Joe Donahue

Vice President, News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we check in with Connecticut Humanities to discuss why poetry is important in today's society. Does teaching poetry in our schools really matter in this era of STEM and standardized testing?

We are joined today by Scott Wands, Manager of Grants at Connecticut Humanities who manages Poetry Out Loud in Connecticut, and Susan Ballek, Executive Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, home of the long running Sunken Garden Poetry Festival program.

  John Dickerson is Moderator of Face the Nation and Political Director of CBS News and a columnist for Slate magazine. In the 2016 Election cycle he has interviewed every major candidate multiple times and was the chief moderator of CBS News' Democratic Debate.

The stakes are high. The characters full of striving and ego. Presidential campaigns are a contest for control of power in the most powerful country on earth. The battle of ideas has a clear end, with winners and losers, and along the way there are sharp turning points-primaries, debates, conventions, and scandals that squeeze candidates into emergency action, frantic grasping, and heroic gambles.

Whistlestop tells the human story of nervous gambits hatched in first-floor hotel rooms, failures of will before the microphone, and the cross-country crack-ups of long-planned stratagems.

8/5/16 Panel

Aug 5, 2016

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Hoppy Trails Brew Bus

Aug 4, 2016

    

  With over 20 breweries, distilleries and wineries in the Adirondack region, Hoppy Trails Brew Bus is dedicated to making the assent, plotting routes for your beverage consuming enjoyment. Their tours are all inclusive – incorporating some of the more senior members of the brewing community, while promoting the up-and-coming breweries, distilleries and wineries surrounded by the Adirondacks.

The tours include looking at the crafting process, samplings, along with plenty of snacks to soak up the suds along the way. To learn more – we welcome -Gabe and Olivia Sutton, co-owners of Hoppy Trails Brew Bus, Christian Weber of Common Roots, and Mike Forcier from Spring Brook Hollow Distillery.

  The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival began with three events in 1999, and since then has offered the region more than 100 performances, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret to kids’ concerts.

This Friday the festival will present Jasper String Quartet with Linda Chesis, on Sunday they’ll present a multi-generational instrumental tribute to Frank Sinatra.

Linda Chesis, founder and artistic director of the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, has been hailed by critics on three continents as one of the most exciting and dynamic flutists of her generation. She joins us now to tell us more about this weekend’s concerts and the other concerts taking place in Cooperstown this month.

    Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen:Café Society, Jason Bourne

  Internationally acclaimed composer Michael Torke has been commissioned by SPAC, Charles and Candace Wait and The Adirondack Trust Company to create an orchestral work for The Philadelphia Orchestra to premiere during the 2016 anniversary celebration.

Torke's longtime connections to SPAC and Saratoga are deeply personal as he is a nine-time resident of Yaddo, an artists' community providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The piece is entitled Unconquered and will be performed --for the first time-- on Friday, August 5 performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra and conducted by Stéphane Denève.

8/4/16 Panel

Aug 4, 2016

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

  From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight.

His book is America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History .

  Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit it from the moment the act was signed into law.

Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman offers the first comprehensive history of its kind, and provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

We are joined by Albany Pro Musica's Artistic and Executive Director, Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, and bass singer, Frank Leavitt.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency. SPAC’s program will be only the second complete performance of the work which was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work had its world premiere in November 2015 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Described by the composer Hannibal Lokumbe as a “spiritorio,” a term that encompasses the work’s libretto and choir elements and its influences from blues, jazz and spirituals, the work speaks to the universality of human struggle, injustice and ultimately, spirituality.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

8/3/16 Panel

Aug 3, 2016

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

  Novelist Liz Moore’s latest is The Unseen World , which tells the moving story of a daughter’s quest to discover the truth about her beloved father’s hidden past.

The story begins in a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston and follows the girl’s quest to figure out her father’s secrets in a virtual universe. 

  The Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake is presenting the world premiere production of a new opera by composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire based on the novel Roscoe by Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy.

With music that draws from many popular 20th-century styles, the story follows the character Roscoe Conway, a king-pin in the mid 1940’s Albany political machine, as he navigates his way through a multitude of political and personal challenges, both past and present.

Performances take place from August 3rd through the 6th. To tell us more we welcome composer Evan Mack, librettist Joshua McGuire, Seagle Music Colony Artistic Director Darren Woods and Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy. 

 

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, NY is presenting the exhibition Circus Circus through October 16th featuring paintings of the American circus by artists from the 1920s and 1930s alongside circus-themed marketing materials used by the Beech-Nut Packaging Company in the 1930s.

 

The circus coming to town was a highly anticipated event in small towns across America, and many artists in the twenties and thirties painted the spectacle of the parade as the circus arrived, and the excitement under the big top. The exhibition includes paintings by Jon Corbino, Ogden Pleissner and Everett Shinn.

 

Images of circus cars, animals and acrobats were also used to market food products during the 1930s. The Beech-Nut Packing Company was one of the companies to use the excitement and nostalgia of the circus to sell its products. They created magazine ads with clowns and circus animals to sell their gum.

 

This circus-themed marketing campaign culminated in the creation of Beech-Nut miniature circuses that traveled across the country in busses, and a miniature circus was displayed in their pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

To tell us more about the exhibit we welcome Art Historian Karal Ann Marling and Museum Director and Curator Diane Forsberg.

Carolyn Parkhurst has explored different aspects of family and suburban life in her three previous novels, Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, and The Nobodies Album. Her fourth novel, Harmony, traces how a family copes with a special-needs child.

The Hammonds of Washington, D.C., are rapidly outgrowing the city’s resources for helping their oldest daughter. Tilly may be a genius, but she’s also socially alienated and increasingly hard to control. Unsure even of a diagnosis, the family heads to New Hampshire to try unconventional treatment, an experiment which tests all the Hammonds in unforeseen ways.

Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers
Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes
The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich
Departure by A.G. Riddle
Dragonfish by Vu Tran
Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

8/2/16 Panel

Aug 2, 2016

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America's foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Her latest is Killer Look.

New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, well-known for its glamour and style.  Nowhere is this more apparent than on the runway, where American haute couture continually astounds with its creativity, daring, and innovation in the name of beauty.  Yet high fashion means high stakes, as Alex Cooper quickly discovers when businessman and designer Wolf Savage is found dead in an apparent suicide, mere days before the biggest show of his career.

Government aid doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities’ federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor’s prisons.

In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue.

8/1/16 Panel

Aug 1, 2016

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Paul Lewis
Molina Visuals

  Renowned English pianist Paul Lewis joins Andris Nelsons and the instrumental Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra on Sunday, July 31, for the annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. The all-Brahms program opens with the Piano Concerto No. 1.

Tonight at 6 p.m. in Ozawa Hall, Mr. Lewis will perform Schubert’s Fantasia in F minor for piano four hands with pianist Jonathan Biss, and Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2 during a prelude concert with members of the BSO. Prelude concerts are free to ticket holders for the evening’s program.  

  Stephanie Blythe is on the vocal faculty for the Tanglewood Music Center, and has been coaching vocal Fellows for the “Sing America: Songs of Travel” vocal concert at 5 p.m. during Tanglewood on Parade.

The program features the TMC Vocal Fellows and Stephanie singing mostly classic American travel songs from the largely from the late 1800’s and early 1900s, including “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis,” “California, Here I Come,” “Caroline in the Morning,” “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” and “I Want to Go Back to Michigan.” The audience will also be encouranged to sing along during a portion of the program.

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is considered to be one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation.

Allyn Burrows and Tod Randolph in 'Or,' at Shakespeare & Company, 2016.
Ava G. Lindenmaier

  Liz Duffy Adams' playful comedy Or, is based on the real life of Britain's first female playwright Aphra Behn.

The production runs through September 4 in Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse and is staged in-the-round. Alice Reagan is the director and she joins us along with actors Tod Randolph and Allyn Burrows.

Andris Nelsons
Marco Borggreve

  Andris Nelsons is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and he was announced as music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, commencing in the 2017/18 season. With both appointments, and in leading a pioneering alliance between these two esteemed institutions, Andris Nelsons is widely considered as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.

Nelsons made his BSO debut in March 2011, leading Mahler’s Symphony no. 9 at Carnegie Hall. In summer 2012, Nelsons made his debut in here at Tanglewood. Nelsons began his tenure as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the 2014/15 season and after one year in Boston his contract was extended through the 2021/22 season.

Maestro Nelsons will lead performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 tonight, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 tomorrow night and an all-Brahms program with pianist Paul Lewis.

  The man behind the music is the BSO’s Artistic Administrator, Tony Fogg. Tony was born in Australia and was trained as a pianist at the Brazilian Academy of Music in Sao Paulo and at the University of Sydney.

His career has combined performance with arts administration, and, in both aspects of his work, he has been a strong champion of contemporary composers

The Danish String Quartet
Caroline Bittencourt

    

  The Danish String Quartet, one of the most lauded classical ensembles today, is in great demand by classical concert and festival presenters alike. Their outstanding level of musicianship and command of whatever repertoire they happen to play is truly at the forefront of classical music in the 21st century.

Renowned globally for their outstanding level of musical refinement and lush interpretations of classical, contemporary, and folk traditions, offer programs featuring elegant and nuanced compositions of the 21st century, as well as the classics.

They played in Ozawa Hall here at Tanglewood last night and will play the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY tonight and Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, NY on Sunday. The Danish String Quartet members are: Asbjorn Norgaard, Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Frekrik Schoyen Sjolin, and Frederik Oland.

Ken-David Masur
Beth Ross Buckley

  When Tanglewood goes on Parade – as it will this coming Tuesday - it takes many conductors to make it all happen.

This morning we meet one of the five conductors who will be performing in the Shed. Ken-David Masur is the Assistant Conductor of the BSO as well as being the Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Symphony.

Masur studied conducting mainly with his father, the great Kurt Masur, and was a conducting fellow at Tanglewood in July 2012 when he made an auspicious BSO debut sharing conducting duties on an all-Mozart program with his father, who was recovering from an injury. His father passed away in December.

Ken-David Masur is an alum of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute which is celebrating its 50th year and will have an anniversary concert at Tanglewood on August 6th.

garden at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

    Tanglewood is a name that's recognized around the world. Just about every time we interview a conductor or musician, they mention the venue's reputation and cache.

That doesn't just happen by accident. There's a hard-working team of professionals that keeps Tanglewood on the lips of both audience-members and performers.

And, it is quite a season that gets underway tonight. To give us a State of Tanglewood report – we welcome back our friend Mark Volpe – the Managing Director of the BSO.

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