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December 2018
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Artur Rodzinski, A Fire Breathing Maestro


Tune in for two fascinating documentaries. Polish-American conductor Artur Rodziński is remembered for his fiery temperament on and off the podium. Stories abound of his having kept a loaded pistol in his pocket. Some rumors, likely apocryphal, go so far as to claim that he once

Muti in Conversation with Andrew Patner

CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, c. Todd Rosenberg

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director talks about the Verdi he has not conducted, Richard Strauss works he plans to add to his repertoire, and the role of principal players in an ensemble. Hear the conversation on Monday’s edition of Critical Thinking with Andrew Patner.

Riccardo Muti leads the final CSO

Music’s Fathers

Sergei Rachmaninoff with granddaughter Sophie

WFMT honors fatherhood this weekend with opera, film music, and one artist’s journey to connect with his late dad. View an online photo exhibition of musical dads and their children and grandchildren, including Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Jean Sibelius, Sergei Prokofiev, and Richard Strauss.

Opera Singers As Motivational Speakers?

Eric Owens and Ana Maria Martinez addressing high school students, c. Andrew Cioffi

Lyric Opera’s new ambassadors are delivering a message that goes deeper than listening to music: art can heal a community. On their first day, Lyric Opera’s newly named community ambassadors burned the script on typical in-school performances, and the kids are listening.

Web Exclusive: Inside Parsifal

Director John Caird

Lyric Opera of Chicago gets set for Round 3, their third production of the 2013-2014 season. It seems no LOC season is complete without at least one of the German composer’s operas/music dramas/or stage-consecrating festival plays, as he referred to this one. We’re talking about Richard Wagner’s final opus, Parsifal.

Director John Caird and designer Johan Engels underwent an intense process together, grappling with the many layers contained within the score

Music that Changed the World

Photo of Igor Stravinsky from a 1910 postcard

There is little debate among music-lovers that The Rite of Spring tops the list of pieces that changed the world, not chronologically, or necessarily in degree of importance, but in its ability to evoke discussion and yet another re-telling of the riot that erupted at its premiere

Beyond Tristan

Portrait of Richard Wagner, Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1882

See the WFMT web exclusive video on the Chicago Symphony’s examination of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.”

Forbidden Love on Tuesday Night Opera

Richard Wagner, 1861

A Wagner opera based on Shakespeare?? Yes! But, adapted to his own libretto (as were all of Wagner’s operas). You will not want miss this ultra-rare opportunity to hear Wagner’s more…

Die Meistersinger Comes to Lyric Opera of Chicago

Photo by Robert Kusel

Ever the radical, Wagner must have amused himself, poking fun at the musical establishment. He sidestepped the mythology and magic of his other works to write a romantic comedy. Die more…

From one ordinary opera goer to another

All this month on WFMT we have been exploring the music and complicated personality of Richard Wagner. As comedic musicologist (or musicological comedian) Anna Russell so often said, Wagner’s Ring more…