Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Grandmaster Georg Meier from Germany eventually won the 2017 Fall Chess Classic, but not without a difficult battle.
Austin Fuller | Saint Louis Chess Club

The 2017 Fall Chess Classic brought together strong grandmasters from all over the world. The tournament, which has the goal of providing experience and training opportunities to collegiate students, as well as for the American women’s team, was a huge success. Despite the ongoing FIDE World Cup, which just finished in Tbilisi, Georgia, the event attracted a serious amount of attention from around the globe.

On the set of a documentary shot in Ireland in 2016, featuring SLU professor Thomas Finnan.
HEC-TV

Time has a way of erasing what came before, often pushing lived history underground. A new documentary from HEC-TV that will premiere this fall follows the effort of one Saint Louis University professor and archaeologist as he and his team aim to uncover a specific piece of Irish history: the remnants of Gaelic lordship from the Middle Ages.

Gaelic Ireland refers to the era from around 1200 to 1700, or the late medieval period.

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, we discussed tips and trends of drinking in St. Louis in 2017.
Sauce Magazine

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, our partners at Sauce Magazine joined the program to discuss their annual “Guide to Drinking,” and how St. Louisans can get the best of their drinking experience in St. Louis.

Joining the program to discuss:

  • Matt Sorrell, Staff Writer, Sauce Magazine
  • Heather Hughes, Managing Editor, Sauce Magazine
  • Catherine Klene, Managing Editor, Sauce Magazine

Listen to the full conversation:

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

A convoy of 60 vintage military vehicles idled on the parking lot at Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka last Wednesday, ready to roll at sunrise.  

But first, the convoy paused for the National Anthem.

These can-do jeeps, ambulances and trucks were parked here overnight, while the drivers slept at nearby hotels and campgrounds. The vehicles were built to transport soldiers and supplies during World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Now, they’re vehicles of history, owned by members of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, an organization of nearly 10,000 collectors.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 24, 2017 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour (Dizzy Gillespie Tunes) + New Music.”  The quieter side of jazz in the first hour will feature tunes by Dizzy Gillespie played by pianists Lynne Ariale, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Keith Jarrett, Mary Lou Williams, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Barron.  The noisier side of jazz will be heard in the second and third hours with new music played by Harold Mabern, the Debbie Poryes Trio, Emi Meyer, the group Hudson, a Martian Solal/Dave Liebman duet, Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd playing a Mo

Sherman Alexie, a Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-American novelist, short story writer, poet, and keynote speaker of BookFest St. Louis joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Sherman Alexie, acclaimed novelist, memoirist, poet and filmmaker, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday. The author is keynoting the inaugural BookFest St. Louis, which will take place in the Central West End this weekend.

Alexie is also in the midst of promoting his recent memoir, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,” which was published earlier this year.

SLSO Music Director David Robertson in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The acoustics of Powell Hall. The musicians. The audience.

David Robertson acknowledges that embarking on his final season as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is “bittersweet.” Robertson, however, who’s been with the SLSO since 2005, isn’t looking back just yet. He’s focused on the orchestra’s upcoming season, its 138th.

On Chess: Can chess prevent memory loss?

Sep 21, 2017
People enjoying a game of chess outside the Chess Club
Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

Dr. Lauren Schwarz and colleagues at Saint Louis University School of Medicine are conducting a research study examining the effect learning and playing chess has on memory loss. The researchers are using neuroimaging to measure whether or not a specified program of playing chess results in functional changes within the brain. This study is being conducted with funding provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in Saint Louis.

Marsha Coplon and Jeane Vogel are working to collect oral histories from Meacham Park residents.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A year and a half ago, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Springboard to Learning and Webster Arts formed a collaboration to document and celebrate the history of Meacham Park.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Marsha Coplon, education director for The Rep, and Jeane Vogel, executive director of Webster Arts, to discuss the Meacham Park Celebration that is the culmination of the collaboration.

Author Margaret Atwood will recieve this year's St. Louis Literary Award on Tuesday, September 19.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, iconic author Margaret Atwood joined the program to discuss her career and legacy with contributing host Steve Potter.

Justin Daniels, Tiana Berry-Jones and Ria Van Ryn are three of four St. Louis-based podcasters behind "Mayday: The Handmaid's Tale Podcast."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s been a documented rise in popularity of dystopian novels this past year and “The Handmaid’s Tale” is no exception. As Margaret Atwood makes a visit to St. Louis to accept the St. Louis Literary Award, we speak with three local podcasters who were so inspired by the work that they made a podcast about it and the television show inspired by it this year (which won an Emmy on Sunday).

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Septemner 17, 2017 will be “The Dizzy Gillespie Centennial.”  Jazz needs a Dizzy Gillespie for his audience communication skills and basic humanity.  We will celebrate his hundredth birthday, which will be in October, with a survey of the music in his career mainly from a time when he was playing at his best technically and imaginatively.  We will hear Dizzy with his own groups and big bands, Cab Calloway, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson, Jazz At the Philharmonic, Quincy Jones, Benny Carter and

U2 in concert
Danny North

 

The ongoing protests over a judge’s decision to find former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith have led major entertainment venues to cancel events.

Tonight’s scheduled concert by U2 at the Dome at America’s Center has been canceled, as has Sunday’s show by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran at Scottrade Center.

 The St. Louis Symphony also has canceled its concert for tonight.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend, Cherokee Street between Gravois and Jefferson will be officially designated as a Hispanic/Latino cultural district known as “La Calle Cherokee.”

The area, known for a proliferation of Latino-owned businesses and street festivals, will be unveiled as such during the annual Fiestas Patrias celebration observing Mexican Independence Day.

Joining St. Louis on the Air to discuss the importance of the designation and the celebration were:

"A Small Band," Glenn Ligon's work inspired by the Harlem Six and Steve Reich's composition, sits in the Pulitzer Art Foundation's main hall.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Fifty-four works. Forty-two artists. A meditation on the colors blue and black. 

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s current leading exhibition “Blue Black,” curated by acclaimed Brooklyn-based artist Glenn Ligon, is on display until Oct. 7 and asks the viewer to contemplate identity, power and race.

Sept. 11, 2017 photo. Prison Performing Arts Sescond Acts Ensemble members Robert Morgan (left) and Lyn O'Brien are buddies as well as fellow actors.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Prison Performing Arts serves 1,000 inmates every year, some as actors, others as audience members. But leaving prison doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to the program.

Through its Second Acts Ensemble alumni troupe, PPA provides a theatrical outlet on the outside for those who honed their acting skills behind bars.

In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Robert Morgan and Lyn O’Brien, two Second Acts members, about how PPA and recently deceased founder Agnes Wilcox changed their lives.

September 12, 2017 photo. Shakespeare in the Streets' "Blow, Winds," inspired by "King Lear," is staged on the steps of the St. Louis Public Library, Central Library, downtown.
Provided | Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

More than 1 million of us call the St. Louis area home.  But depending on whether you live in Affton, Ladue, Wellston or any other of the 90 municipalities — and where you went to high school — the experience varies widely.

A new play puts a Shakespearean spin on living in St. Louis. “Blow, Winds,” inspired by “King Lear,” is this year’s production of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ Shakespeare in the Streets.

Vitaly Neimer teaching a child to play.
powerfulchess.com

I took my first steps in chess in St. Petersburg when I was 5 years old. In cold Russia, chess is considered one of the mainstream sports to follow. Then, my family and I moved to Israel and discovered that chess was not any less popular.

Chess followed me through school, military service and even to a university in the United States.

Ron Himes, Beverly Foster and Dr. John Morris discussed how Alzheimer's disease impacts African-American patients and families.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

African-Americans over the age of 70 are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as white people. While there are no answers, said Dr. John Morris, director of the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University, there are some factors that might be contributing to this gap.

Nine acts were invited by the St. Louis Blues to perform at a game this season.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Blues have invited nine acts to perform the national anthem at a game this upcoming season.

The invitations are the result of a partnership between the Blues and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, an audition process that took place on a recent Saturday at Powell Hall. The Blues and SLSO selected more than one winner after being impressed by the abundance of local talent.

Open to solo singers, groups and instrumentalists, more than 650 contestants sent in video applications. Thirty-four were invited to participate.

Annie Malone, Josephine Baker, King Baggot, Ginger Rogers and Jane Darwell are just a few people with St. Louis and Missouri ties who have made significant contributions to film.

Brit Daniels of Spoon played at LouFest. Sept. 9, 2017
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

LouFest 2017 reached another set of milestones, selling out Saturday.

Music Record Shop handled sales of the performers' recordings and provided space for festival-goers to meet artists.

The festival also held its first concurrent art exhibition, overseen by TechArtista. It featured wooden triangle constructions to be repurposed after the festival. Check out our photos of LouFest highlights.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 10, 2017 will be “The Music of Oscar Peterson.”  Pianist Oscar Peterson is reputed to be the most recorded pianist in jazz.  We will hear him with Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Ed Thigpen, Ben Webster, Flip Phillips, Lester Young, Stan Getz & Lester Young, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Jazz At the Philharmonic, Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Stitt and Stuff Smith.  This show is part of the St.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

The annual LouFest music festival will be anchored in part this year by a celebration of St. Louis rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry.

A tribute Saturday, titled “Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry!” will feature musicians from national acts The Roots, Spoon, Huey Lewis, and St. Louis’s own Pokey LaFarge, Bryan Greenberg and Chris Chew. Berry’s grandsons Charles Berry III and Jahi Eskridge also will share the stage. The event will take place on the main Bud Light Stage from 8 to 9 p.m., before headliner Snoop Dogg performs.

Agnes Wilcox and Freeman Word
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on September 8, 2017:

A re-mix of “Then, and Now Again, a Workers’ Opera" will be performed on Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum in memory of Agnes Wilcox who passed away on August 28. The production will be directed by Freeman Word and is free and open to the public.

Famed author Salman Rushdie, visiting St. Louis this weekend to discuss his most recent novel, “The Golden House,” says that if you want to be a good writer, “you need to get into a lot of different kinds of rooms.”

He was referencing his knowledge of and imagination with the setting of his latest novel: a secluded garden in New York only accessible by the people whose homes abut the property. 

The Rep's 51st season.
(Courtesy: The Rep)

This week, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis launches into the second half of its first century, embarking on its 51st season. It features a robust, wide-ranging lineup of productions from musicals to classics to two Tony Award-winning productions.

Steven Woolf, the theater company’s artistic director who recently announced he will retire from the company in two years, said the company is keeping up its momentum from its landmark 50th anniversary year.

Lizz Brown
St. Louis American

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis American.

Longtime St. Louis radio personality, attorney and social justice activist Lizz Brown passed away on Wednesday in St. Louis, following a lengthy illness.

Brown fought for the rights of African Americans and for justice. As host of the award-winning talk show “The Wake Up Call” for 15 years on WGNU, Brown conducted thousands of interviews with newsmakers and policy shapers. At the beginning of her radio programs, she would say, “Living my life as a liberal and loving it.”

On Chess: Building the future chess elite

Sep 7, 2017
Former world chess champion Veselin Topalov contemplates his move
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

 

The path to becoming world class in any endeavor isn’t always perceptible to those who would like to travel down it. Certainly those who have made it to the end of the path can look back and tell others how he or she got there.

Recently, a group of young nationally-ranked chess players from the United States were given such a chance by former world chess champion Veselin Topalov.

Traveling to Albena, Bulgaria, six young players were invited to attend the first American-Bulgarian Chess Camp at the end of July. Along with six other players from Bulgaria, the students received a week’s worth of grandmaster level chess instruction, practice games against similarly strong opponents, and a chance to challenge the former world champion in an event called a simultaneous exposition.

Dana Hotle, Kyle Lombard and Adam Manness dicussed the Chamber Project of Saint Louis' 10th season.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Can the story of the famed Dred Scott decision be effectively put to music? In this tenth year of the Chamber Project Saint Louis, composer Adam Manness is giving it a try.

Pages