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September 2014
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Carlos Kleiber, A Reclusive Genius

CarlosKleiber

“Carlos has a genius for conducting, but he doesn’t enjoy doing it. He tells me, ‘I conduct only when I’m hungry’. And it’s true. He has a deep-freeze. He fills it up and cooks for himself and when it gets down to a certain level, then he thinks ‘Now I might do a concert’.” That

Champion Plays Ravinia

DenisMatsuevCollage

He calls Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin “a big friend of mine.” His heroes are Vladimir Horowitz and star hockey center Sergei Fedorov. Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, who has “epic technique” according to the Boston Globe, is not shy about talking sports. In a 2009 Impromptu, he told WFMT that as a youth in Siberia, he could hardly be kept indoors. He played either soccer or ice hockey “about seven hours a day. Music was second.” Speaking with a gentle Russian growl, he laughs

Passings: Licia Albanese, Carlo Bergonzi

Licia Albanese as Cio-Cio-San in "Madama Butterfly"

He gave more than 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She exceeded 400. Two Italian-born, 20th century opera stars passed away in recent weeks: tenor Carlo Bergonzi and soprano Licia Albanese. Bergonzi in particular had a long performance history in Chicago, making his American debut at Lyric Opera in 1955; while Albanese worked primarily in New York

Why You Should Hear this Composer

Christopher Theofanidis

The glass ceiling between living composers and those of a hundred years ago seems to be splintering. One of the principal agents is Dallas-native Christopher Theofanidis. He is one of the most sought-after composers today, with performances by over seventy orchestras worldwide. While he’s had plenty of attention

CSO Principal talks Elgar and Muti

CSO Principal Cello John Sharp, Madrid, c. Todd Rosenberg

Anyone who has seen Riccardo Muti catch air on the podium, might be hard-pressed to think of him as an old dog. Last spring, the youthful, now 73-year-old conductor demonstrated his willingness to learn new tricks: he led the CSO in his first-ever performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto.

Spanish Fever at Grant Park

Flamenco Dancer

February-March 1875, Paris – Within the span of one month, the Parisians saw the premieres of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole and Bizet’s Carmen. For the audience, there was something different, something exotic about those pieces – eventually people would be whistling them in the streets.

David Robertson Puts Youth in Spotlight

Conductor David Robertson

On Monday evening, David Robertson returns to the Chicago stage, this time with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

There is the notion that some conductors work with youth orchestras while hoping to move on to professional orchestras – not so with David Robertson. He has the big career

Lyric’s New Opera (Just a Peek)

Lyric Opera Music Director, Sir Andrew Davis, c. Todd Rosenberg

Getting beyond “The book was better” – Last week, when Lyric Opera presented a sneak peek at the opera based on Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel “Bel Canto,” general director Anthony Freud quickly closed the door on comparisons to the book.

Addressing a gathering of patrons and members of the media, Mr. Freud shared some of

Ryan Opera Center Sings Puccini, Bizet (video)

LauraJNai

Lyric Opera of Chicago dispatched two of its rising stars to join a worldwide chorus of music-lovers celebrating music on June 21.

June 21 is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year – and for the past 4 years, a day of music in Chicago. Locally the festival is known as Make Music Chicago, though the summer solstice tradition of taking instruments to the streets started in Paris as the Fête de la Musique

Video from Make Music Chicago

Chicago Symphony Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin

Make Music Chicago 2014 organized dozens of performances at Daley Plaza and across the Chicago area on Saturday. The citywide festival joined communities around the world in celebration of music on June 21, the summer solstice. One of the organizers, Kuang-Hao Huang, announced at 10:00 am, “Fiji is 17 hours into their day of music.