PBS Arts Festival: LA Opera 11/25

Bask in the beautiful voice of world-renowned tenor Plácido Domingo on PBS Arts from Los Angeles: Great Performances “Il Postino From LA Opera” with Plácido Domingo as he performs this romantic new opera on Friday, November 25, at 8 p.m. Adapted from the Oscar-winning Italian film, Il Postino recounts the fictionalized story of a fisherman-turned-postman on a Mediterranean island whose life is transformed by the arrival of exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Due to the length of this broadcast, there will not be a corresponding mini documentary.

Get a glimpse of opera through the eyes of the youth on Opera Camp, as you follow 23 of Austin Lyric Opera’s young campers as they write, produce, direct and perform their original work, “Quarantine.”

In a special Austin City Limits program, see highlights from the annual Americana Music Awards ceremony taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, as well as performances by Lucinda Williams, Gregg Allman and Robert Plant at 10:30 p.m.

PBS Arts Festival: Cleveland Women Who Rock 11/18

Watch PBS Arts From Cleveland: Women Who Rock Preview on PBS. See more from PBS.

Discover even more unique art from the nation’s emerging artists as the PBS Arts Fall Festival continues its nine-week celebration of the arts. Tune in each week for new full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chicago, Cleveland, and more.

From Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin to Lady Gaga, PBS Arts from Cleveland: Women Who Rock, airing Friday, November 18, surges with energy as it traces the indelible mark that women musicians have made on America’s soundtrack, while revealing new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll.

Keep on rockin’ (in the free world) with a min-documentary titled, Artistic Choice. See how Clevelanders not only moved to recognize the powerful resource of their cultural artistic traditions, but also discovered an innovative way to keep their artists financially supported.

Then, learn about Austin Asian Occasion, an evening of artists and acts celebrating various regions of Asia presented by the Asian American Cultural Center and the Asian American Community Partnership.

Songwriting legend Randy Newman takes the Austin City Limits stage, crooning a selection of his greatest tunes at 9:30 p.m.

PBS Arts Festival: Chicago Choreographer Bill T. Jones 11/11

Watch PBS Arts from Chicago: American Masters Bill T. Jones: A Good Man Preview on PBS. See more from PBS.

Discover even more unique art from the nation’s emerging artists as the PBS Arts Fall Festival continues its nine-week celebration of the arts. Tune in each week for new full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chicago, Cleveland, and more.

See the blood-sweat-and-tears account of Tony award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones as he constructs a full-evening dance event inspired by the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Airing at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 11, PBS Arts from Chicago: American Masters “Bill T. Jones: A Good Man” exposes the similarities between Bill T. Jones and Abraham Lincoln – good men whose courage and convictions, instincts and innovations are a testament to the timeless endurance of art and action.

Afterward, catch Jeanne Gang: The Sky’s The Limit, a short film profiling a new, yet highly lauded architect on the Chicago scene. Driven by curiosity and creativity, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, has designed numerous award-winning structures, including the Aqua Tower, the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Columbia College Chicago’s Media Production Center.

Next, hear how the Visual Arts Center on the University of Texas campus draws together a uniquely diverse arts community of students, alumni, faculty, guest artists and creative voices from around the world. See how the fall artist-in-residence Mika Tajima is influenced by Austin’s architecture and Richard Linklater’s film “Slacker.”

Then, Austin City Limits showcases the best in modern country with Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges. The numerous award-winning Lambert performs her greatest hits, followed by actor Bridges in his music television debut.

PBS Arts Festival: Blue Ridge Mountains Banjo 11/4

Watch PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains: Give Me the Banjo – Preview on PBS. See more from PBS.

Discover even more unique art from the nation’s emerging artists as the PBS Arts Fall Festival continues its nine-week celebration of the arts. Tune in each week for new full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chicago, Cleveland, and more.

Go on a musical odyssey narrated by Steve Martin through the history of the banjo’s arrival in America, and trace the roots of America’s early jazz, blues, folk, and country music on PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains: Great Performances “Give Me the Banjo” on Friday, November 4, at 8 p.m.

Next up, learn how the ancient traditions of handcrafted tools and household items serve as inspiration for four artists from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the mini documentary titled, Hand Made.

Then get a behind-the-scenes look into Austin’s creative culture as you visit working artists’ spaces for interviews and demonstrations on 2011 East Austin Studio Tour.

Steve Miller Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band bring great American music to the Austin City Limits stage at 10 p.m.

PBS Arts Festival: Miami City Ballet 10/28

The Art of Dia de los Muertos from KLRU Collective on Vimeo.

Art lovers, looking for something new to strike your fancy? Well in an effort to give you a weekly exclusive pass to see emerging art from around the nation, PBS Arts Fall Festival is showcasing full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, the Blue Ridge Mountains and more.

On Friday, October 28, witness the grace and beauty of one of America’s finest dance companies, Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet, in a trio of signature works by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp on PBS Arts from Miami: Great Performances “Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp” at 8 p.m.

Next up, learn about afro-cuban music, a genre defined in America by one of the late great bassists and composers, Israel “Cachao” Lopez in a mini documentary called, Cachao: Uno Mas.

Then on The Art of Dia de los Muertos, discover the personal history and unique art of this holiday through the stories of a San Antonio artist who expertly captures this rich cultural heritage.

Explore the creation of an original performance by the award-winning international dance company Troika Ranch at 9:30 p.m. Loopdiver: The Journey of a Dance, follows company members over a two-year period as they struggle with the extreme physical and emotional demands of creating a new experimental work.

The Decemberists and Gillian Welch showcase the best in contemporary songwriting on Austin City Limits at 10 p.m.

Review: Pearl Jam Twenty

If you’ve been around for the past two decades, there’s a good chance you are familiar with the band Pearl Jam. Likely it is also that you have heard the classic story of a band whose rise to fame accelerates too quickly, resulting in a blindsided superstardom and towards the inevitable result of tragedy (let it be applied towards substances and/or dismemberment of personal relationships). Does the story accompany the subject? Well, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

Into the picture walks Cameron Crowe, established as both a successfully offbeat director (Almost Famous, Jerry McGuire) and former journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. A dabble in both spheres (along with being among the band’s inner circle when they formed) certainly qualifies Crowe as a contender for telling the story of Pearl Jam’s complicated yet lasting bond, a task which he grippingly accomplishes in the new documentary Pearl Jam Twenty.

The film traces the band’s early beginnings towards the chaos that ensued after being catapulted into celebrity status, their resulting digression from the spotlight in hopes of preserving the band’s values, and the making of an everlasting bond between the five members. Through grainy footage and raw recordings, we are given the ultimate perspective into Pearl Jam’s past as we are led through backstage antics and footage of a young Eddie Vedder singing timidly onstage as he notices violence ensuing in the crowd of their first performances. While some moments progress towards tragedy and dark problems, the band’s ability to learn from and adjust to fame work to make up the larger narrative: the premature development of a genuine rock band that both defined and survived the Grunge era.
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PBS Arts Festival: American Masters Pearl Jam Twenty 10/21

Art lovers, looking for something new to strike your fancy? Well in an effort to give you a weekly exclusive pass to see emerging art from around the nation, PBS Arts Fall Festival is showcasing full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, the Blue Ridge Mountains and more.

On October 21, the festival commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Grammy-winning band Pearl Jam, with a program composed of 1,200 hours of rare and never-before-seen concert and interview footage. Part concert film, part insider hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists, PBS Arts from Seattle: American Masters Pearl Jam Twenty celebrates the freedom that allowed Pearl Jam a way to make music without losing sight of what mattered most to them — their fans and staying true to their art.

Then catch a mini-documentary that surveys the many sounds of the Seattle music scene.

Next up, learn how Austin City Limits reflects Austin’s lively music scene. See how the show has changed with the times and tastes of the local music scene over the past 36 years, and the role the program has played in securing Austin’s title as the Live Music Capital of the World.

Then revisit the sounds of Pearl Jam at 10:30 p.m., as the alternative rockers play favorites and tunes from their latest album on the Austin City Limits stage.

PBS Arts Festival: Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore 10/14

Attention art lovers of all ages, there is a new series that may strike your fancy coming to KLRU this October. In an effort to give you a weekly exclusive pass to eclectic art around the nation, PBS Arts Fall Festival will showcase full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, the Blue Ridge Mountains and more.

The festival debuts Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. with a spectacular new production of the beloved Gilbert and Sullivan classic from the Guthrie Theater. Directed by Joe Dowling, the theater’s Artistic Director, PBS Arts from Minnesota: Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore features renditions of Sullivan’s most memorable tunes, ranging from big band swing to classic pop.

After HMS Pinafore, stay tuned for a half-hour, mini documentary tour to discover other facets of Minnesota’s unique arts scene.

Then find out the unique history behind the cohesive collection of public art that truly enriches the University of Texas campus. Landmarks, a public art program affiliated with the University, has turned the 350-acre area into a campus-wide classroom for over 70,000 faculty, staff and students. Landmarks’ projects aim to beautify the main campus, engage visitors and the university community, and improve shared public spaces with art of the highest quality.

Cap off the evening with the R&B grooves of Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears on Austin City Limits at 10:30 p.m. Saadiq highlights songs from his old-school soul LP Stone Rollin’. Lewis & his Honeybears rock their bluesy soul nuggets from Scandalous.

Kodosky Foundation Supports Arts In Context

KLRU is pleased to announce that the Kodosky Foundation has renewed its support of Arts In Context, our local arts series, with a $5,000 grant.

Arts In Context celebrates Austin’s vibrant diversity while promoting cross-organizational collaboration, innovation, arts accessibility and cultural tourism. The series helps KLRU achieve its vision to present quality multimedia content that engages people in the thoughtful exchange of ideas, expression of the arts, and enjoyable lifelong learning, resulting in a more vibrant community and higher quality of life.

Arts In Context is a “win” four times over:  it brings the magic of local arts productions to viewers; Austin-based arts organizations that partner with us gain exposure and build name-recognition; Austin’s reputation for thriving, creative culture is strengthened; and affiliate PBS stations gain access to new content.  

We are thrilled to continue a partnership with the Kodosky Foundation in support of these goals.  Thank you!

Keeping Score: A Mahler Journey

Keeping Score: A Mahler Journey

Keeping Score: Mahler in Part I, “Origins,” follows renowned music director Michael Tilson Thomas as he journeys to rural Bohemia to rediscover the inspirations of Gustav Mahler’s music, and traces his life through the premiere of his first symphony in 1888.

In Part II, “Legacy,” Michael Thomas examines Gustav Mahler’s creative growth, from the 1890s to his death in 1911, including his symphonies, the Ruckert songs, and Das Lied von der Erde. This two-part program charts Mahler’s mercurial career as a conductor, from the Vienna Opera to Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as his tempestuous relationship with his wife Alma. At Mahler’s simple grave in a Grinzing cemetery, Thomas explains why Mahler has so profoundly affected his own life.

Keeping Score: Mahler Part One airs Sunday, July 3rd at 1 p.m. and Part Two airs the following Sunday on July 10th at 1 p.m.