A steady stream of superb performances from the BYU School of Music goes over the air almost every day on Classical 89. In a lifetime of listening, most of the music we get to hear is produced as a studio recording. Lovely as these recordings may be, many aficionados will insist that nothing compares with adrenalized performances before live audiences! The School of Music records their musicians live, and Classical 89 takes great pride in helping those performances have a long and well-deserved afterlife on the radio. We keep it fresh, since most of our presentations happen soon after the event, and special events are even hosted as live broadcasts. Join us whenever you can. We’ll put your ears (and maybe even your heart) in the de Jong Concert Hall, the Madsen Recital Hall, and wherever else the faculty and students of BYU may be performing.


Weekdays at 1 and 8:30 pm (MDT) on 89.1 FM or online at www.classical89.org/streaming


Title Original Air Date Description


Renee Fleming: Opera Singer and Music Ambassador Extraordinaire 5/20/2016 Brigham Young University was recently blessed to have a visit from Renee Fleming, another double-duty doing singer and ambassador–the Leonard Bernstein of the opera world, as it were. In addition to being one of the world’s great sopranos and a regular lead singer for the Metropolitan Opera, she also gives recitals where she sings jazz pieces and show tunes in addition to operatic arias; performs master classes for young singers; and educates others on opera and vocal technique via interviews and writing.


Andy Dabczynski: Music Education–Good for Your Brain Since at Least 43,000 B.C 5/29/2015 Many studies have been done on the benefits of music on early childhood education, so lots of people think they know about the subject. We are joined today by Andy Dabczynski of the BYU Music Education Department who has some fresh ideas that you may not have heard. Join us as Dabczynski talks to host Marcus Smith about music, education, and the future.


Acoustics–New Ideas in the Science of Sound 9/3/2014 We spend all of our waking hours awash in a world of sound though it’s difficult to remember to stop and pay attention to those sounds. Today on Thinking Aloud, guest host Mark Burns interviews two BYU acoustical scientists, researchers whose job it is to not only pay attention to and study sound but also to manipulate and control it for the benefit of all.


Remembering the Rite of Spring 4/3/2013 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s impressive work “Le Sacre du printemps” translated as “The Rite of Spring.” Kory Katseanes, director of the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra discusses the impact of this century-old piece.—Original airdate


John Cage 7/18/2012 Christian Asplund and Michael Hicks, both members of the BYU composition faculty, discuss the importance of John Cage’s music for the centennial year of his birth.
Media Music 5/24/2012 Christian Asplund and Michael Hicks, both members of the BYU composition faculty, discuss the importance of John Cage’s music for the centennial year of his birth.
Of Mice and Men – Opera 5/7/2012 An opera based on Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”? Yes, and it’s beloved worldwide. Carlisle Floyd, the “godfather” of American opera composers, writes what he knows, and his resultant contribution to the arts is singular and revered. Floyd speaks with guest host Luke Howard about this and several of his other famed operatic works.


Art of Composition 12/12/2011 Most of us probably think of composers as solitary figures, bent over a writing desk or plunking it out on a piano. So it may come as a surprise that coaching, constructive criticism, and something along the lines of master classes can be painful, yes, but also pay off with better music. Composer Steve Ricks joins Thinking Aloud, along with two of his BYU music composition students, to discuss the whys and wherefores of coaching composers.
Franz Liszt 11/18/2011 The American Piano Duo comes to Thinking Aloud to celebrate Liszt’s bicentennial.
Fidelio 10/3/2011 As prolific as he was, Beethoven produced just one opera. Thinking Aloud joins Christopher McBeth, artistic director of Utah Opera, and music historian Luke Howard to discuss in what ways Fidelio is an opera marked by Beethoven’s signature optimism.


Eric Hansen 10/27/2010 When composers won’t compose for your instrument, it turns hungry musicians into self-styled musical thieves.
BYU Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Preview 4/9/2010 Tomorrow the BYU School of Music presents the final concert in a 3-part series celebrating the 50th anniversary year of Classical 89. In this half-hour Marcus Smith first talks with Joseph Sowa, the composer of a work to be premiered, titled “Summer Has Ten Thousand Stars.” In a second segment he chats with violinist Monte Belknap and cellist Julie Bevan about the Stradivarius instruments they graciously brought into the radio studio for our ocular observation and upon which they will perform tomorrow evening with the Philharmonic.
Scott Holden 3/12/2010 Okay, I suppose I should qualify that, or elaborate a bit. This is what a piano sounds like when played unconventionally, not necessarily striking the keys with finger tips to produce the expected timbres and tones, but eliciting unfamiliar sounds, using a host of curious techniques. I suppose one would need to know how basic, raw vibrations originate and also how they can be shaped and altered and adjusted. A vibrating piano is a vibrating piano, no matter how you slice, dice, or fry it. The oscillations can begin on the piano string, or somewhere else altogether in the metal and wood frame of the soundboard. Music is sound, and sound is vibration, and if you somehow manage to get those vibrations to come out of a piano, then by definition, you are playing it…. And that, is all I meant when I said, “This is what a piano sounds like.”
Stanley Crouch 3/8/2010 Stanley Crouch wrote: “She heard an alto saxophone, then a tenor join in, and a drummer had put down his plate to sit behind the traps, laying out a wide, medium-slow pong-pong-pong-pong on the cymbal, the reverberation stepping into her bloodstream as a bass line.”  Best known as a jazz critic and essayist, Stanley Crouch visits with Marcus Smith.
Great Works Monday: Frederic Chopin 3/1/2010 Today is the 200th birth anniversary of Frederic Chopin, a mastermind of musical composition and performance.  Like Mozart, in the century before him, Chopin died before reaching the age of 40.  Today we visit with BYU Music Faculty artists Scott Holden and Robin Hancock about Chopin’s music and genius.
Vocal and Instrumental: BYU’s School of Music 1/28/2010 On today’s Thinking Aloud we talk with Scott Holden, Jaren Hinckley, and Diane Thueson Reich.  Holden is a Horowitz prize-winning department chair of piano and organ studies at BYU.  Hinckley holds a Masters Degree in Clarinet Performance.  Reich is a soprano and a Professor of Voice.


BYU Philharmonic Concert Preview 11/19/2009 We’re talking about the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance tonight with Kory Katseanes, director of BYU’s School of Music, and Alexander Jiménez, guest conductor for the program. The Orchestra will be performing Tchaikovsky”s Symphony No. 5, among other pieces.
The King’s Singers 10/28/2009 They are one of the most sought-after vocal ensembles in the world ? combing close harmony with a wide vocal range. And lucky for us, three members of the King’s Singers are our guests on today’s Thinking Aloud. The King’s Singers will be performing with the BYU Singers in the de Jong Concert Hall on the BYU campus at 7:30 p.m tonight. On Thursday the King’s Singers will be joined by the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Choir in a pops concert.
Dream of Gerontius 8/12/2009 Two rare performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius are coming this week to Salt Lake’s Cathedral of the Madeleine as part of the edifice’s centennial celebration. Before you go, you can enjoy much more than just a hasty last-minute reading of program notes. Music historian Luke Howard joins us for a concert preview.
Concert Preview: Orpheus Winds Quintet 5/7/2009 On today’s Thinking Aloud, we’re talking to April Clayton, Christian Smith, and Laurence Lowe, a few members of the Orpheus Winds wind quintet. They’re here to discuss their group, their music, and their upcoming events. For more information about Orpheus Winds – http://cfac.byu.edu/index.php?id=509
Best Care for Your Piano 5/1/2009 Our treatment of pianos stems from our level of esteem for them, or in some instances simply our ignorance about them. We hope to remedy some of that ignorance in a conversation with Keith Kopp, an experienced piano technician who has “seen it all.” Must you always tune your piano after moving it? We’re debunking some myths and offering some advice.
Classical Music in New Zealand 3/6/2009 Music in the 21st Century has become as diverse and far reaching as the people who make it. As music progresses and develops, many have questioned, “Whither classical music?” We may not have the answers, but our guests live, work, and thrive in the classical music scene of New Zealand. They discuss their own artistic niche and what it means in the musical soundscape of the 21st Century.
Baroque Poetry to Music 2/26/2009 We talk about the “music of poetry”; the concept isn’t really new. But today we’re Thinking Aloud with an interpreter of poetry who has used his interdisciplinary expertise–expertise in language and literature as well as musical know-how and ability–to take poetic interpretation in a fully musical direction. Our guest, Russell Cluff, is a BYU Professor of Spanish.
Scott Holden Recital 2/23/2009 Faculty artist and chair of BYU’s piano and organ studies, Scott Holden, will appear in recital, performing works by Haydn, J.S. Bach and others at 7:30 p.m tomorrow night. The performance is free, and tickets are not required.
BYU Philharmonic Concert Preview 2/9/2009 The BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Kory Katseanes, will perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Georg Druschetzky’s Concerto for Oboe and Tympani with faculty artists Geralyn Giovannetti and Ronald Brough at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $11, or $8 with BYU or student ID, and may be purchased online by phone at (801) 422-4322 or in person at the Harris Fine Arts Center Ticket Office.
Christian Asplund Recital 1/29/2009 The music composition faculty of BYU is known for a forward-looking stance. As often as not, they discover new things, new ways of doing things, and new experiences. Christian Asplund is one of these composers and we’re discussing what you’ll hear at an upcoming performance, just how novel it is, and why you should hear this music.


200 Years of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony 12/19/2008 On December 22, 1808, Beethoven personally conducted the historic concert in Vienna that premiered his Symphonies 5 and 6, his 4th Piano Concerto, and his Choral Fantasy. Music historian and scholar Luke Howard discusses the story and music of this epic premiere.
Opera Soprano Diane Reich 11/7/2008 Soprano Diane Thueson Reich has been a multiple Metropolitan Opera Audition winner in both the Utah and Indiana Districts. Her performance roles include Marguerite in Faust, Nanetta in Falstaff, Mimì in La Bohème, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. She will perform a recital tomorrow evening at 7:30, in BYU’s Madsen Recital Hall, with a program featuring art song by contemporary American composers.
Great Works: Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz 11/3/2008 Symphonie Fantastique is a piece of program music which tells the story of “an artist gifted with a lively imagination” who has “poisoned himself with opium” in the “depths of despair” because of “hopeless love.” As part of Thinking Aloud’s Great Works series, we’re discussing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique with two BYU scholars on French and Music.
Golden Section 10/17/2008 We’re discussing an aesthetic idea, one that has run through the minds of a mathematician, an Italian guy named Fibonacci, an inventor, a composer, a painter, and even an architect. From Pythagoras to da Vinci to Thinking Aloud, the idea of an ideal aesthetic and mathematical balance continues in the Golden Section. We’ll fill you in on the age-old argument that maintains five-eighths is better than one-half, at least visually … or musically … even architecturally. We’re thinking aloud with Thomas Durham, who serves as an associate director of the BYU School of music. He also holds the appointment of Executive Director of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.
Music from Afar 8/20/2008 BYU music professor Jeremy Grimshaw recently returned from Bali with a truckload of fascinating instruments. This fall, he will form the first-ever BYU gamelan orchestra. The gamelan orchestra is comprised of numerous ornate instruments that resemble a sort of glorified xylophone. But the sound is much different. Professor Grimshaw is in the studio with two Bali instruments and a quick hand to demonstrate their exotic sounds.
Jazz Citizen 7/23/2008 The simplicity yet depth of a jazz trio – piano, bass, drums – may be able to teach us certain skills of democracy that cannot be demonstrated in any other music … perhaps. Some boldly proclaim jazz as America’s great contribution to music, but our guests, Gregory Clark and Stephan Lindeman, suggest that jazz may resemble America more than represent it.
Ol’ Blue Eyes – Frank Sinatra 5/22/2008 Frank Sinatra began his singing career around 1940 and quickly became a teen idol known as “the voice.” His ability to sell a song made him an enduring star for over 50 years. The U.S. Postal Service packed all that fame into a commemorative stamp, issued on May 13, 2008 to mark the tenth anniversary of Sinatra’s death. Wes Sims is Thinking Aloud about Frank Sinatra, the man and his music, with two BYU faculty members. Ray Smith is Director of Jazz Studies at BYU, and Mark Purves is from the Germanic Studies and Slavic History and in addition is a member of the International Sinatra Society.
Forty Years Since ’68: Reflections on a Turbulent Year 4/4/2008 April 4 marks forty years to the day since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Michael Hicks of the BYU School of Music will mark the occasion in the evening, with a performance of folksongs and ballads from the ’60s, interspersed with some poetry and even some audio of one of King’s famous public addresses. We take the occasion to reflect on the cultural legacy of that era. Guests Michael Hicks (who brings his guitar along) and scholar Phillip Snyder of the BYU Department of English, who specializes in topics and themes connected with the ’60s, discuss this turbulent decade.
BYU Orchestral Concert Preview: A Newell Dayley World Premiere 3/31/2008 On Thursday, April 3, the Brigham Young University Chamber Orchestra presented the world premiere of Newell Dayley’s latest piece, “A Perfect Brightness of Hope.” The Chamber Orchestra will perform at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall this spring. Today, we’re Thinking Aloud about “Perfect Brightness of Hope” with composer Newell Dayley, singer Jennifer Welch-Babidge, and trumpet player Nathan Botts.
Tribute to Reid Nibley 3/17/2008 Music educator, pianist, and composer Reid Nibley left an indelible impression on his students, audiences, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers. His passing in late February 2008 has offered all who knew him occasion for tremendous sorrow at his loss, and yet also occasion for celebration of his magnanimous spirit and rare artistry. We’re dedicating an hour to celebrating, reminiscing, and honoring our friend, Reid Nibley. Our guests are Truman Madsen, a friend of Reid’s for decades, he and Reid having lived in the same LDS ward and the same Provo Utah neighborhood, and Richard Anderson, a piano professor at BYU as well as a former student and former colleague of Reid’s.
Utah Symphony Director Keith Lockhart on the Music of George Crumb 3/13/2008 Members of the Utah Symphony Orchestra performed music by George Crumb and his son David Crumb on March 14 at BYU. Guests for this interview are Utah Symphony Music Director Keith Lockhart and composer Stephen Jones, Dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. The topic ranges from the musical art of George Crumb specifically to more general concerns such as the educational role of symphonies and the varying degrees of public receptiveness to the new, the experimental, and the avant garde. Program features: Keith Lockhart, conductor Gerald Elias, violin GEORGE CRUMB: Excerpts from “Makrokosmos,” DAVID CRUMB: “September Elegy,” GEORGE CRUMB: “Ancient Voices of Children”
A Tribute to Clyn Barrus 3/7/2008 We honor conductor Clyn Barrus, who died just over ten years ago. The BYU Chamber Orchestra, once conducted by Barrus himself, performed a tributary concert on Saturday, March 8 in the de Jong Concert Hall.
What Is the Future of the Animal We Call an Orchestra? 2/22/2008 A national conference is underway in Utah, with members from far and wide attending the 2008 meeting of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). Brigham Young University is hosting the event. We take the opportunity to invite the president and vice president of CODA to crystal ball about the future of orchestras and the role of music educators in shaping that future. Steve Heyde is the president of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). He travels across the country and around the world as a guest conductor, working with professional and student orchestras and musicians. Alexander Jimenez serves as vice president of (CODA) and also currently serves as a board member of the College Music Society. Kory Katseanes is director of orchestras at Brigham Young University.
BYU Philharmonic Concert Preview: A Libby Larsen Premiere 2/21/2008 The BYU Philharmonic premiered a new composition by distinguished American composer, Libby Larsen. The concert overture is titled “Bach 358”; also on the program is the Mahler Symphony No. 4. We’re talking with Libby Larsen, conductor Kory Katseanes, and literary scholar Alan Keele (Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages) in a concert preview.
BYU Opera Singer Rachel Willis-Sorensen 2/15/2008 We’re getting to know nouveau talent–a new talented voice on the scene. BYU Vocal Performance student Rachel Willis-Sorensen is headed to New York to audition in a highly competitive contest at The Metropolitan Opera House. She’s talking about her journey to the world-renowned Lincoln Center stage at the Met.
Christian Asplund Recital 1/23/2008 On today’s Thinking Aloud, we talk with Christian Asplund, Diane Reich, Jennifer Welch-Babidge and Scott Holden.
Conversation with Frederica von Stade 1/17/2008 The New York Times hails world-renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade as “one of America’s finest artists and singers.” Her reputation always precedes her, not just as a phenomenal talent, but as a compassionate, approachable human being. Von Stade is an artist in great demand, and so we were fortunate to catch up with her by phone this week. In this half-hour, Jennifer Welch-Babidge of the BYU School of Music, who has shared the Metropolitan Opera Stage with Frederica von Stade, joins with Marcus Smith to co-host this interview on Thinking Aloud.


Belshazzar’s Feast 11/9/2007 A young brilliant composer name William Walton gives an unmistakable rhythm to the ancient Babylonian prince Belshazzar. The sounds of Belshazzar on today’s Thinking Aloud, along with guests Kory Katseanes, director of orchestras, Crawford Gates, former director of the music program, and Shane Warby, soloist.
Michael Hicks 10/25/2007 On today’s Thinking Aloud, we talk with singer, pianist, and composer Michael Hicks.
Flexible Music 10/22/2007 We’re bending your ear a bit on Thinking Aloud today. We’re talking to a member of the New York musical ensemble Flexible Music. The group will appear as guests of BYU’s School of Music, performing Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall. The New York-based group will present new works by BYU composer Steven Ricks and BYU alumnus Ethan Wickman. The program also includes pieces by John Link, Mikel Kuehn and Dutch composer Louis Andriessen.
The Carillon Bell Tower 9/14/2007 In the United States, you’ll find only 148 of these instruments, worldwide only about 500. You can’t sign up for lessons on it with your local high school band or orchestra, and it’s impossible to hit the road with it for a tour. You play it with your fists, and also your feet. It’s louder than a bagpipe, and you don’t need to wear a kilt to play it in good form. We’re talking about the instrument known as the carillon, on today’s Thinking Aloud with carilloneurs Don Cook and Neil Thornock.
Edvard Grieg’s Lyrical Piano 9/4/2007 On the centennial of the death of Edvard Grieg, we discuss the Norwegian composer’s collection of 66 short pieces for piano, his lyric pieces. Our guests are Jeffrey Shumway of the BYU School of Music and Dean Duncan from the Department of Theatre and Media Arts.
What Bach Thought Music Was All About 5/11/2007 How do we make use of music? Is it amusement, entertainment, an interesting hobby, or a mental game? Philosopher James Siebach and musicologist Douglas Bush participate in this discussion to consider various uses, functions, or reasons for the making of music, against the backdrop of the known philosophy and perspective of the great Johann Sebastian Bach.
BYU Philharmonic Orchestra: Easter Concert Preview 4/4/2007 The BYU Philharmonic Orchestra looks toward the Easter holiday and related themes in its Wednesday evening program, featuring “Blue Cathedral,” by Jennifer Higdon, “The Russian Easter Festival Overture,” by Rimsky-Korsakov, and the tone poem “Death and Transfiguration,” by Richard Strauss.
Choral Concert Preview 3/16/2007 This weekend, there will be room on the de Jong Concert Hall stage for both a Mendelssohn motet, AND the 1967 Beetles tune “Penny Lane.” You know, “Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes”? Choral Concert programs at BYU are always carefully chosen, and with a spirit of innovation. This week’s program will be no exception. Join Thinking Aloud for a preview of Friday and Saturday performances of the BYU Singers and the Concert Choir.
Utah Symphony at BYU Preview 3/15/2007 New Assistant Director for the Utah Symphony David Cho joins us today to give us a preview of the concert that will be broadcast live today from the DeJong Hall on BYU Campus.
Philharmonic Concert Preview 2/19/2007 Kory Katseanes and Thomas L. Durham give us a preview of the February 20, 2007, concert performance. Kory Katseanes is Director of Orchestras and Associate Director of the Brigham Young University School of Music. Thomas L. Durham teaches composition and theory classes at BYU.
Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong 2/16/2007 Steven Call teaches jazz history at BYU and joins us in discussing the great life and legacy of Louis Armstrong.
Composing with David Sargent 2/2/2007 Faculty composer David Sargent joins Thinking aloud to give a backstage pass on the makings of great music, helping us to understand the many facets, styles, structures, and rationales to his music.
Ethnomusicology: From Classical Music to World Music 1/10/2007 Throughout history humans have raised musical praises in search ofspirituality, to give thanks for blessings, to hail deities or summondead ancestors, and to accompany important ceremonies. Simpleinstruments fashioned from wood, reeds, bamboo, gourds, animal bone,and other ready-to-hand materials suggest that the need for musicinspires ingenuity and supersedes the desire to boast wealth. Ethnomusicologist Larry V. Shumway reflects on the history and utility of his profession. Jerry Jaccard joins the interview as co-host, bringing to bear his expertise as a folksong researcher.


Magic Flute: Themes of Eternity 12/29/2006 This weekend something historic will happen. It’s never been done before. A high-definition transmission of audio and video live from the Met. We’ve been talking about it for some time here on Classical 89, and many of us in Utah will witness the event in person this Saturday, as “The Magic Flute” is beamed on over. We’re Thinking Aloud with three scholars who can initiate us into the club of the few who really can say with much authority what this strange Mozart opera is really all about. Join Germanist Alan Keele, historian Paul Kerry, and singer-scholar Lawrence Vincent join me for a discussion of “The Magic Flute.”
Concert Preview: The BYU Philharmonic plays Shostakovich and Bruch 11/27/2006 Conductor Kory Katseanes discusses Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, programmed in observance of the 2006 Shostakovich centennary. Jaren Hinckley and Claudine Bigelow then join the discussion to discuss their roles performing in the Max Bruch Concerto for Clarinet and Viola.
Proponents of New Music: Christian Asplund, Steve Ricks, and Jaren Hinckley 10/16/2006 Our guests in this interview discuss with host Marcus Smith their interest and involvement in a category of musical expression sometimes called a movement, sometimes a style: New Music. As a term, New Music seems to elude definition. Will it ever have a broad audience, or is it intentionally esoteric?
New Horizon Orchestra: Learning Music Late in Life 9/1/2006 For many adults, music is something you listen too, not something you make. For others, music is something you’d like to learn how to make, but you’ve just never known how? Or maybe it’s something you did years ago, but have lost the knack for. The New Horizons Orchestra was established precisely for daring, intrepid, or at least willing souls who are sufficiently uninhibited about their level of musical competence to dive in and take the risk. Today we’ll be thinking aloud with Andrew Dabczynski, BYU professor of music and conductor of the New Horizons Orchestra.
The Acoustics of Vocal Production 7/26/2006 There is more to singing than meets the eye. When science gets involved, you may have wanted to know even less! Arden Hopkin teaches voice in the BYU School of Music. Together with acoustics graduate student Brian Monson, Hopkin has investigated the “ideal” acoustic of the human voice at least for singers in the operatic style. Find out what role science can play in understanding the human voice, and how science is helping singers sing better!
Teaching Children Peace through music 7/10/2006 What does it take to renew a youthful spirit that has been stunted by the devastation and fear of living in a war-torn country? Can music play a role? Liz Shropshire, a BYU Graduate in Music Composition, is the founder of the Kosovo Children’s Music Initiative and the Shropshire Music Foundation. We’ll be talking about the impact her organizations have on the lives of children whose formative years have been horribly disrupted by the violence of war.
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