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November 2015
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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 of classical music lovers waited in the lobby of Warsaw’s national concert hall to hear that Seong-Jin Cho of South Korea won the gold medal more…

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 great speculation, emotion, excitement, disappointment and music, culminating in ten performances of concertos by Chopin’s great national hero. On this first night of the finals, more…

LISTEN: Rock Musician Bryce Dessner Teams with Chicago Youth Symphony

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  The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO), under the leadership of its music director, Allen Tinkham, and relatively new executive director, Joshua Simonds, has been pushing the boundaries of classical music for years now. With their 12 adventurous programming awards from ASCAP, the organization that represents music publishers, they’ve become one of the premiere new music organizations more…

LISTEN: Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Piece of Music that Changed His Life

Esa-Pekka Salonen
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor 
Philharmonia Orchestra
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Last week, I had the opportunity to record a conversation with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Finnish composer-conductor widely considered to be one of the most important in his field. After 17 years as Music Director at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he told me that he enjoys the extra time and freedom he has now to devote long periods of more…

Don’t Miss This Party

Pianist, Conductor and Curator Marino Formenti

The presenters filled the Logan Square Auditorium with sofas, comfy chairs and lots of mood lighting. Participants were encouraged to listen to the music how they wanted; be it sitting, standing, walking around or lying down. It was a fun experiment in concertizing and listening. Besides the food pairings and lighting, however, what was just as unusual about this concert was the fact that the audience could interact with many of the composers

A New Building for Music-Making at the Old Town School

Photo courtesy of Old Town School of Folk Music

On the morning of Tuesday, January 10th civic leaders, community members and local politicians, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Old Town School of Folk Music’s brand new, $17 million, 27,000 square foot East Building. More room for music and dance classes, performances and more. WFMT’s David Polk called in more…

Lyric Opera of Chicago and Merit School of Music Announce New Collaboration

Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Merit School of Music announced a new collaboration Monday.  Soprano and Lyric Opera Creative Consultant Renée Fleming was on hand to fill in the details about a new voice major at the Merit School.  WFMT producer David Polk reported from Gottlieb Hall at the Merit School’s building on Chicago’s more…

Arts After School Full Program #4: Dance

The final edition of our four-part series on arts education focused on dance programs offered by The Joffrey Ballet and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.  But we also visited the youth program of Chicago’s About Face Theater, and met some students at the relatively new Chicago High School for the Arts. This program has been created more…

Arts After School: At ChiArts, arts after school, before school, during school…

In our final profile of this series, WFMT producer David Polk visits the first Chicago Public High School for the Arts, or ChiArts, where students live and breathe the arts all day, every day (in addition to a full load of college prep courses!). This program has been created in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust, more…

Arts After School: Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

For this last week of our Arts After School series, WFMT producer Noel Morris visited the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, whose youth program participants are requires to complete both dance and writing assignments. Listen to the entire program Sunday, May 29 at 5PM and Tuesday, May 31 at 10:30 pm, and always available online at more…