This Week in Classical Music with Randy Kinkel 05/27/18

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19 year old chart-topping Cellist performs at Royal Wedding;

Mariachi Wagner in Dallas

It’s “This Week in Classical Music”, An Update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was left at the altar this weekend — they were jilted for a good reason, though—their Cellist had a royal wedding performance to give.

19-year-old British cello virtuoso Sheku Kanneh-Mason was lured away by from his LA concert by none other than Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

The cellist studies at the Royal Academy of Music, and last summer Prince Harry was impressed watching Kanneh-Mason perform in London.

The royal couple requested Kanneh-Mason for their wedding Saturday.

"I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes," Kanneh-Mason said in a statement from Kensington Palace. "What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event. I can't wait!"

LACO executive director Scott Harrison said, "I was sad for a moment, but I was also thrilled for him," Harrison said. "It's such a moment for him … But more importantly, it's such a great moment for classical music. This kind of visibility on a global stage is great for all of us."

Kanneh-Mason will now make his U.S. orchestral debut with the Seattle Symphony this fall. LACO is rescheduling with Kanneh-Mason for its 2019-20 season.


Although he is often credited with having created some of the most important operas of all time, the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner remains a controversial figure because of the racist ideology he espoused.

Wagner’s concurrent musical genius and anti-Semitism intrigued artist Gonzalo Lebrija, who has adored the composer’s work since childhood, when his grandfather introduced him to it. “Even though I always admired his music, he’s very disappointing,” Lebrija said.

 “Imagine Wagner wakes up from the grave and learns that this mariachi band made up entirely of women is playing his work,” the artist told ARTnews. “I think he would die immediately, [go] right back to the grave.”

For the piece, Lebrija will have an all-women mariachi group play Wagner’s music—a project that, in the artist’s estimation, is “elegant and, at the same time, very ironic.”

the Mariachi Rosas Divinas “(are)… fantastic musicians,” Lebrija said, “Not all mariachi bands can do this exercise and interpret Wagner. It’s very complicated.”

the band’s members are all American descendants of Mexican parents. Mariachi Wagner is set to debut this month at the Moody Performance Hall as part of the three-week-long Soluna International Music & Arts Festival in Dallas.

 “Mariachi is about singing from night until sunrise,” the artist said. “Mariachi songs are always loud—they’re about passion and crying. It’s liberation. And I think playing Wagner with the idea of a broken heart, it’s a different [musical] language. “


For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, K-B-A-C-H dot org; Be listening each week at this time for another update. Follow us on Facebook and twitter, and also listen every weekday at Noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 classical hits.  I’m Randy Kinkel for KBACH’s “This Week in Classical Music”; Member supported 89.5 KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College and Arizona State University.