By Special Invitation: The Finest In Local Performances

By Special Invitation presents a stunning line-up of world-class musicians who perform classical music concerts around our region. From a preserved barn in the idyllic setting of the western Catskills and a Binghamton Opera Company to a concert stage at Ithaca College, By Special Invitation invites you to witness music performance recorded specifically for WSKG Classical. These performances can be heard Saturdays at 10:00 a.m, and at your convenience by clicking on the concerts listed below.  

An undated portrait of the cellist Lynn Harrell. Harrell died Monday at age 76.

Cellist Lynn Harrell Has Died, Age 76

The Grammy-winning American cellist had a wide-ranging career that spanned Bach to new music written by Augusta Read Thomas. His colleagues also treasured him as a generous musical collaborator.

John Prine in Atlanta in 1975.

John Prine’s Songs Saw The Whole Of Us

The music of this quintessential Nashville songwriter and lifelong independent spirit makes room for the wide range of emotions that careen through people as they stumble and dance through life.

An Inside Look at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

A native of Waterloo, NY, mezzo-soprano Lindsay Kate Brown was one of nine finalists in the Grand Finals Concert, out of thousands of singers from around the world.  She talks to us by phone from Houston, where she is with the Houston Grand Opera, about the process, and about a dizzying week when she sang in the Metropolitan Opera Grand Finals Concert, and won another competition just two days before.  

Photo credit: Kristin Hoebermann

Nipsey Hussle

In Memoriam 2019: The Musicians We Lost

NPR Music celebrates the alt-rock heroes, Hollywood idols, Pulitzer-winning composers, jazz luminaries, cult legends, bold activists, old masters and rising stars the world lost this year.

Woodstock - Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive is a 38-disc collection of every recording made at the landmark festival

Woodstock At 50: The Unheard Recordings

In this defining interview, Andy Zax, producer of a massive new Woodstock box set, shares previously unheard recordings from the festival and the remarkable stories behind them.

Music at Fishs Eddy Announces Three Concerts this Summer

Opening with a concert by a gamelan ensemble, Music at Fishs Eddy continues with music for guitar and harpsichord.  Artistic Director Joyce Lindorff talks about the history of the festival, and about its venue, the Old Pioneer Church.  

Photo credit: Music at Fishs Eddy

A Concert of Hope and Peace

The Downtown Singers of Binghamton present ‘A Concert of Hope and Peace’ featuring music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir Edward Elgar, and Sir Michael Tippett. 

What One New York Orchestra’s Doing To Increase Diversity

African-Americans currently make up less than two percent of larger orchestra members in the United States. This lack of representation is a struggle for many groups, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  

A Locally-formed Band Comes for a Visit

The founding members of the roots music band, Donna the Buffalo, Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, stopped by to talk about their new album ‘Dance in the Street’, the craft of songwriting, and touring.  They perform Friday, January 25 at 10pm in Ransom Steele Tavern in Apalachin.  

Photo credit: Donna the Buffalo

Tiny Desk Concert with Florist.

Florist: Tiny Desk Concert

Emily Sprague performs three quiet, delicate songs in the NPR Music offices with help from members of New York’s Epoch collective.

"I sort of became this cocktail party version of myself where I felt like I had to play the role of 'happy girl'," Maggie Rogers says.

Maggie Rogers Reintroduces Herself

In 2016, Maggie Rogers was attending class at New York University when super producer Pharrell sat in on a master class to critique the students’ work. Pharrell was blown away by Rogers’ song “Alaska.”

Young String Players Present Their Winter Concert

The Little Delaware Youth Ensemble presents their Winter Concert in two performances.  Conductor Uli Speth joins us to talk about the program and about the history of the ensemble, as well as an upcoming workshop for the group.  

Photo credit: Little Delaware Youth Ensemble

Beautiful Music to Welcome a New Year

Pianist John Covelli presents his annual tradition of a New Year’s Eve concert. He joins us to talk about this year’s concert, ‘Memories.”  

Photo credit: codemac via Flickr

 

 

From Haydn to Beethoven

The Ithaca Community Orchestra presents a concert comparing Ludwig van Beethoven’s music with that of his composition teacher, Franz Joseph Haydn.

Hear Here! | Chocolate Music

In this bonus episode of ‘Hear Here!’ listen as WSKG’s Sam Goodyear talks about how music can be used to intrigue and build anticipation in an original piece he calls ‘Chocolate Music’.

Music for Autumn

The Binghamton University Orchestra presents ‘All About Autumn”, with STMTA Youth Soloist Sophia Klin

Hear Here! | Let’s Listen Together

This episode is all about sharing and listening. Moms, Dads and their kids share music they like. They talk about why they like it, and how it makes them feel. We also meet therapeutic harpist Jayne Demakos who plays for people living in a nursing home. 

This episode was produced by Dan Davis. Sarah Gager is the Executive Producer.

Part Poetry, Part Lamentation, Part Concert

Author, teacher, storyteller and spiritual activist, Stephen Jenkinsen is joining with
Canadian musician and songwriter, Gregory Hoskins and his band for a 35-city North
American Tour of ‘Nights of Grief and Mystery’.  The Ithaca presentation will be on  Thursday, November 1st 7pm-9:30pm at the Hangar Theatre. Juan Lube, one of the people coordinating the even joins us by phone.  

Photo credit: Orphan Wisdom

Vocal Music at the Kilmer Mansion

Music in the Kilmer Mansion presents singers Thomas Goodheart and Jean Goodheart, flutist Jeanne Sperber, and pianist Pej Reitz.  The Goodhearts join us to talk about this varied program, which includes music of Copland, Saint-Saens, Liszt, Mozart, Chaminade, Romberg, and Rossini.  

Photo credit: Jonathan Cohen

Hear Here! | Biddle De Bop

How is voice used in jazz? We’ll learn about improvisations, other vocal techniques, and listen to some big band singing. We will also hear from Catherine Gale, an Ithaca, NY based jazz singer and teacher. Biddle De Bop was produced by Celia Clarke and edited by Gabe Altieri. Additional editing support comes from Monica Sandreczki.

Celebrating 100 Years of a Musical Work and Premiering a New One

The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes presents the next concert of its Musicians’ Choice Series, as a septet organized by violinist Avner Finberg performs Stravinsky’s ‘Soldier’s Tale’. He tells us about that work, as well as about the premiere of his composition ‘The Miracle of Hanukkah’ coming up on December 9.  

Photo credit: Grasya Orbon

Music by Palestrina, Soriano, and Victoria from a New Choral Group

The Southern Tier Singers’ Collective is a new ensemble comprised of choral musicians from across the region. They present their premiere concert with music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Francesco Soriano, and Tomas Luis de Victoria.  Conductor William Culverhouse joins us to talk about the program and the ensemble.  

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

Hear Here! | A One-Woman Show?

During a tech rehearsal of the theatre piece “Bitter Banquet” we will hear from Ithaca-based composer/performer Annie Lewandowski who is at home with both classical music and rock.  We will learn about the journey from composition to performance, and how many people it takes to present a “one-woman” show. A One-Woman Show? was produced by Bill Snyder and edited by Monica Sandreczki. Additional support comes from Nancy Coddington.

‘Great Cities’ in Music at Binghamton University

The Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra will open its final season under the long-time direction of Professor Timothy Perry with “Great Music for Great Cities” at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Osterhout Concert Theater at Binghamton University. The program celebrates in sound the life of four of the world’s greatest cities, New York, Paris, London and Rome, with music by Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Edward Elgar and Ottorino Respighi. Dr. Perry joins us to talk about the program and about the orchestra, which is mainly made up of non-music majors.  

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

Hear Here! | LOL

Some people think that classical music is lifeless and boring. They might be in for some surprises during this episode of Hear Here! Classical music can be amusing, funny, or just plain wacky, like the soundtrack of a crazy cartoon. We will discover how music can actually make us laugh. LOL was produced by Sam Goodyear and edited by Gabe Altieri.

Hear Here! | Can’t Never Did Nothing

Come along as singer-songwriter Joe Crookston explores the world of music, sound and songwriting! What kind of sound do various instruments make? How do stories and sounds then turn into songs? Let’s find out together! Can’t Never Did Nothing was produced by Crystal Sarakas and edited by Gabe Altieri.

They’re Taking It Off in Owego!

The Ti-Ahwaga Community Players present the Terence McNally/David Yazbek musical ‘The Full Monty’. Director James Osborne joins us to talk about this Americanized musical version of the British film about how a group of unemployed steel workers get back their self-esteem and reconnect with their families with an unusual solution.  

Photo credit: Stephanie Jump

Songs of Schubert Tell a Winter’s Tale

The Binghamton University Music Department presents pianist Joel Harder and baritone Tobias Greenhalgh in a performance of Franz Schubert’s song cycle ‘Die Winterreise’ — ‘The Winter Journey’.

A New Season for a New Orchestra

The Binghamton Baroque Orchestra begins its second season with a program of music by Vivaldi, Telemann, Gluck, and J.S. Bach.  Conductor and recorder player Jeff Wahl joins us to talk about the program, the soloists, and why trumpet concertos are so short.

A Two-character Musical About First Love

Director Bevin O’Gara joins us to talk about the story and the actors in ‘Girlfriend’, a story about first love between two teenagers who don’t have the words to express their feelings, so they use mix-tapes.

The 26th Anniversary of SummerMusic

The Magic Mountain Music Farm presents the 26th Anniversary of chamber music concerts in the First Presbyterian Church of Gilbertsville, NY.  Violist Noralee Walker and clarinetist Dan Ferreira talk about their performances and what brings them back to Morris, NY every year to study with Burton Kaplan.

Peace Amidst War In Opera At Glimmerglass Festival

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Cooperstown, New York means one thing to baseball fans  – the Hall of Fame, And another thing to opera fans – The Glimmerglass Festival, held every summer.

Pairing Shakespeare and Gardening

Master Gardener Eve Berman joins us to talk about ‘Much Ado in the Garden’, a Shakespeare-themed event taking place in the Cutler Botanic Garden at the Cornell Cooperative Extension grounds on Front Street in Binghamton.  There will be music, food, readings, and costumed characters.

WindSync Performs for Stamford Friends of Music

The Friends of Music of Stamford present the wind quintet WindSync on Sunday, June 17 at 3 in the Stamford United Methodist Church, 88 Main Street, Stamford.  We hear from Kara LaMoure, the bassoonist of the Houston-based ensemble, about music that has been written especially for them, and the great amount of touring and educational work they do.  

Photo credit: WindSync

Music of Johannes Brahms is Featured with the Downtown Singers

The Downtown Singers, led by Kristina Ruffo, present their Spring Concert.  This year it features the music of Johannes Brahms.  We hear from conductor Kristina Ruffo about the works, as well soloists Timothy LeFebvre, Michelle Thompson, and Erik Thompson.  

Photo credit: Downtown Singers

A Jazz Legend Carries on his Father’s Legacy in Geneva

The Geneva Music Festival presents a wide range of music and various venues in and around Geneva. We hear from jazz legend, drummer T.S. Monk, who will be performing with his sextet at the Smith Opera house. The son of Thelonious Monk, he tells the amazing story of how he first approached his father about wanting to become a drummer — and what happened next.  

Photo credit: courtesy Geneva Music Festival

Jason Mraz on Ask Me Another.

Jason Mraz: A Return To New York

Mraz recounts the palm reading that led him to drop out of college and make music, and how Sara Bareilles brought him to the Broadway musical Waitress. Then we quiz this organic farmer on avocados.

Drama is on the BPO Program

The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra presents music of Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in a concert on May 19th in the Forum on Washington Street in downtown Binghamton.  The new Music Director, Daniel Hege, joins us to talk about this dramatic program featuring trumpet soloist Frank Campos.  

Photo credit: Alice G. Patterson

The Binghamton Philharmonic Celebrates the Variety of Music by ‘Magnificent Mozart’

The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Hege presents ‘Magnificent Mozart’ on Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 in the Forum, on Washington Street in downtown Binghamton.  Maestro Hege talks about the great variety of music that Mozart wrote and one astonishing harmonic discovery he made while preparing this concert.  

Photo credit: Alice G. Patterson

Two Lost Musical Treasures are Rediscovered

Conductor Gerald Wolfe joins us to talk about the two rarely-performed choral masterpieces that will be on the program of the next Ithaca Community Chorus and Chamber Singers concert on May 12th at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

The Catskill Choral Society celebrates ‘The Seasons’

We hear from Catskill Choral Society music director G. Roberts Kolb who is leading them in two performances of Franz Joseph Haydn exuberant oratorio ‘The Seasons’. Maestro Kolb has produced a new English edition of the work.  

Photo credit: Catskill Choral Society

The Binghamton Community Orchestra Premieres New Work

Music Director Timothy Perry and composer Kristen Gilbert talk about the next concert by the Binghamton Community Orchestra. The concert is called ‘Our Town’, and features the ‘Triple Cities Suite’ commissioned by the orchestra.  

Photo credit: Binghamton Community Orchestra

The Singers of the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton ‘Celebrate Singing’

Bruce Borton, conductor of the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton joins us to talk about ‘Celebrate Singing: Madrigal Choir Favorites of the Past 40 Years’ and the task of winnowing down all of those favorites into a concert.  The choir has also commissioned a new work, and founder Anne Boyer Cotten will be at the concert conducting the last three works on the program.  

Photo credit: Madrigal Choir of Binghamton

Ithaca’s Multicultural Chorus Raises VOICES in ‘Songs of Hope’

The VOICES Multicultural Chorus performs ‘Great Expectations: Songs of Hope’ on Saturday, May 5 at 4pm in Ithaca’s First Baptist Church.  Music Director Lorrene Adams joins us to talk about the great range of sources and languages for this inspirational concert.  

Photo credit: Affiliated Choruses of Ithaca

Corning Community College Celebrates 60 Years with Poetry and Music

The Cantata Singers and the Corning Community College Vocal Ensemble join forces for a concert celebrating 60 years of Corning  Community College with poetry of Edward Dougherty set to music by conductor Will Wickham, who joins us to talk about this free concert at the Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium.  

Photo credit: Bob Haggard for the Cantata Singers

The Sultans of String Combine Many Musical Threads in their Concerts

Violinist Chris McKhool joins us to talk about his band, the Sultans of String, who will be performing at the Hangar Theatre on May 11.  The band members come from many musical traditions and present a wide range of styles in their concerts. For this concert, they welcome sitarist Anwar Khurshid.  

Photo credit: Sultans of String

Composer Hugh McElyea Uses an Ancient Form to Portray Heroism and Sacrifice

Composer Hugh McElyea talks about his work ‘Tenebrae: The Passion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’. This theatrical work uses the ancient service of Tenebrae to tell the story of the last hours of Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who could have fled Germany during the Nazi regime, but whose faith compelled him to stay and face imprisonment and eventual execution just days before the war ended.  

Photo credit: www.tenebraelive.com

‘A Feast for the Ears’ Showcases a Variety of Musical Styles

Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Timothy Perry joins us to talk about ‘Symphonic Smorgasbord II: A Feast for the Ears’. Dr. Perry has essentially created a ‘new’ symphony by selecting the first movement of Cesar Franck’s Symphony in d minor, the second movement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5 in e minor, the “Hunt” Scherzo from Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No.4, “Romantic”, and the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No.4 in e minor. He talks about the challenges to the students of playing in very different styles of symphonies all written at about the same time.  

Photo credit: Binghamton University Music Department

The Cooperstown Summer Music Fest Presents its First Concert of the Season

Cooperstown Summer Music Fest Artistic Director Linda Chesis joins us to talk about the first concert of the season, taking place at the Otesaga in Cooperstown.  The American String Quartet performs Franz Schubert’s famous “Death and the Maiden” Quartet, Claude Debussy’s String Quartet in g minor, and Linda Chesis joins them as flutist in ‘Poem’ by Elmira-born composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes.  

Photo credit: Peter Schaaf

Bassist Marc Johnson Highlights the 5th Annual Scott LaFaro Day Concert

The Smith Center for the Arts presents the 5th Annual Scott LaFaro Day Celebration Concert on Saturday, April 7 in the Smith Opera House in Geneva.  Bassist Marc Johnson joins us to talk about Scott’s legacy as a a ground-breaking jazz bassist. He is joined on the concert by his wife, Grammy-winning pianist and composer Eliane Elias, and Marc will even play a few number on Scott’s double bass.  

Photo Credit: Jos Knaepen

Listen to Patti Smith perform on Mountain Stage in the player above

Patti Smith On Mountain Stage

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Patti Smith performs in honor of her late husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, and helps with his posthumous induction into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.

Hear Here! | Singing to Freedom: Slave Songs and the Underground Railroad



Many of us know and love traditional spirituals like Swing Low, Sweet Chariot or Wade in the Water. But a lesser known aspect is that many of these songs served as coded messages for the Underground Railroad. We’ll explore the connection between slavery and the songs that slaves sang on their way to freedom. (Producer: Crystal Sarakas)

Classroom Resources

No Man Can Hinder Me: The Journey From Slavery to Emancipation Through Song by Velma Maia Thomas

‘Coded Spirituals’ | A full teacher resource gallery from PBS LearningMedia. Follow the Drinking Gourd | This book, song video, and Reading Rainbow episode offer kids.

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers Present a Concert in Elmira

The Music Director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, Baruch Whitehead, joins us to talk about their concert on Sunday, March 25 in the Clemens Center in Elmira, which presents a variety of Negro Spirituals. He talks about the meaning behind these moving songs and their historical context.

Hear Here! | From Kid to Musician

Brian Manker went to school in upstate New York in the Endwell, Vestal, and Binghamton communities. He wanted to be a football player, but then he discovered

the cello.  Now he’s the principal cello for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Produced by Bill Snyder. Post-Listen Discussion Questions:

Where did Brian Manker grow up?