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Critical Karaoke

"Critical Karaoke" is a monthly show about music and the ideas it inspires. We also produce daily music history segments called "A Day in the Life." Both currently air on KRCC
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Now displaying: Category: a classical day in the life

"A Day in the Life" is a 2-minute podcast about music, history, culture, and ideas.  We release at least one new episode every weekday on an incredible range of genres and artists.  We hope you enjoy these quick listens!

Nov 1, 2016

On this day in 1800, President John Adams moved into the newly-built White House in Washington, DC. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the occasion through the lens of Leonard Bernstein's 1976 musical, "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue". 

Oct 31, 2016

Today is All Hallow’s Eve--or Halloween for short.  In terms of Christianity, this is the day in the liturgical calendar, that begins a three-day remembrance of the dead--a duration of time known as Allhallowtide. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the spooky side of classical music.

Oct 28, 2016

Today in 1925, the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress witnessed its inaugural concert. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn more about the woman who made the venue possible, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge - a pianist, composer, and ardent promoter of chamber music.

Oct 27, 2016

Today in 1917, violinist Jascha Heifetz had his Carnegie Hall Debut--he was only 16 years old at the time.  What made his playing so dynamically engaging?  And what Bing Crosby song did he compose?  Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Oct 24, 2016

Today, in 1969 the Paul Newman and Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was released in the United States. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Burt Bacharach's Academy Award winning soundtrack to the film.

Oct 21, 2016

Today is the birthday of conductor Georg Solti, born in Hungary in 1912.  In addition to his work as a conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, today's Classical Day in the Life explores his work as an accompanist as well as a commissioner of modern music.  

Oct 20, 2016

Toady in 1955, film composer Thomas Newman was born.  Part of an illustrious family of movie music, his contemplative, continually unfolding music appears in "Scent of a Woman," "American Beauty," "Wall-E" and perhaps most memorably, "The Shawshank Redemption."  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 19, 2016

Today in 1845, the soprano Johanna Wagner debuted the part of Elisabeth in Richard Wagner’s Tannhauser in Dresden. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the successful career of Richard Wagner's niece.

Oct 18, 2016

Today in 1883, American musician Amy Beach made her concert debut in Boston’s Music Hall. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore Beach's career as a composer.

Oct 17, 2016

It was on this day in 1888, that Thomas Edison filed a patent for the Optical Phonograph, later known as the kinetoscope. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Edison's contributions to the art of audio recording.

Oct 17, 2016

On this day in 1931, notorious gangster Al Capone was sentenced to prison for tax evasion.  Think you know Al Capone? His musical tastes may surprise you. Learn all about it on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Oct 14, 2016

On this day in 1911, star soprano Dame Emma Albani gave her farewell concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the career of the transatlantic opera star.

Oct 13, 2016

On this day in 1836, Le Postillon de Lonjumeau — the most celebrated opera by the French composer Adolphe Adam — had its world premiere. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we encounter a comically extreme use of a tenor's "high D" and learn of Adam's nearly universally-known Christmas composition.

Oct 11, 2016

On this date in 1896, the Black Patti Troubadours performed their first show. The all-black vaudeville troupe toured the United States until 1915. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", learn about the the Troubadours' star headline performer, opera singer Sissieretta Jones.

Oct 7, 2016

Today in 1982, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Cats opened its Broadway run in the Winter Garden Theater in New York City.  What do Mr. Mistoffelees, The Rum Tum Tugger, and Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat have to do with T.S. Eliot? Find out on today's installment of "A Classical Day in the Life". You'll love it, it'll be much better than "Cats", you'll want to listen again and again...

Oct 5, 2016

Today in 1938 Sir Henry Wood conducted the world premiere of the Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams--a piece of music almost to gorgeous for words.  How does this connect to the world-famous BBC Proms?  Find out on this episode of "A Day in the Life."  

Oct 4, 2016

On this day in 1989, Secretariat — perhaps the greatest racehorse in history — died at the age of 19. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we remember Secretariat's glory while exploring equine themes in the compositions of Rossini, Berlioz, and Beethoven.

Oct 3, 2016

Today in 1936, American composer Steve Reich was born in New York City.  He is closely associate with the minimalist school of composition and is known for works that manipulate recorded sounds--or what we might now call “samples.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn more of Reich's utilization of phase shifting techniques in his works.

Sep 30, 2016

Today in 1863 composer Georges Bizet's opera The Pearl Fishers had its debut at the Lyric Theatre in Paris.  This precursor to Carmen shows off Bizet's early ability to author memorable music and to depict exotic subjects.  How did this opera secure its position in the canon of classical music?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."   

Sep 29, 2016

For several countries around the world, today is National Coffee Day--a day to celebrate the consumption and culture of this caffeinated beverage. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we trace the history of Coffee and its influence on such luminaries as Bach and Strauss.

Sep 28, 2016

Today in 1829, composer Fanny Mendelssohn wrote her first piece for organ, a prelude in F-major to be played at her wedding just six days later. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we learn about the surprisingly prolific "other Mendelssohn".

Sep 27, 2016

On this day in 1982, only two days after he turned 50, the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould suffered a stroke. It turned out to be fatal; the musician died the following week. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we learn why Gould preferred the recording studio to the concert hall.

Sep 21, 2016

Tonight in 1962 The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened.  That first concert featured music by Copland and Mahler--but this was just the start.  Learn about the long-history of artistic creativity and innovation on today's "A Day in the Life."

Sep 21, 2016

Today in 1968, African-American mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett made her Metropolitan Opera Company debut performing the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.  This episode of "A Classical Day in the Life" explores her long career and the turbulent paths navigated by black artists such as Verrett during the twentieth century.

Sep 20, 2016

Today in 1957, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius passed away at the age of 91. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the life and career of Finland's greatest composer.

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