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KCRW Berlin Amplified: Leitmotifs

A monthly podcast hosted by opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg featuring interviews with musicians and other prominent figures from the world of opera and classical music. The conversations touch on each guest’s original attraction to classical music, talk about their connection to Berlin, and explore each guest’s “leitmotif," or the one thing that brings them back to the refrain over and over again.

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  • 05.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:29
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    Music critic Tim Page on his life-long obsession (Rebroadcast)

    In this episode of Leitmotifs, host Fredrika Brillembourg reconnects with her old friend, Pulitzer Prize winner and music critic Tim Page. He has worn many hats over the years as an author, editor, radio host and professor of journalism and music at the University of Southern California. (Originally aired Oct. 3, 2020) Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:21
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    Benjamin Hochman: 'In Mozart's music, every note is in the right place'

    In this episode of Leitmotifs, host Fredrika Brillembourg talks with pianist and conductor Benjamin Hochman. He has performed in major cities and festivals around the world, both as a soloist and chamber musician. Currently, Hochman is a research associate with Bard College Berlin and concert curator for the American Academy. Fredrika spoke with him about Mozart and Hochman's approach to music.

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:29
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    Music critic Tim Page on his life-long obsession

    In this episode of Leitmotifs, host Fredrika Brillembourg reconnects with her old friend, Pulitzer Prize winner and music critic Tim Page. He has worn many hats over the years as an author, editor, radio host and professor of journalism and music at the University of Southern California. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
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    05:30
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    Michael Naumann on supporting culture – there are ‘euros at the end of the tunnel’

    Opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg is back with another episode of Leitmotifs, this time with Michael Naumann. He served as commissioner for cultural affairs in the German federal government from 1998 to 2001 and since 2012, Naumann has been the director of the Barenboim-Said Academy, offering bachelor degrees and arts diploma certificates in music. Fredrika talks with the 79-year-old about culture in times of crisis, his work for the academy, and how he got hooked on classical music. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:20
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    Cellist Eckart Runge — Beyond the Artemis Quartet

    Every month, opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg hosts “Leitmotifs,” our series on classical music. In this episode Fredrika talks with cellist Eckart Runge, who played in the world renowned Artemis Quartet for 30 years. In 2019, Runge left the Berlin-based string quartet to explore solo projects that combine various musical genres, including classical, jazz and rock. He tells Fredrika about his life-long love for the cello and return to the stage. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:29
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    Conductor without an orchestra – Marc Albrecht on finding a new passion in trying times

    Host Fredrika Brillembourg talks with German conductor Marc Albrecht, who was named ‘Conductor of the Year’ at last year’s International Opera Awards. Albrecht just finished his tenure as music director of Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. Fredrika talks with him about his special connection to Berlin and a new passion he discovered during the pandemic. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
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    05:21
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    Donald Runnicles – ‘Music can be with you all the time’

    Host and opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg talks with conductor Donald Runnicles. He is the general music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and music director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. Fredrika talks to him about his lifelong passion for music and concerts canceled by the pandemic. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:21
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    ‘I’m not an artist, I’m an enabler’ – Deutsche Oper’s Dietmar Schwarz on past productions and future challenges

    Opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg talks with Dietmar Schwarz, Intendant of the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2012. They look back on his career in the world of opera and discuss the challenges ahead. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
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    05:20
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    When the stage falls silent

    Every month, opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg hosts “Leitmotifs”, but this month is different: all three opera houses in Berlin are closed and productions are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Producer Monika Mueller-Kroll checked in with Fredrika on how she is spending her time during the outbreak without her colleagues and curtain calls. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:28
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    All about that bass – Dominic Seldis on musical blessings and theatrical success

    In the latest edition of our series on classical music, “Leitmotifs,” opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Dominic Seldis. He is the principal double bass player in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Seldis is also a teacher, a conductor, a TV personality and, most recently, the star of the stage show “Music, Maestro!” Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
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    07:18
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    Talking to soprano Alma Sadé

    In the latest segment of our series “Leitmotifs,” Fredrika talks with soprano Alma Sadé . Sadé has been with the Komische Oper ensemble since 2014 and is known for roles such as Maria in “West Side Story” and Hodel in “Anatevka,” among others. Currently she is performing in Weinberger’s operetta, “Frühlingsstürme,” at the Komische Oper Berlin. “Frühlingsstürme” is considered the last operetta of the Weimar Republic. The operetta premiered in 1933 – and now, 87 years later, it’s back on stage in a new production by Barrie Kosky. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    4 MB
    05:08
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    Award-winning opera director Nicola Raab on her recent production of La Traviata

    In this edition, Fredrika Brillembourg talks with award winning opera director Nicola Raab . Her productions have been in opera houses all over the world, including Copenhagen, Valencia, Los Angeles, and Strasbourg. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:29
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    Barenboim-Said Akademie dean Mena Mark Hanna on his journey to Berlin and ‘A New Divan’

    Host Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Mena Mark Hanna, who started his musical life as a boy soprano in the Philadelphia Boys Choir and is now the Dean of Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    4 MB
    05:05
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    Orchestra director Adrian Jones on the orchestra as a powerful organism

    Host Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Adrian Jones, the orchestra director of the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB). Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:37
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    Conductor Paolo Bortolameolli on musical beginnings and sharing a passion with the world

    On this month’s edition of “Leitmotifs”, opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Paolo Bortolameolli. He is the associate conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic and the guest conductor in residence of the Orchestra of the Americas. Born in Santiago de Chile, Bortolameolli talks about his educational series on Youtube, his 2018 TED talk, and his passion for educating others about music, “which is our ultimate transversal language.” Fredrika and Paolo spoke in Mexico while on tour with the Orchestra of the Americas. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    4 MB
    04:51
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    Composer and musician Craig Urquhart on Bernstein, life changes and ‘Affirmation’

    On this month’s edition of “Leitmotifs,” host and opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Berlin-based musician and composer Craig Urquhart, about finding his voice, and working for Leonard Bernstein. Leonard Bernstein was one of the first people Urquhart met after moving to New York to study music. Urquhart went on to work as Bernstein’s last assistant. Craig Urquhart’s new album “Affirmation” is available now. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:28
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    Alexander Polzin and Sommer Ulrickson on their collaborations in opera, theater and dance

    Host and opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Berlin-based couple Alexander Polzin and Sommer Ulrickson about their collaborations in the world of opera, theater and dance. Polzin, as well as being a sculptor, has worked extensively as a stage designer and director. Ulrickson is a choreographer, dancer, actor and director. The husband and wife have worked with the Salzburg Festival, Theatre La Monnaie and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among other places. They also create projects that combine musicians, dancers, texts and art in pieces like “ Love in Fragments ” which had its premiere at the 92nd Street Y in New York City last March. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
    5 MB
    05:32
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    Author and filmmaker Jamie Bernstein on being ‘Famous Father Girl’

    For the latest in our “Leitmotifs” series, opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with author and filmmaker Jamie Bernstein, daughter of composer Leonard Bernstein. Jamie Bernstein discusses her film, “Crescendo! The Power of Music,” her book, “ Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein ” and her relationship with classical music. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
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    05:29
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    Opera set designer Marsha Ginsberg on her career and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

    Opera singer Fredrika Brillembourg speaks with Marsha Ginsberg, a set and costume designer for opera and theater. Brillembourg caught up with Ginsberg while she was working with the Deutsche Oper Berlin on her sets for a new production of Benjamin Britten’s opera, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a co-production with Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier which will open at the Deutsche Oper in 2020. Brillembourg talks with Ginsberg about her beginnings as an artist and what brought her to opera set design. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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  • 04.12.2020
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    05:03
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    Interview with Anisha Bondy, assistant director at the Komische Oper Berlin

    In this first edition of “Leitmotifs," Brillembourg is joined by Anisha Bondy, an assistant director at the Komische Oper Berlin. Their talk focuses on Brody's career, her work with directors such as Barrie Kosky and Andreas Homoki, and her involvement in the Komische Oper’s outreach program “Selam Opera!” - an intercultural program that brings opera to the city. Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll

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