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October 2013
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Archive for October, 2013

Bodysnatchers Overtake Radio Station

Donald Mueller as Uncle Fester

WFMT is in lockdown as staff succumbs to seeds believed to have originated in outer space. Victims who arrived at work on Thursday morning suffered from an unnamed pathogen; symptoms include wigs, stage make-up, and metallic or brightly colored clothing. One witness described the scene as: “Horrific. It’s as if

Shostakovich Rarity

Dmitri Shostakovich

[Wednesday at 8:00 PM] If you’ve heard this piece at all, odds are you were at Ravinia in 2006 when this conductor performed the piece with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

That year, James Conlon presented a Shostakovich mini-cycle: the last three symphonies (Nos.13-15). All are autumnal works, though Nos.13 and 14 scratch at wounds inflicted by Hitler and Stalin—these pieces are heavies, even by Shostakovich standards

A Festival for Wagner

Bayreuth Festspielhaus

On the the Tuesday Night Opera, our celebration of the Wagner 200th continues with Götterdämmerung, a conception so epic inside the composer’s own head (namely The Death of Siegfried), he was driven to construct three

Composer Exploration: Jacques Ibert

Jacques Ibert, from a 1938 newspaper clipping

[10:00 AM – 1:00 PM] From working as a pianist in a silent movie house to running the Paris Opera, Lisa Flynn brings you another Composer Exploration. Tuesday’s broadcast profiles the Parisian composer Jacques Ibert, who wrote some of the most popular works ever written for woodwind players, while becoming a central figure in the musical life in the city of light, Paris, France.

Grapentine and the Three B*ars

Sherrill Milnes

…BARITONES, that is.

Giuseppe Verdi came on like Vesuvius, leveling tired formulas beneath a new soundscape; forever altering the vocal profession. By the close of Verdi’s incredible fifty-three-year output, singers were born to be specialists; with the quality of the voice (in addition to register) dictating repertoire.

On Tuesday morning (9:00 AM), Carl Grapentine brings you three legendary baritones

Joseph Genualdi on Live from UIC

violinist Joseph Genualdi, photo by James Allison

A WFMT perennial favorite, Joseph Genualdi gives a recital at University of Illinois at Chicago. It’s part of the free “Tuesdays-at-One” concerts presented in the recital hall at the Performing more…

Eugene Izotov: Working with Muti

Eugene Izotov, photo by Todd Rosenberg

[CSO Radio Broadcast, Sunday at 1:00 PM] Eugene writes an amusing account of the rehearsals before the rehearsals–doing the detail work with Riccardo Muti prior to getting in front of the orchestra as soloist in the Oboe Concerto of Martinu.

A New Home for Live Music

PianoForte Studios

PianoForte Chicago is one of those community partners that WFMT cherishes. What began as a piano shop run by an enthusiast for the instrument, in particular for Fazioli pianos, rapidly sprouted a non-profit to present concerts, workshops, masterclasses and a number of programs

Exclusive: One on One with Kirill Gerstein

Pianist Kirill Gerstein

[CSO soloist this week] It seems there’s no repertoire that doesn’t wallow under the fingers of Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein. At fourteen, Gerstein moved from Russia to the US to study jazz at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Last week it was New York and Rachmaninoff with the Philharmonic; this week it’s Chicago and Prokofiev

Eugene Izotov and Old Family Ties

Eugene Izotov, CSO principal oboe; photo by Todd Rosenberg

At age twenty, CSO principal oboe Eugene Izotov took an audition in Kansas City. “He was green,” recalled the conductor, “and there were some good people auditioning that day.” As fate would have it, Izotov met a conductor who believed in him, someone who remembered thinking, “I can work with this kid.” That conductor was Bill McGlaughlin