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Watch and Listen: The Blues and Brahms! Live from the WRTI 90.1 Performance Studio

Listen to this live broadcast from the WRTI performance studio! Our guests include clarinetist Mark Dover, violinists Siwoo Kim and Brendan Speltz, violist William Frampton, and cellist Andrew Yee playing the blues, along with the music of Johannes Brahms. WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder hosts.

The quintet shows how the blues of Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy have surprising things in common with the great Clarinet Quintet of Johannes Brahms, in advance of their concert “Blues and Brahms” for Music at Bunker Hill in Sewell, New Jersey on June 2nd.


Jelly Roll Morton: “Wolverine Blues”

Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 - I. Allegro

W.C. Handy: “St. Louis Blues”

Based in New York City, the five musicians for this live performance have diverse, impressive backgrounds.

Clarinetist Mark Dover is a member of the renowned woodwind quintet Imani Winds, and has played as an orchestral musician with The Detroit Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The New World Symphony, and at the Spoleto Festival USA. He’s also sought-after as a jazz and theater musician, and has served as principal in the acclaimed Off-Broadway show “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” and in “Matilda” on Broadway.

Violinist Siwoo Kim concertizes around the world as a soloist. He’s a founding member of Quartet Senza Misura, which has been praised by Alex Ross of The New Yorker for “whip-smart performances.” The New York Times has described Siwoo’s playing as “incisive” and “compelling.” He’s a former member of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect and the Marlboro Music Festival.

Violinist Brendan Speltz has toured the globe with ensembles such as A Far Cry and the Harlem Quartet. As a music event producer, his Felt in Four Productions events have been called by The New Yorker “thrilling, poignant, unexpected, and utterly DIY.”  

Violist William Frampton is Artistic Director of Music at Bunker Hill. He’s been lauded by the Boston Globe for his “glowing amber tone,” and appears often as guest solo violist with the American Symphony Orchestra and the Johannes Quartet. As a champion of contemporary music, he has recently given world premieres of chamber music of J. Mark Stambaugh and a viola concerto by Peter Homans.

The London Telegraph describes cellist Andrew Yee’s playing as “spellbindingly virtuosic.” Andrew is a founding member of the prize-winning Attaca Quartet, which recently recorded the complete string quartet works of John Adams and of Caroline Shaw. The Attaca Quartet just completed an ambitious six-year project performing all 68 string quartets of Franz Joseph Haydn in concert.

Make sure to tune in pm Thursday, May 30 at 12:10 PM for an intriguing performance of the blues with Brahms!

Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.