Andris Nelsons
Marco Borggreve

The Wondrous Magic of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"

Saturday at 8pm in an encore broadcast showcasing one of the centerpieces of Russian orchestral grace, Andris Nelsons conducts the BSO in Act II of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," plus the American premiere of a work by Latvian composer Andris Dzenītis.

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Out of the Box

Image of composer Emily Lau lying on a bed smiling while going over music
Meg Nanna

This inviting and multifaceted setting of Emily Dickinson's poetry was recommended by a friend, and is happily now recommended to you too.


This Week's CD of the Week

"Un Perfaict Sonneur de Leut" with Paul O'Dette

Dec 2, 2019
Paul O'Dette

For his newest recording, lutenist Paul O’Dette delves into the music of 16th-century France to unveil the miniature masterpieces of Albert de Rippe, and WCRB has chosen it as our CD of the Week!



Gertrud Sparrman as Greta and Sofie Lindegren as Hans in the opera Hans och Greta, Kungliga Operan (at Svenska teatern) 1895.
Carl Rosén. This file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the Swedish Performing Arts Agency as part of a cooperation project with Wikimedia Sverige.

Neglectful parents, an evil witch, and children who don't know the risk of taking candy from strangers -- all things considered, Hansel and Gretel is a pretty sinister story. So why is it so popular during the holidays?

Saint Basil Cathedral in Moscow
Vitaly Vlasov

Witches, sorcery, and the devil aren’t often part of the tales we hear around Christmas time. But when it comes to Russian fairy tales, nothing is off the table — not even on Christmas Eve.

Train passing between stone buildings
Jeffrey Czum from Pexels

Editing magic makes the Prague train system into an orchestra. Plus, scientists confirm music really is the universal language, and Britney Spears gets the lute treatment, all in this link roundup!

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2020 season at Tanglewood, with celebrations of Beethoven, the centenary of violinist Isaac Stern, and a continuation of Wagner opera performances led by Andris Nelsons.

From NPR Music

Traditions worth saving still need need practitioners and advocates who are willing to propel them forward. Classical music boasts a long, rich history — about 1000 years — of transformation, adaptation, tumult and triumph. From radical, boundary-bashing composers to brave and bold interpreters, the music has remained vibrantly alive even as prognosticators routinely forecast its demise.

One of classical music's most beloved conductors has died: Latvian-born Mariss Jansons, who was age 76 at his death on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jansons had long had a heart condition, which first became known when he collapsed on the podium while conducting in Norway more than 20 years ago.

Cecilia Bartoli isn't your average opera star. She doesn't sing many of the popular 19th century operas. Instead, she prefers to explore the dusty, little-known corners of the 18th century.

Bartoli's new album is devoted to music written for a single artist of the Baroque era named Farinelli. He was the most acclaimed opera singer of the mid-1700s, the rock star of his day, singing some of the most virtuosic music ever written for the human voice.

When Russian-born pianist Igor Levit dropped in to play Beethoven at the Tiny Desk, he admitted he was – even after four cups of coffee – "still in my time zone change." A little jet-lagged, he had flown in from Berlin the night before and hopped an early train from New York to Washington, D.C.

More from NPR


Palaver Strings and Culomba at pindrop sessions in April 2019

WCRB and Aeronaut Brewery want you to experience something different: the pindrop sessions! One-of-a-kind concerts in a taproom, the first Sunday of the month at Aeronaut in Somerville, in partnership with WCRB.

In Concert captures the best performances by the world's best performers, from concerts in and around the Boston area. Airs Sundays at 7pm.