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May 2016
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Carolyn Paulin

Sumptuous and Sexy: Lyric Opens with “Otello”

Ana Maria Martinez as Desdemona, photo by Dan Rest

Verdi’s 200th birthday is upon us; and Lyric Opera of Chicago pays homage with one of the reigning Verdi tenors, Johan Botha, singing the title role of Otello. Ana María MartÍnez is the unlucky Desdemona, whose demise is collateral damage to the machinations of Falk Struckmann’s Iago. This is a powerful trio; one that will no doubt sharpen the sting of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Five People/One Guitar

Amazing what you find when you are looking around for things on the Internet.  And thanks to Kay Richards for this really delightful video…even if the “repertoire” is not the usual WFMT fare. Just plain fun to watch.

Samuel Barber-Vocal Music

We celebrated Samuel Barber’s 100th birthday yesterday. WFMT shared many great recordings of his music, and last night even broadcast – live from Philadelphia – the Curtis Institute’s Barber Centenary Concert, in honor of of one of the college’s most illustrious graduates. And, we’ll continue to play more Barber this week. I love his vocal more…

New Young Musicians Video

The video of the Japanese elementary school honors band is so great, that I decided to find another clip in honor of WFMT’s terrific program “Introductions,” How about this recent view of the YOung Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. Carolyn

Rite of Spring

This week conductor David Robertson leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concerts that feature music by Olivier Messiaen (his colorful “Offrandes oubliees”),the violin Concerto by Alban Berg, and the wonderful “Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky. The contretemps surrounding its first performance in Paris in 1913 is well-known. But my first experience with the amazing more…

Alicia de Larrocha

As you probably have heard, the great Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha passed away last Friday night. She was one of the greatest keyboard artists of the past 60 years, and was particularly entrancing in Spanish repertoire and music by Mozart. I was lucky enough to hear her in recital in the late 1980s at more…

Music in Maine

It’s still vacation time as far as I’m concerned – mainly because I haven’t gone on one yet. But that longing will end soon, when my husband and I go to our favorite vacation location, the beautiful state of Maine. In addition to the sea, the lakes, the mountains, the pine trees, the lobster (!), more…


This past Friday and Saturday the Grant Park Music Festival ended its 75th anniversary season in style – two performances of Beethoven’s Symphony #9. Conductor Carlos Kalmar led an exciting reading on Friday night, in front of an absolutely HUGE crowd in Millennium Park. When I stepped out on stage to introduce the concert I more…

La Triviata 2.0 available for you!

I hope that you were listening last Saturday morning at 10 to La Triviata 2.0, broadcast live from WFMT’s Levin Performance Studio. Even if I say so myself, it was a big success. George Preston was again a great host, our six panelists – three music professionals and three very knowledgeable listeners – were terrific, more…

Return of the Game Show

On Saturday, August 1st, our WFMT Game Show “La Triviata” will make a return appearance. We’re calling it “La Triviata 2.0,” and it will be aired from 10 to 11 AM, live from our Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio. Much of it will be like our first airing of the game show back in more…