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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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      Die Fledermaus; Jerusalem Quartet; András Schiff – review

      Britten theatre; St John’s Smith Square, London; Assembly Rooms, Bath
      With John Copley directing tomorrow’s stars, RCM’s Strauss was a class act. But András Schiff was out of this world

      Die Fledermaus, done well, which it rarely is, can offer a brief, brittle distraction from dark days. Exquisitely awful puns and farcical disguise – the enraged wife who turns herself into a mystery “Hungarian”, the prison governor who pretends to be a French chevalier but can only muster the words “la plume de ma tante” and “prêt à manger” – are whisked into a featherlight Viennese froth of a score by “the waltz king” Johann Strauss II. From the moment the Royal College of Music’s opera orchestra struck up the opening notes of the overture, supple and brisk with a quicksilver scurry of strings, there was cause for optimism. The conductor, Michael Rosewell, whose career started at the Vienna State Opera, is no mean waltzer himself and twirled his players along with him in style.

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      Brahms, Bruckner: Motets CD review – an illuminating double bill

      (Signum Classics)

      Bruckner was a man of faith, Brahms was a humanist but still turned to the Lutheran Bible and liturgy for texts. Both wrote devotional motets informed by an interest in plainchant and early Renaissance polyphony. The choices here include an Ave Maria by each, illuminating to compare: the Brahms, for women’s voices, has a soaring simplicity while the Bruckner setting (one of three he wrote), for seven-part mixed choir, is richly expressive. Other featured works include Brahms’s a cappella Three Motets Op 110 and Bruckner’s Tota pulchra es, Locus iste and Virga Jesse floruit. The dense harmonies suit this well-established professional choir perfectly. Were any extra reason needed, a portion of the proceeds of the disc go to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of, among others, Tenebrae’s co-founder Barbara Pollock.

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      Tchaikovsky, Smetena: Piano Trios CD review – sparkling and heartfelt

      Trio con Brio Copenhagen

      Grief and anguish unite these lyrically expressive trios. Tchaikovsky subtitled his “In memory of a great artist”, his friend and mentor Nikolai Rubinstein, while poor Smetana wrote his after the death from scarlet fever of his four-year-old daughter Bedřiška. But that’s where their similarity ends. Tchaikovsky’s trio is monumental, unique in the repertoire; Trio con Brio Copenhagen scale its heights with the verve their name suggests, pianist Jens Elvekjaer sparkling in the brilliant set of 11 variations central to the piece. In contrast, the Smetana is brief but deeply heartfelt, the beauty of its bleak majesty perfectly captured by the Danish players. Recommended.

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      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!

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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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