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April 2016
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On WFMT

Rocker Alice Cooper Goes Classical to Reinvent Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” for the 21st Century

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Peter and the Wolf, with story and score by Sergei Prokofiev, has introduced countless children to classical music. Since it premiered in 1936, there have also been countless interpretations and reinterpretations of the piece. It has been narrated by everyone from Prokofiev’s immediate family members to musicians ranging from David Bowie to Jacqueline du Pré. Rocker Alice Cooper joined the illustrious list of narrators with the creation of a new, American version of this classic work: Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood.

VIDEO: Ultraman Reveals New Superpower – Conducting

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Ultraman, the superhero from the television series of the same name, recently revealed a new superpower: conducting. Ultraman was created in the 1960s for a series of 39 episodes produced by the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). The hero fights off monsters and space aliens who terrorize innocent civilians, including, apparently concert goers. In the video below, more…

Why the Chinese Pipa is One of the Coolest Instruments You’ve Never Heard

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Alright, so maybe you’ve heard the pipa before. Perhaps, though, you don’t know it by name. In anticipation of her performance at the National Chinese Language Conference in Chicago, Wu Man discussed the pipa’s 2,000-year history and her diverse collaborations.

20 Golden Rules for Singing Opera

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Singer Sophie Rennert has the internet in stitches with her Golden Rules for Singing Opera that she posted on her blog April 23, 2016. There’s no shortage of digs about divas out there. But Rennert’s Golden Rules pack a particular punch since she herself is a singer. What rules would you add to her list? Tell us in the comments.

Italian tenor makes Met Opera debut with 5 minutes notice

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NEW YORK — Francesco Anile got to make his Metropolitan Opera debut in a T-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. With 5 minutes notice. The 54-year-old Italian tenor was in the green room during the last act of Saturday’s performance of Verdi’s “Otello,” which was being broadcast on radio throughout the world, when he was told more…

LISTEN: Shakespeare Actors Read Shakespeare

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Shakespeare penned some of the most beautiful verses in the English language. And while Shakespeare’s work is wonderful to read, it’s even better when it’s performed. So we asked a group of eight actors to read us some of their favorite verses as we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death as a part of more…

QUIZ: Which Great Conductor Are You?

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Perhaps you’ve dreamed of leading some of the world’s great orchestras. But what great conductor matches your personality? Take this quiz to find out which baton-beater you are!

Is Verdi’s Last Opera, “Falstaff,” Also His Best?

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Sometimes, composers save their best work for last. Bach created his contrapuntal masterpiece, The Art of Fugue, at the end of his life. Beethoven’s final symphony changed the way composers approached the genre altogether. Is Verdi’s last opera, Falstaff, his best? On a break from rehearsing Falstaff with maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, more…

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein?

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Think you’re a Broadway buff? How well do you know the the musicals of the dynamic duo, Rogers and Hammerstein? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

Chicago Native Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music

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Chicago Native Henry Threadgill was named the 2016 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition “In for a Penny, in for a Pound.” The recording was released in May 2015. The Prize’s administration noted that Threadgill’s piece was chosen because it is “a highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh more…