WFMT celebrates ARTS MONTH Fridays in January 2016: A four-week exploration of the connection between music, the visual arts, literature, theater, and dance

By Julia Maish |

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CHICAGO – January 8, 2016 – WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts radio station, will devote four Fridays in January 2016 to the relationship between music and other art forms, such as painting, poetry, and dance. What music has inspired great visual, dramatic, and literary artists of the past and present? WFMT hosts and producers explore these topics and others throughout the day on Friday, January 8, 15, 22, and 29, and audiences can also enjoy extensive related digital content throughout the month at

“The influence of great music on practitioners of the fine arts is a theme WFMT has long wanted to highlight,” said WFMT Program Director David Polk. “We are fortunate that there is such a rich and diverse arts scene in Chicago, with so many musicians, writers, performers, directors and others willing to share their valuable insights with us.”

Friday, January 8:
WFMT’s hosts open the four-week festival by exploring the correlation between music and the visual arts, as eighth blackbird, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s ensemble-in-residence, performs music from its latest album in this live broadcast from the MCA at 8:00 pm. At 10:00 pm, Relevant Tones with Seth Boustead looks at “Synesthesia in Music and Visual Art,” to explore how color and visuals affect composers of today.

Friday, January 15:
As WFMT examines the relationship between music and literature, audiences will hear excerpts from interviews with several well-known writers, some of whom are based in Chicago. Also enjoy some gems from the WFMT Archives/Studs Terkel Archive, featuring Truman Capote, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, Carl Sandburg, and more.

Friday, January 22:
Related to the connection between music and theater, WFMT presents interviews with a variety of notables in the Chicago theater scene.  Also featured: a possible live in studio performance by Doug Peck and Bethany Thomas; music inspired by Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Greek Tragedies, Goethe, Commedia dell’arte, and more; and music for the theater by Copland, Purcell, Beethoven, Wagenaar, Kraus, Mozart, Bernstein, Shostakovich, and others.

Friday, January 29:
WFMT concludes its Arts Month celebration with music and readings related to the musicality of dance. Dancers, choreographers, musicians, and those who have dedicated their lives to dance will help to introduce music that has been important to them.  Audiences will hear from choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, and Jessica Lange, as well as ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn. Representing Chicago’s dance community will be Lane Alexander, founder of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project; Dame Libby Komaiko, founder of the Ensemble Español; Hema Rajagopalan of Natya Dance Theatre; Glenn Edgerton, artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Ashley Wheater, artistic director of Joffrey Ballet; and many more. Music heard throughout the day will range from Tchaikovsky to a piece by former Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead composer-in-residence Anna Clyne.

About WFMT
WFMT is one of the nation’s most respected classical music radio stations, reaching an audience of 240,000 monthly local listeners and an ever-increasing international audience at, and also via Appleand Android mobile devices. WFMT showcases superlative programs, concerts, and live events you cannot hear anywhere else – broadcasts from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and many more. The WFMT Radio Network is a leading producer and syndicator of a diverse selection of outstanding musical series, includingExploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network. Connect with WFMT on Facebook and Twitter.