The San Francisco Symphony will play in Urbana Friday night, with a varied program representing the personality of music director Michael Tilson Thomas. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll talk with Donato Cabrera, the orchestra’s resident conductor, about the program and about his role working with MTT. I’ll talk also with Johnny Iguana, a Chicago blues pianist who is one half of The Claudettes, coming to Champaign Friday night.
Molly Ringwald is best known for her roles in the films Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink in the 1980s. She has had a multi-faceted acting career, has published two books and recently released her first CD, singing from the Great American Songbook. Molly Ringwald will perform in Charleston this week, and she’ll be my guest on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear about Sunday’s concert by the Bloomington-Normal Youth Symphony.
“Words in the Wind” has become an annual event to benefit Illinois Public Media’s Book Mentor Project. Some of Champaign-Urbana’s best actors will offer two presentations this year of concert-style readings of children’s books. We’ll have a live preview on the Monday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear, live in our studio, students from Urbana High School’s upcoming production of The Wiz, giving their own twist to the celebrated musical.
Eduardo Diazmuñoz has been director of the University of Illinois Opera Program for a decade and will conduct his last opera there next week. It’s a blockbuster: Giuseppe Verdi’s comedy Falstaff. On the Friday edition of the show, I’ll talk with Maestro Diazmuñoz and director Kathleen Conlin, and we’ll hear live excerpts from the talented cast. We’ll also learn about a military band concert happening in Paxton Saturday night.
Conductor JoAnn Falletta has been praised as having “Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.” If you know any of those names, you also know that is very high praise indeed. JoAnn Falletta will conduct the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Urbana Thursday night, and she’ll be my guest on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” We’ll also hear about Illini Student Musicals' presentation of The Wedding Singer.
Drummers and other percussionists usually find themselves at the back of the orchestra or the band, or any other ensemble. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” percussionists will take front and center. I’ll talk with William Moersch, head of the percussion division at the University of Illinois, about three upcoming events on campus. And we’ll meet Adam Rudolph, a touring world-music percussionist who plays in Champaign Thursday night.
Sir James Galway has quite rightly been called a “living legend of the flute,” one of the most recognizable classical musicians performing today. He’s coming to Urbana Thursday for a performance with his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and he’ll be my guest on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
On the Friday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll welcome two Chicago-based performers steeped in the Irish musical tradition: guitarist Mike Kirkpatrick and singer and multi-instrumentalist Kathleen Keane. Then we’ll hear guitarist and ukulele player Del Rey. All three will play live in our studio, and they’ll be among the many musicians at the fifth Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival, which happens Friday and Saturday.