Jen McGivney

Honoring Lorin Maazel, 1930 – 2014

WDAV honors the life and career of Maestro Lorin Maazel, the renowned conductor who passed away Sunday, June 13, 2014, at his home in Virginia.

Maazel boasted a résumé and a mind like few others: music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna State Opera, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Munich Philharmonic, among others; fluent in English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish; and, with his wife Dietlinde Turban Maazel, the founder of the Castleton Festival, established to train and inspire young musicians. Just two weeks ago, Maazel appeared at the festival’s opening night, calling his work there “more than a labor of love – a labor of joy,” according to the festival website.

Joe Robinson, the Principal Oboist of the New York Philharmonic (1978-2005) and a friend of WDAV, shared his memories with us of his years working with this esteemed conductor:

“Lorin Maazel was the ultimate virtuoso conductor.  He possessed an extraordinary combination of musical and athletic gifts—perfect pitch; the vocal range of Bobby McFerrin; an infallible photographic memory; and the kinesthetic genius of a great dancer. I never saw him make a mistake on the podium.  He was a prodigy who gave the impression throughout his career that conducting was child’s play.

If you’d like to learn more about the life and work of Lorin Maazel, read his obituary by The Castleton Festival. To celebrate the work of Maestro Lorin Maazel, enjoy this 2012 performance of Mozart’s Symphony 41:

Where the World Cup & Classical Meet

Classical Music and Football: The First XI
How has soccer… ahem, football… inspired classical composers? From a football chant by Edward Elgar to a ballet by Dmitri Shostakovich about the sport, the Guardian’s Music Blog reveals how football has left its mark on classical music.

Quiz: Composer or Footballer?
Can you guess whether the subject is a classical composer or a World Cup footballer by name alone? It may not be as easy as you think.

Placido Domingo To Sing Before World Cup Final
He’s sung before a World Cup final five times already. On July 11, Placido Domingo will make it six.

World Cup 2014: What Makes a Great National Anthem?
Some anthems we love. Some anthems we don’t. Some we really don’t. Anthems can be so polarizing a topic that composer and cellist Phillip Sheppard received death threats after contributing to a 2012 article about the worst national anthems. In this article, the BBC poses the question: what makes an anthem great?

 And here’s an inspired idea from Twitter:

Classical Music During World Cup
Brilliant. And may we offer a classical suggestion for your World Cup-watching pleasure? 24/7 classical music streaming from WDAV.

WDAV’s Classics of Note

During our June “Classics of Note” campaign, we’re asking you to tell us your favorite symphony or concerto. As our special thank you, we’ll play our listeners’ most-beloved works on air after the campaign. (Donate today and vote for your favorite works!) But what about those of us in the WDAV building? Get a sneak peek of the personalities and tastes of our staff with WDAV’s Classics of Note:

Frank DominguezFrank Dominguez – General Manager & Content Director
Debussy’s La Mer
It’s hard to select my favorite symphony or concerto because the selection changes over time and according to my mood. But if pressed, I will select a work that’s not officially a symphony as my favorite in that form: La Mer by Claude Debussy.  The composer called the work “three symphonic sketches” and carefully avoided the term “symphony.” Yet many admirers of the piece have observed that its vigorous  outer sections surround a lighter middle movement in much the same way as a symphony works. Whatever it is, I consider it some of the most gorgeous and profound music ever written. Every time I hear it I’m reminded of the majesty of the sea in all its guises. And…
Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets in C Major, RV 537
My favorite concerto couldn’t be more different. It’s the Concerto for Two Trumpets in C Major, RV 537 by Antonio Vivaldi. This is the straightforward, light-hearted, joyous music that first drew my attention to classical music when I was just a child. Since then it has been a sentimental favorite.

Mike McKayMike McKay – Morning Host & Producer of Carolina Live
Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
There are so many favorites that I simply can’t narrow it down to one favorite, but way, way up on the list is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.  It’s one of the most spectacular piano-and-orchestra showpieces ever created, and I never tire of hearing it.


Ted WeinerTed Weiner, Music Director
Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto, K. 299
This simply is one of the most beautiful musical creations. It transports me to another plane of sheer peace. It is one of the most recorded of all the Mozart Concertos. Flutist James Galway has recorded the work a number of times over the years, with my favorite being the 1978 recording featuring Galway, harpist Marisa Robles and the London Symphony led by the late Eduardo Mata. What particularly stands out for me in this recording is Ms. Robles’s cadenza in the finale…it raises the goose bumps on my skin like no other piece of music.

Will KeibleWill Keible – Director of Marketing and Sales
Holst’s The Planets
The variety of emotions and ideas it conjures as it moves from Mars to Neptune is what appeals to me most. Excitement, turbulence, power, jollity, and mystery all wrapped into one grandiose work. Absolutely brilliant!


Kali BlevinsKali Blevins – Marketing Coordinator
Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition
This was the first piece of classical music I fell in love with, and it is one I have performed myself. The movements tell so many vivid, unique stories, and it has an incredible trumpet solo at the beginning.


Rodger ClarkRodger Clark – Development Director
Miaskovsky’s Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 81
My current favorite symphony/concerto is: Miaskovsky’s Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 81*
* Note: of course, this is second to anything by Rachmaninoff!


Myelita MeltonMyelista Melton — Announcer
Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony
It’s a musical rollercoaster of intense emotions.


Kendra InitharKendra Intihar – Assistant General Manager
Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty suite
I love watching the moment that {my daughter] Sadie realizes a Tchaikovsky piece is on WDAV. Seeing her get excited about recognizing a piece of music has made me fall in love with Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty suite. She has loved Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake since she was a toddler, and getting to experience music through watching her make those connections is a treasure. And…
Debussy’s Arabesque, No1.
One night, while I was 6 months pregnant with Miles, I was streaming Debussy’s Arabesque No1 on my laptop.  He danced all over my belly for the entire length of the piece. I think it’s amazing how a piece of music can become so connected with a memory that you can relive a moment every time you hear it.  Debussy’s first Arabesque is now one of my very favorite works.

Jen McGivneyJen McGivney – Digital Content Manager
Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9
Dvorak was a Czech who found his way to the U.S. So, too, was my great-grandmother Julia. When I hear his New World Symphony – so thrilling and optimistic at times, yet heartbreakingly homesick at others – I can’t help but wonder about her experience and marvel at her courage. As familiar as the second movement is, I still swoon each time I hear it. Beautiful.

stacey-perek-250Stacey Perek, Development Assistant
Gershwin’s Concerto in F



Making Poetry of Puppetry: The Cashore Marionettes

Like many artistic endeavors, the show Life in Motion seeks to capture the depth of human experience. But this show has a challenge that most do not: It’s performed entirely by marionettes. Yet somehow during the performance, strings disappear and realism takes hold to convey life’s moment’s with unique characters and powerful music. The secret to creating this magic is a man in black who’s on stage but appears only in shadow: puppeteer Joseph Cashore. His recent sold-out performance at Davidson College is a clear testament to the talent he displays on stage.

Cashore employs two main elements in his work: first, his mastery of puppetry and second, his love of music. Classical music figures prominently in the show, as vignettes of everyday moments are paired with music to match. The second movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in D plays while a mother stares wonderingly into the eyes of her infant. Irish balladThe Foggy Dew accompanies an elderly woman mourning at the grave of a loved one. The visuals and the music combine to create an experience makes poetry of puppetry.

Cashore “I’m listening for music that both expresses the content of the piece emotionally and also has in it the right changes so that I can choreograph the movements of the marionette to the changes in the music,” said Cashore. “It becomes very powerful.”

Cashore’s talents have earned him top honors, including a Henson Foundation Grant and the UNIMA Citation of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed on an American puppeteer. In addition to his talent in constructing the marionettes and creating these shows, Cashore’s use of music is a testament to the power of music as an emotive force.

“I am sensitive to music’s amazing power to open the listener to different ways of feeling and being,” said Cashore. “To me, it’s like magic, [but] better than magic because there is no deception.”

Perhaps magic and mystery are at the very core of Cashore’s work. Cashore explains: “The right music speaks directly to the deepest part of the psyche. When I’m listening to music, if I close my eyes, there is nothing else. The world dissolves and there is just the music. The experience can be profoundly transforming. What is it about sound that can do this? I don’t know — to me it’s a mystery.”

– – –

The Cashore Marionettes came to Davidson College as a part of the Artist Series. To learn more about Life in Motion and Joseph Cashore, please visit the Cashore Marionettes website and view vidoes of Cashore’s shows.