“Carlos has a genius for conducting, but he doesn’t enjoy doing it. He tells me, ‘I conduct only when I’m hungry’. And it’s true. He has a deep-freeze. He fills it up and cooks for himself and when it gets down to a certain level, then he thinks ‘Now I might do a concert’.” That
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Noel Morris
It is well established that opera singers can sing like canaries. Now we’re finding they tweet like them, too. Baritone Christopher Maltman used Twitter to share something of the on-stage and off-stage energy during his concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony earlier this year
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Noel Morris
Pianist Amy Briggs has a passion for pristine and rugged terrains, be it a trek in the Spanish Pyrenees or a virtuosic piano score that no one’s ever performed before. As a working pianist and Director of Chamber Music and Lecturer in Music at the University of Chicago, Ms. Briggs knows her way around the standard repertoire of Brahms and Beethoven. But it is the music of our own time that finds its way
Monday, August 25, 2014 by Noel Morris
He calls Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin “a big friend of mine.” His heroes are Vladimir Horowitz and star hockey center Sergei Fedorov. Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, who has “epic technique” according to the Boston Globe, is not shy about talking sports. In a 2009 Impromptu, he told WFMT that as a youth in Siberia, he could hardly be kept indoors. He played either soccer or ice hockey “about seven hours a day. Music was second.” Speaking with a gentle Russian growl, he laughs
With over 30,000 recordings in WFMT’s “record” library, the staff seldom focuses on a single record label for very long. When it happens, it’s usually because an artist has an exclusive agreement with a label; and the programming staff is featuring that artist.
On Friday, WFMT honors a record label that has made it its mission to enhance the cultural life of Chicago. Cedille Records
After being off-line for two months, WFMT’s Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio is open for business. With a new mixing board, new recording equipment, and a sassy blue paint job (better for shooting photographs and video), the studio re-opened last week for a recording with composer Lita Grier, followed by a live broadcast of “Folkstage”
Ashu returns to Chicago for a recital at Ravinia. The Northwestern graduate is logging thousands of frequent flyer miles these days, giving concerts throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania.
Ashu had been playing the saxophone for only a few years when he entered a contest. Taking the top prize, he was granted a solo recital at Carnegie Hall at the age of 16
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Noel Morris
From Charlie Parker to Kenny G, John Coltrane to Clarence Clemons, the sultry sounds of the saxophone have been a mainstay for American music. Many have praised the saxophone’s vocalism, range of color, and expressivity. Nevertheless, it’s been a tough road for classical soloists.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Noel Morris
It’s hard to describe Chicago composer/guitarist Jason Seed, other than as a well-rounded musician. As such, he delights in music and doesn’t worry so much about iTunes categories.
Jason Seed’s credits include jazz bands, rock bands, collaborations with Baroque Band and Bill Frisell. He’s also been around the “new music” scene
Monday, August 18, 2014 by Noel Morris
He gave more than 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She exceeded 400. Two Italian-born, 20th century opera stars passed away in recent weeks: tenor Carlo Bergonzi and soprano Licia Albanese. Bergonzi in particular had a long performance history in Chicago, making his American debut at Lyric Opera in 1955; while Albanese worked primarily in New York