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Carl's Morning Quiz
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
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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...
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...
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...
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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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.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
Gaza and southern Israel see an upsurge in violence despite a plea by the UN secretary general for a cessation of hostilities.
Security officials in Ukraine say the Malaysia Airlines jet downed in eastern Ukraine suffered an explosive loss of pressure caused by missile shrapnel.
Conservative MP David Ruffley, who had been criticised after receiving a police caution for common assault, is to retire from Parliament at the next election.
On this edition of Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review with Joel Weisman, thousands of...
Joel Weisman and his panel of journalists discuss former Mayor Richard M. Daley not...
Big plans are in the works for Chicago's riverfront as the mayor unveiled today a $500...