what’s playing now

      View playlists >

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising
      and sponsorship on WFMT.

      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: I was born on this date in 1949 in Little Company of Mary Hospital on 95th Street on the south side. In what municipality is that hospital located? Answer >>


      Top Stories

      12 Polish Composers You Should Know (Who Aren’t Chopin)

      Everyone loves the music of Fryderyk Chopin, Poland’s most well-known composer. But, how many other Polish composers do you know? Learn more about Poland’s best composers from one of Poland’s best composers: Marta Ptaszyńska more...

      QUIZ: Can you tell the difference between Chinese foods and instruments?

      Can you tell the difference between traditional Chinese instruments and food based upon their names? Take this quiz and find out. more...

      QUIZ: Match the Film to the Score

      How well do you know movie music? Listen to the excerpts from the following famous film scores, and see if you can match the music to the correct movie. more...

      Classical Music’s Most Memorable Moments on Sesame Street

      Whether teaching the ABCs or addressing decidedly more grown-up topics, Sesame Street has expanded children's minds and hearts since its debut nearly fifty years ago. Many musicians have visited Sesame Street, introducing people of all ages to great music. There have been many inspiring musical moments on Sesame Street, but here are some of WFMT's favorites! more...

      View all stories»

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising and sponsorship on WFMT.


      stay in-touch


      Harvey, Poppe, Saariaho, Nunes: Scherben CD review – love, light and spiky austerity

      Ensemble Musikfabrik

      It’s hard to imagine the Cologne contemporary music collective Ensemble Musikfabrik deliberately timing a release for Valentine’s Day, so let’s just call it a coincidence that love and light are the themes behind this latest programme from their excellent Westdeutscher Rundfunk radio concert series. The playing is as committed, frank and business-like as ever. Jonathan Harvey’s Sringara Chaconne glows and shimmers in a graceful exploration of Hindu notions of erotic love. Nimble solo lines from cellist Dirk Wietheger work like a flashlight darting about a vast frescoed cathedral, illuminating glittering dark corners in Kaija Saariaho’s cello concerto Notes on Light. The title track is Nonne Poppe’s Scherben – the German word for “shards”, describing a spasmodic musical prism of clinking little fragments. It’s a spiky listen, but it works. The last work on the disc is Emmanuel Nunes’s Chessed I, an austere 20-minute score from 1979 that lacks the sensual magnetism of the rest of the programme. The performance is impressive, though, particularly the fearless grit of the string playing.

      Continue reading...

      Ravel: Complete Piano Music CD review – Chamayou is refreshing but too direct

      Bertrand Chamayou

      French pianist Bertrand Chamayou has the right pedigree for Ravel: he studied with teachers at the Paris Conservatoire, whose lineage goes straight back to the composer, and it shows in the rock-solid technique and unfussy, unwavering interpretations he brings to this collection. There’s a confident swagger to the virtuosity of Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, and Chamayou articulates bittersweet melodies such as Pavane pour une Infante Défunte with striking straightforwardness. On the one hand, it’s refreshing to hear Ravel done so firmly, with zero hint of airiness, but the direct touch and staunch tempos end up leaving me a bit cold. Where’s the mystery in Gaspard de la Nuit when every note is so plainly defined? Where’s the majesty in the Sonatine when the cross rhythms are so literal? Mirroirs has more flux and Jeux d’Eau is relatively gentle, but it all feels fairly safe, measurable and sensible.

      Continue reading...

      Scelsi: Complete Flute Music CD review – physical and voluptuous

      Claudia Giottoli
      (Brilliant Classics)

      Giacinto Scelsi is one of classical music’s great eccentrics: a self-taught Roman playboy count who flirted with various eastern philosophies and decided his music was an intermediary between humans and their gods. His flute works mostly date from the 1950s and are either preoccupied with interpersonal relationships, for example the fluttering Ko-Lho duo for flute and clarinet, or with circular structures, such as the ceremonial gongs and spacial play of Hyxos. This disc features dauntless performances from Claudia Giottoli, who makes a big, breathy, wholesome kind of sound on the flute – playing in which the percussive noise of finger hitting keypad is as audible as any note. I like the physicality and the voluptuousness of it: it feels real, not too manicured and exactly right for a composer who was obsessed by the holistic nature of tone. “It contains everything,” he once wrote about what constitutes sound. “That’s how it becomes great, part of the cosmos, even when it’s minimal.”

      Continue reading...

      Read more classical news >

      meet the hosts

      event feature

      Read the biography of host Kerry Frumkin 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

      Cruise along the Rhine River thru Germany and The Netherlands next September! Join Kerry Frumkin and fellow WFMT listeners "River Cruising along the Rhine" in the heart of Germany and The Netherlands on YMT Vacations' 14-day Rhine River Cruise and Tour next September.

      travel feature

      Embark on a music-lovers cruise! Join Peter van de Graaff on an exclusive 10 day classical music lovers cruise on Oceania Cruises' Marina to Spain and Portugal.

      View all Travel >

      new releases

      Brahms: Piano Trio & Quartet

      Harmonia Mundi HMC-902222

      Rate it >

      Beethoven: Overtures & Triple Concerto

      Sony Classical 88883763622

      Rate it >

      Images from the South

      Naxos 8.573442

      Rate it >

      John Rutter: The Gift of Life

      Collegium COLCD-138

      Rate it >

      Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection

      Decca B0024411-02

      Rate it >

      View all New Releases >