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Archive for June, 2013

Brahms at the Brink

Semyon Bychkov with Marielle Labeque, photo by Klaus Barisch

For biographer Jan Swafford, a picture of Brahms can only be compiled by absorbing every available detail about his life and music. Brahms did live to see the rising tide of anti-Semitism, and unchecked nationalism, combined with great advances in the technology of warfare

Prokofiev in Transition

Sergei Prokofiev

It’s been suggested that it was his return to the Soviet Union that prompted Prokofiev to reject the avant garde—as if he had immediately fallen under the thumb of Soviet hardliners, or worse, pandered to them

Preview Today’s Rush Hour Concert

Marina Hoover, Jasmine Lin, Patricia Tao

Hear Trio Voce on this week’s Rush Hour Concert, Tuesday at 5:45 PM The three ladies who make up Trio Voce keep rigorous performance schedules which take them around the world, playing in quartets, soloing with orchestras and playing together as Trio Voce. On today’s Rush Hour concert, which will be broadcast live on WFMT more…

The End to Two Remarkable Seasons

Riccardo Muti dons #19, photo by Brian Kersey

Maestro Muti concluded the Chicago Symphony season at Symphony Center on Sunday with an impromptu speech from the stage saying the first thing he would do when his plane lands in Rome is to find out “if the Hawks won.”

Hear Matthew Hagle and the Beethoven Sonatas

Matthew Hagle, pianist

Playing all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas is essential repertoire for every classical pianist, but not every classical pianist would be asked to play them on live radio. Matthew Hagle has had a long relationship with WFMT, as a collaborator

Videos from Make Music Chicago

CSO musicians playing in the lobby of Symphony Center, photo by Cydne Gillard

This year there are concerts and events at 25 locations around the Chicago area. Every imaginable genre will be represented from Klezmer to Classical, African drumming to Sousa marches. Hear youth choirs, opera singers; blues, jazz, and folk musicians. Performers range from beginners to the Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet. All events are free Related Post: more…

Brahms and Bartók on Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Johannes Brahms, around 1865

Scholars love to refer to Brahms as a classicist, Bartók as a modernist. Brahms did embrace classical forms at a time when composers like Wagner were exploring a freer style; at the same time, he was brilliant at setting up a formula, only to rip the rug out from under it

Make Music Chicago 2013


Around the world, “make music” is the theme for Friday, June 21st, the longest day of the year. Chicago is one of more than 500 cities participating in what is known as World Music Day. Chicago’s third annual Make Music Chicago runs city-wide and involves ensembles, music schools, universities, museums, The Lincoln Park Zoo, The more…

Chamber Music on Monday Night

Page 1, Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio

The origin of the title of the Mozart Trio is oft told: “Kegelstatt” means bowling alley in German, which describes the composer enjoying a little game with his friends. It is wonderful to think of the genius jotting down these notes between turns at hurtling a heavy ball down the lane. The truth is less convenient for radio intros: Mozart did claim to write music in “Vienna 27 July 1786 while playing skittles

Music of the Baroque in Concert on WFMT

Moses Crossing the Red Sea by Raphael

Long before Xbox and CGI, the public read about rivers of blood, and skull-crushing hailstorms in the Bible. Epic tales of calamity and survival never go out of style, it seems, which is probably why Georg Friedrich Handel chose Israel in Egypt as the source of his oratorio