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Open Notes Podcast - Fort Collins Symphony
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Open Notes Podcast - Fort Collins Symphony

Author: Jeremy Cuebas - Fort Collins Symphony

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Classical Music for everyone! The Open Notes Podcast is the place for anybody interested in Classical Music to learn more, from newbies to seasoned veterans.Open Notes features interviews with soloists and composers, interactive program notes, and discussions about topics in classical music. Hosted by Jeremy D. Cuebas and sponsored by the Fort Collins Symphony
38 Episodes
Dvořák's violin concerto is one of the hardest and greatest pieces for solo violin and orchestra. So why doesn't it get played more? Yumi Hwang-Williams doesn't know, but she has a few theories.Since many audiences don't know Dvořák's violin concerto, we wanted to sit down with Yumi to learn more about her and the music and history of the piece.In this interview, Yumi shares how she started playing the violin, moved to Colorado to become the Colorado Symphony's Concertmaster over 20 years ago, and why she loves the underserved violin concerto by Antonín Dvořák.Yumi will perform the Dvořák violin concerto with the Fort Collins Symphony on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024. Tickets and more information can be found at the show
Guitarist Jason Vieaux joins us on the Fort Collins Symphony's Open Notes Podcast to talk about his early fascination with jazz and the Beatles, the piece he's played more than any other, and the poignant beauty of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra.Jason will perform with the Fort Collins Symphony on Saturday, November 4th, 2023, in-person and via live-stream. Tickets and more information are available at this interview on Youtube at Jason's Tiny Desk Concert from NPR: the show
In this episode, composer Morgan Denney chats with Jeremy about her process and the challenges behind writing her new musical accompaniment to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" for the Fort Collins Symphony."The Raven" will be premiered at our Spellbound Halloween concert on Wednesday, October 18th, 2023 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins.Learn more about Morgan Denney at and more info are available at the show
No one has to walk the dementia journey alone.Members of Dementia Together and the Fort Collins Symphony discuss the B Sharp Arts Engagement Program and its research, which found powerful benefits for people living with dementia and their care partners from attending live symphony concerts.Read the study results and contribute to the program at the show
Pianist Avery Gagliano joins the Open Notes Podcast to discuss Mozart's 24th piano concerto, her love of pop music, the hardest part of being a pianist, and more!Join us for the live or live-streamed concert on February 4, 2023. Tickets and more information are available at more about Avery Gagliano at https://www.averygagliano.com02:47 What's unique about Mozart's 24th Piano Concerto06:03 Dialogue in Mozart 2408:36 Avery's goal as a pianist09:44 Avery's favorite variation in Mozart 2412:36 How pop music is different from classical music16:04 The challenges and rewards of being a pianist17:27 on chamber music19:43 Avery's unique hobbiesSupport the show
"Woman Suffrage is coming - you know it." Carrie Chapman CattThe FCS performs Battle for the Ballot on November 5th, 2022 at the Lincoln Center. Tickets and more information are available at Garrop's The Battle for the Ballot features the voices of seven Suffragists: Carrie W. Clifford, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Adella Hunt Logan, Mary Church Terrell, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, and Carrie Chapman Catt.The 70-year fight for Women's Suffrage ended in 1920 with the passage of the 19th amendment. In 2020, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music commissioned Stacy Garrop to compose a piece celebrating the 100th anniversary.The Battle for the Ballot took the shape of a dramatic narration, focused on a single speech by Susan B. Anthony. But it became clear to Garrop and the Cabrillo Festival's Music Director Cristian Măcelaru that Anthony's support of anti-black politics meant that a new avenue would have to be explored.With only a week to work, Stacy Garrop found the texts of six additional Suffragists (four of whom were black, two white) and changed the focus of the piece, replacing the texts within the same music and timings. Because it was to be premiered virtually, the orchestra had already recorded their parts for the video preparation. What resulted is a work of depth and inspiration, commemorating the bravery and endurance of generations of women fighting for their rights.Support the show
In this episode, Fort Collins Composer James David sits down with FCS Assistant Conductor Jeremy D. Cuebas to discuss his new piece, Ostinato Fantastico, and the role that rhythm and dance have in his music.Ostinato Fantastico was commissioned by the FCS in 2019, but its first performance was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic cancellations.The world premiere will be on October 1st in Fort Collins, Colorado, at our opening concert of the season.Learn more on our website at the show
Kay Edwards has just finished a project 23 years in the making. By securing 38 Endowed Chairs, one for each principal player in the orchestra, she has raised over $580,000 to support the FCS and its long-term sustainability.In this episode, FCS Assistant Conductor Jeremy D. Cuebas talks with Kay about the history of the Endowed Chairs project and the impact it will continue to have for years to come.Learn more about the Fort Collins Symphony on our website at FCSymphony.orgSupport the show
Pianist David Korevaar discusses Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto with Fort Collins Symphony Assistant Conductor Jeremy D. Cuebas. Korevaar also shares some of his early influences and the special place that teaching and chamber music have in his career.David Korevaar performs Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto with the Fort Collins Symphony on August 12th, 2022 at the Timberline Church Auditorium in Fort Collins as a part of the FCS Beethoven Summer Festival.00:20 David's early influences02:36 Learning from Teaching04:38 Introducing Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto08:35 Discussing the concerto10:54 On collaborationTickets and more information are available at Guest Artist Interviews are available at more about the Fort Collins Symphony at https://fcsymphony.orgSupport the show
What is a Concerto?

What is a Concerto?


When you go to an orchestra concert or start learning about classical music, you’re likely to encounter many new words. The most common word you will see (except perhaps “symphony”) is “concerto.” So, what is a concerto?In this episode, Jeremy and Kate discuss what a concerto is, what to expect from a concerto, and some of their favorite concertos.What is your favorite instrument or concerto? Send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, or email us at the full blog post for this episode at the show
What is a Symphony?

What is a Symphony?


From favorites like Beethoven's 5th to symphonies that you've never heard before, this blog post and podcast episode gives a brief overview of the history of the symphony and what to expect when you head into the concert hall.  What is a symphony?A symphony is a specific form that many composers used when writing music. These pieces are usually large in scale, were written for a large orchestra, and are made up of four individual movements. A movement is a single piece of music, like a song on a rock album. An album may have ten short songs, while a symphony would have four larger "songs," or movements.The four movements of a symphonyThe first movement of a symphony is usually in a form called Sonata form and is often the most significant of the four movements. The second movement is usually slow and lyrical. The third movement is usually a dance, or sometimes a "Scherzo," which is a light, quick piece. And the final movement (the finale) is almost always fast and exciting.History of the symphony The symphony grew out of earlier forms and was formalized by the composer Joseph Haydn in the 1700s. Later composers like Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler expanded what they could be.Symphony comes from the Greek word symphonia, or "agreement of sound." Today it refers to a specific group of musicians, such as a "symphony orchestra," or the musical form, such as Beethoven's 5th symphony.What to expectSince most orchestra concerts will have a symphony as their headline piece, you should know what to expect when going to see one. They are usually the longest piece on a concert, but they can vary wildly in size, length, and complexity. This is because of how much the form has developed over time.For example: "Classical" symphonies, written before 1800, tend to be shorter and lighter. These are usually pieces by Haydn or Mozart, and the orchestra will be relatively small. Symphonies written between 1800 and 1900 are "Romantic", and they grow larger and larger throughout the century. This time period is where most symphonies come from, and notable composers include Schubert, Mendelssohn, R. Schumann, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky. - The FCS podcast is dedicated to teaching about orchestras and the music they play in an approachable way. We would love your feedback as we continue to improve our content to help make classical music accessible. You can reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram, or by visiting the FCS contact page here. Support the show
Dr. Erin Macdonald is a tattooed one-woman STEM career panel with recognition as a researcher, speaker, engineer, and consultant before her current career. She now lives in Los Angeles working as a writer and producer and is the science consultant for the entire Star Trek franchise. In this interview, she shares why she started giving science talks at conventions, her work as a science consultant and writer, and some of her favorite movies, TV shows, and video games.Learn more about this concert and the events surrounding it at Dr. Erin on Twitter at @DrErinMacSupport the show
Composer Gregory Smith sits down to discuss his compositional process, his piece "The Animated Orchestra," and how he writes excellent educational works to engage young listeners.Join us for The Animated Orchestra, live at Timberline Church in Fort Collins on Sunday, March 13, 2022. Tickets and more information available at the show
In this episode of the Open Notes Podcast, Jeremy talks with French Hornist Oto Carrillo about Mozart's 3rd Horn Concerto, why he started playing the horn, and how he escaped from an elevator shaft just before his first performance at Carnegie Hall.Join us in-person or live-streamed on March 5th, 2022, for Signature Concert #4: Anxious, Tender & Jaunty, featuring guest horn soloist Oto Carrillo. Tickets and more information at by Abel Pereira and the  Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.Learn how you can help support the Fort Collins Symphony at To stay up to date with the FCS, be sure to subscribe to the Open Notes Podcast in your favorite podcast player, join the FCS email list, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.Support the show
Thank you for joining us for this interview with guest Cellist Anthony Elliott. Today, Jeremy D. Cuebas sits down with Mr. Elliott to talk about his early experiences as a musician, his mission for educational outreach, and the importance of the Memorial to Martin Luther King by Oskar Morawetz.Anthony Elliott joins the FCS for our Solemn, Joyful & Ecstatic, our Signature Concert no. 3, live and live-streamed on February 5, 2022. Click here for tickets and more information.Visit the Fort Collins Symphony at Be sure to subscribe to the Open Notes Podcast in your favorite podcast player, join the FCS email list, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.Support the show
What does a Conductor Do?In this episode, you will learn how to conduct an orchestra in 3 easy steps...well, actually it's more complicated than that, but you will learn some of the things that a conductor does on and off the podium.Hosted by FCS Assistant Conductor Jeremy Cuebas, this podcast explores how a conductor works with an orchestra to prepare for a concert and perform spectacular music.If you enjoyed this episode...Please join the other classical music lovers around the world and support the Fort Collins Symphony by making a donation through Your support helps us to continue performing great music and preparing the best guides and podcasts for helping you get the most of your classical music experiences.You can stay up to date with FCS by joining our mailing list or by following us on Facebook and Instagram. We also offer many of our live concerts virtually, both through live-streaming and webcast replays, so you can join us for a concert no matter where you live. Please see our events page for upcoming live and virtual concerts.Finally, let us know what you thought of this blog post! Send us a message on our contact page.Support the show
Welcome to the Open Notes Podcast by the Fort Collins Symphony. My name is Jeremy Cuebas and I’m your host for this exciting dive into the rich world of Classical Music.This podcast is for anybody interested in learning more about Classical Music, from total newbies to seasoned veterans. If you want to learn more, then this is the place to be.This episode introduces the podcast and what you can expect by subscribing.Visit the Fort Collins Symphony and view our upcoming concerts at FCSymphony.orgFollow us on Facebook and Instagram at @FortCollinsSymphonyClick here to sign up for the symphony’s email listYou can learn more about your host Jeremy at, and explore his podcast Podium Time at you for joining us.Support the show
What are the best seats for an orchestra concert?For anybody visiting a symphony for the first time, the task of picking your perfect symphony seat can be daunting:What do these numbers mean?Where does it sound the best?I can only afford the cheap seats. Are they really bad?Is this the front row or the back row? (This one actually happened to me once. I wanted to buy seats in the last row, only to realize when attending the concert that my seats were in the front row!)If you’ve ever had a tough time deciphering the hieroglyphs on a seating chart, then you’re not alone. Today we’ll explore everything to consider to get the best orchestra seats in 4 easy steps.Consider the1. Price2. View3. Sound4. ExperienceRead the full blog post at the show
Pianist Bryan Wallick

Pianist Bryan Wallick


Interview with FCS Guest Pianist Bryan Wallick, in conversation with FCS Assistant Conductor Jeremy D. Cuebas. Mr. Wallick will perform two pieces with the FCS on their Signature Concert no 2: Energized, Unsure & Triumphant.Support the show
Taras Krysa interview

Taras Krysa interview


Interview with Taras Krysa, Music Director of the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine) and Director of Orchestras at the University of Nevada (Las Vegas), on Thursday, March 5, 2020, two...Support the show
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