what’s playing now

      View playlists >

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Chime-In. Let us know what you think.Try your luck! Enter Drawings/Contests.

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising
      and sponsorship on WFMT.

      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Check back soon for another quiz question.


      Top Stories

      “Why there aren’t more women on the podiums”

      When conductor Marin Alsop became the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2007, she was the first woman to hold this position with a major American orchestra. She’s also the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, and the first conductor ever to receive a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. I sat down with this trailblazing conductor during rehearsals with the more... more...

      An American Dance Craze Hits Europe

      European music took root in the Americas as the colonies began to expand. But the more enthusiastic cultural exchange arguably occurred on the other side of the Atlantic. Learn more about how early American dance created a craze in Europe. more...

      Thousands Attend Chicago’s 102nd Christmas Tree Lighting

      Thousands gathered on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 to celebrate the 102nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Previously staged in Daley Plaza, the city’s Christmas tree can now be seen at the west entrance of the park, across from the Michigan Avenue and Madison Street intersection. This year’s tree, a 63-foot Colorado blue more... more...

      Quiz: Match the Composer to His Favorite Food

      Some composers ate to live, others lived to eat. Can you match the composer to his favorite food? more...

      View all stories»

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising and sponsorship on WFMT.


      stay in-touch


      Facing the music: Andreas Haefliger

      The German-born Swiss pianist on vinyl’s resurgence, unforgettable Mahler and why he’s better off singing in his head

      How do you typically listen to music?

      I still listen to CDs instead of downloading, preferably over good speakers but occasionally with headphones. I am really interested, however, in the resurgence of vinyl and plan to buy a high-end record player soon. It will be interesting building a new collection again …

      Continue reading...

      Hirda review – a well-drawn chamber opera plays to the home crowd

      Mareel, Lerwick
      This new work from Glagsow’s NOISE, about the drama that ensues when an actor takes up with his brother’s new wife, is an appealing mix of accessible feisty

      Hirda is a Shetland term for wreckage or mess, and there’s hirda of sorts to this new chamber opera, co-composed by Gareth Williams and fiddler Chris Stout to a libretto in broad dialect by Sian Evans. The story involves an actor who comes home to the islands for his brother’s wedding and, wearing a slick suit and with Los Angeles charm, seduces his new sister-in-law. A pair of ghosts circle in the background with unfinished 19th-century business. Whisky is drunk, hirda ensues.

      As a piece of theatre, Hirda is no mess. It was commissioned by the Glasgow company NOISE, who aim to create nimble opera for new audiences. It’s as accessible as it was intended to be: Evans’s libretto is unfussy and uncluttered; and James Robert Carson directs with minimal stage faff. Carson also lets the cast shine: they’re a sparky, vocally ballsy young sextet comprising Laura Margaret Smith, Shuna Scott Sendall, Marie Claire Breen, Douglas Nairne, Andrew Dickinson and Jonathan Best. Characters are well drawn, their chemistry is believable and the accents are valiant. Premiering to a home crowd is the ultimate test, and the jokes (“If du canna get laid in Hamnavoe, du canna get laid at aw”) got genuine laughs in Lerwick.

      Continue reading...

      Opera Zazà review – a knockout performance

      Barbican, London
      Ermonela Jaho was brilliant in the title role, part of a staging that redeemed Leoncavallo’s underappreciated opera about a singer in a French music hall

      Ruggero Leoncavallo thought Zazà, first performed in Milan in 1900, a finer work than Pagliacci, the only one of his operas to maintain a place in the regular repertory. History has generally disagreed with him – until last Friday night, with Opera Rara’s concert performance. It was an absolute stunner.

      Warm-hearted Zazà, a singer in a French provincial music hall, falls for Parisian businessman Milio, initially unaware that he is married. She only gives him up when she encounters his daughter, Toto, and realises that wrecking the marriage will blight the girl’s childhood, as her own was ruined by her father’s desertion. There’s one flaw: Milio, whose ghastly nature is only revealed at the end, is too enigmatic a figure early on for us to fully understand the initial attraction. We wonder why Zazà is still not involved with her worldly ex Cascart, who is now her stage partner and best friend. But there is a superb exposition, worthy of Émile Zola, in which the protagonists gradually detach themselves from a beautifully observed depiction of theatrical life. And the second half trawls Zazà’s anguish with an emotional force that tears you in two.

      Continue reading...

      Read more classical news >

      meet the hosts

      event feature

      Read the biography of host Carl Grapentine and find out more about all WFMT hosts.

      View all Hosts >

      travel with wfmt

      travel feature

      Tour Vienna next May! Join Carl Grapentine in exploring some of his favorite musical sites, attending performances, and sightseeing. Then on to Salzburg!

      travel feature

      Discover WFMT's Classical Italy next May! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive twelve-day classical music lover's journey to "Bella Italia" next May. Imagine staying in the heart of Venice in a restored old abbey and experiencing Donizetti' opera La favorite at the historic La Fenice Opera House!

      travel feature

      Cruise to Alaska and explore the "Frontier State" next July! Join fellow WFMT listeners and discover Alaska's unspoiled beauty and wildlife in its natural habitat on YMT Vacations' 12-day Grand Alaskan Cruise and Tour next July!

      View all Travel >

      new releases

      1615: Gabrieli in Venice

      Choir of King’s College KGS-0012

      Rate it >

      Saint-Saens: Violin Concertos

      Analekta AN 2 8770

      Rate it >

      Cimarosa: Overtures

      Naxos 8.573459

      Rate it >

      Julia Lezhneva Sings Handel

      Decca 478 6766

      Rate it >

      Offenbach: Overtures & Ballets

      Chandos CHSA-5160

      Rate it >

      View all New Releases >