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March 2009
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The new kid in town

Hello WFMT listeners. Beginning on Monday, March 30th, I’ll be your new host on 98.7 from 3pm to 7pm, playing your classical favorites and mixing things up a little bit.

By way of introduction, I’m a former classical singer, trained at Oberlin, New England Conservatory, and Boston University. I’ve been in radio for longer than I’ll admit to in public, and I happen to think that classical music may just be the greatest invention of the human mind. I also love fishing, swimming, and BBQ, but we’ll talk more about all that in the weeks to come.

I can’t wait to get started on the air, but first I need a little help from you.

You see, I just moved from New York, and I don’t know so much about the musical landscape of Chicago. I’ve been to the Lyric Opera of Chicago a couple of times, and of course I’m familiar with the great Chicago Symphony Orchestra (oh, that amazing recording of the Schumann Concert Piece for Four Horns and Orchestra, among many others!), but I’m counting on you to tell me where to go for the best music of all kinds in Chi-Town. What are your favorite chamber groups, choruses, and venues? Where do I go for authentic Chicago Jazz and Blues? What about clubs that present music that defies categorization, or bars where you might hear an aria or two? Who are the top local musicians?

Don’t be shy now. I want to hear from you, either by commenting on this blog or via email at gpreston@wfmt.com. Please be my musical guide to Chicago as I’m settling in. Bring it on!

Cheers,
George

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16671097901906239350 Matt DeStefano

    The Green Mill in Uptown for jazz–Al Capone had his own booth there and there’s a trap door behind the bar that leads to prohibition-era tunnels. Hands-down it’s the best jazz in the city.Buddy Guy’s Legends in the South Loop is your place for blues

  • Paul Ansell

    Welcome, George — to WFMT and to Chicago!So much to do…”Music of the Baroque” for some of the finest baroque music presented anywhere, some concerts featuring original instruments. They perform Sundays and Mondays (Sundays in Evanston and Mondays in Chicago.)I agree with Matt regarding The Green Mill (decent drinks also) and there’s always the new Jazz Showcase with top name talent.There’s also “The Wild Hare” for Reggae and Davenport’s in Wicker Park for cabaret.Of course, listen-in to The Fine Arts Calendar at 3p on WFMT (an hour before you go on the air!) for an abridged rundown of classical events around town!Welcome again!

  • http://www.pianofortefoundation.org PianoForte Foundation

    If you like piano, check out http://www.pianofortefoundation.org!Thomas ZoellsExec. Dir., PianoForte Foundation

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04994128553365102985 uncleal99

    FITZGERALD’S IN BERWYN ON ROOSEVELT IS THE SPOT FOR “BIG BAND” CHICAGO SKYLINERS PERFORM ON SUN.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04994128553365102985 uncleal99

    FITZGERALD’S IN BERWYN ON ROOSEVELT IS THE SPOT FOR “BIG BAND”. CHICAGO SKYLINERS AN OTHERS PERFORM THERE REGULARLY.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04005970281754088953 George Preston

    Wow! Thanks for all of these suggestions, folks. I clearly need to line up a legion of babysitters pronto so we can go out and start exploring. George

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnsembleAnaphora Lisa

    Hi George – Welcome to Chicago! We’re lucky enough to have several ensembles here that were started by young, professional musicians, such as Anaphora, dal niente and Third Coast Percussion – just to name a few. These groups perform rather frequently, too. For example, Anaphora has a concert this Wednesday, March 25 at Sherwood Conservatory of Music. It starts a 7PM, though, and I think you’re still on-air… Fortunately there will be lots of other opportunities to see any of these fine groups perform. Hope to see you at a concert or two!!Lisa

  • http://www.youtube.com/msspazz Sarah J. Ritch

    Welcome to Chicago!My name is Sarah Ritch…a local composer. May I suggest the ensemble Anaphora for your Classical AND Contemporary chamber music needs. Anaphora has a Classical concert tomorrow night(7:00pm) at the Sherwood Conservatory featuring music of Bartok, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky. There will also be concerts April 16th(featuring Spohr 6 german songs for clarinet, voice and piano) and 27th(featuring Sound Artist Olivia Block) to watch out for.Hope to see you at some of these exciting Chamber music concerts!-Sarah Ritchhttp://www.youtube.com/user/EnsembleAnaphorahttp://www.youtube.com/msspazz

  • Bernie Holicky

    WFMT’s listeners have many interests. In addition to more music than it’s possible to do…there’s theater. There are the big boys and girls…Goodman, Chicago Shakes, Court, & Steppenwolf and many small venues that do wonderful work. In April, TimeLine (Wellington & Broadway) premiers the first Chicago production of Alan Bennet’s “The History Boys,” and I’m sure replete with the boys singings Ella Fitzgerald’s “Bewitched.”