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January 2014
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Archive for January, 2014

Sergei Eisenstein on the Morning Program

Segei Eisenstein

[Thursday on WFMT] “It is a propaganda film!” Battleship Potemkin creator Sergei Eisenstein was uncompromising about the power of music, mandating a new score every twenty years to keep the film’s propagandist message alive. Since then devotees have applied everything from Shostakovich to Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys

Reflections: Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado (1933-2014)

[Hear Abbado recordings Wednesday afternoon on WFMT] Italian Maestro Claudio Abbado declined his salary; he had been honored with the title Senator for Life, an appointment to Italy’s upper house of parliament. He accepted the post, but wouldn’t accept compensation, redirecting the funds to music education. That was typical

American Opera Gets Some Air

George Gershwin

American opera houses, singers and conductors all enjoy the international recognition they deserve. No one would deny the stature of the Met or Maria Callas, or Thomas Hampson. What does not play around the world is the American opera; the music of American composers. No question, it is a tough field for composers of any nationality, but the job of celebrating America’s composers

Three Cellists Back-to-Back

Yo-Yo Ma

It’s cello month on WFMT, which means we’re exploring all things related to that soulful, lower member of the strings family. There are many great players, each bringing to the instrument an individual voice. On Wednesday in the one o’clock hour today, you’ll have the opportunity to hear three generations of cello players

Formosa Quartet LIVE

Formosa Quartet

[Hear Brahms On Demand from Monday’s “Live from WFMT”] You’ll have a second opportunity to hear this group in a live broadcast Wednesday at 12:15 PM. They’re the featured artists on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial concert

Frank Wright (Before He Added Lloyd)

Window at Unity Temple

This week WFMT’s extended arts coverage focuses on one of Chicago’s all-time biggest celebrities—not in the Kanye sense—more in terms of one who transcends a particular field to become an icon of his age: architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Producer Matt DeStefano reports on an exhibition

Impromptu Pix


Tuesday’s Impromptu brings in a crop of DePaul students under the tutelage of a frequent WFMT guest, mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley. The students present songs of Benjamin Britten in English, Russian more…

Tuesday Impromptu: Poems by Michelangelo?


Michelangelo rode into history on that storm surge of art known as the Italian Renaissance. How incredible he should also have been gifted with words. There seemed to be no limit to his creative genius, as painter in the Sistine Chapel, or sculptor of David, or architect of the dome of St. Peter’s

Exploring Beethoven at Parnassum

Stieler, Joseph Karl: Beethoven mit der Missa solemnis Ölgemälde, 1819

[Exploring Music, weeknights at 7:00 PM] By mid-life, Beethoven had assured his place among the ranks of music’s most pivotal figures, but what he produced in his final years (from around 1817 to his death in 1827), the 9th Symphony, the Missa Solemnis, the last quartets, shattered conventions of harmony, scope—even basic notions of how music could function

Impromptu: Anna Deavere Smith and Joshua Roman

Anna Deavere Smith

At one o’clock today, WFMT presents an Impromptu with a remarkable performer who, in addition to keeping a full schedule as a film and television actress (Philadelphia, The West Wing) has devoted her life to advancing social change through art, Anna Deavere Smith. Ms. Smith will discuss “On Grace,” onstage at