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July 2013
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Archive for July, 2013

Hey, Remember That Guy, Sowerby?

St. James Cathedral where Leo Sowerby served as organist and choirmaster starting in 1927

Leo Sowerby still shows up on choral recordings and in choir books, though most Chicagoans wont recall his Sundays at the organ at St. James Cathedral—St. James is now the lively home of the Rush Hour Concerts (heard live on WFMT, Tuesdays at 5:45 PM).

Chicago Month on WFMT

See highlights and a complete listing of all the Chicago-themed offerings on WFMT throughout the month of August.

Art and Music: Botticelli


Hear the Botticelli Triptych by Ottorino Respighi at 2:00 PM on Wednesday. The inspiration for the music was the work of Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli who found himself at the nucleus of one of the most celebrated periods in art history: the Italian Renaissance. His daring choice of secular subjects, infused with layer upon layer of ambiguity and innuendo, delighted his patron, Lorenzo de’ Medici

Art and Music: Gershwin

Gershwin painting Schoenberg

George Gershwin was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, New York in 1898. In his 38-year life, he asserted a bold musical identity that was not Russian, not European, but distinctly American (in fact, once he had tasted success, he did travel to Paris to seek instruction from Nadia Boulanger; she wouldn’t touch him

Art and Music: Mathis der Maler

Sketch of John the Baptist, long held to be a self-portrait of Matthias Grünewald

Like most people, Paul Hindemith underestimated the Nazis. He openly derided their ideologies, and quickly became marked as a dissident. In an attempt to keep the door open for him, Wilhelm Furtwängler commissioned a symphony from Hindemith

Art and Music: Georgia O’Keeffe

Petunia, 1925

Hear music by American composer Dan Welcher inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe on Friday, July 26 at 10:00 AM. The artwork of Georgia O’Keeffe is among the most recognizable of all American artists. Many of her paintings can be viewed online. “Light Coming on the Plains” is a series of watercolors depicting the plains at the break of dawn; the series, from painting to painting, presents differing hues and temperatures. “Canyon with Crows” is most like the scenes of the red hills

Art and Music: Mendelssohn’s Watercolors

Watercolor by Felix Mendelssohn of an unknown subject

Felix Mendelssohn was a beacon in his world, whether as conductor, composer, scholar or painter. As a painter, he wallowed in images of man in dialogue with nature: landscapes with buildings or people under trees. The image to the right is of an unknown subject, but brings to mind the mysterious, churning sounds

Monday Night: Live from Ravinia

Ravinia's Martin Theatre

Summertime Means Ravinia In an age where people get music like it’s HVAC, WFMT continues to buck the trend. Year-round on Mondays at 8:00 PM, WFMT does local music, and more…

Lyric Violist Plays National Anthem, Becomes U.S. Citizen

Lyric Violist Carol Cook

For years she stacked her schedule, taking few vacation days and cataloging the printed program of every performance. Even as a member of the Lyric Opera viola section, she had to demonstrate to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that her employment would last another two years – proof of employment was required for an O-visa, a permit for non-immigrants who possess extraordinary ability

Art and Music: van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait

Hear Focke’s Le Tombeau de van Gogh on July 23 at 12:00 PM. There are 20 paintings depicted musically in this set. Here are some of these (below). Fré Focke was a Dutch pianist and composer; he was a student of Anton Webern. Acting on an invitation from pianist Claudio Arrau, he moved to Santiago, Chile, where he became very active and influential on the musical life there