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Author Archive

Conductor Mariss Jansons on Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony, Music, & Politics

216 01.10.1942 Трое мужчин хоронят умерших в дни блокады в Ленинграде. Волково кладбище. Борис Кудояров/РИА Новости

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, titled “Leningrad,” was written during one of the most horrific sieges in history. From 1941 to 1944, Hitler’s army surrounded Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and over more…

About Michael San Gabino

Dancing “Dido” and Making Music with Mark Morris

Mark Morris's "Dido and Aeneas" combines dance and drama

Is there a choreographer today who is more closely linked to music than Mark Morris? It’s difficult to describe his more than one hundred works, which include ballets, operas, and more…

About Michael San Gabino

♪ Treat Yo Self to Retta’s 5 Favorite Classical Works ♪


Actress and comedian Retta grabbed classical music lovers’ attention when she appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show, Conan.  Most famous for her work on the NBC sitcom Parks more…

About Michael San Gabino

How the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Developed One of the Youngest Audiences in North America


This week, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra returns to Chicago for the first time since 1988. On Friday, March 18, musicians from the Orchestra join pianist Daniil Trifonov for a live more…

About Michael San Gabino

Grammy Award-winning Violinist Gil Shaham’s Advice for Young Musicians


Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham made his professional debut at age 10, an age when most are hardly even thinking about professional work of any kind. Born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Shaham lived more…

About Michael San Gabino

New Opera Exposes Horrors of My Lai Massacre


“The story of Hugh Thompson in My Lai and the opposition of the Vietnam War is what led me from high school into adulthood,” said Jonathan Berger, composer and professor at Stanford University. Over forty years later, Berger composed an operatic monodrama, “My Lai,” that follows Hugh Thompson’s story in various snapshots, from the horrific day in My Lai to reflective moments throughout his life.

About Michael San Gabino

Mystery Writer Sara Paretsky’s 5 Favorite Pieces of “Mysterious” Classical Music


Chicago-based writer Sara Paretsky is known for her crime and detective novels, particularly her series about the fictional private investigator V.I. Warshawski. Paretsky, a longtime fan of classical music, continues to incorporate elements of music in her novels. Here are her favorite pieces of classical music that have an air of mystery about them.

About Michael San Gabino

Blair Tindall, Author of “Mozart in the Jungle,” on Her Best-Selling Book and the Hit TV Series


Blair Tindall’s book, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, shocked readers a decade ago when it exposed some of the low points of high culture. Written largely more…

About Michael San Gabino

Thousands Attend Chicago’s 102nd Christmas Tree Lighting


Thousands gathered on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 to celebrate the 102nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Previously staged in Daley Plaza, the city’s Christmas tree can now more…

About Michael San Gabino

Violinist Joshua Bell Visits WFMT


Violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Sam Haywood delighted WFMT listeners on Friday afternoon with their Impromptu debut. The program included works by Vitali, Franck, Kreisler, and Brahms. To listen to more…

About Michael San Gabino