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      “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...

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      Philharmonia/Salonen review – formidable dexterity in a bizarrely uneven concert

      Royal Festival Hall, London
      The skilled conductor just about kept control of Lang Lang’s wayward piano and, despite a small chorus, actors were exquisite alongside a ravishing score

      An all-Grieg programme, this bizarrely uneven concert marked the start of Lang Lang’s short series with the Philharmonia under Esa-Pekka Salonen.

      Next week, the flamboyant Chinese pianist plays works by Mozart and Prokofiev, the latter a composer whose angular modernism suits Lang Lang’s percussive style and can also rein in his tendency towards histrionics. His performance of the Grieg Concerto, however, was an erratic effort, thunderously delivered in places as if it were by Liszt or Rachmaninov, and dramatised to the limit.

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      Readers recommend: songs that command or instruct | Peter Kimpton

      Look sharp! Get on it! Don’t stop! This week it’s time to name songs that, whether in title or lyrics, employ the imperative form. Now get started … please!

      “He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command,” said that silver-tongued back-stabber Niccolò Machiavelli. “Your power of command with simple language was one of the magnificent things of our century,” added Charles Bukowski. “Do as I say, not as I do,” floats out that ancient phrase possibly from John Heywood’s 1546 A dialogue Conteinyng the Nomber in Effect of All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue - “It is as folke dooe, and not as folke say.” Or not quoting any manufacturer of training shoes, you might just want to stick to simply “Do it”. Who said that one? Well, he’s a typically understated message from actor Shia LaBeouf:

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      Rachmaninov Symphony No 2 CD review – ebullient and coherent

      Litton/Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

      Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony is often accused of being gargantuan, schmaltzy and overblown. In Andrew Litton’s new recording with the Bergen Philharmonic, it sounds gargantuan, schmaltzy – and just blown enough, if you like your Rachmaninov big and extrovert. Litton makes it work, perhaps because underneath the sumptuousness, the music’s moving parts remain rhythmic and light on their feet; perhaps because he seems able to see past the work’s vastness even while he revels in it. The recording marks the end of his 12-year tenure with the Bergen, and the orchestra gleams under his baton. The woozy violin slides between notes in the first and third movements won’t be to everyone’s taste, by any means, and they are perhaps a little doggedly over-applied, but Litton wraps everything up in an ebullient and coherent finale. There’s also Lyadov’s miniature tone poem The Enchanted Lake – a delicate, translucent score, vividly played.

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

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      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!

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      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!

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      new releases

      Schubert: String Quintet

      Azica ACD-71304

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      Music of George Bristow

      New World Records 80768-2

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      Music of Stacy Garrop

      Cedille CDR 90000 160

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      Valentina Lisitsa: Nuances

      Decca 478 8435

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      Stephen Hough: Scriabin & Janacek

      Hyperion CDA-67895

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