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Asleep at the Wheel

Ray Benson is one of the greatest living practitioners of western swing - a mix of country, jazz and boogie-woogie that has delighted audience worldwide since the days of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. This weekend Benson brings his band to the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, a town that was home to two of his other musical heroes - Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Benson talked with us on Valley Edition about the legacy of Bob Wills and the lasting appeal of western swing. 

Pianist Giuseppe Andaloro returns to Fresno this weekend for the third time with a concert for the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series at Fresno State. The Scilian-born pianist rose to internationally acclaim after he won the 2004/2005 Busoni Competition. In Fresno he will perform a selection of pieces including works by Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Rachmaninov. He joined us to talk about his career and his upcoming concert, as well as the experience of playing Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, with Vladimir Ashkenazy as conductor. 

This weekend Fresno audiences will get a chance to see and hear another of the six candidates hoping to become the next music director and conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic. On Sunday guest conductor Daniel Meyer leads the orchestra in concert at the Saroyan Theatre. A native of Cleveland, Meyer currently leads orchestras in Asheville, NC and Erie, PA.

Armenian-born classical pianist Sofya Melikyan has performed at Carnegie Hall and other prestigious halls across the globe. Now she brings her artistry to Fresno for a concert Friday October 14, 2016 that includes music by Franz Liszt and Granados, as well as Babadjanian and Liebermann.

Sameer Patel

Sameer Patel is the first of six candidates hoping to become the next conductor and musical director of the Fresno Philharmonic. The current Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, Patel brings a youthful passion to his work, and numerous honors, including the Solti Foundation’s U.S. 2016 Career Assistance Award. His artistry will be on display at the Saroyan Theater this weekend as the leads the orchestra in a concert featuring works by Mozart, Sibelius and Jonathan Leshnoff.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

It’s not every day that a musician from Fresno is honored by the National Endowment For the Arts with a prestigious national fellowship. But Bounxeung Synanonh one of the leading performers of the traditional Lao instrument the khaen recently received national recognition for his artistry from the group.

Courtesy of artist

It’s not every day that two Fresno musicians release a new CD on the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways record label. But Agustin Lira and Patricia Wells aren’t your typical Fresno musicians.

Young Artists Spotlight: YOOF Violin Soloists

Mar 23, 2016
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio / White Ash Broadcasting

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature three talented violin soloists who are all part of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno program. We'll hear performances by: 

Aidan Coleman, 13, violin: Gigue from Veracini Sonata in D Minor 

Emilea Okayasu, 12, violin, Beriot concerto, first movement

Benjamin Pegram, 12, violin: Saint-Saens concerto, first movement

Young Artists Spotlight: Lindsay Guitars 2016

Mar 10, 2016
Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A group of 15 guitarists paid a visit to Young Artist Spotlight this week. The Lindsay High School Guitars, directed by Nancy Wills, is a top-notch group of high school musicians that perform around the region. The group is made up of beginning, intermediate and advanced guitarists. 

   

The Fresno Philharmonic presents a concert dedicated to the music of composer Johannes Brahms this weekend, and Maestro Theodore Kuchar joined us Friday to talk about the composer and guest artist Noah Bendix-Balgley. From the technical brilliance of his concerto for violin, to the grand scope of his Symphony No. 1 in C minor, to the popularity of his Hungarian Dances, Kuchar discusses the many reasons why Brahms remains a highpoint in the classical repertoire. 

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