Every year WFMT is proud to bring you live broadcasts featuring some of today’s most sought-after artists. Enjoy listening to highlights from the best live performances from the WFMT studios in 2017, and be sure to stay tuned for another great year of broadcasts from our studios and beyond.
Danish String Quartet
Frederik Øland, Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, Asbjørn Nørgaard, and Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin – known collectively as the Danish String Quartet – have described their ensemble with these words: “Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did.” Sometimes, of course, they revel in quintets, too, as we heard when they were joined by Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen to perform some Shostakovich on Impromptu.
String Quartet No. 7 – Op. 59, No. 1, Movement 3, by Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Quintet in G minor – Op. 57, ‘Scherzo,’ by Dmitri Shostakovich
Tenor Joseph Calleja
Maltese tenor Jospeh Calleja joined us for a special Valentine’s Day edition of Impromptu while he was in town to sing the role of Don José in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Carmen. Hear him sing “The Flower Song” from Bizet’s opera, a selection from Verdi’s Macbeth, and the well-loved cabaret classic, “La Vie en rose,” below.
“The Flower Song” from “Carmen,” by Georges Bizet
Macduff’s Soliloquy from “Macbeth,” by Guiseppe Verdi
“La Vie en rose,” by Édith Piaf
The 2017 Grammy Honorees
The 2017 Grammy season was an exciting one for Chicago chamber music with Third Coast Percussion, the Lincoln Trio, and Spektral Quartet securing three of the five nominations for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance with Third Coast Percussion bringing home the win. Hear all three ensembles below.
Piano Trio, by Rebecca Clarke (Lincoln Trio)
“Mallet Quartet” from “Music for Pieces of Wood,” by Steve Reich (Third Coast Percussion)
String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 7 by Arnold Schoenberg (Spektral Quartet)
Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues
On a summer evening in 1966, conductor Seiji Ozawa told the blues musicians of Siegel-Schwall, “I’d like your band to sit in with my band…” And so emerged a unique, musical mashup of Blues and Classical. Inspired by Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, William Russo, Mozart, and virtuosity from many cultures, Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues continues to break new ground in its 30th year of innovation. Hear Siegel joined by Jaime Gorgojo, Chihsuan Yang, Dave Moss, and Jocelyn Butler-Shoulders in a set of original works.
Missing Persons Blues – Op. 26, Italian Shuffle, Angel Food Cake, Counter Intuitive – Op. 24, Pt. 1, Raw Umber – Op. 15, Slow Indigo – Op. 16, Complimentary Colors – Op. 17
American String Quartet with Salman Rushdie
String Quartet in B-flat Major – Op. 130, Movement 1, by Ludwig van Beethoven
Excerpts from Suite on “The Enchantress from Florence,” by Paul Cantelon
TenThing Brass Ensemble
The ten women of tenThing, the Norwegian brass sensation, spent a day in Chicago as they traveled from coast to coast of the United States, and made a visit to the WFMT studios. Hear them play Bernstein and Grieg.
“Tonight” from A West Side Story, by Bernstein, Leonard
Gjendine’s Lullaby, Op. 6, No. 19; March of the Trolls, Op. 54, No. 3, by Edvard Grieg
The Knights returned to the WFMT studios before a performance at Ravinia featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Hear them play beloved works by Mozart and Dvořák below, as well as a new piece by Siamak Aghaei.
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“Song to the Moon” from Rusalka, by Antonín Dvořák
“Ascending Bird,” by Siamak Aghaei and Colin Jacobsen
Dover String Quartet
From up and coming to one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world, the Dover Quartet joined us on Live from WFMT to perform the works of Schumann, Bartok, and Tchaikovsky.
String Quartet No. 2 in F Major – Op. 41, No. 2, by Robert Schumann
String Quartet No. 1, by Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Fifth House Ensemble
Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble has been praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Committed to innovative programming and educational outreach, the ensemble presents performances in traditional and untraditional venues and establishes partnerships with educational institutions and regularly collaborates with artists of other disciplines. They returned to the WFMT with guitarist Jason Vieaux.
“Low Country Haze,” by Dan Visconti
“In A Sentimental Mood,” by Ellington, Duke
Café Music, Movement 1 – Allegro, by Paul Schoenfield
Music of the Baroque Brass Ensemble
For almost 40 years, holiday concerts with Music of the Baroque have been a Chicago tradition. This year, the Music of the Baroque Brass ensemble visited WFMT's Levin studio to share some selections from MOB's 2017 holiday concert which you can stream below.