89.3 WFPL http://wfpl.org Louisville's NPR® News Station Sat, 31 Jan 2015 12:43:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Here Are the Plans For the Louisville Orchestra’s 2015-16 Season http://wfpl.org/plans-louisville-orchestras-2015-16-season/ http://wfpl.org/plans-louisville-orchestras-2015-16-season/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:01:45 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=31093 The second season of Teddy Abrams’ music directorship was announced Friday night at the Kentucky Center. Where last season was programmed, roughly, half by Abrams and half by Music Director Emeritus Jorge Mester, 2015-2016 is mostly Abrams, with two concerts … Read Story

]]> The second season of Teddy Abrams’ music directorship was announced Friday night at the Kentucky Center.

Where last season was programmed, roughly, half by Abrams and half by Music Director Emeritus Jorge Mester, 2015-2016 is mostly Abrams, with two concerts led by Mester.

There is nothing restrained or timid next season—this is not an orchestra playing it safe. In fact, one could argue that this season is full of risks, artistically and financially. Producing works that require a large orchestra—and most on next season do—can add up. But this doesn’t feel like opulence. Rather, what we see here is an orchestra trying to earn back a reputation for being adventurous and innovative.

What has typically been a glitz and glamour, concerto-focused Fanfara, complete with high-price soloist, is now called “Opening Night” and looks to be the most ambitious season opener ever by the Louisville Orchestra, and possibly among any American orchestra of similar budget or market size. If you thought “Carmina Burana” was extravagant, Abrams will unleash Leonard Bernstein’s eclectic “Mass” to open the season on Sept. 26 . Jubilant Sykes will sing the Celebrant, a role that garnered him a Grammy nomination in 2009. Bernstein’s musical theater work calls for two orchestras (one in the pit and one on stage), two soloists, two choirs, a rock band, and “street musicians,” which includes 45 singers and percussion. Composed for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., “Mass” juxtaposes traditional Latin Mass texts with new lyrics by with Bernstein himself, Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Wicked”) and Paul Simon.

Now the tone is set for one of the most unique seasons this city has ever seen, replete with premieres and collaborations. Abrams, the composer, has scheduled himself for two new works: a fanfare in March and a work for “Community Collaborators.” In late January the orchestra will feature a commission from students at Abrams’ alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music. A young American composer named Chase Morrin will write and perform a new piano concerto as part of a “Festival of American Music.”

Cast in two parts in March and April, the festival includes Mason Bates’ “Mothership,” for orchestra and electronica (a laptop), premiered in 2011 by the YouTube Symphony and viewed live by two million people on YouTube. Bates is paired with his fellow Californian John Adams’ “Harmonielehre” (German for “study of harmony”), a 40-minute work for large orchestra. Abrams will be the soloist in Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, and the latter’s post-war Symphony No. 3 concludes the festival.

Another collaboration takes the orchestra and Louisville Ballet relationship beyond “The Nutcracker” for two works in March: a choreographed Philip Glass Violin Concerto and Stravinsky’s dark burlesque “Petrouchka.”

Among this season’s soloists are pianist William Wolfram playing Rachmaninoff’s second concerto with Jorge Mester, violinist Augustin Hadelich tackling the monumental violin concerto of Brahms and Bela Fleck closing the season with his banjo concerto “The Imposter,” a work commissioned by the Nashville Symphony.

unnamedBob Bernhardt’s Pops Series brings a few notable soloists, too, opening with Family Guy creator and crooner Seth MacFarlane singing American Songbook standards. MacFarlane released an album in 2011 of songs from the ’40s and ’50s. Viewers of “Family Guy”  know him as the voice of Stewie. Randy Jackson (of the band Zebra, not American Idol) will perform as Robert Plant with Brent Havens conducting, Ann Hampton Callaway will sing the Streisand Songbook, and Pink Martini, a group that includes vocalist Storm Large, joins the Louisville Orchestra on March 19.

Returning for more to-be-announced concerts are the Family Concert Series, Music Without Borders, WOW! Series events, Magic of Music and Holiday concerts. The orchestra also unveiled new logos at Friday’s post-concert announcement.

Daniel Gilliam is the program director for WFPL’s sister station WUOL Classical 90.5.

 

]]> http://wfpl.org/plans-louisville-orchestras-2015-16-season/feed/ 0 Celebration Planned for Thomas Merton’s 100th Birthday http://wfpl.org/celebration-planned-thomas-mertons-100th-birthday/ http://wfpl.org/celebration-planned-thomas-mertons-100th-birthday/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:38:02 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=31083 The Center for Interfaith Relations is hosting a birthday celebration for the late Thomas Merton, the world-renowned author and monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. Merton would have turned 100 on Saturday. He died in 1968. “Thomas Merton … Read Story

]]> The Center for Interfaith Relations is hosting a birthday celebration for the late Thomas Merton, the world-renowned author and monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky.

Merton would have turned 100 on Saturday. He died in 1968.

“Thomas Merton is the most renowned mystical writer and interfaith leader in Roman Catholicism of the 20th century,” said Keith Runyon, a spokesman for the Center for Interfaith Relations (and a WFPL commentator).

But Runyon  said that the critical acclaim and worldwide fame did not pull Merton away from his life as a monk. He donated all of the profits from his book to the Abbey so that he could keep his vow of poverty.

“He had an amazing gift of writing,” said Runyon. ”And he led a very interesting life in that he became a celebrity even though he was a monk who had taken this vow of silence and poverty.”

The event begins at noon Saturday with remarks by Mayor Greg Fischer at the Brown Theatre. The celebration will end with a screening of a new documentary on Merton’s life.

]]> http://wfpl.org/celebration-planned-thomas-mertons-100th-birthday/feed/ 0 What’s Next for the West Louisville Wal-Mart Development http://wfpl.org/whats-next-west-louisville-wal-mart-development/ http://wfpl.org/whats-next-west-louisville-wal-mart-development/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:04:12 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=31058 The plan to develop a Wal-Mart on Broadway and Dixie Highway is now heading to the Board of Zoning Adjustments—bringing the project just a couple steps away from construction. The Louisville Metro Planning Commission on Thursday approved two waivers allowing a Wal-Mart Supercenter … Read Story

]]> The plan to develop a Wal-Mart on Broadway and Dixie Highway is now heading to the Board of Zoning Adjustments—bringing the project just a couple steps away from construction.

The Louisville Metro Planning Commission on Thursday approved two waivers allowing a Wal-Mart Supercenter to be constructed 600 feet away from Broadway and 18th Street. The waivers are necessary because the land development code calls for buildings to be much closer to the street.

Now, the proposal goes to the Board of Zoning Adjustments for approval of the two variances “that are to exceed the setback” from the roads, said Jessica Wethington, spokeswoman for Develop Louisville.

“If they approve, then Wal-Mart is ready to go into the construction permitting phase,” she added.

To apply for a construction permit, Wal-Mart developers will present a construction plan to the city’s Office of Construction Review. If approved, the permit will be issued, Wethington said.

“Then they break ground,” she added.

There is no set date to break ground on the construction of the Wal-Mart, said Chris Poynter, a spokesman for the Mayor’s office.

The project’s design has been a topic of debate in recent months, with some arguing for an urban design Wal-Mart—closer to the street—instead of the current plans for a suburban-style store with a parking lot in the front.

Critics of Wal-Mart’s construction plans have argued that the store should adhere to the current land development code requiring the building be constructed closer to the street. But proponents of Wal-Mart’s current plan have argued that pushing the corporation to redesign the plans jeopardizes the project.

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Moving forward, Louisville’s Metro Council will not be required to approve any action—unless someone appeals Thursday’s Planning Commission decision to approve the waivers, Wethington said.

The full council would need to uphold the appeal, she said, but an appeal would not stall the action needed by the Board of Zoning Adjustments.

“They’re free to move forward with the variances because the appeal would just be for the waiver and development plan,” she said.

To date, no appeals have been submitted, Wethington added.

Poynter said it’s “very rare” for an appeal from a resident to be approved by a Metro Council, canceling a vote by the planning commission.

]]> http://wfpl.org/whats-next-west-louisville-wal-mart-development/feed/ 0 Unemployment Rates Down in All 120 Kentucky Counties http://wfpl.org/unemployment-rates-120-kentucky-counties/ http://wfpl.org/unemployment-rates-120-kentucky-counties/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:42:37 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=31070 FRANKFORT — State officials say unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between December 2013 and December 2014. The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training says that’s the fourth time in the last five months that Kentucky has had … Read Story

]]> FRANKFORT — State officials say unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between December 2013 and December 2014.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training says that’s the fourth time in the last five months that Kentucky has had a year-over-year unemployment drop in all counties.

The officials say Scott and Woodford counties had the lowest jobless rates in the state at 3.7 percent each this past December. Fayette County was next at 3.8 percent. The rate was 3.9 percent in four counties — Hancock, Jessamine, Madison and Owen.

Magoffin County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.5 percent. Jackson County was next at 11.3 percent, followed by Letcher County at 9.9 percent, Russell County at 9.5 percent, Harlan County at 9.4 percent and Lewis County at 9.2 percent.

]]> http://wfpl.org/unemployment-rates-120-kentucky-counties/feed/ 0 Kentucky Bourbon Trail Has Record-Breaking Attendance—Again http://wfpl.org/kentucky-bourbon-trail-record-breaking-attendance/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-bourbon-trail-record-breaking-attendance/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:37:28 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=31065 Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail had another record-breaking year in attendance. The trail’s nine participating distilleries had 627,032 visitors in 2014, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. The nine smaller facilities that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour … Read Story

]]> Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail had another record-breaking year in attendance. The trail’s nine participating distilleries had 627,032 visitors in 2014, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

The nine smaller facilities that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour are also seeing an increase in popularity.

“The first craft distillers that came in are now on their second and third phases of expansion,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association. “And just in the first year of our Craft Tour—from the first to second years—(attendance) has gone up over 50 percent.”

Gregory said he expects the number of Craft Tour distilleries to increase to at least a dozen by the end of the year. He also expressed optimism that the Bourbon Trail, which is mostly made up by the state’s larger “heritage” distilleries, will see increased membership in 2015.

“We’ve got a number of big-name distilleries that have announced, like Michter’s in downtown Louisville,” Gregory said. “It’s our hope that Angel’s Envy, when they get up and running, will come on board. Brown-Forman has announced the Old Forester distillery on Whiskey Row.”

Frankfort-based Buffalo Trace, which is not a member of the Bourbon Trail, saw a 26 percent increase in visitors last year.

Here is a list of the member distilleries that are a part of the Bourbon Trail and Craft Tours:

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

  • Maker’s Mark in Loretto
  • Jim Beam in Clermont
  • Town Branch in Lexington
  • Woodford Reserve in Versailles
  • Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg
  • Heaven Hill in Bardstown
  • Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
  • Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience in Louisville

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour

  • Wilderness Trace in Danville
  • Barrel House in Lexington
  • Corsair Artisan Distillery in Bowling Green
  • Limestone Branch in Lebanon; M.B. Rowland in Pembroke
  • Old Pogue in Maysville
  • Silver Trail in Hardin
  • Willett in Bardstown
  • New Riff Distillery in Newport

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