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Classical Conversations

Intimate conversations with world-renowned musicians, here at the Classical WETA studios.

Classical WETA's on-air hosts interview prominent classical music performers, composers and artists in this series of intimate audio conversations recorded for

Todd Fickley

Todd Fickley conducts Messiah

Washington Bach's Consort's final concert of the season is a masterpiece by Bach's famous contemporary.

Julie Kent--Washington Ballet

Renowned ballerina Julie Kent, who retired from the American Ballet Theatre after 29 years with the company, is now the Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet.  In this Classical Conversation, she previews two upcoming performances, and discusses the hopes and challenges of her new job.

Christopher Theofanidis (Credit: Matthew Friend)

SHIFT: Composer Christopher Theofanidis and Creation/Creator

When composer Christopher Theofanidis was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to write an oratorio about creation, he didn't want to mimic Haydn's great work celebrating the Biblical story, rather he wanted to write a work about the creative process drawn from multiple perspectives.  The result can be heard Friday night, March 31, 2017 at 8 PM as the SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras presents Theofanidis' "Creation/Creator" in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, soloists and actors led by Music Director Robert Spano.  Classical WETA's Deb Lamberton spoke with Mr. Theofanidis about his own creative process, and together they take a music-filled tour of this impressively cinematic and dramatic work.

Grant Llewellyn, Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony

SHIFT: Grant Llewellyn, North Carolina Symphony Music Director

Wednesday night, March 29th, 2017 at 8PM in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the North Carolina Symphony under conductor Grant Llewellyn offers an innovative all-American program by four composers with ties to the state:  Pulitzer Prize-winners Caroline Shaw and Robert Ward, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Mason Bates.  Classical WETA's Deb Lamberton talks to Maestro Llewellyn about the program, and about how he pitched the North Carolina Symphony when creating his submission to the SHIFT festival.

Caroline Shaw credit Dashon Burton

SHIFT: Caroline Shaw

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw talks with Classical WETA's Marilyn Cooley about the creative process and more.

Eric Jacobsen, The Knights

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts are presenting SHIFT:  A Festival of American Orchestras.  Classical WETA's Nicole Lacroix speaks to Eric Jacobsen, co-founder and conductor of one of the featured ensembles, The Knights, about the SHIFT program and their Kennedy Center Concert Hall debut.  

Musical Hike credit Boulder Philharmonic

SHIFT: Dave Sutherland, Boulder Naturalist

Boulder naturalist Dave Sutherland, collaborator with the Boulder Philharmonic, talks with Marilyn Cooley about musical nature hikes.

Boulder Phil Music Director Michael Butterman

SHIFT: Boulder's Maestro Butterman II

Boulder Philharmonic Maestro Michael Butterman discusses the content of the orchestra's concert in the 2017 SHIFT Festival with Marilyn Cooley.

Boulder Phil Maestro Butterman

SHIFT: Boulder's Maestro Butterman I

Part One of a conversation with the Boulder Philharmonic's Maestro Michael Butterman.

Conrad Tao

Pianist Conrad Tao of JCT Trio

Pianist Conrad Tao talks about his piano trio, the JCT Trio, both its challenges and rewards, with Classical WETA's Marilyn Cooley.