what’s playing now

      View playlists >

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Who am I? I am 40 years old today. I began studying violin at the age of 5 and practiced 7 hours a day. At the age of 16 I began winning major international competitions and recording prizes. Since 2005, I have been a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Due to an injury I didn't play much for 4 years until returning to the concert stage in 2012. Last year I gave a recital at Ravinia which was re-broadcast last week on WFMT. Who am I? Answer >>

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising
      and sponsorship on WFMT.


      Chicago Classical Calendar

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

      Top Stories

      Sax and the City

      From Charlie Parker to Kenny G, John Coltrane to Clarence Clemons, the sultry sounds of the saxophone have been a mainstay for American music. Many have praised the saxophone's vocalism, range of color, and expressivity. Nevertheless, it's been a tough road for classical soloists. more...

      When Pink Floyd Meets Mingus and Bach

      It's hard to describe Chicago composer/guitarist Jason Seed, other than as a well-rounded musician. As such, he delights in music and doesn't worry so much about iTunes categories. Jason Seed's credits include jazz bands, rock bands, collaborations with Baroque Band and Bill Frisell. He's also been around the "new music" scene more...

      Passings: Licia Albanese, Carlo Bergonzi

      He gave more than 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She exceeded 400. Two Italian-born, 20th century opera stars passed away in recent weeks: tenor Carlo Bergonzi and soprano Licia Albanese. Bergonzi in particular had a long performance history in Chicago, making his American debut at Lyric Opera in 1955; while Albanese worked primarily in New York more...

      Video: William Bolcom and Grant Park

      It's fitting that the Grant Park Music Festival should commission a piece by William Bolcom to celebrate its 80th anniversary. The two have had a long relationship. In fact, it was at a 1986 Grant Park Orchestra performance of Bolcom's "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" that then Lyric Opera General Director Ardis Krainik more...

      View all stories»

      Thanks to our sponsors:

      Learn more about advertising and sponsorship on WFMT.


      stay in-touch


      Michael Houstoun performs Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin for the Edinburgh international festival

      In this exclusive video for the Guardian, New Zealand pianist Michael Houstoun introduces Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin his piano suite dedicated to friends who were killed in the first world war. Houstoun performs the 5th movement from the suite, a menuet, dedicated to Jean Dreyfus.

      Produced in association with the Edinburgh Film Company and the Edinburgh international festival.

      More videos in this series:
      Collegium Vocale Gent perform Bach
      The Hebrides Ensemble perform Stravinsky Continue reading...

      Wagner Without Words review Llr Williams' entrancing, technically superb set of piano works

      Llr Williams

      As Llr Williams points out in his introduction to this collection, Wagner wrote more original piano music than is realised almost two hours of it in all. He includes six pieces here, only two of which are really substantial a rather long-winded Fantasy from 1831, when Wagner was 18 and clearly in thrall to Beethoven, and the much more cogent and interesting Sonata for the Book of Mrs MW of 1853. MW was Mathilde Wesendonck, whom Wagner had met the previous year; the single-movement sonata that he dedicated to her was composed just before he started work on Das Rheingold, yet some of its chromaticisms look even farther forward, to the world of the most significant work that Mathilde would inspire, Tristan und Isolde.

      Williams interleaves these and the other, slighter original pieces a Song without Words, the little set of Zurich Waltzes, a couple of Albumblätter between the operatic transcriptions that are the main business of his discs. All Wagner's major stage works are represented, from Rienzi to Parsifal, though only two pieces are based on parts of the Ring. Most of the transcriptions are by Liszt, but two of Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung, and the Prelude to Die Meistersinger originated with Glenn Gould, who arranged the music for two pianos, the second of which he overdubbed in the studio; Williams does the same, but refines them even more, adding an extra episode to the Götterdämmerung extract. He is also responsible for the sequence from Parsifal a 20-minute, three-movement suite that consists of the Transformation Music from the first act, part of Parsifal's encounter with the Flower Maidens from the second, and the Good Friday Music that ends the third.

      Continue reading...

      Prom 44: Melbourne SO/Davis/Mørk review vibrant musical colour

      Royal Albert Hall, London
      Andrew Davis brought his trademark silkiness to Strauss's Don Juan, while Truls Mørk urged the orchestra to keep up during a muscular performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto

      In a Proms lineup stuffed with far-flung orchestras, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra gets the prize for the furthest. But, though Australia's oldest orchestra was making its festival debut, its recently appointed chief conductor, Sir Andrew Davis, is one of the Proms' most familiar faces. The programme played to both his strengths and the orchestra's.

      Strauss's Don Juan brought some springy playing as the introduction and main theme scampered by, but the violin tone broadened to a trademark Davis silkiness whenever there was a chance, linking the swashbuckling to the slower seduction music. The brass could be over-enthusiastic early on, but the horns' ringing entry before the conclusion was spot on.

      Continue reading...

      Read more classical news >

      meet the hosts

      event feature

      Read the biography of host Suzanne Nance and find out more about all WFMT hosts.

      View all Hosts >

      travel with wfmt

      travel feature

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

      travel feature

      Join Lisa Flynn for a tour of Scotland.

      travel feature

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

      View all Travel >

      new releases

      Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

      Chandos CHSA-5145

      Rate it >

      Latvian Radio Choir: Sacred Love

      Ondine ODE 1226-2

      Rate it >

      Stanislav Khristenko: Fantasies

      Steinway & Sons 30032

      Rate it >

      Fifth House Ensemble: Excelsior

      Cedille CDR 90000 148

      Rate it >

      Jazz Meets Classical Song

      Cedille CDR 90000 149

      Rate it >

      View all New Releases >