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December 2013
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Archive for December, 2013

Podcast: Irish Christmas in America


Irish Christmas in America is in town for a sold-out show at the Old Town School of Folk Music. If you don’t have your tickets, hear them on a WFMT podcast. The group is wrapping up a nationwide tour in time to get home to Ireland for Christmas

Shared Histories: Irish Christmas in America


[LIVE Impromptu on Wednesday at 3:00 PM] Plug into a family-friendly program of traditional Irish instrumentalists, singers and dancers who make a point of reaffirming the shared histories of America and the Irish people. It’s a story that goes beyond brogue-speaking police officers in New York City

Who Cares What the Composer Wants?

Tenor Franco Corelli

[Aida on the Tuesday Night Opera, 8:00 PM] Franco Corelli knew how to work a crowd. He wasn’t afraid of taking liberties with a score, a practice which produced many copycats. In the aria at the beginning of Aida for example, Corelli famously disregarded Verdi’s dynamic markings. In the last four bars

Video Exclusive: Conductor Talks Kids and Music

Ward Stare, photo by Suzy Gorman

Most careers take twists and turns; Ward Stare’s career has been more like Formula 1 auto racing. He went from playing principal trombone in the Lyric Opera Orchestra to being one of the company’s go-to conductors (debuting in last season’s production of Hansel and Gretel), all before the age of 30

Child’s Play on Exploring Music

Trumpet Practice by Norman Rockwell

Weeknights at 7:00 PM   Children and Childhood continues to be our theme this month on WFMT; it’s also the subject of Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin. As we’ve been more…

Beethoven’s Smile—yes, he had one.

Beethoven Portrait, based on the life mask

One December tradition on WFMT has nothing to do with candles, carols or holidays: Beethoven’s birthday. Each year on December 16th, WFMT goes wall-to-wall Beethoven. There are images of the German composer that stick with us: the first four notes of the Fifth Symphony or the stern-faced Andy Warhols. He seems like such a dour customer, but was he?

Video Exclusive: Lyric’s Violetta Goes Searching for Callas

Maria Callas

Some of the most zealous opera fans are the ones using the stage entrance. Recently, Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka stopped by the office of Lucy Lindquist at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Lindquist is wardrobe mistress; Rebeka was seeing about her costumes for Violetta, as the lead in Verdi’s La traviata. Rebeka recalls her jaw hitting the floor when she noticed the headpiece. Lindquist explained, “It was worn by Maria Callas

Jeffrey Siegel LIVE on WFMT


It’s a WFMT Impromptu! International pianist (and Chicago native) Jeffrey Siegel gave a recital in the Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio with Lisa Flynn, putting to rest long held more…

An Artist that Innovates

Jeffrey Siegel

[WFMT Impromptu, Thursday at 11:00 AM] Jeffrey Siegel has made his rounds on various orchestra broadcasts, traveling from New York, to London, to Berlin, to Chicago. Such is the life of a concert pianist, but this one decided to become a value-added pianist; he liked talking from the piano, and the audience seemed to eat it up

Gaudete LIVE on Dame Myra Hess

Gaudete Brass

A year ago they were featured on WFMT’s The New Releases with a highly acclaimed CD of American composers, the oldest of those works was written six years before. Today on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, they’ll go back a little farther—four or five hundred years—for some Renaissance works, including music by the German