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January 2014
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Archive for January, 2014

From the Source: Lyric Opera’s “Barber of Seville”

Michele Mariotti

[Lyric Opening Night, Saturday at 7:15 PM] Conductor Michele Mariotti has an uncanny relationship to Gioachino Rossini. Listen to the interview with the young Italian maestro who has his Lyric Opera debut on Saturday.

Met Broadcast: “Madama Butterfly”

Amanda Echalaz in "Tosca"

Madama Butterfly had it’s U.S. premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1907 with Puccini himself in the audience. Enrico Caruso and Geraldine Farrar sang the leads (truth be told, Puccini thought the voice of Ms. Farrar was too small for Butterly). On Saturday the Met presents a revival of the Anthony Minghella production from

Yo-Yo Ma, Riccardo Muti: Have You Heard This Guy?

Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma, photo by Todd Rosenberg

It’s the cellists’ lament: composers favor the piano. Dvorak, Elgar and Tchaikovsky wrote great cello pieces, but they were pianists first, writing reams of piano music. You’ll notice cellists are always trying new works; which sadly tend to be forgotten. Wouldn’t it be nice if WFMT’s cello month concluded with a new, winning piece for cello? Maybe it will.

Feminist Lens

Billie Holiday

The song Aint Nobody’s Business is an early eight-bar blues standard. Two pianists are credited for writing it: Everett Robbins and Porter Grainger. Billie Holiday had a hit with the song. It’s her version, plus one with Rihanna that will be heard on the radio show Aint

Palestrina on Baroque&Before


WFMT’s weekly early music series Baroque&Before takes us to the Abbey Church, Maria Laach in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The abbey goes back to 1093! The show’s music, by comparison is much newer, coming from 16th century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Performances were recorded during last summer’s RheinVokal Festival with the Alamire Chamber Chorus

Cello Perspectives: Lynn Harrell at 70

Lynn Harrell

For an incredible fifty years, the ever-youthful Lynn Harrell has been one of America’s shining stars in international concertdom. He’s done the major record label, the dream team chamber groups (Vladimir Ashkenazy, James Levine (at the piano), Itzhak Perlman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Pinchas Zukerman etc.). He’s

A Little Afternoon Schubert

Susanna Phillips

We’ve talked about the pleasures of a day with Mozart. Franz Schubert is another one of those composers—you can’t wear him out. In his thirty-one years he wrote symphonies, quartets, solo piano works, masses, song cycles. His output is not the size of Mozart’s, who had another three or four years on him, but the sound

Magnus Lindberg: “proof that the orchestra is not dead!”

Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg

[New York Philharmonic This Week, Thursday at 8:00 PM]
For many Americans, Magnus Lindberg might sound more like a cheese than an artist, but the 55-year-old Finnish composer has many champions in conducting circles. His former class-mate Esa-Pekka Solenen has done Lindberg’s music in Los Angeles and in London

Remembering Pete

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

A tribute by Rich Warren

Pete Seeger, singer of folksongs, became the icon of American folk music against his will. He insisted the song was more important than its singer, and the listener was more important than the performer. Thus, when I recorded him at Fermilab almost two decades ago, Pete insisted

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Pete Seeger in 2007

[Listen to Pete Seeger on “Folkstage”] WFMT and music lovers around the world are grieving the loss of an American icon; folk singer, songwriter, social activist Pete Seeger. Pete Seeger has been a friend and inspiration to WFMT from the station’s earliest days. He co-wrote “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn.”