Arts Desk

Check out stories and album of the week features by Susan Lewis, Debra Lew Harder, Kevin Gordon, Maureen Malloy, Matt Silver, and Bobbi Booker.

February 15, 2021. As WRTI celebrates Black History Month, we feature the latest release from pianist William Chapman Nyaho. Born in Ghana, Nyaho compiled and edited five invaluable volumes for Oxford University Press called Piano Music of the African Diaspora. Our Classical Album of the Week is an aural companion to the first two volumes of the set.

Drummer, scientist, educator and improviser Milford Graves died in his Queens, N.Y. home around 3 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 12. He was 79. Lois, his wife of sixty-one years, confirmed to NPR that the cause was congestive heart failure, related to a 2018 diagnosis of amyloid cardiomyopathy. Mr.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and accordionist Flory Jagoda worked hard to preserve the music and language she inherited from her Sephardic Jewish ancestors in her adopted American home. Named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002, she died on Jan. 29 at age 97 in Alexandria, Va. at a long-term memory care facility, according to an obituary placed by her family.

The members of the Guarneri Quartet — at least its three original members — have known each other for a long time. They went to music school together and, just for fun, played string quartets.

February 15, 2021. As a first-generation American and the daughter of a Rwandan father and Ugandan mother, who was raised mostly in Champaign, Illinois and partly in Zambia, the vocalist Somi has long had to navigate multiple worlds and identities at once.

Peter Checchia

In hard times, we inspire. As musicians, that’s one way that our art serves the world.

The legendary Broadway musical writing team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II produced their final show together, The Sound of Music, nine months before Hammerstein passed away of cancer. Yet throughout all the songs of the show, there’s a great sense of hope and optimism.

Jason Fifield

Diane Monroe is a rare gem of a musician whose original compositions and arrangements have garnered accolades from both the classical and jazz worlds, and she continues to bridge the divide. Monroe was recognized in 2018 with both a coveted fellowship and a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, which funded her personal 2019 exploration that joins every part of her musical self: Violin Woman, African Dreams.

Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

Born in New York City to German-Jewish immigrants, Lorenz Hart penned some of Broadway’s most haunting, sophisticated lyrics. At age 24, he began collaborating with composer Richard Rodgers who was 17 at the time.

February 8, 2021. As we head towards Valentine's Day, we turn to a new recording of a great American love story. The cast album of the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 production of Porgy and Bess, starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles, is up for a 2020 Grammy and is our Classical Album of the Week.

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