classical music

Today, High Plains Public Radio presents a special edition of Sinfonia to celebrate the regional talent tucked in among the flatland prairies of our region. To accompany this showcase, we thought we’d check in with the artists being featured on today’s program, including representatives from  Chamber Music AmarilloAmarillo Master ChoraleHarrington String Quartet, and the Amarillo Symphony 

For live music lovers of the High Plains, this pandemic has been quite a challenge. While we are all trying to stay home and healthy, tucked away in our private spaces, our hearts grow ever fonder for the companionship and inspiration of getting lost in live performance. This Friday afternoon, arts communities to which we have grown accustomed.

While I’m a little miffed that he didn’t bring me any beer, David Palmer of Chamber Music Amarillo stopped by High Plains Morning today. This Saturday night, March 7th, CMA presents “German Giants,” the fifth concert of the current season, featuring sonatas by Bach and Brahms.

Thanks so much to Guli Manfredi of WTAMU and Isannah Gonzales of Chamber Music Amarillo for stopping by High Plains Morning today to chat about the 3rd classical concert for CMA’s 22nd season: The Heroic Journey of Life!

We were happy to get a visit from Lucy Tan and David Palmer this week, stopping by to remind folks that Chamber Music Amarillo's new season starts TONIGHT with a fabulous program "Celebrating Women in the Arts." The first classical concert of their 22nd season, The Heroic Journey of Life shines a spotlight on female composers—and it's one night only: TONIGHT, Friday September 13th @ 7:30pm at the Fibonacci Space (3306 SW 6th Ave., Amarillo).

"Everywhere in the world, music enhances a hall, with one exception: Carnegie Hall enhances the music." —Isaac Stern

We caught a couple of opera heroes on the air today! Thanks so much to Mary Jane Johnson & Rafael Moras for stopping by High Plains Morning today to remind folks about Amarillo Opera’s Musica Variada event, this Saturday, May 11th.  It’s their annual celebration of a celebration of outstanding food and Hispanic artists in concert. It’s at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts (500 S. Buchanan, Amarillo).

Thanks so much to internationally-renowned, local tenor Eric Barry for stopping by High Plains Morning today and remind folks in the Amarillo area about the forthcoming Amarillo Opera Gala. It’s happening this Saturday night, April 6th at 7:30pm at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts. This show will feature several artists coming in from out of town, as well as many local artists. There will be a full orchestra (with more than 40 performers), as well as a full opera chorus.

Thanks to Annamarie Reader (cello) & David Palmer (piano/Artistic Director) for stopping by High Plains Morning today. We had a chat and a serenade, thanks to Annamarie. They were in the studio to remind folks that THIS SATURDAY NIGHT is their finale for the season. So don’t miss Chamber Music Amarillo’s 5th classical concert, “The Three Bs”— featuring the work of Bach, Beethoven, & Brahms. For more info and to buy tickets, visit them online here.

Thanks to Dr. Michael C. Johnson for stopping by High Plains Morning today, sharing information about the Bach's Lunch concert series, featuring organ recitals at churches across Amarillo every Friday during Lent. 

Fill your Friday lunch hour with live classical music. Just bring a “box” lunch and some friends with you.  The Bach’s Lunches are a wonderful time for Lenten reflection and good music among friends. 

Thanks so much to German tenor (and first-time US tourist) Richard Resch and master pianist of Dr. Diego Caetano for stopping by High Plains Morning today to discuss their performance of a Franz Shubert masterpiece at Amarillo College tonight. Yes, TONIGHT -- Tuesday, January 29th at the Concert Hall Theatre  (22nd Avenue on AC's Washington Street Campus).

Thanks so much to Evgeny Zvonnikov for stopping by High Plains Morning to remind folks about the upcoming Season Opening Concert for the Harrington String Quartet on Friday, November 9th at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. 

Hear all of the details in our interview below:

Join music instructor Amy White and the many students from across Amarillo performing at the 2018 Yamaha Clavinova Festival & Book Fair. High Plains Morning was thrilled to welcome her back, as well as two of her performers at this year’s celebration: Emma & Ella Mullin.

A symphony with an identity crisis? Mahler's Symphony No. 1 was described in the composer's letters originally as a traditional symphony, but programs for its earliest performances described it as a symphonic poem. Thus began a series of revisions that eventually produced the definitive four movement work we'll be hearing as Jacomo Bairos conducts the Amarillo Symphony in a performance recorded April 2018 at the Globe News Center For the Performing Arts. Amarillo Symphony Presents airs Sunday at noon CT and again on Thursday 7pm CT. Hosted and produced by Stephen Johnson.

Today on High Plains Morning, we had a full house in the studio thanks to TWO SHOWS happening this Friday in Amarillo. (Scroll down for details!)

Amarillo Opera

Amarillo Opera will have one final showing this evening of its spring offering, Man of La Mancha. The opera company is thrilled to have Nacogdoches native Ron Raines in the title role. Raines has established himself as a force on Broadway, while also performing with such venerable institutions as San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Santa Fe Opera.

Sometimes, one's morning radio show gets REALLY CLASSY when classical performance musicians show up with instruments and an amp. And thankfully, "sometimes" was today!

High Plains Morning thanks our esteemed partners at Amarillo College for the live, in-studio mini-concert on High Plains Morning. It was our pleasure to host Camille Day Nies (viola), Tiffany McDaniel (violin), and Dr. Diego Caetano (piano).   

Whenever I get the chance to travel beyond the edge of the High Plains, I try to visit the public radio stations serving the town to which I'm a'going. Recently, I had the chance to stop by two different stations: WFMT Radio Network on the north side of Chicago, Illinois and KCUR/Harvest Public Media in Kansas City, Missouri.

Beethoven loved being close to nature, and often left Vienna to work in the country. These rural sabbaticals inspired Beethoven's only programmatic work: Symphony No. 6, also known as the "Pastorale." We'll hear this monumental work this week on Amarillo Symphony Presents.

Did you know that in addition to performing the standard classical repertoire, the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra also showcases emerging contemporary composers? Through West Texas A&M's Composer's Initiative and other commissions, listeners across the High Plains have access to new, original classical music. This week on Amarillo Symphony Presents, we'll enjoy works from several of these musical visionaries. So show your regional pride, and tune in for this special program!


It's the end of Summer, and we're taking a mini-musical vacation this week on Amarillo Symphony Presents. Tune in for a few Broadway blockbusters, and then spend some time getting to know the innovative and talented group, Project Trio—including the "Scatter" Concerto by Adam Schoenberg, developed for Project Trio and the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra.   

We're fiddling around this week on Amarillo Symphony Presents. It's an exciting program featuring violin virtuosi Ilana Setapen, Espen Lilleslatten, and Michelle Skinner.

Tune in Thursday at 7pm  for music from J.S.Bach, Ernest Chausson, and Camille Saint-Saëns. 

This week on Amarillo Symphony Presents, we bring you music by "The Mighty Masters."

First, we'll feature Johannes Brahms with his "Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn," conducted by Jacomo Bairos. Next, Stilian Kirov takes the podium for Beethoven"s monumental "5th Symphony." 

This week on Amarillo Symphony Presents, tune in for symphonic masterpieces based on timeless stories from other lands.

First, lose yourself in the "Danse Bacchanale" from the final act of Camille Saint-Saëns’s grand opera, Samson & Delilah. It’s based on the Old Testament's Book of Judges. (Lawrence Loh, conductor.)

FASO is thrilled to present internationally celebrated concert violinist, Rachel Barton Pine for the 2nd concert in the Friends of Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1024 (FASO)'s 2016-2017 Concert Season on Sunday, October 16!

Concerts are held at Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church, (1601 Georgia St., Amarillo, TX). 

In what may be called the apex of the symphony's vision to rejuvenate the traditional symphonic experience, the Amarillo Symphony's "Reimaginings" this weekend presents a concert full of reconception.

Project Trio, comprised of a string bass, cello and flute, joins the symphony, adding an eclectic flavor of musical styles to the concert.

Guest conductor Yaniv Dinur shares his thoughts on "Intimate Evening," the Amarillo Symphony's concert this weekend.

Soprano vocal soloist Sarah Jane McMahon joins the symphony for the concert this Friday and Saturday.

Interview with composer Adam Schoenberg

Nov 21, 2013

This weekend, the Amarillo Symphony performs "Finding Rothko," an orchestra work by composer Adam Schoenberg.  The relatively contemporary piece, written in 2006, will be performed next to works like Ralph Vaughn Williams' "The Lark Ascending" and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" at the symphony's concert titled "Pictures in Music."

Adam Schoenberg joined me from his home in Los Angeles.  I asked him about the inspiration and process behind composing "Finding Rothko."

John Graham

The Amarillo Symphony last week announced Jacomo Rafael Bairos as its new musical director.  I sat down with the new conductor to ask him about his influences and his vision for the symphony.