This Week in Classical Music with Randy Kinkel 06/10/18

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Classical Talent show coming to US;
Music and Journalism at the NYT


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

One of the top shows in Hungary is a reality show featuring classical musicians. Virtuosos is a talent contest which already has a track record of attracting a mass viewership – in its native Hungary. the show’s fourth series has been reaching audiences of over 700,000 per episode.

And now, producers are taking tentative steps to bring it to the UK and the US, with singer Placido Domingo as host.

“I was willing to be involved from the start”, Domingo says. I realised that all the popular music that exists in the world is available for everybody basically because of all the years with all the great artists and performers… on television.

It is not the same … for classical music. People love popular artists and their songs because they are accessible to them: television is available everywhere.” To bring Virtuosos to much larger markets in the UK and the US, “Virtuosos” creator Mariann Peller has joined forces with production company Fulwell 73.

Fullwell’s Leo Pearlman, says he has been exploring music-based talent shows for a while, but that none of them had seemed sufficiently unique, until he saw Hungarian Virtuosos. “I began”, he says, “to realise just how popular both the show and the talent that have come out of the show have become.”


The New York Times is a big place, full of people who have interests outside journalism.

Turns out, there’s actually a strong contingent of classical musicians at the paper, many of whom play in outside groups just for fun. A bunch of them got together and formed their own chamber group; gathering after work on a regular basis, they call themselves the Qwerty Ensemble.

Qwerty is the first 6 letters at the top left of the keyboard.

talking about the ways in which playing music and creating journalism are similar, Violinist William Davis, assistant editor for News Platforms, says “I think the focus on detail is …very similar — whether you’re trying to find the missing phrase or sentiment or the right articulation. Journalism and music are both undervalued but deeply important to society.”


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.