WDAV Launches Concierto, First Nationally-Available Spanish-English Classical Music Service in America

October 25, 2010, Davidson: WDAV Classical Public Radio today announced the launch of the pilot phase of Concierto, the first nationally available Spanish-English classical music service in America. The 2-hour pilot show can be heard every Saturday at 10 PM on WDAV in the Charlotte region and on KPBS in San Diego, CA. NPRMusic.org has agreed to help promote the show and will soon add Concierto to its popular stream, The Mix. In addition, WDAV has launched a continuous stream of Concierto programs on its HD-2 channel and online at concierto.org.

The Concierto pilot phase, funded in part by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will test the concept in a small number of key markets with significant Spanish-speaking populations. WDAV will use pilot-phase data to launch a nationally syndicated 24/7 Spanish-language classical music service in late 2011.

Explains WDAV General Manager Benjamin K. Roe, “Census estimates now put the Latino population of the United States at 46.9 million, or 15% of the total population. Among this group, the appetite for classical music is significant: a 2008 NEA survey shows that 7.6% of U.S. Hispanics identify classical as their favorite form of music, and they are increasing their participation in the arts. But out of 838 Spanish‐language U.S. radio stations, there is not a single program or service that broadcasts classical music in Spanish. We want to do something about that.”

While the show’s programming centers on the core classical music repertoire, it pays special attention to the contributions of Latin-American and Spanish composers and performers to the art form. Every hour of Concierto features at least one Spanish-heritage performer and/or composer, be it conductor Gustavo Dudamel, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, or Mexican composer Carlos Chavez.

Concierto is hosted by WDAV Program Director Frank Dominguez, who is Cuban-American and fluent in Spanish and English. “With Concierto, we are creating a perfect entryway to classical music for Latinos in America,” says Mr. Dominguez. “Whether they are ‘Spanish-dominant’ or proudly bilingual, listeners tell me they are pleasantly surprised to hear me speak in their native language. Plus, Hispanic culture is more diverse than meringue and mariachi! Classical music has strong, deep roots in all the Americas, and Concierto’s programming reflects that diversity. This is truly international music.”

Press release provided by WDAV.


Ciompi Quartet Tours Germany & Austria

October, 2010, Durham, NC: The Ciompi Quartet is off to Europe for concerts in Munich and Vienna. The Ciompi has performed in Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, Innsbruck, and other cities in Germany and Austria, but this will be their first concert in Vienna, home of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms (not to mention Johann Strauss, Mahler, Schoenberg, and many others slightly less exalted). The quartet will bring a piece of Duke to the great musical city: not only themselves, but a work by a current Duke graduate student, David Kirkland Garner, whose “Thirteen fiddle Tunes: I Ain’t Broke (But I’m Badly Bent)” grew out of Stephen Jaffe’s composition seminar last year. Quartet members thought the little pieces were of very high quality and urged David to make a complete work out of them. The piece has drawn raves in its initial performances; now the bluegrass/classical work will be tested in the world capital of classical music.

The Ciompi’s concert in Munich was arranged by Duke’s very active alumni club in that city, with the help of George Dorfman, Director of Alumni Affairs. In Vienna, the first performance will be under the auspices of the US embassy. President Richard Broadhead helped arrange this concert by contacting the US ambassador in Austria, William Eacho. Ambassador Eacho, as it happens, is a Duke alumnus! The other Viennese concert will be at the famous Michaelkirche, whose history is entwined with the musical life of the city.

The Ciompi Quartet, founded at Duke in 1965, has performed in most major American cities, in Germany, France, England, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and Bolivia. When not traipsing around the world, the Quartet also plays frequently in Duke dormitories. Look for upcoming Ciompi events at the Nelson Music Room and in Perkins Library.

— Fred Raimi