Art

This weekend, the Utah Symphony continues its Mahler Cycle with the composer’s Fifth Symphony. Gustav Mahler’s works have a long tradition in Utah. His friend Bruno Walter was a mentor to the Symphony’s own Maurice Abravanel, who introduced the emotional and technically challenging works to the Beehive state. So Thursday, we’re joined by former Associate Conductor Ardean Watts and by scholar Paul Banks to talk about Mahler’s life, his connection to Utah, and to hear some of the Fifth Symphony.

The Kreutzer Sonata

Oct 22, 2015

Thursday, we’re talking about a new production by Plan-B Theatre Company that adapts a passionate sonata by Beethoven and a banned novella by Tolstoy. In 1889, Tolstoy used the sonata as the driving force behind a husband’s jealousy and murderous rage. Playwright Eric Samuelsen says his goal was for the audience to hear Beethoven the way Tolstoy’s character heard him. Samuelsen joins us, along with pianist Jason Hardink and others, to discuss the art and emotion of The Kreutzer Sonata.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says it’s hard to stealthily spy when you’re 7’2”. But to excel in the NBA he needed to understand his opponents, so he took a page from Sherlock Holmes. He watched players’ habits and listened to ball boys to catch gossip that revealed weaknesses. Abdul-Jabbar started reading Holmes stories in 1969, and they influenced his life and career. Now he’s written his own novel from the perspective of Mycroft Holmes. Abdul-Jabbar joins us Monday to talk about his life as a Holmesian.

Gwendal Uguen via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1f2IiYL

Witch weighing, African swallows, a bloodthirsty bunny, God himself… We’re talking of course about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sure, the movie is epically silly, but behind the humor lay countless cultural and historical references. According to BYU film studies professor Darl Larsen, in crafting their 1975 cult-classic film the Pythons drew from Arthurian legend, the Medieval period, and the hard times of 1970s Great Britain. Larsen joins us Friday for something completely different. (Rebroadcast)

Justin Hackworth, http://justinhackworth.com/

We continue our series on local music Wednesday with the National Parks. No, we’re not talking about Zion, Arches, and Bryce Canyon. The National Parks are a Provo-based band whose debut album tilted to the folksy side of indie rock. Their newest release features a beefed-up indie-pop sound inspired by the energy of performing live. The band members say it took a leap of faith to explore new musical ground, leading them to discover what can happen when you pursue your passion without any limits.

Beethoven's Fifth

Sep 11, 2015

Even if you're not an aficionado of classical music, it's very likely you would recognize the first four notes of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. You know - it's the one that goes "DUH DUH DUH DUUUH." The Utah Symphony opens its 75th season tonight with the iconic work under the direction of Maestro Thierry Fischer. We're using it as an opportunity to talk to music scholar Thomas Forrest Kelly about the night in 1808 when Beethoven's Fifth was first performed and about why it has endured for more than 200 years. (Rebroadcast)

Thursday, Iranian-American author Azar Nafisi joins us to talk about the state of literature and the humanities in the US. Using the great American works Huck FinnBabbitt, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, she argues the greatest danger to the literary arts is not a totalitarian regime, but the "intellectual indolence" of the public. Nafisi says it matters because literature is more than entertainment; it is a guide to a better society. Her book is called The Republic of Imagination. (Rebroadcast)

Go Set a Watchman

Jul 15, 2015

The popularity and influence of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird has transcended generations. For 55 years, fans of Lee’s writing had only that novel to go on, so it’s understandable that the release yesterday of her new book, Go Set a Watchman, has stirred up a lot of interest. It’s also generated intense debate. Wednesday, biographer Charles Shields joins us as we discuss Lee’s new novel and try to understand it through the lens of her life, her legacy, and America’s history of racial tension.

Gwendal Uguen via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1f2IiYL

Witch weighing, African swallows, a bloodthirsty bunny, God himself… We’re talking of course about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sure, the movie is epically silly, but behind the humor lay countless cultural and historical references. According to BYU film studies professor Darl Larsen, in crafting their 1975 cult-classic film the Pythons drew from Arthurian legend, the Medieval period, and the hard times of 1970s Great Britain. Larsen joins us Thursday for something completely different.

The Utah Arts Festival is now underway, so #CreativeUtah No. 5 is the final challenge in our creativity series. We've partnered with the Festival to inspire you to see the art around you. This week, we're asking you to find "Unintentional Art." We were inspired by Davy Rothbart, creator of Found Magazine. The idea of the magazine is simple, they collect and publish stuff that readers have found and sent into them - notes, photos, cards, whatever. Rothbart says it's a way to connect to people we share the world with. RadioWest producer Elaine Clark spoke with him.

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