courtesy / Fort Smith Symphony

The 90th anniversary season of the Fort Smith Symphony continues with a performance with the Canadian Brass. Music Director John Jeter looks back on his very first season and ahead to the next in this conversation with Katy Henriksen.

Violinist Michelle Makarski collaborated with jazz giant Keith Jarrett in a new recording of Bach sonatas for violin and piano. When she spoke with Katy Henriksen she elaborated on her comparison to time-lapse photography for the endeavor.

The NYC-based Cassatt Quartet is pairing a brand new composition by Bruce Adolphe along with Shostakovich's introspective Eighth Quartet in a concert at the Great Hall of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Friday, Oct. 4.

Bruce Adolphe, inventor of the piano puzzler for Performance Today says that if each puzzle was stacked back-to-back the result would be as long as Wagner's Ring Cycle. The popular weekly quiz based on a song reinvented in another composer's style has been around now for more than a decade. As Adolphe explains, it all started out as a teaching device. 

NYC-based composer Bruce Adolphe was commissioned by the University of Central Arkansas to write a new piece. When he found out the Cassatt Quartet would be debuting the composition, he decided to write about Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. The piece "Mary Cassatt: Scenes From Her Life" will be presented by the Cassatt Quartet at the Great Hall of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Friday, Oct. 4.

The Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra kicks off its 2013-2014 season with a screening of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights accompanied by a live performance of the Chaplin score by the APO. Music Director Steven Byess elaborates on Chaplin as composer. 

Timothy Thompson, horn professor for the UA music department in Fayetteville, put together a chamber concert centered around his instrument. The result is only one piece from the 19th century, with the rest of the pieces dating to the 20th and 21st century. In addition to discussing his Sept. 9 recital, he explains why this is an especially exciting semester for horn lovers in the area.

Violinist Atticus Mulkey, a Rogers native, is about to head back to Baltimore for his final year at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He stops by the Firmin-Garner Performance Studio to discuss his summer at this year's Aspen Music Festival, plays a little Bach and more.

The Fort Smith Symphony is the state's oldest, which turns 90 this year. John Jeter, music director, elaborates on all the exciting ways that the orchestra will be celebrating this very special season.

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World and Area News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, a day after talks to form a new ruling coalition collapsed, signaled that she prefers a fresh election over trying to stay in power as part of a minority government.

Merkel said that she was "very skeptical" of the prospect of leading a minority government — something that hasn't even been tried since the end of World War II.

"The path to the formation of a government is proving harder than any of us had wished for," she told broadcaster public television ARD, adding that "new elections would be the better path."

More than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans say they have experienced violence, threats or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity, according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

After his wife died, Dan Peterson didn't know what to do with himself. He spent a lot of time in his garden remembering his wife's favorite flower, white roses.

"I've never been able to get a white rose to grow — all mine are red," Peterson says.

Before she died, Dan and his wife would do everything together. Now, the world just felt darker.

"I'm sitting here starring out the back window of my house, just waiting it out to see how long I was going to live," he says.

One day on a dreaded grocery run, Dan felt particularly depressed.

As millions of people have fled Syria, they haven't been able to take much with them on their journey. Families often had to abandon the things that reminded them of home. So the recipes that bring them back to the places they left behind are precious.

Dina Mousawi and Itab Azzam are the authors of a new cookbook, Our Syria: Recipes From Home. For the book they interviewed Syrian refugees scattered around Europe and the Middle East. The book gathers their stories, along with the recipes that remind them of home.

About a month ago, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. He's spent a lot of time talking about the severity of the drug crisis. But he's spent less time outlining the specific steps he'll take to fight it. Today, a White House analysis declared that the true cost of the opioid epidemic in 2015 was more than half a trillion dollars.

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