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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Today is Riccardo Muti's 73rd birthda--born in Naples in 1941. Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and one of the most honored and respected conductors in the world, Maestro Muti is considered one of the leading interpreters of the music of Giuseppe Verdi. How did Maestro Muti celebrate Verdi's 200th birthday last October? Answer >>

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      Chicago Classical Calendar

      Use the calendar below to browse upcoming
      Chicago-area concerts.

      Top Stories

      Summer Migration, Payoff for Chicago

      If you've ever seen a nature documentary about the Serengeti, you might have some sense of the migratory patterns of classical musicians. There are music centers, like watering holes, to which players journey in order to refresh, commune with others, and nurture the young. The Aspen Music Festival is one of those places. One only has to read the biographies of Chicago's top musicians more...

      Chicago’s Joan Harris to Receive National Medal of Arts

      On Monday, July 28th, the President and First Lady will recognize Joan Harris for her tireless support of the arts. It was announced on Tuesday that she would be a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. The visage of Joan Harris is a familiar one around the lobbies of the Civic Opera House and Symphony more...

      From Soviet Refugee to iTunes Favorite

      When Yevgeny Kutik was a boy, his mother declared, "Enough." She packed up her family and left the Soviet Union. There wasn't any one reason. It was a series of reasons: Yevgeny was bullied in Kindergarten; she was laid off because her employers exceeded their "quota of Jews"; her older son had picked up racial slurs at school more...

      Lyric’s New Opera (Just a Peek)

      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 more...

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      Prom 14: BBCNOW/Fischer review astonishing virtuosity pushed to the limits

      Astonishing flautist Emmanuel Pahud performs in premiere of Simon Holt's concerto, Morpheus Wakes
      Royal Albert Hall, London

      Simon Holt's collaboration with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, since he became its composer-in-association in 2008, has resulted in some of his most striking recent scores. The latest of them to be premiered is a concerto, Morpheus Wakes, which Holt composed in 2011 for the principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic, Emmanuel Pahud.

      This 15-minute portrait of the shape-shifting Greek god of sleep, first "thawing out of a slow, dark-hued and quite sparse permafrost-covered landscape" and later "hankering for release", according to Holt, pushes even Pahud's astonishing virtuosity to the limit. In the first of the two movements, he plays an alto flute, often at the very top of its range, before taking up the standard instrument for the second, while the two flutes in the orchestra (which lacks violins) extend that sound world with piccolo and bass flute.

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      Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria review a tightly focused performance

      Iford Manor, Bradford-on-Avon
      Audiences are transported back in time for Monteverdi's opera, performed with breathtaking musical intensity

      Experiencing opera at Iford is always an intimately involving affair, but early Italian opera suits the cloistered space so well that the audience feels transported back through the centuries.

      Just as effortlessly, director Justin Way and his designer Kimm Kovac achieve a timeless quality for their vision of Monteverdi's opera, setting it a century ago with the connotations of all-out war, and invoking both the sense of Penelope's despair at the loss of her Ulysses, and the hope implicit in her rock-like constancy. Rowan Hellier's fine mezzo embodies the dignity of this suffering in a tightly focused performance, while Jonathan McGovern's burnished baritone embraces both the heroism of Ulysses and the emotional torture of this culminating episode of his odyssey.

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      Why it's do-or-die for classical music at the Bristol Proms

      A broken cello string at last year's Bristol Proms proved that it's possible for classical music to recover the raucous spontaneity of past centuries. Artistic director Tom Morris explains why this year's edition is looking to technology to provide the thrills

      A revolution is afoot in classical music. You can feel its pull in the concert-going world, like the irresistible gravity of a planet. People are bored of being bored in concert halls. Put another way, the classical music industry is grasping a cold reality: if it doesn't wake up to the challenge of attracting a new audiences, live concerts will end up confined to the garden parties of oligarchs, and the golden age of the classical album will die on a digital skewer.

      That's why the BBC Proms has transformed itself from a magnificent Reithian culture castle into a global-music event of dazzling range and brand impact. That's why the London Sinfonietta, the OAE and a host of other innovators have ripped up the concert rulebook in order to strip classical music of its Teflon suit of pretension. And that's why last year's inaugural Bristol Proms released a wild range of digital/classical experimentation and managed to create such a lively atmosphere that a maverick physicist felt it was appropriate to attempt to crowd-surf during the Hallelujah Chorus.

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      travel feature

      Join Peter Van De Graaff for a trip to Montreal & Quebec City this September!

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      Join Lisa Flynn for a tour of Scotland.

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      Join Peter Van De Graaff this October for the treasures of Cuba's rich culture of music, dance, art, and history!

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      new releases

      Godard: Piano Concertos

      Hyperion CDA-68043

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      Prokofiev: Violin Music

      Hyperion CDA-67514

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      Beethoven: Missa Solemnis

      LPO 0077

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      Beethoven: Symphony No 9

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 0591

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      Myung-Whun Chung: Piano Encores

      ECM New Series 2342

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