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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 ClassicalWETA.org.

Richard Giarusso

Richard Giarusso and Washington Bach Consort

Richard Giarusso is one of five candidates to be the new Artistic Director of Washington Bach Consort.  He speaks with Classical WETA's Deborah Lamberton about leading WBC's season-opening concert celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.  The concert, which features three Bach cantatas and an orchestral suite, takes place at National Prestyberian Church in Washington DC on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 3 pm.

Lidiya Yankovskaya

Wolf Trap Opera conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya discusses the double-bill presentation of John Musto's Bastianello and The Juniper Tree by Philip Glass and Robert Moran.

Emil de Cou

Emil de Cou with NSO at Wolf Trap

NSO at Wolf Trap Festival Conductor Emil de Cou speaks with Classical WETA's Deb Lamberton about three NSO performances in the Filene Center:  Carmina Burana on July 28, 2017 and two films with live orchestral accompaniment--La La Land on August 4th and Jurassic Park on August 5th.

Alexandra Loutsion

Soprano Alexandra Loutsion discusses her starring role in Wolf Trap Opera's production of Puccini's Tosca.

Antony Walker conducts Rossini's La Pietra del Paragone

Antony Walker conducts Rossini's La Pietra del Paragone (The Touchstone) at The Barns at Wolf Trap June 23 through July 1st as part of Wolf Trap Opera's expanded summer season.

Kim Pensinger Witman, Wolf Trap Opera

Wolf Trap Opera director Kim Pensinger Witman discusses the summer opera season with Classical WETA's Nicole Lacroix.

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.