Posts filed under ‘In the KMFA Studios’

In the KMFA Studios: Matt Haimovitz drops by during SXSW

Dianne chats with Matt about classical music and SXSW

Matt Haimovitz: a musical visionary, cellist extraordinaire, and busy performer at SXSW this week, dropped by the KMFA studios today! He chatted on the air with Dianne Donovan about how classical music is not just a niche of music from prior centuries, but a foundation of music for all genres and future composition.

Short bio: From his debut (at age of 13!) as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, and his first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Haimovitz is considered a modern cellist virtuoso. In 2000, he made waves with his Bach Listening-Room Tour, wherein Haimovitz took Bach’s beloved cello suites *out* of the concert hall and into clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.  ….He was the first classical artist to play at New York’s infamous CBGB Club, in a performance filmed by ABC News’ Nightline. He is Professor of Cello at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal.

Matt Haimovitz is acclaimed for his visionary approach, groundbreaking collaborations and innovative recording projects. We learned from him today that on March 22nd he will premiere a new cello concerto by Denys Bouliane with the Montreal Symphony and Kent Nagano.

If you missed his on-air interview, you can still listen to it on our website.

~posted by Alison @ KMFA 🙂

March 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Behind the scenes of KMFA’s Birthday Drive

What if I told you that you could give a loved one the perfect birthday gift, and that it would last all year long? It’s true! Your gift to KMFA during our Birthday Membership Drive is not just a gift to yourself… you are giving the gift of diverse classical music to your neighbors, your community, and the whole of Central Texas.

We’ve had a fun three days, with lots of wonderful visitors! In case you didn’t make it in to visit us this time, here are some behind-the-scenes photos:



Thanks again to one and all who have helped us make it to year 44!  Happy Birthday, KMFA!

~ posted by Alison @ KMFA 🙂

January 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

“The Italian Girl” visits the KMFA Studio

~posted by Dianne Donovan, host of Classical Austin

It’s always a lot of fun when I have guests in from Austin Lyric Opera on the Classical Austin show. This time, we previewed the Austin Lyric Opera’s production of Rossini’s Italian Girl In Algiers. We discussed the opera, Rossini, and the challenges of singing/conducting. The show aired on Wednesday, January 26th, 8pm. There was more to our interview than we could fit into one hour on Classical Austin, so if you missed any of the show, or you would like to hear more of the interview, check out the archived version on our website.

GUESTS: Sandra Piques Eddy is a dazzling mezzo who will be starring as Isabella (The “Italian Girl”). Austin audiences got to see and hear this dynamo in recent productions of The Barber of Seville and Cenerentola. Bass-baritone, Peter Strummer (Taddeo) has impressed Austin audiences with his warm voice and characterizations, in Don Pasquale, The Barber of Seville and other productions. Maestro Richard Buckley (ALO Conductor) continues to help bring richly inspired performances from both the singers and the orchestra.

Performance Dates: Jan. 29, Feb. 2, 4, & 6, 2011

More Info:,,

~posted by Dianne Donovan, mid-day host, and producer of Classical Austin

January 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

American Boychoir visits Austin

A wonderful guest stopped by the studio today — Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, the Director of the American Boychoir, whose home is based in Princeton, New Jersey.

The American Boychoir is regarded as the United States’ premier concert boys’ choir. Under the leadership of Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, The American Boychoir offers audiences a unique blend of musical sophistication, effervescent spirit, and ensemble virtuosity. Boys in grades 4 through 8, reflecting the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of the United States, come from across the country and around the world to pursue a rigorous musical and academic curriculum at the school. And they’re in town right now, for an event  *tonight* in collaboration with The Austin Girl’s Choir, led by Sara Burden-McClure.

You may have heard Fernando Malvar-Ruiz’s on-air conversation with Rich Upton this afternoon… he had some great insights on the quality and types of music that they perform and record, as well as a modern perspective on teaching young boys the choral arts. If you missed the interview, you can hear it again on our website: click here.

~posted by Alison @ KMFA 🙂

January 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

A classical Christmas: Festival of Carols!

Today is the first day of Festival of Carols, an annual KMFA tradition. It’s four days of holiday programming that includes a truly incredible and majestic compilation of seasonal music, spanning dates that go back hundreds of years. It really is an eclectic assortment, some of which is recognizable in the form of modern carols…. but there’s even more music that is steeped in historical culture and rarely heard, certainly not at the shopping mall or in office buildings. They are delicate and sparkling and contemplative and joyful. Many of these precious recordings are out of print; we’re very lucky to have them, and to be able to share them with listeners. Sometimes I wish that these pieces weren’t confined to the Christmas season!

Think you know your traditional Christmas music pretty well? Here’s a fun link to a short Christmas Puzzler that I found on an NPR blog. See if you can get a perfect score!  🙂

From all of us at KMFA, we sincerely wish you a Christmas holiday of peace, comfort, and joy.

~posted by Alison @ KMFA 🙂

December 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment

Preview of Austin Lyric Opera’s “La Traviata”

~posted by Dianne Donovan, KMFA’s mid-day host

On Wednesday’s episode of Classical Austin, we featured a spotlight on Austin Lyric Opera’s Production of “La Traviata,” by Giuseppe Verdi.

I had some special guests in the studio! Namely, the stars of the opera: “Violetta,” Pamela Armstrong (soprano),  “Alfredo,” Texas-born Chad Shelton (tenor), and the Principal Conductor of Austin Lyric Opera, Maestro Richard Buckley. We learned about some of the challenges and thrills of performing this stunning masterpiece. 

There was more to the interview than we could fit into the show, so if you would like to hear more, or if you missed the show,  click here for your listening pleasure.

(If you heard the show, the music I played was from a recording that featured Cheryl Studer, Lucian Pavarotti, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, under the direction of James Levine. Deutsche Grammaphon 435 797.)

Austin Lyric Opera performances will be November 6th, 10th, 12th & 14th, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

KMFA will broadcast the opening-night event, Saturday, November 6th, with a “pre-game” show starting at 5:30pm.

More information about the performance can be found at

~Dianne Donovan is KMFA’s midday announcer and host/producer of Classical Austin.

November 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

In the KMFA Studios: Sara Hessel interviews Ryland Angel!

Keith, Sara, and Ryland in Studio 2000

~posted by Sara Hessel, KMFA Music Director

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing internationally renowned countertenor Ryland Angel, along with Keith Womer, artistic director of La Follia Austin Baroque. The subject matter of our interview was La Follia’s next concert, “Sacred Music of the Early German Baroque,” which will feature Ryland’s vocal talents, as well as several other exceptional guest performers.

The concerts are happening this weekend (Nov. 6 and 7) at two different venues in Austin. I’ll be giving a preconcert lecture about one of the stars of the early Baroque, Dieterich Buxtehude, starting 30 minutes before before each performance. For more information, please visit

Click here for an extended excerpt of my interview with Keith and Ryland.

Sara Hessel is KMFA’s Music Director, as well as producer and host of Ancient Voices. Tune in on Sundays, 9am and 4pm, to enjoy Ancient Voices, right here on KMFA, 89.5.

November 3, 2010 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

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