NC Symphony Broadcasts

[[ This page created for the 2013 concert broadcasts. For the 2014 schedule and more, go here ]]

A WUNC Summer tradition continues with the North Carolina Symphony. 

Monday nights during August you'll hear special broadcasts from the North Carolina Symphony on the radio and via our live streams.  The programs air at 1o p.m. 

David Hartman
Credit Patrick Crowley / WUNC

These concerts, presented by veteran broadcaster and former "Good Morning America" host David Hartman,  will be available online here for one week following the broadcasts. 

More details about the broadcasts (and, other WUNC stories about the North Carolina Symphony) follow:

Image of William Shakespeare.
Books18 / Flickr

Composers have been writing music influenced by stories and dramatic works for centuries, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream is no exception. It has been made into a ballet, an opera, and has inspired a great number of musical compositions, perhaps the most famous of which is the incidental music written by Felix Mendelssohn to accompany the play.

This weekend, the North Carolina symphony, in collaboration with the NC School of the Arts, is bringing this tale to life on stage. The music depicts a fanciful world of fairies, elves, and wood sprites.

North Carolina Symphony

Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring is arguably one of the most important American works on the 20th century, or at least one of the most well known.  But during this weekend's performance at the North Carolina Symphony it will be followed by works from much younger composers.

Wiliam Henry Curry joins us to talk about his life and career.

When he was only 14 years old, William Henry Curry's music teacher handed him a small wooden baton and said, "I think you'd make a good conductor."

But Curry already knew he was born to be a conductor. In the more than four decades since, he has conducted more than 40 orchestras and some of the world's most renowned symphonies. 

  Host Frank Stasio talks with Curry about his career, facing racial challenges, the difficulties of composing orchestral music and his 19 years conducting the North Carolina Symphony. 

Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue - Sondra Bianca Piano, Warsaw Concerto, Cornish Rhapsody, Dream of Olwen - Addinsell, Hubert Bath, Charles Williams, Musiphon op.153


The North Carolina Symphony will play a familiar tune in its upcoming shows: George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."  

Conductor Grant Llewellyn with the North Carolina Symphony - Logo for 2014 Broadcast Concerts
WUNC / North Carolina Symphony

It's a command performance by the North Carolina Symphony at your house.  Well, sort of.

Beginning Monday evening, June 30, and for the next three nights following, you have the opportunity to enjoy an evening of classical music at home when you tune in for the North Carolina Symphony broadcast concerts series. The hour-long concerts, hosted by David Hartman, begin each evening at 9 p.m.

boy playing a video game
creative commons

When many people hear the words “video game,” they think of a stereotypical geeky teenage boy. But that image does not represent the true industry. Women account for nearly half of the gaming population and more than a third of gamers are over the age of 36. Video games have expanded into an art form that produces complex narratives, cultural critiques and symphony soundtracks. 

Jazz great Branford Marsalis joins the State of Things to speak about his work.
Palma Kolansky

Grammy-award winning artist Branford Marsalis is one of the world’s leading jazz artists. 

Jazz great Branford Marsalis joins the State of Things to speak about his work.
Palma Kolansky

Grammy-award winning artist Branford Marsalis is one of the world’s leading jazz artists. In a career spanning more than three decades, the saxophonist has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music across an array of genres. 

A 'Rite of Spring' ballet performance
drama_huddersfield / flickr

At its premiere in Paris in 1913 Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" caused a near-riot. There's debate over whether it was the unconventional ballet score or the avant-garde choreography (or the two combined) that enraged the audience. That first audience witnessed surprisingly modern music and evocative, provocative dance. Conductor Grant Llewellyn explains:

Today, the piece is considered a masterpiece and to mark its 100th anniversary, the North Carolina Symphony presents it with Grant Llewellyn conducting as part of the August 26 broadcast concert here on WUNC. The program airs Monday night at 10 p.m. It was recorded in Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh.

"Vibrant" and "virtuosic" are two of the words used by series host David Hartman to introduce the explosive "Fireworks" by Stravinsky that opens this program.  It's a short orchestral piece that prefigures a later work by Stravinksy, "The Firebird."

Sir Edward Elgar

"A musical mystery. Sir Edward Elgar's 'Enigma Variations' have confounded music scholars and music fans since its premiere. Elgar tells us that the theme is never actually played during the piece.  So, just what is the theme and where did it come from?"

So begins series host David Hartman's introduction to the broadcast concert of the North Carolina Symphony for Monday August 19. The program airs on WUNC at 10 p.m. and will be available for on-line listening for the week following.

During the course of the broadcast conductor Grant Llewellyn presents some of the theories that try to get to the bottom of the Elgar enigma. The piece itself is a series of fourteen variations.  The missing part is the theme. Generally, when a composer presents a series of variations, either the theme is a well known and obvious tune (like, say, "Yankee Doodle") or the theme is clearly stated at the beginning of the piece. In the "Enigma Variations" that foundation is missing.

For Elgar's own first performance of the piece the composer wrote: "The Enigma I will not explain - its 'dark saying' must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the connection between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme 'goes', but is not played." Additionally, Elgar dedicated the piece to "my friends pictured within" as each variation is presented as an affectionate portrayal of someone Elgar knew.

See if you can solve the heretofore unsolved musical mystery as you join Grant Llewellyn in search of the answer to Elgar's "Enigma Variations."