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WVPE partners with the South Bend Symphony for a new podcast series, "Aha! with Alastair," featuring South Bend Symphony Orchestra Music Director Alastair Willis. In each episode, Maestro Willis will discuss pieces the symphony is slated to perform in upcoming concerts."When I was younger, several inspiring conductors helped make music come alive for me, music suddenly became more than scales and black and white notes on the page," says Willis, "and since then one of my favorite things to do is return the favor for others, whether in concert, pre-concert talks, or podcasts!"The title refers to Alastair's "aha" moments about music that he wants to share with listeners.

Aha! With Alastair: Episode #2 - Vienna's Riches

South Bend Symphony

What do Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Strauss Polkas have in common?

South Bend Symphony Music Director Alastair Willis presents an exploration of Vienna's musical riches.

"I've always loved theater, and love putting concerts in historical context, surprising and delighting with a script, a character or two, to create a concert experience that comes alive in fresh, new ways," says Willis.

In this episode, Maestro Willis gives a taste of his portrayal of Sigmund Haffner the Younger, the newphew of Sigmund Haffner the Elder, for whom Mozart composed a symphony - No. 35, known as "The Haffner." He transports the audience to late 18th century Vienna at the Burgtheater for the premier of the Haffner Symphony for his uncle, the mayor, Herr Haffner.

There is also a game of "Guess the Composer," plus Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 7, and a sampling of Strauss with the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka.

These pieces were on the program for the South Bend Symphony Orchestra performance Sunday, January 12, 2:30 PM at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Tony has become WVPE's program director, after working as operations manager since 2014. He also produces Michiana Chronicles and works on other special programming and digital projects. He joined the station as All Things Considered host in 1997, hosted Morning Edition in 2000 and 2001, then returned to the ATC host chair from 2007 to 2016. One of his Morning Edition newscasts earned WVPE a Best Radio Newscast Award from the Associated Press in 2002. An Iowa native, Tony got his start in radio as a student at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, Va., and managed the radio station there for three years after graduating. He also worked in commercial and Christian radio prior to his time at WVPE. Tony lives in Goshen.
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