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February 2014
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Archive for February, 2014

Duke Ellington: Great American Composer

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington: bandleader, composer—pioneer—it’s impossible to imagine the big band sound without him. He created; other people worried about what to call it. Though he wrote over three thousand songs, gave thousands of shows, the constant innovation

Edward Elgar, Dogs and Other Creatures


“Play it like something you hear down by the river.” That’s how Sir Edward Elgar instructed his orchestra to play one of his symphonies. Elgar’s father had been a musician, more…

Soprano Christine Goerke Shows Her Stuff

Christine Goerke

Lyric Opera is investing a lot in this artist. She is one of the cornerstones, cast as Brunnhilde in a new Ring cycle. Now New Yorkers are catching the fever. Of Saturday’s broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s Die Frau Ohne Schatten Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times noted: “…this was a breakthrough night at the Met for the American soprano Christine Goerke

Black History Month: William Grant Still’s 2nd Symphony

William Grant Still

By 1930, William Grant Still had emerged as an all-American composer; all-American because he was uniquely American; he could not have come from anywhere else. His ancestry was African, European, and native-American . His musical voice was a melting pot of spirituals and European traditions. 1930 was the year of Still’s First Symphony, which he titled “Afro-American

Web Exclusive: Conversation with Simone Dinnerstein

Simone Dinnerstein, photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

New Release of the Week: the latest from Simone Dinnerstein. She spoke with New Releases host Lisa Flynn about drawing poetry from Bach. The Inventions and Sinfonias would seem like exercises to J.S. Bach, except they’re so musical. He set out to write one of each

Love is on the Air

Romeo and Juliet by Frank Dicksee, 1884

Nothing speaks for the heart quite like music. Be sure your Valentine’s Day strikes the right chord by listening to WFMT. Starting at 6:00 AM, Carl Grapentine offers the most romantic music ever composed: A Kiss from Beethoven, verses from The Song of Solomon by Percy Grainger—and of course, music about the world’s greatest lovers, including Pelleas and Melisande; and an entire hour (8:00 AM – 9:00 AM) devoted to Romeo and Juliet.

La Galanía Headlines Baroque&Before

Raquel Andueza and Jesús Fernández Baena

Thursday’s edition of Baroque&Before features performances from the RheinVokal Festival situated in the Middle Rhine Valley. The valley is home to the Lorelei legend, which comes from the murmuring waters echoing around the cliffs. Lorelei is a mythical water sprite, akin to the Rhine maidens. According to legend, the singing maiden lures men to their deaths

Hast Thou Heard the Nightingale? Probably Not.

Common nightingale

[The New York Philharmonic This Week, Thursday at 8:00 PM]
North Americans often run across references to a bird that most of us have never seen: the nightingale. It comes up in Shakespeare, Keats, Coleridge, even the The Eagles have a song called Nightingale. At this point we know it can sing, but what’s so special about that?

LISTEN: A Musical Tale for Kids

Camilla Gorilla, illustrated by Sharon Lomasney

WFMT’s February theme is The Animal Kingdom, the celebration of music inspired by things that scamper, swim, swing, and scoot; that fly, cry, bite and hoot.

Here’s a tale about one special gorilla

Carlos Kalmar: Summer’s Lookin’ Good

Carlos Kalmar, photo by Norman Timonera

Since his appointment as principal conductor in 2000, the Grant Park Orchestra has been on a roll with Carlos Kalmar. The critics love them; the programming is wonderfully adventuresome, attendance is strong, and they give concerts in one of the most spectacular venues on the face of the earth. Ditto for the Grant Park Chorus with Director Christopher Bell, who joined in 2002