David Aus

Host & Producer

David Aus is the host of Sunday Night Jazz and Young Artists Spotlight on Valley Public Radio, as well as other special programs featuring the valley's local musicians and artists. He is also a social media and marketing specialist for Valley Public Radio. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, David Aus has lived in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, before arriving in Fresno in 2002. Prior to joining Valley Public Radio, he spent many years as an on-air host at KFSR. When not on the air, David is a busy jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator. 

Bakersfield violinist Brian Shih performs Mozart with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, and more.

Baritone Christopher Rodriguez shares performances from his recent Master’s Recital and discusses the importance and excitement of performing work by living composers.

Fresno-area harpist Carter Williams enchants with the music of Nino Rota, Franz Joseph Haydn, and Marcel Grandjany.

This season of Young Artists Spotlight is all about trying new things. All new kinds of ways of putting on performances, overcoming hurdles, and working through constraints. And in the spirit of trying new things, in this episode of Young Artists Spotlight, we step outside of our tradition of musical performance, to hear an innovative and original high school production from the Theatre Department at Stockdale High School. In the Fall of 2020, collaborating virtually, they explored the realm of radio drama and wrote their own radio teleplay - Mirror Mirror on the Radio.

For this episode, we feature three talented violinists from the Fresno area. They are all in high school, and they all participate in music at the Simba School of Music. Charis Gray performs music of Édouard Lalo, Elsa Macias performs work of Mozart, and Nicole Ward performs music of Archangelo Corelli.  

Courtesy Claire Park

For this episode we welcome back a pair of string soloists who have performed before on Young Artists spotlight — April Park and Claire Park. They are sisters, and they both attend Stockdale High School in Bakersfield. April plays viola, and Claire plays violin. We hear them perform some solo pieces and a duo, with music from Henryk Wieniawski, Fritz Kreisler, William Walton, Arthur Benjamin, and Johann Halverson.

For this episode we turn to string soloists. This week’s artists are all in high school, and they all have studied at the Simba School of Music in Fresno. Violinist Emma Woodward performs music of Max Bruch, violinist Rowan Crass performs work of Fritz Kreisler, and bassist Emma Sigala performs music of Saint-Saëns.

In this episode of Young Artists Spotlight, we welcome another pianist from Bakersfield, Alexander Leung. He is a freshman at Frontier High School. he performs music of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, and Bartók.

Valley Public Radio's Young Artists Spotlight makes a triumphant return for 2021! Our new season features remote and socially distanced performances from some of the valley's top young musicians. Check back soon for videos from the season posted on our YouTube page, and more. We kicked off the 2021 YAS season on Thursday March 18th 2021 with a performance and interview with a wonderful pianist from Bakersfield, Claire Vega, who performed music of Bach, Beethoven and Gershwin.

The Fresno Philharmonic, Rei Hotoda Music Director and Conductor, will present the free livestream premiere of its first Digital Masterworks concert on Saturday January 16, 2021 at 5:30 pm PST on the Fresno Philharmonic’s website and YouTube channel. The program, titled Intersections of Past and Present, features musicians of the Fresno Philharmonic under the direction of Rei Hotoda performing Adolphus Hailstork’s An American Fanfare, William Bolcom’s Commedia for (Almost) 18th Century Orchestra and Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No.44 in E minor.

In this final episode, Rei Hotoda leads us in an exploration of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and the Piano Concerto No.5, the "Emperor." Pianist Shai Wosner joins us from his piano and shares fascinating insights into the "fun" Beethoven, as well as the deep, serious Beethoven. We'll hear Shai Wosner perform the the Piano Concerto No.5 with the Fresno Philharmonic.

KT Kim

Rei Hotoda leads us on an exploration of the influence of Mozart and Haydn on Beethoven's development both as a composer and a pianist. Pianist Joyce Yang shares insight on how pianists prepare physically and mentally for technically demanding work, and she also reflects on how her interpretation of a piece can evolve over time. Rei and Joyce compare two approaches to piano performance -- Mozart vs. Beethoven. We'll hear Beethoven's Piano in E-flat Op31/3, Mozart's Piano Concerto in c minor, and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.1.

Jacob Blickenstaff

We begin with that most iconic piece of music, Beethoven's Symphony No.5 in C minor, as we explore Beethoven's relationship with fate. Then pianist Orion Weiss joins us to discuss Beethoven's final piano Sonata, Op.111 in C minor, and we learn about a Bartok piano concerto with a distinct link to Beethoven.  

Pianist Jon Nakamatsu joins us to discuss Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata and the epic "Eroica" Symphony. A frequent artist in the Philip Lorenz International Keyboard Concert series, Jon Nakamatsu made his debut appearance with the Fresno Philharmonic in October 2018, performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. We'll hear all that music, plus a thoroughly engaging discussion of the development of the piano itself, and how that evolution intertwines with Beethoven's development as a composer.

  Pianist Charlie Albright joins us to discuss perhaps Beethoven’s most well known and most beloved solo piano pieces, Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, “Moonlight.” How does an artist find new things in a work that is, arguably, overplayed? Rei Hotoda and Charlie Albright explore the work in depth, and Charlie plays. We’ll also hear pianist Awadagin Pratt performing Piano Concerto No.3 in c minor with the Fresno Philharmonic. 

Briene Lermitte

With her distinctive musical voice and vision, composer Maria Schneider has helped shape the evolution of large ensemble jazz over the past two decades. In 2019 she was named an NEA Jazz Master, the nation's highest honor in jazz. Her most recent recording, "Data Lords", deals with the conflicting relationships between the digital and natural worlds, and it features her acclaimed orchestra of 18 world-class musicians. FM89's David Aus recently spoke with Maria Schneider about the latest project and the state of music today.

Eugene Langan Photography

In the debut episode of the special series "Beethoven: Crisis & Creativity", we welcome Barry Douglas, internationally-acclaimed pianist and founder of Camerata Ireland. Rei Hotoda and Barry Douglas discuss the evolution of Beethoven's piano sonatas, as well as how Beethoven expressed social and human ideals in his music. Featured works include Piano Sonata in G Op.79, Triple Concerto in C Op.56, and the overture to Fidelo, Beethoven's only opera.

Valley Public Radio, in partnership with the Fresno Philharmonic and the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert series will air a new special series celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest composers of all time. The program will feature archival performances drawn from both institution’s recorded concerts, and will be hosted by Valley Public Radio’s David Aus, with Fresno Philharmonic Music Director Rei Hotoda and special guests providing discussion and commentary.

Anjeli Macaranas

Violinist Anjeli Macaranas recently graduated from University High School in Fresno and will be attending Harvard this fall, from home. She performed this spring on Valley Public Radio’s Young Artists Spotlight and as a guest on the Play On series early this summer. Valley Public Radio’s David Aus recently caught up with her to learn more about her Little Virtuosos Project and the interconnection between music and mental health.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For as long as we’ve had the ability to speak, humans have been telling stories. Today, story telling pervades all forms of media — books, music, film, advertising, video games and more. And yet, nothing is quite as engaging as a live human sharing their story. In December 2019, the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield, in association with Bakersfield Toastmasters Clubs and Valley Public Radio presented an evening of true stories, told before a live audience. And now you can hear it yourself, with this special broadcast of Storyteller's Showcase.