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July 2015
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Tap Dancing Steps into the Future


The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) is currently presenting its 25th festival celebrating American tap and contemporary percussive arts, Rhythm World. I sat down with Lane Alexander, CHRP’s artistic director and co-founder, as well as several Rhythm World instructors and guest artists, to learn more about this unique festival, which honors tap’s past while helping it step into the future.

Composer-Pianist Plays “Super” Music on Nintendo Themed Piano


It’s a truth universally acknowledged by music students around the world that at any given moment in any conservatory, there’s at least one person in the practice rooms playing Bach, Beethoven, and the songs from Nintendo’s classic game Super Mario Bros. The video game, released in 1985, has some pretty memorable music: six songs composed by Koji more…

Vic Firth, Who Revolutionized Drumstick Manufacture, Dies at 85

Vic Firth

Vic Firth, the long time principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra who revolutionized the manufacture of percussion sticks and mallets, passed away Sunday at age 85. Seiji Ozawa, one of many illustrious conductors with whom Firth worked throughout his career, once said Firth was, “the single greatest percussionist anywhere in the world.” Firth was more…

6 of Muti’s Most Memorable Moments in Chicago

Riccardo Muti conducts Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  9/28/07,

Riccardo Muti, the celebrated conductor from Naples, Italy, came to Chicago in 2010 when he became the 10th music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Since, Chicagoans have enjoyed many magical moments with the maestro both in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center and beyond, as the CSO extends its reach with performances in the community. more…

From YouTube to Lyric: Composer Jimmy López on his Operatic Debut

2. Lopez

Composer Jimmy López never could have imagined that uploading some of his music on YouTube could have landed him his first opera commission, and at Lyric Opera of Chicago, no less. Read more about the creation of this new opera before it has its world-premiere this fall in a behind-the-scenes interview with the composer during tech rehearsals.

How One Man Designed the Most Musical Park in America


Chicago’s Millennium Park is one of the most popular parks in the United States, according to TripAdvisor. Part of the Park’s allure comes, no doubt, from the incredible amount of free music that audiences can enjoy there each summer. The Grant Park Musical Festival, the nation’s only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind, has been providing visitors with more…

Chicago Sinfonetta Founder Paul Freeman Dead at 79


Paul Freeman, the founder of the Chicago Sinfonetta, is dead at age 79. The Sinfonetta announced Freeman’s death on its website, saying the conductor had been fighting several ailments in recent years. He retired in 2011. Sinfonetta director of operations Courtney Perkins says Freeman died late Tuesday in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife, Cornelia, more…

12 Musical Works About “Food, Glorious Food”


Shakespeare once said, “If music be the food of love, than put some whipped cream and a cherry on top of it.” Or, something to that effect… Good music and good food harmonize so well together. It’s no surprise that countless composers from Bach to Bernstein have written works about their favorite foods. Check out this more…

WFMT’s Favorite Beach Reads

beach reads

There’s no better time than summer to grab a new book you’ve been aching to read, or to dust off an old book that’s been on your nightstand for ages. Looking for recommendations on what to page through as you feel the sand between your toes? We’ve selected some of our favorite beach reads about more…

Modern Opera for the Masses


Think modern opera is unmelodious or inaccessible? The next generations of opera stars is ready to prove you wrong. This Wednesday, three members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center team with the Grant Park Orchestra for an evening of modern and contemporary American works. The program features more…