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Muse Mentors

Author: Karen Kevra

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Has there been a time in your life where you’ve looked to someone to guide you? Grammy-nominated flutist Karen Kevra is a musician whose life was changed by her mentor. Join her for engaging interviews of artists as they share personal stories of deep connection that will warm your heart and inspire you....whatever you do and wherever you are on your path.
36 Episodes
Pianist Jeffrey Chappell reflects on his life and his formative mentorships first with pianist Jane Allen, and later with the legendary Leon Fleisher.  In this encore episode, Jeffrey reveals his early childhood genesis story with the piano; his studies at the Curtis Institute and Peabody Conservatory, and path that led him to an astounding last minute substitution for Claudio Arrau with the Baltimore Symphony. He addresses overcoming challenges and adversity and speaks about his lifelong meditation practice and his book Answers from Silence. Support the show
Edgard Varèse is one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century and was called  "The stratospheric Colossus of Sound."  He lived life with intensity and composed the same way.  Varèse lived most of his composing life in New York City and  made music out of the  compelling cacophony of NYC street noises: sirens,  firetrucks, river sounds, foghorns, and even skyscraper construction.Density 21.5 was composed in 1936 (and revised in 194) at the request of Georges Barrère to inaugurate his new platinum flute.  (21.5 is the density of platinum.) Density 21.5 breaks the stereotype of typical French music. This 4 minute-long  ground-breaking piece offers free tonality, an immense dynamic range,  surgically precise rhythms, steely and wispy colors, and it showcases Varèse's love for percussion. Varèse was more interested in the nature of sound rather than the aspect of melody.  Listen with curiosity to the sounds and enjoy the emotional ride.Music:Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12 for solo flute by Karen KevraEdgard Varèse -Poème électronique Kees Tazelaar, Edgard Varèse & Institute for Computer MusicJacques Offenbach - Barcarolle from Tale of Hoffman, Sir Neville MarinerFrédéric Chopin - Ballade #4, Opus 52, Alfred CortotErik Satie - Gymnopédie No. 1,  Philippe EntremontEdgard Varèse - Amériques, The Philadelphia OrchestraEdgard Varèse, Ionisation, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Pierre BoulezEdgard Varèse - Déserts, Choeurs de Radio France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre BoulezClaude Debussy - Syrinx, Karen KevraCécile Chaminade - Concertino, Karen KevraEdgard Varèse - Density 21.5, Karen KevraSupport the show
Flight of the Bumblebee from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera  "The Tale of Tsar Saltan"--is at the heart of a fantastical tale which includes a large cast of characters including a king and a queen, a magical swan, and a prince turned bumblebee. It's a dazzling colorful encore piece, instantly recognizable and adopted by all kinds of instrumentalists, from string players, to pianists and of course flutists. The buzzier and the faster, the better!Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12  for solo flute by Karen Kevra Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Flight of the Bumblebee by the Russian National OrchestraNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade, Op. 35 - I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship,  André Previn · Rainer Küchl · Wiener Philharmoniker Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Flight of the Bumblebee by Karen Kevra photo credit: Karen KevraSupport the show
Pierre-Octave Ferroud wrote "Jade"- a tropical work for solo flute in July of 1921. There are two musical features in this Asian-styled French piece that give it its distinctly far eastern flavor. The first is the pentatonic scale-- the five pitches are tied to five elements:  wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The second feature is a rhythmic one --the ever present dotted rhythms give the piece a bubbling dance quality. This is imaginative music so close your eyes and travel to a tropical  beach with waterfalls, ancient canopied banyan trees, fluttering butterflies and the glittering jade colored sea...Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12Pierre-Octave Ferroud,  Bergère CaptivePierre-Octave Ferroud, JadeAll flute pieces performed by  Karen Kevra photo credit: Karen KevraSupport the show
One of the things that really sets Gabriel Fauré apart is the singing style of his music. He was an exceptional and prolific composer of song so it's no wonder that we hear that singing quality even in his instrumental works. Fauré's "Morceau de Concours" is an incredibly special tiny gem. Don't be fooled by the title. Though he wrote it as a sight-reading examination piece for students at the Paris Conservatory, it is a poetic lullaby. -A musical balm for this most dark time of year. MUSIC: Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12, performed by Karen KevraGabriel Fauré, Sicilienne, Op. 78, performed by Karen KevraFrédéric Chopin, Waltz in E flat major, performed by Jeffrey Chappell George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue, performed by George Gershwin, piano with Paul Whiteman and the  Paul Whiteman Orchestra (Recorded June 10, 1924)Gabriel Fauré, Violin Sonata no.1, op. 13, Allegro molto, performed by Arthur Grumiaux, violin, and Paul Crossley, pianoGabriel Fauré, Piano Trio No. 1, Allegro molto moderato, performed by Marguerite Long, piano,  Jean Pasquier, violin, Pierre Pasquier, viola, Etienne Pasquier, celloGabriel Fauré, Piano Trio No. 1, Scherzo: allegro vivo, performed by Marguerite Long, piano,  Jean Pasquier, violin, Pierre Pasquier, viola, Etienne Pasquier, celloAdjutant's Call/French Foreign Legion March, US Marine BandGabriel Fauré, Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11, performed bythe Cambridge Singers, Cambridge Singers, City of London SinfoniaGabriel Fauré, Morceau de Concours, performed by Karen KevraSupport the show
 Muse Mentors host Karen Kevra  discusses Beethoven's transcendent Hymn of Thanksgiving from the Op. 132 A minor string quartet with Nicholas Kitchen, the first violinist of the Borromeo Quartet.Credits:Beethoven, Hymn Of Thanksgiving (String Quartet Op. 132, Movement III)  Borromeo Quartet  - Nicholas Kitchen, Violin; Kristopher Tong, Violin; Mai Motobuchi, Viola; Yeesun Kim, Cello)Use this link to hear and see the entire performance by the Borromeo String Quartet Support the show
CPE Bach was the second son of Johann Sebastian and Maria Barbara Bach and to say he was a prolific composer is putting it mildly. CPE Bach wrote loads of flute music--sonatas, chamber music, and dazzling concerti. The tremendous output of flute music had to do with the fact that he had a flutist for a boss--Frederick the Great of Prussia. His touching Sonata in A minor for solo flute was composed in Berlin in 1747 and the opening movement is a palate of fall colors --golden yellows, reds, mahogany, and conifer green. This piece is a kind of meditation on the fall--it has an intimate quality unlike any other and it expresses the sadness of the passing of summer, the gratitude for the harvest, and the quality of turning inward as we light our fires and face the winter.  MUSIC:Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12, performed by Karen KevraC.P.E. Bach, Cello Concerto in A minor, Allegro assai, performed by Alison McGillivray, and The English Concert C.P.E. Bach Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor, Allegro, performed by Jean Rondeau, with Sophie Gent, Louis Creac'h, Fanny Paccoud, Antoine Touche, Thomas de Pierrefeu, Evolène Kiener C.P.E. Bach Flute Concerto In D Minor,  Allegro Di Molto, performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal-flute, Pierre Boulez-conductor  C.P.E. Bach Sonata in A minor for unaccompanied flute, performed by Karen Kevra Robert Frost recites "Reluctance" -included for educational purposesPhotograph: Cornwall, Vermont backyard by Karen Kevra  Support the show
Fredrich Kuhlau was admired by Beethoven and is known as "the Beethoven of the flute." He wrote his gorgeous Fantasy in D major for solo flute in 1820 during a four-month stay in Vienna. Perhaps the Danube river provided inspiration for this silky, rippling Romantic music...Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12, performed by Karen KevraFredrich Kuhlau, Fantasy, Op. 38 in D major, Adagio, performed by Karen Kevra J.S. Bach, Fantasia in G minor, BWV 542, performed by Hans-André Stamm-organ  Beethoven, Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, performed by Singapore Symphony Chorus and Youth Choir, Eudenice Palaruan, Choral Director, Tengku Irfan, piano, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight" - I. Adagio sostenuto performed by Maurizio Pollini-piano Beethoven, Symphony #6 "Pastorale" - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras, conductorPlease support the show.Artwork: Danube landscape near Regensburg, by Albrecht AltdorferSupport the show
Frenchman Johannès Donjon's Etudes de Salon are whimsical and summery music. His miniature "Song of the Wind", "Élégie", and "Will-O'-the Wisp" require sure-footed technique. Even so, this fun music oozes with color, expression and imagination.Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12Johannès Donjon, Song of the Wind, Élégie, Will-O'-the WispPerformed by  Karen Kevra. Support the show
It's been a period of intense news and worldwide stress. At times like these you've got to turn it off and turn to music. Czech composer Jindřich Feld's 1957 Meditation is a sublime 2.5 minute work that offers a respite from the news.  Try the simple meditative approach for a deep listening experience.Ray Chen-violin, and Julio Elizalde-piano perform Jules Massenet Meditation from Thais  Karen Kevra-flute, performs Jindřich Feld's Meditation.Support the show
Pierre-Octave Ferroud wrote his "Bergère Captive", a gorgeous and plaintive work for solo flute in July of 1921. You've probably never heard of Ferroud because he died a grisly pedestrian death when he stepped out into an oncoming car and was killed at the age of 36. It's a tragedy because if you listen to his colorful and inventive music you will understand why he won the attention  of Prokofiev, Poulenc and Stravinsky! His "Captive Shepherd" is musical storytelling at its best--full of imagination, a summery rainbow of colors, and deep emotion.Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12Pierre-Octave Ferroud,  JadePierre-Octave Ferroud, Bergère CaptiveAll flute pieces performed by  Karen Kevra Support the show
Johann Sebastian Bach was incredibly generous with the flute.  He wrote several full scale sonatas, gave the flute has starring roles in two of the Brandenburg concerti, and beautiful obbligato parts in countless arias, but there is just one solo partita. The slow movement from his A minor flute Partita-a Sarabande -is a dance form with both Arab and Spanish origins and has a silky, sensual quality. Imagine a kind of "dance of the seven veils. " Way back in 1583, King Philip II of Spain had  the Sarabande banned because it was said to ‘excite bad emotions’.Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #5 in D major, BWV 1050 mmt. 1 AllegroKaren Kevra-flute,  Lucy Chapman-violin Elizabeth Metcalfe-harpsichord  J.S. Bach "Schafe können sicher weiden" (Sheep may safely graze) from his Cantata BWV 208. Hyunah Yu-soprano, Karen Kevra & Kenichi Ueda-flutes  J.S. Bach, Prelude from Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV1007, Edward Arron-celloAll flute pieces performed by  Karen Kevra Manuscript of J.S.Bach's Partita in A minor.www.capitalcityconcerts.orgSupport the show
"THE CHILDREN ARE PLAYING" is a tiny fairy-tale of a piece for solo flute written by Denmark's best-known composer Carl Nielsen in 1920 as incidental music for a play called "The Mother." The whimsical music is a tip of the cap to Hans Christian Andersen and sounds like kids on playground on a spring day--leaping and laughter and teasing and taunting with a mix of sun and clouds. Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12Claude Debussy, SyrinxCarl Nielsen, The Children are PlayingAll flute piece performed by  Karen Kevra Frank Loesser, I'm Hans Christian Andersen performed by Danny KayeArtwork: Sibylle von Olfers, Mother Earth and Her ChildrenSupport the show
In this encore episode James Pease Blair, one of National Geographic's legendary photographers  talked about love, life, and legacy. Jim began his 32 year career at the National Geographic Society with a splash as staff photographer on board Jacques Cousteau's Calypso in 1962. As a photography student in the fifties at the Institute of Design in Chicago, he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, but it was his years as a summer intern with Roy E. Stryker, at the Pittsburgh Photographic Library that made the biggest impression on Jim. Jim Blair's artistry and empathy brought a new kind of humanity to National Geographic which went from being a travel and culture magazine to a  journal which included social and environmental images that revealed the soul of planet and its inhabitants.Don't miss this powerfully moving episode on the 91st anniversary of his birth.Support the show
Nicholas Kitchen, one of the country's leading violinists is a founding member of the Boston-based Borromeo String Quartet. Nick is perhaps the most important protégé of the great Polish violinist Szymon Goldberg. Nick has been loaned his teacher's violin-- the Giuseppe Guarneri, Cremona, ca. 1730, "Goldberg-Baron Vitta" to play throughout his career. In his musical life, Nick was first nurtured by his musically hands-on parents and later through his mentorship with Goldberg.  Nick's rich and profound musical life is a beautiful paradox of old and new technology.Music credits:Schubert, Death and The Maiden String Quartet, Borromeo QuartetJP Sousa, Semper Fidelis, The President's Own Marine BandBeethoven, Violin Sonata, Op. 24 "Spring", Szymon Goldberg-violin, Lili Krauss-piano  JS Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565, Hans-André Stamm-organBeethoven, Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, mmt. 3 Rondo,  Henryk Szeryng-violin, Hans Zender-conductorSchubert, Mass No. 5 in A Flat Major, D.678 - 4. Sanctus Choir of St. John's College, CambridgeJS Bach,  Fantasia and fugue in G minor BWV 542 - Van DoeselaarBeethoven, String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 1, Borromeo QuartetJS Bach, Adagio, BWV 1110, Nicholas KitchenKreisler, Liebeslied, Fritz KreislerHandel, Op. 1, No. 13 mmt. 1 D Major Sonata, Szymon Goldberg-violin, Gerald Moore-pianoPolish folksong for mandolinesJS Bach, Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042: I. Allegro, Syzmon Goldberg-violinBeethoven, Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, mmt. 1, Syzmon Goldberg-violinMozart, Sonata for Piano and Violin in E Minor, K.304 - Tempo di minuetto, Syzmon Goldberg-violin and Radu Lupu-pianoMozart, Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K219, mmt. 1Beethoven, String Quartet, No. 13, Op. 130,  Borromeo QuartetLouis Moyse, Second Sonata, Scherzo, Karen Kevra-flute, Paul Orgel-pianoStrauss, Don Juan, Op. 20, Berling Philharmonic, Von KarajanBeethoven, Symphony No. 9, mmt. 3 , Adagio molto e cantabile, FurtwänglerSupport the show
Tony Barrand was born in England in 1945 but has lived most of his life in southern Vermont in the vibrant town of Brattleboro—a place that shines all the more brightly because of him. This Cornell PHD and Professor Emeritus of Boston University is not just an academic, but also a singer, dancer, and story-teller. What first grabs you is his way with words—he can give them weight, or make them sparkle depending on the point he is trying to make, but he uses words to greatest effect when he sings. His handsome  tenor voice really shines when joined by his singing comrades (John Roberts, Fred Breunig and Andy Davis) from the band Nowell Sing We Clear. This is top-notch exuberant music-making in a traditional style that will have you singing along, dancing, and entranced by the magic of the story-telling. Tony Barrand offers tales of his mentors and mentees, and plenty of music in this episode. Guaranteed to brighten your days during this darkest time of year. This is an encore episode from Christmas eve 2020.Special thanks to:Andy Davis, Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy, Amanda Witman, Peter Amidon, Sue Dupre, Kari Smith, Carol Compton, Carole Crompton, and Rachel BellMusic, courtesy Golden Hind MusicClick here to order  Nowell Sing We Clear: Songs & Carols for Midwinter & ChristmastideSupport the show
In this short anniversary episode, Muse Mentors host Karen Kevra looks back on a year with a podcast, and a year without concerts.  She previews an upcoming concert by Boston's Borromeo Quartet and discusses Beethoven's transcendent Op. 132 A minor string quartet with Nicholas Kitchen, the first violinist of the Borromeo quartet.Credits:Kuhlau, Fantaisie in D major, Adagio - Karen Kevra-fluteBig Yellow Taxi - Joni MitchellBeethoven, Hymn Of Thanksgiving (String Quartet Op. 132, Movement III) - Borromeo Quartet  - Nicholas Kitchen, Violin; Kristopher Tong, Violin; Mai Motobuchi, Viola; Yeesun Kim, Cello)Beethoven party hat image:  Sharon Su Support the show
Encore episode:  Rob Mermin ran off to join the circus in 1969 at the age of 19. He clowned with renowned European circuses, including England’s Circus Hoffman, Sweden’s Cirkus Scott, Denmark’s Circus Benneweis in the famous Circus Building by the Tivoli, and many more. It was his long mentorship with the iconic French mime Marcel Marceau that shaped him as a performer and inspired him to dream and make plans.  In 1987 he founded Circus Smirkus, the embodiment of Rob -- the touch of wonder, the charm, the story line, the mime and the humor. An enthralling story-teller, Rob Mermin  make you laugh and he'll make you cry with his stories of discovery and loss, and of course mentoring--first as a protégé and later through his own rich legacy of mentorship of some of the greatest circus performers on earth.   *****The accordion music was provided by Rachel Bell and includes Susan Kevra-clarinet, and Karen Axelrod-keyboards.Mozart PianoConcerto #21 licensed by Creative Commons.Rob Mermin's Parkinson's Pantomime Project.Support the show ( the show
In this encore episode of Muse Mentors, pianist Jeffrey Chappell reflects on his life and his formative relationship with his mentor the legendary Leon Fleisher. He addresses overcoming challenges and adversity through the lens of his teacher's career-altering medical condition. The episode closes with the voice of Leon Fleisher who offers powerful words to live by. Support the show
Kerrin McCadden is a Poem

Kerrin McCadden is a Poem


Kerrin McCadden's new collection of poems called American Wake is made of the stuff of life --subjects like family, divorce, raising children, love and even her brother's tragic death by drug overdose are poignantly bound together by her strong Irish Heritage and her family's immigrant story. American Wake, is an actual term that refers to a kind of "Irish wake-style" farewell party that was thrown for Irish families the night before before they set sail for America. A lot of us dabble in ancestry and build family trees, but Kerrin McCadden has made it a way of life.  Kerrin is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and has received the Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Award, the Vermont Book Award, the New Issues Poetry Prize, and the Button Poetry  Prize.  Her poems have appeared in Best  American Poetry, American Poetry Review, New  England Review, and more. Her books are American Wake (2021), Keep This To Yourself (2020), Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes (2014).  Her mentors are poets David Budbill and Ellen Bryant Voigt.MUSIC CREDITS:Liz Carroll, The Drunken SailorLiz Carroll, A Day and An AgeSupport the show
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