Select a Date

May 2016
« Apr    


Stanisław Moniuszko: The Most Famous Polish Composer You Haven’t Heard Yet but Should


The name Fryderyk Chopin is synonymous with Polish music and culture. Though Stanisław Moniuszko may not be a household name today, the composer is literally the face of Polish opera. A statue of him rests outside of the Warsaw Opera House, where several of works premiered and for which he served as director.

Chicago Sinfonietta Blasts Off for “Cosmic Convergence”

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. Composer: Gustav Holst; Music: Chicago Sinfonietta/L Donner; Film: JF Salgado. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL.

Great music can transport us, even into outer space! The Chicago Sinfonietta takes audiences on a journey through the stars with a presentation of Cosmic Convergence at Symphony Center. The program combines live classical music with video curated by Emmy-nominated astronomer Dr. José Francisco Salgado. Cosmic Convergence also celebrates 10 years of collaboration between the more…

From Symphony Halls to Security Councils, Composer Mohammed Fairouz Uses Voice for Political Change


When composer Mohammed Fairouz isn’t busy writing symphonies or operas, he’s likely writing about international politics for the Huffington Post, On Being, or Foreign Policy. “I’m engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy on a fairly involved level,” he said in a recent interview. “I’ve been in conversation with people as diverse as Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud,” former head of Saudi Intelligence and Ambassador to the United Kingdom and United States, “and Lana Nusseibeh,” the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations. “I am very comfortable speaking at the Munich Security Conference.”

Violinist Itzhak Perlman cancels North Carolina performance


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Another renowned musician has canceled a North Carolina performance in protest of the state’s new law limiting antidiscrimination policies for LGBT people. In a Facebook post Tuesday, Violinist Itzhak Perlman canceled his May 18 performance in Raleigh. Perlman was scheduled to perform with the North Carolina Symphony at the Meymandi Concert more…

How Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Singer Kurt Elling Developed His Chops Singing Motets by J.S. Bach


Though Kurt Elling is one of the most well-loved and highly praised jazz singers of our time, he first developed his chops singing Bach motets. As Elling returned to his native Chicago for performances at City Winery, he spoke about how classical music has influenced him throughout his life. Though Elling confessed, “I never thought more…

5 Rising Stars in Classical Music Who Got Their Start in Chicago


Many musicians have started their careers in Chicago, and some of them have also studied at the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago. Founded in 2006, the Academy was established to serve as a training center for gifted pre-college classical musicians.  The program is designed for piano and strings. “The Academy was modeled after another more…

10 Facts About Legendary Choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton That Every Dance Lover Should Know

ashton in drag

Choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, who created more than 100 ballets in his 60-year career, is one of the most influential figures in the history of dance. Learn more about Ashton from Ashley Wheater, who worked with Ashton and currently serves as the artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet.

Chicago Fringe Opera Brings Rarely Performed Glass Opera, “In the Penal Colony,” to the Windy City


At 79 years old, Philip Glass has composed 27 operas. Yet, only a handful have been performed in Chicago, though the composer spent formative years in the Windy City as a student. Still, Chicago has been home to a couple of important Glass premieres. In 2002, the Goodman Theatre presented the world-premiere of Galileo Galilei, more…

VIDEO: Watch a Waddle of Antarctic Penguins Totally Freak Out When They Hear a Live Opera Singer


Tenor Nick Allen gave a chilling performance recently. Chilling chiefly because he sang in Antarctica, where the average summer temperature is usually below freezing. Allen’s audience was a waddle of penguins, waddle being the adorable name for any group of penguins on land. In water, a group is a raft. Luckily for us, Allen uploaded a more…

VIDEO: If You’ve Ever Wondered What Opera Singing Looks Like From the Inside, Wonder No More

photo credit: Freiburger Institute for Musician's Medicine via

To those who don’t sing themselves, operatic singing is as mysterious as it is moving. How can a human being produce enough sound to fill giant auditoriums without any amplification? To singers, singing can be mysterious too. The voice is inconstant. As part of the body, it’s always changing – not just from year to more…