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March 2014
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Archive for March, 2014

1st Day of Spring: Music, Sunny and 45


This was only the 3rd coldest, and 3rd snowiest winter on record—small consolation to sufferers of potholes, ice, and chill. The new season officially begins on Thursday at 11:57 AM, and WFMT will extend all the joy and gladness that composers can throw at such a welcome occasion

San Francisco Symphony: Change of Venue

conductor Jane Glover

Wednesday on the San Francisco Symphony broadcast, hear Jane Glover leading members of the orchestra in music by Bach and Handel. San Francisco has rolled out the hits with three of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and Handel’s Water Music—not surprisingly, actually. Both composers born in 1685 were quite prolific

How to Get a Priceless Violin

Korean violinist Yoojin Jang

Acquiring the tools of the trade for a young violinist is particularly daunting. Of course, they have to start small, and work their way up—in 2011, the Lady Blunt Strad, built in 1721, sold to a private collector for over $10,000,000. But realistically

Real Spanish Opera

Manuel de Falla

Castanets, toreadors, ruffled skirts—there’s nothing abstract about the imagery in Bizet’s Carmen; this opera borrows all the best archetypes to thrust its audience into a Spanish locale that’s throbbing with passion, beauty and danger. 140 years after its premiere, Bizet’s Iberian portrait

Fiery Pianism: New Release of the Week

Jenny Lin

The Washington Post has described Jenny Lin as “one of the most interesting pianists in America.” Take a look at her wide range of recordings (over 20 to date), and you get a sense that she’s a musician who can play just about anything coupled with an adventurous flair for programming. She’s recorded Shostakovich’s Preludes & Fugues, music of the Catalan composer

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center LIVE

Nicholas Canellakis

From its home at Lincoln Center, the Chicago-built Lyon & Healy harp has been delivered. Audio engineer Eric Arunas is rolling out the cables. On Tuesday afternoon the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performs a live, in-studio recital

Waking up to Rimsky-Korsakov

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

“The boy is too shy. Maybe piano lessons would help.”

Little Nikolai did take piano lessons, though everyone said he played “too slow.” In truth, he preferred literature to music; especially stories about the sea. At age 12, Nikolai joined the Imperial Russian Navy

Cavatina Duo Live

Denis Azabagic and Eugenia Moliner

There’s a wonderful intimacy to a flute and guitar combo; they produce a quieter, gentler kind of sound that works well in a small space, even better by candlelight.

Monday on Live from WFMT

Music for St. Patty’s Day


Green-clad, drunken twenty-somethings falling out of taxi cabs on Clark Street might be a more familiar association with St. Patrick’s Day, though it began as a solemn religious occasion honoring the man who Christianized the Emerald Isle. According to tradition, Patrick was a Roman citizen

Studs Talks to Ray Still

Ray Still, head shot 1

(Ray Still 1920 – 2014) In an encore broadcast, WFMT remembers Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal oboist Ray Still. Mr. Still joined the orchestra in 1953 after winning an audition with then music director Fritz Reiner. Still retired from the orchestra in 1993. He was one of the most influential