Scott Yoo Investigates the Musical Inspirations Behind Four Composers from Around the World in New Season of Now Hear This from Great Performances Premiering Fridays, April 7-28 at 9 p.m. on PBS
Host Scott Yoo explores the works of Robert Schumann, Astor Piazzolla, Isaac Albéniz and Andy Akiho
Travel with host, violinist and conductor Scott Yoo to the dance halls of Buenos Aires, the place where guitars are born in Granada, the culturally vibrant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, and Schumann’s newlywed home in Leipzig in a new season of Great Performances: Now Hear This. In this fourth season of the critically acclaimed miniseries, Yoo shines a spotlight on the collaborative process and the source of creative inspiration while exploring the backgrounds of tango’s Astor Piazzolla, the Romantic era’s Robert Schumann, steel pianist and composer Andy Akiho and flamenco’s Isaac Albéniz. Showcasing the talents of artists around the world including pianist and Schumann expert Dr. Richard Kogan, cellist Bion Tsang, flutist Alice Dade, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and many more, Great Performances: Now Hear This Series 4 premieres Fridays, April 7-28 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nowhearthis and the PBS App.
Great Performances: Now Hear This “Piazzolla’s History with Tango”
Premieres Friday, April 7 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nowhearthis and the PBS App
Tango to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with host Scott Yoo, flutist Alice Dade, and tango musician and historian Ignacio Varchausky to explore the impact of composer Astor Piazzolla’s work on tango and beyond. With a special look at Piazzolla’s “History of Tango” in four movements (often played on violin, but written for the guitar and flute), Yoo and Dade trace the evolution of the genre from backroom dance halls and working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires around the turn of the 20th century to the popular music and dance it is today. Experiencing performances by local artists on the guitar, violin, flute and bandoneon (an Argentine button accordion), Yoo and Dade even receive a tango dance lesson of their own and sample the food and culture of today’s Buenos Aires.
Places visited: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Great Performances: Now Hear This “Schumann: Genius and Madness”
Premieres Friday, April 14 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nowhearthis and the PBS App
Visit Germany, France and Scotland with host Scott Yoo as he investigates the connection between Robert Schumann’s creative genius and bipolar disorder with the help of the world’s only Juilliard-trained concert pianist, Schumann expert, and psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Kogan. Yoo also attempts to record the composer’s famed cello concerto and bring forth the emotion in Schumann’s writing with cellist Bion Tsang and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Traveling to France and Scotland, Yoo also meets with experts studying the mental struggles of other artists such as painter Vincent Van Gogh and poet Robert Burns at locations inspirational to them, such as Van Gogh’s Place du Forum featured in one of his paintings. In an exploration through the works and minds of these artists, Yoo shines a light on the significance of artistic expression.
Places visited: French Pyrenees; Leipzig, Germany; Arles, France; Glasgow, Scotland
Great Performances: Now Hear This “Andy Akiho Found (his) Sound”
Premieres Friday, April 21 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nowhearthis and the PBS App
Experience the journey of musical creation from this Japanese American composer with host Scott Yoo using the steel drum, “found” instruments (where the musician turns nearly any object into an instrument), and more. Exploring many neighborhoods throughout New York City, Akiho shows Yoo what inspires his music, from the local record shop to the shores of Trinidad. Yoo also witnesses Akiho’s creative process developing an audio and video collaboration for a percussion quartet with Sandbox Percussion featuring a group of dancers and a light show. With an array of performances by Yoo, Akiho, and many more, they prove that there’s nothing stronger than the power of collaboration.
Places visited: New York City neighborhoods including Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, the Bowery
Great Performances: Now Hear This “Albéniz: Portraits of Spain”
Premieres Friday, April 28 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nowhearthis and the PBS App
Discover the inspirations Spain provided composer Isaac Albéniz with host Scott Yoo, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and pianist Juan Pérez Floristán through an exploration of the country’s “portraits,” including the nearby sea and its Moorish culture. From exploring the creation of the guitar with guitar-makers in Granada, to testing the acoustics of a bañuelo (an ancient Moorish bath), the three musicians spotlight the cultural exchange of the Mediterranean region. They visit notable sites throughout Spain including Moorish palace the Alhambra, famed for its architecture and design, led by several local historians, musicians, and even a chef.
Places visited: Granada, Spain; Lanjarón, Spain; Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
About Scott Yoo
Yoo is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mexico City Philharmonic and the Music Director of Festival Mozaic, conductor of the Colorado College Music Festival and the Founder of the Medellín Festicámara, a chamber music program that brings together world-class artists with underprivileged young musicians. Recently, he has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and has also led L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, and many others.