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October 2015
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Archive for October, 2015

Natya Dance Brings the Ancient Art of Bharatanatyam to Modern Audiences


Thousands of years before European ballet was born, Bharatanatyam flourished in India. Chicago’s most eminent Bharatanatyam guru is Hema Rajagopalan. To learn more about the fascinating tradition of Bharatanatyam, I spoke with Rajagopalan, observed her dancers in rehearsal, and took classes with Rajagopalan and her dancers.

Winner of 17th Chopin Competition Announced

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[Press and spectators surround 17th International Chopin Piano Competition winner Seong-Jin Cho] WARSAW — The 17th International Chopin Piano Competition drew to a close very late Tuesday evening as hundreds more…

12 Polish Composers You Should Know (Who Aren’t Chopin)


Everyone loves the music of Fryderyk Chopin, Poland’s most well-known composer. But, how many other Polish composers do you know? Learn more about Poland’s best composers from one of Poland’s best composers: Marta Ptaszyńska

“Sylvia,” Rare Delibes Ballet, Comes to Chicago

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When Tchaikovsky heard Delibes’s ballet Sylvia, he said, “I was ashamed. If I had known this music early then, of course, I would not have written Swan Lake.” I spoke with Neumeier, Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater, and Joffrey music director Scott Speck during rehearsals for Sylvia to learn more about this underappreciated work.

Chicago Native an Audience Favorite at Chopin Competition


Last night, the finals of the Chopin Piano Competition began in the national concert hall here in Warsaw, Poland. For the last three weeks, this hall has been the center of more…

New Opera Explores Black Music’s Past, Present, Future


Composer George Lewis, a Chicago native, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in a big way: with an original stage work –Afterword: the AACM (as) Opera. I spoke with Lewis and singer Joelle Lamarre during technical rehearsals for Afterword at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where the opera has its Chicago premiere.

Chopin’s 24 Preludes As Heard By Puppies

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We all know and love the 24 Preludes by Chopin, each with their own distinctive moods and emotional characters. We also all know and love puppies, each with their own more…

Live from the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition


This October, program director David Polk and host Lisa Flynn are bringing you live music and more from the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, in Warsaw Poland. Held once every more…

The Women of “Figaro” on Mozart’s Women

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Behind every great man is a great woman, so the saying goes. In Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, the women often run the show. How better to learn about these fascinating female characters than from the women behind Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Mozart’s masterwork? I spoke with Barbara Gaines, the stage director, as well as the opera’s leading ladies to learn what makes the women of Figaro so fantastic.

Video: Two Italians Talk About Rossini


Baritones Alessandro Corbelli and Vito Priante are two of the most sought-after Rossini singers today. Both are performing in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s current production of Rossini’s Cinderella, and I spoke more…