address Book." The story is set in the last part of World War II  in the Pacific.  The author re-constructs many of the stories about the infantry battles that we won in the South Pacific – island by island –  from letters his father wrote while serving under General Douglas McArthur.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a piece by local journalist Mark Arax, who describes the huge farm show in Tulare where tractors sell for a quarter million dollars. Arax tells us about the unbelievable variety and staggering volume of farm production right here in the San Joaquin Valley. 

George Mason / Valley Public Radio

With members seemingly beyond their years in life experience, the Bakersfield Youth Symphony String Quartet graced the FM89 studios with individual stories to tell, in addition to the musicians’ performances of Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and more.

Violinist Henry Song, a Stockdale H.S. senior and in his second visit to Young Artist Spotlight, came ready to tell us of his football prowess and his hopes for the future on a college gridiron. Hearing his violin mastery, one hopes he insures his fingers!

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story titled “Double Plot” by Judy Ryan. Listen for a moving story about love and loss over the decades. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, acclaimed novelist and former Fresno State professor Steve Yarbrough reads his story "The Intersection."

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

It was a full studio this time for Young Artists Spotlight, in the second of three Youth Orchestras of Fresno programs, which are being spread across the total 13 Wednesdays this season. So to the Bonner Studio came Emily, Lynette, Sebastian, McKenna, Amanda, and Peyton.

The rest of the young musicians looked on as 11-year-old violinist Emily Okayasu, who attends St. Anthony’s school, performed for her third year on Young Artists Spotlight.  It is not an exaggeration to say that jaws dropped and eyes lit up. And Emily’s accompanist was Matthew Dean.

Fresno State News

U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine died on Saturday at his home in Fresno. He was age 87. The former Fresno State professor was known as the poet of the working class, and drew inspiration from his time working in the auto industry in his native Detroit and from the San Joaquin Valley, which he called home for nearly 60 years.

Levine took pride in bringing stories of physical labor in America to the world of poetry. Poet Peter Everwine was a close friend and colleague.

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear local author Hank Palmer read an autobiographical account of life growing up on a large Iowa farm.  Palmer's story documents how he gained an appreciation for the natural world of sunrises, sunsets, rain and wind, growing farm products like wheat, corn and hay, and all about how to raise chickens, cattle, pigs, and horses.

Disney

It’s just 129 miles from the star-lined sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard to the dusty streets of McFarland, in rural Kern County. On the surface it might be hard to think of two parts of the state that could possibly be more different. But a major new motion picture featuring one of Hollywood's biggest stars has brought the two places together in an unlikely way. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we here a moving story by Kern County author Valerie Schultz titled "Apology." Hear the author read this story about love and loss.

This week on Valley Writers read, we hear "The Drive" - a story by local author Kevin H. Shah, about a family vacation that doesn't go as planned. 

http://www.charlesramirez.com/

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

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story about relationships by local author Marilyn Larson "Down Old 99." 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Liza Weiland titled “Purgatory.” In it we hear about the challenges one woman faces in her life and a big decision that confronts her. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a short story by local author Bob Hudgens, about a loveable Labrador Retriever named Baxter, and the role he played in the lives of generations of people. The story is read by the author and Suzanne Watkins. 

Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno Philharmonic will soon be looking for a new conductor and musical director. Theodore Kuchar, who has led the orchestra for the past 13 seasons announced on Thursday that he plans to step down following the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. 

In a written statement Kuchar praised the orchestra's performances:

Kuchar: "I have no reservation in saying that the Fresno Philharmonic and I have often delivered performances that are not typical of a regional American orchestra but those of a standard to be expected in a major musical capitol."

California State University

The LA County Museum of Art has announced an estimated $500 million gift from Fresno native Jerry Perenchio. Born in Fresno in 1931, Perenchio is the former owner of the Spanish-language broadcast network Univision. Among the works in Perenchio's bequest are pieces by Degas, Monet, and Picasso.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

 

William J Sanders

A new documentary film seeks to tell the story of one of the most influential figures in the development the Bakersfield Sound. But when the film makes its Bakersfield debut this Thursday night at the Crystal Palace, the star on the screen won’t be Buck Owens or Merle Haggard, it will be musician, songwriter and influential TV personality Billy Mize.

Author Gerald Haslam is something of a literary renaissance man. A historian, novelist, essayist and biographer, he is one of California’s most respected writers, and has devoted much of his career to telling stories about life in the Central Valley. His writing is much like the region he comes from: direct, unpretentious, and often filled with surprising depth and color.

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