Interview

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.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

 

Now that most counties in the San Joaquin Valley have graduated out of the most restrictive “purple” tier of the governor’s reopening blueprint, many schools are preparing to bring students back to campus, and some already have.

How are schools phasing in-person instruction back in, what’s the fate of extracurricular activities, and what precautions are schools taking to keep students safe? This week’s COVID-19 update breaks down what in-person learning could look like across the Valley.

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.

StoryCorps

And now it's time for another segment of StoryCorps San Joaquin. As part of Valley Public Radio’s collaboration with the personal history project, we’re airing segments based on recorded conversations from February’s 2020 mobile tour in Fresno and Bakersfield. Today, as part of the Yonsei Memory Project, you’ll hear from lifelong friends, 94-year-old Gary Tsudama and 87-year-old Yutaka Yamamoto.

Healthy Fresno County Facebook Page

Last week, Fresno County businesses celebrated that the county had advanced into the red, less restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Then, this past Tuesday, they learned that they may be forced to close back up again, as early as next week, if the county’s case rate doesn’t improve. A Kern County administrator warned the same could happen to its residents if they let their guard down too soon.

Traditionally, the Reel Pride Film Festival draws thousands to Fresno’s Tower District for one of the nation’s biggest celebrations of LGBTQ cinema. But in response to COVID-19 restrictions, organizers have turned this year's festival, which takes place this weekend, into an online event. To learn more about what audiences can expect, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with the festival director and board president Kathleen Arambula-Reyna.

  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.

Fresno County Department of Public Health

 

When we seek to quantify the toll that COVID-19 is taking on our communities, we typically turn to official statistics like confirmed cases, hospitalization rates and, of course, death counts. But what if that final tally is an undercount, and the death toll is really much higher?

California State University, Bakersfield

California State University, Bakersfield marked its 50th Anniversary with a virtual celebration Oct.1 that included a speech from Sir Richard Branson and a performance from Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter. To learn more about the milestone celebration, and how the university is adjusting to distance education, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with CSUB President Lynette Zelezny.

Arballo for Congress

Voters in the 22nd Congressional District will decide next month between Republican Devin Nunes, who has represented the district since 2003, and Democrat Phil Arballo, who runs a small business in financial services. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock posed questions to Arballo submitted from FM89 listeners on topics including COVID-19 economic recovery, education and racial divisions. Nunes' campaign did not respond to our request for an interview.

CA Dept of Corrections

As the COVID-19 caseload continues to fall in San Joaquin Valley communities, the opposite trend has been happening inside Avenal State Prison: With more than 2,500 cumulative cases, the facility now has the dubious honor of being the state prison with the highest cumulative case count. More than 250 men currently have active infections, and five have died.

 

Scott Rodd, Alyssa Dykman, Ben Christopher and Ivy Cargile

Propositions 13 and 209 were some of the most impactful in California's history, but now their fates are back in the hands of voters, who come November will weigh in on whether to bring back affirmative action and potentially increase property taxes for some businesses.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The election is less than 40 days away and we want to make sure your vote gets counted. We checked in with registrars of voters throughout the San Joaquin Valley to ask what voters should do to make sure their ballot is cast properly.

Yosemite National Park / Twitter

For two weeks, the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest has been destroying property and pumping smoke and ash into the air. There's also the Bullfrog Fire in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness and the Sequoia Complex Fire, which is currently threatening the town of Three Rivers in Tulare County.

California Department of Public Health

California’s COVID-19 pandemic has evolved tremendously since it began in March, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that residents of skilled nursing facilities remain particularly at risk of severe infection and death. Although COVID-19 cases in skilled nursing facilities account for only 3 percent of the state’s overall caseload, almost 20 percent of the state’s deaths have occurred among these vulnerable residents.

Fresno American Indian Health Project

While reports show that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects communities of color, gaps in data have made it difficult to quantify the impact of the virus on indigenous populations. To get a better sense of how Native Americans in the Valley are faring during the pandemic, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Selina De La Peña, CEO of the Fresno American Indian Health Project.

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