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Archive for March, 2014

Joyce DiDonato in Live Impromptu

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato

She is a five-star, Grammy Award-winning diva. Bending to box office pressures, the Metropolitan Opera now favors more bel canto repertoire for this American mezzo. Joyce DiDonato has the voice and the acting chops to gain entrance to any opera house in the world, but hasn’t

CSO Oboist Ray Still Dead at 94

Oboist Ray Sill (1920 - 2014)

He had the will and the soul to be a solo voice in a singular ensemble—tough, audacious, an irrepressible personality. Other players knew his sound in an instant. Oboist Ray Still helped define the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 40 years

Web Exclusive: Ana María Martínez on singing Rusalka

Ana Maria Martinez as Rusalka, c.Todd Rosenberg

“That’s not her up there.” That’s what friends of Ana María Martínez keep saying.

The star of Lyric’s production of Dvořák’s Rusalka puts so much physicality and empathy into her portrayal, it’s as if Ana’s been left in the dressing room

Live with Chicago Chamber Musicians

Clarinetist Larry Combs

[Monday, 8:00 PM] This bunch of players adds tremendous depth to the musical offerings in the city; they are Chicago Chamber Musicians. Made up of players from top-flight organizations (Chicago Symphony, Northwestern, DePaul, Roosevelt etc.), CCM draws from their pool of artists

American Pianist, Tearing It Up

Sean Chen

Sean Chen Recital, Friday at 8:00 PM After a year-long competition sponsored by the American Pianists Association, five finalists remained; the final phase of the Indianapolis-based competition was broadcast on more…

New York Philharmonic: American Music Central

New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert

As has so often been the case, New York City is a well-spring for so much of American culture. It is the birth place of the likes of George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Kern. Since its founding in 1842, the New York Philharmonic has been central to America’s musical life: they gave the first performance of Dvorak’s New World

Preview: La clemenza di Tito

mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato

[Live broadcast on Wednesday at 7:15 PM] Clemenza is the story of the benevolent Roman Emperor Titus. Like the Mozart character, the historical Titus struggled over whether or not to pardon a friend and traitor. The historical Titus did have a Romance with the Jewish queen Berenice who had sided with the Romans in their war against the Jews. That’s where the action of this opera begins

On the Air with Music of the Spheres

Cover of the Golden Record

In the year 1977 NASA launched two unmanned spacecraft, space probes programmed to survey the solar system, timed to take advantage of a rare alignment of the planets. Knowing the probes would continue their trajectories indefinitely, NASA scientists elected to place time capsules within the probes

Bernstein and the Harlem Quartet

The Harlem Quartet

Leonard Bernstein and the Harlem Quartet seem to be made of the same stuff. The great conductor knew how to swing; and his compositions often had jazzy threads running through them. Likewise, the Harlem Quartet’s discography totters between the likes of Schubert and Billy Strayhorn

Tuesday Night Opera: Mathis der Maler

Paul Hindemith with Viola, by Rudolf Heinisch, 1956

Like most people, Hindemith underestimated the Nazis. He openly derided their ideologies, and quickly became marked as a dissident. In an attempt to keep the door open for him, Wilhelm Furtwängler commissioned a symphony; this grew directly out of the work being done on the opera, Mathis der Maler