A Capitol Fourth Celebration!

America’s biggest and brightest birthday party, A Capitol Fourth, features unrivaled musical performances by some of the country’s best known and award-winning musicians. Jimmy Smith hosts with performances by Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Jordin Sparks, Little Richard with the Broadway Cast of Million Dollar Quartet, Kelli O’Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra.

The celebration is broadcast live from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol before an audience of hundreds of thousands of people with millions more at home, and around the world to our troops on the American Forces Network.

Bringing viewers the most spectacular fireworks display anywhere in the nation, the annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth captures the pyrotechnics from every vantage point with 20 television cameras stationed around the city — including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River. In tribute to America’s birthday, the show is capped off with Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery.

A Capitol Fourth airs on Independence Day – July 4 – at 1 p.m.

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.

Hector Galan's new film The Big Squeeze

Program: The Big Squeeze
Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 8 p.m.
Additional air times: Monday, May 11, at 9:30 p.m.

The Big Squeeze is a joyful leap into the heart of Texas music. And where there’s music there’s usually some grilling going on. That’s why Herminio Ramirez builds a stage right in the tiny kitchen of their Houston home for his son John. From the urban barrios of Houston to the colonials along the U.S.-Mexican border, legacies fueled by the passion-stirring combination of family, friends and food, is being passed along. In The Big Squeeze, we follow 16 year old John Ramirez and other young musicians as they do battle at the statewide accordion throw down.

Pavarotti: A Life in Seven Arias

Program: Great Performances “Pavarotti: A Life in Seven Arias”
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 10
Time: 8 p.m.

When Luciano Pavarotti died in September 2007, the world lost one of the greatest voices in all of music. In celebration of Pavarotti’s peerless vocal talent and extraordinary international impact, this performance documentary looks back over his legendary career, utilizing the arias with which he was most closely associated as a narrative framework. From his humble origins in Modena, Italy, “A Life in Seven Arias” follows “The King of the High C”’s meteoric rise, spanning his London debut in La Bohème , his triumph in La Fille du Régiment and his iconic rendition of “Nessun dorma.” In addition to a treasure trove of classic Pavarotti performances, also featured are new and archival interviews with many of the tenor’s friends and colleagues, including Dame Joan Sutherland, Plàcido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Juan Diego Floréz.

P.O.V. "Critical Condition"

Program: P.O.V. “Critical Condition”
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 30

Time: 8 p.m.

What happens if you fall sick and are one of 47 million people in America without health insurance? “Critical Condition” by Roger Weisberg (“Waging a Living,” P.O.V. 2006) puts a human face on the nation’s growing health care crisis by capturing the harrowing struggles of four critically ill Americans who discover that being uninsured can cost them their jobs, health, home, savings, even their lives. Filmed in vérité style, “Critical Condition” offers a moving and invaluable exposé at a time when the nation is debating how to extend health insurance to all Americans. A 30-minute follow-up program, RX For Changen, completes the broadcast at 9:30 p.m.

60s Live: My Generation, My Music

Program: 60s Live: My Generation, My Music
Date: Sunday, Sept. 14

Time: 3 p.m.

This musical feast of essential folk-rock, rhythm and blues and pop classics is hosted by Vicki Lawrence (“The Carol Burnett Show”) and Mike Farrell (“M*A*S*H”) and co-hosted by Michelle Phillips, of the Mamas and the Papas, and the Smothers Brothers,Tommy and Dick.

Focusing on the eternally hip years 1965-1969, THE 60s LIVE! is a non-stop musical feast of essential folk-rock, rhythm and blues and pop classics that still resonate with baby boomers.

A number of essential vintage performance clips are also featured by 60s stalwarts the Lovin’ Spoonful (“Do You Believe in Magic”), the Miracles (“The Tracks of My Tears”), Barry McGuire (“The Eve of Destruction”) and the Mamas and the Papas (“California Dreamin’”).

My Music: Doo Wop Love Songs

Program: My Music: Doo Wop Love Songs
Date: Thursday, Sept. 11

Time: 7 p.m.

The 1950s and doo wop love songs go hand-in-hand, like two straws and a shake. And now America’s favorite malt shop memories are back with this doo wop collection for lovers only. Hosts Jerry Butler and Cousin Brucie Morrow bring back the backseat ballads in this all new PBS celebration of great vocal groups. Recorded in May 2007 at the Ritz Theatre in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the program features performances by the Tokens, Dubs, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Larry Chance and the Earls, and a once-in-a-lifetime reunion of the Original Drifters (Ben E. King, Charlie Thomas, Bobby Hendricks and Bill Pinkney).

KLRU to produce Conspirare In Concert for PBS broadcast

KLRU and Conspirare announce that together they will bring the exquisite sound of the Company of Voices to national television. In a one-hour concert to air nationally on PBS in March 2009, contemporary music will blend seamlessly with the classics, taking the audience on a journey of innovative sound, vibrant images and thought-provoking ideas.

The concert will be performed and taped on Sunday, October 12 at 7 p.m. at Austin’s Long Center for the Performing Arts before an audience. Free tickets will be distributed to the public at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at KLRU-TV. Tickets will be distributed two-per-person on a first come, first served basis until they are gone. KLRU is located at 2504-B Whitis Ave. 76712 (at the corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe).

Under the leadership of founder and artistic director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare was born out of a love for singing and a belief in its power to enrich the lives of all who hear it. Now in its 17th performance season, Conspirare is well known for emotionally resonant performances and an extraordinary ability to connect with audiences, providing listeners with an evocative and often transformative cultural experience.

Conspirare in Concert is a production of KLRU-TV, Austin PBS,  with executive producers, Dick Peterson and Marion Lear Swaybill and director, Karen McLaughlin.

About Conspirare
Conspirare combines outstanding vocal artistry with innovative programming to create a unique and dynamic choral art. Under the artistic leadership of Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare is comprised of three performing ensembles. Conspirare has produced 3 CDs and received two Grammy® Award nominations (Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical). The newest recording, “Threshold of Night,” was released internationally on September 9, 2008. Conspirare has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and this past July represented the United States at the Eighth World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen.