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August 2015
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Author Archive

Chicago Native Headlines the Met

Tamara

Chicago native Tamara Wilson stars in the title role in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida on Saturday. She sang for her hometown crowd last summer as Donna Anna with James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Ravinia Festival.

Chicago’s Music of the Baroque

Conductor Nicholas Kraemer

MOB principal guest conductor Nicholas Kraemer leads chorus and orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem Mass. The soloists are Sherezade Panthaki, soprano, Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano, Thomas Cooley, tenor, and Peter Rose, bass. The program is hosted by WFMT’s Kerry Frumkin and was recorded last October

Hess Concert Features Homegrown Cellist

UsiskinHeadshot

Cellist Laura Usiskin and pianist Katsura Tanikawa perform a free, lunchtime recital at Chicago’s Cultural Center.

Cellist Laura Usiskin grew up in the Chicago area, studying at the Music Institute of Chicago, and later with Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Richard Hirschl. She studied neuroscience at Columbia University, and went on to Juilliard and Yale for Masters and Doctoral degrees in music. She teaches at the University of Alabama-Birmingham

Stolen Jewels on “The Tuesday Night Opera”

statue

Peter van de Graaff presents Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s Jewels of the Madonna, first performed in Berlin in 1911. The composer once explained his operas tended to be in German due to his having had a German publisher, but an Italian version of Jewels of the Madonna didn’t come out until 1953 due to censorship issues

Live Chamber Jazz on First Monday

The Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Chamber Musicians Ensemble kicks off the new year with a recital by three artists: Larry Combs, Brad Opland, and Charlie Johnson. The monthly performances they call “First Mondays” happen at the Chicago Cultural Center and are free and open to the public. WFMT carries each concert live.

Hansel, Gretel, and a Witch on the Met

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Christine Rice (Hansel) and Heidi Stober (Gretel) star in the Brothers Grimm fairytale. It was adapted into an opera libretto by the sister of the composer, Adelheid Wette. Robert Brubaker (Witch), Dwayne Croft (Peter), and Michaela Martens (Gertrude) co-star with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Saturday’s production will be sung in English.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concert

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This year, Zubin Mehta is the maestro to conduct Strauss waltzes and more in the annual New Year’s concert in Vienna. Recorded earlier in the day at the Musikverein, this concert is so popular, tickets are sold by lottery. Each year, a major conductor is invited to take the podium; last year it was Daniel Barenboim. Thursday’s concert will mark Zubin Mehta’s fifth time taking center stage for this holiday tradition.

New Year’s Eve on WFMT

Fireworks

Tune in for a countdown of the major classical releases of 2014 chosen by Lisa Flynn, host of “The New Releases,” and by her colleagues; a live concert of Strauss waltzes, and Rich Warren’s “Midnight Special” New Year’s Eve celebration!

The Waltz King on “The Tuesday Night Opera”

Johann Strauss II

Peter presents a discussion and recording of Johann Strauss Jr’s Simplicius, an operetta that takes place at the end of the 30 Years’ War. It’s based on a novel called Adventurous Simplicissimus by HJC von Grimmelhausen. This production stars Michael Volle, Martin Zysset and Piotr Beczala. Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Zurich Opera Orchestra.

A Tchaikovsky Marathon

Tchaik

Tchaikovsky would become one of the most beloved composers in the world; writing the soundtrack for Christmas and 4th of July celebrations (“The Nutcracker” and “1812 Overture”); composing blockbuster concertos, and the foundation of classical ballet.