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March 2014
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Archive for March, 2014

New Release: La valse with Sean Chen

Sean Chen with WFMT's Candice Agree

Over the last year, WFMT has been getting to know a young pianist by the name of Sean Chen. Chen won the bronze medal at the Van Cliburn Competition and the top prize at a competition sponsored by the American Pianists Association. The finals

Black Music in America

B.B. King, 1971

[Exploring Music] The influence is distinctive and irresistible. When African people began to interact with European people, new kinds of music emerged; a rich and endlessly creative stream of classical music, folk song, religious music; jazz, blues, and forms that continue to develop to the present day

What Do Otto Klemperer and Burt Bacharach Have in Common?

Founder and conducting legend Otto Klemperer and graduate Burt Bacharach

150 years after the gold rush, “going to California” still captivates the American psyche. Where else could people like Otto Klemperer, Darius Milhaud, and Lotte Lehmann open a free music school?

Today Marylin Horne runs the vocal department; Carol Burnett teaches cabaret. Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West draws

Stars on the Rise

Tracy Cantin, J'nai Bridges, and Emily Birsan at the Pritzker Pavilion, c. Robert Kusel

The quality of singer at Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center is high enough that it would seem the lines between pro and apprentice have blurred. Even opera’s top singers continue to work with a favorite voice coach; most hope to get better, and probably all would agree that singing is a moving target. On such a continuum, where do the Ryan members stand

Live Broadcast, Good News in Detroit

Detroit Symphony Orchestra music director Leonard Slatkin, c.Donald Dietz

With more than 60% of its population gone, the city has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in United States history. So many headlines have characterized Detroit as a city in free-fall, one does not expect success stories about Detroit’s Symphony Orchestra. Well. In fact the orchestra is alive and kicking. A recent article featured the Detroit Symphony for having “the most ambitious free web-streaming program of any major American orchestra.”

Czech it Out!

Miloslav Kabelac

It helps to ask people in their own respective countries what their music scene is like. Thursday’s Exploring Music comes from recommendations by a broadcaster at Czech Radio, who points us toward Czech composers who are virtually unknown on this side of the Atlantic

A Concert from Bruges on Baroque&Before


Like many WFMT programs, Candice’s shows offer a wide swath of composers and styles, but there’s one component that’s unique to Baroque&Before: through a special partnership with the European Broadcast Union, Candice is able to feature concert material from many of the world’s music capitals, as well as festivals from the remote and scenic getaways. This week’s performances come to us from Bruges

Alan Gilbert on Being a Champion

New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert

According to American conductor Alan Gilbert, composer Carl Nielsen needs no advocacy in Stockholm. Gilbert, who served as principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic for eight years, came away feeling Nielsen was one of the biggies; only to find he just wasn’t getting enough airplay

Web Exclusive: From Sharp Minds

Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal cello John Sharp with music director Riccardo Muti, c.Todd Rosenberg

For all the singing of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the musicians are at times the unsung heroes. Maestro Muti often laughs that the conductor doesn’t do much—the truth is somewhere in the middle: Mr. Muti adds ears and insight; he builds architecture, but the musicians have to produce all the sound

Parma, Italy: A Taste for the Past

Parma Cathedral "Duomo" and Baptistery, painted ca. 1820

The town of Parma is famous for its heckling. In 1816, an opera audience “whistled and booed” at tenor Alberico Curioni. He shouted obscenities back and was arrested.

Last year after a performance in nearby Milan, international opera goddess Anna Netrebko confessed to WFMT when singing Bohème at La Scala