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: The recently retired principal horn player of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dale Clevenger, was born on this date in Chattanooga, TN in 1940; Dale is 75 today. Who was the Music Director of the CSO who hired Dale as principal horn? Answer >>


      Top Stories

      Countertenor David Daniels on Finding His Voice, Finding Himself, and Being Married by Justice Ginsburg

      David Daniels is “the most acclaimed countertenor of the day, perhaps the best ever,” to use the words of the New York Times. Though many know him best for portraying some of opera’s greatest heroes from Julius Caesar to Orpheus, he is also passionate about civil rights. more...

      QUIZ: What American Composer Are You?

      Take this quiz to find out which dean of American music you're most like! Are you sparse and minimal like Philip Glass? Or do you prefer the sis-boom-bah John Philip Sousa? Do you prefer Samuel Barber's sonic landscapes of America, or Scott Joplin's Ragtime portraits of American life? more...

      Our Country, ‘Tis of Thee: How Marian Anderson Broke Boundaries for Singers of Color

      Younger generations of Americans take it for granted that the United States has been legally desegregated. But, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, segregation was the norm, including in concert halls across America. more...

      15 Queer Composers You Should Know

      June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. We celebrate the music of LGBTQ composers all year long since it’s hard to escape a concert season without hearing works by Handel, Tchaikovsky, Britten, and others. But we wanted to recognize a few notable figures, past and present, who do did not or do not identify as heterosexual. Some more... more...

      View all stories»

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising and sponsorship on WFMT.


      stay in-touch


      Pete Townsend: 'Music has always suffered from being tied to politics or religion'

      As he releases a version of Quadrophenia performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Who’s guitarist explains that his band were never really anti-establishment

      Time can play strange tricks on even the most rebellious rock’n’roller. Fifty years ago, Pete Townshend was the voice of a generation of angry young men: popularising the power chord, smashing guitars onstage and articulating the essence of youth in the era after an entire generation of young men had been lost to war. Now, having just turned 70 – and having headlined last weekend’s Glastonbury festival – he has released a “symphonised” version of one of the Who’s classic albums, Quadrophenia, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which is to be staged on Sunday at the Royal Albert Hall.

      It’s tempting to infer that the angry young man, who hoped he’d die before he got old, has, in his dotage, become an upstanding member of the establishment. Townshend dismisses that suggestion as “archaic, insulting and extraordinary dumb”, but there’s a smile on his face.

      Continue reading...

      O’Brien: Ellangowan Overture etc review – distinctly routine

      Liepaja SO/Mann

      (Toccata Classics)

      Toccata Classics is making a bit of a thing out of the music of Charles O’Brien (1882-1968). It has already embarked on a survey of O’Brien’s piano music, and now it is planning similar coverage of his orchestral works.

      Though he was born in Eastbourne, O’Brien’s family was Scottish and he grew up in Edinburgh, where he was taught composition by Hamish MacCunn, composer of the overture The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, and then studied at Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin, before settling again in Edinburgh, where he worked as an organist and conductor. Whether O’Brien’s own music really merits revival seems arguable on the evidence of this disc. Ellengowan, the 1914 concert overture inspired by one of Scott’s Waverley novels, would hardly have surprised Mendelssohn, while the symphony dates from a few years later, but seems oblivious to anything that had happened in music since early Brahms. Perhaps a top-flight orchestra could make both pieces more texturally alluring, but the performances by the Latvian Liepaja Symphony under Paul Mann are distinctly routine.

      Continue reading...

      Alvin Lucier: Broken Line review – intent, evocative performances

      Trio Nexus


      The notion of recording Alvin Lucier’s music is an odd one. Lucier – veteran American experimentalist, doyen of sonic trickery – is obsessed with what sound does in space. He bounces sine waves off walls and teapots, and generally mucks about with our perception of where noises come from and how. A Lucier performance is as much installation as concert. How to convey that on disc? The excellent Trio Nexus manage it here, with evocative performances full of detail and imagination. Music for Pure Waves, Bass Drums and Acoustic Pendulums (1980) captures the daft satisfaction of ping-pong balls papping cross rhythms against vibrating drum skins; Carbon Copies (1989) is an uncanny play on kitchen noises and bird song; and In Risonanza (1982), synthesiser sine waves cause cymbals and oil barrels to resonate, and the effect here is mellow and sonorous. Broken Line (2006) is a relatively conventional trio in which a flautist plays gentle glissandos against vibraphone and piano long notes. It’s the most “recordable” work on the disc, but, in the end, its directness makes it the least magic.

      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 >

      wfmt events

      event feature

      Hidden Gems with Lawrence Rapchak and Peter van de Graaff.

      View all Events >

      travel with wfmt

      travel feature

      WFMT Santa Fe Opera Tour Join Carl Grapentine as we tour one of our favorite domestic opera destinations.

      travel feature

      Discover the Best of Scandinavia this August! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive classical music journey.

      travel feature

      Join Bill McGlaughlin for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Budapest, Vienna and Prague!

      travel feature

      New Orleans and Western Caribbean Your vacation begins in fabulous New Orleans!

      View all Travel >

      new releases

      Sugarloaf Mountain

      Avie AV-2329

      Rate it >

      Glass: Piano Music

      Decca 478 8079 (2 CDs)

      Rate it >

      Gidon Kremer: New Seasons

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 4817

      Rate it >

      Keith Jarrett: Concertos

      ECM B0022987-02

      Rate it >

      American Chamber Music

      Hyperion CDA-68094

      Rate it >

      View all New Releases >