WFMT Classical Conversations: Approaching Ali with D.J. Sparr and Soloman Howard

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Photo: Scott Suchman

Join WFMT on Thursday, September 9 at 12:00 pm CT for a Classical Conversation presented in connection with MUHAMMAD ALI, a new four-part documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and co-directed by Sarah Burns and David McMahon. The legendary boxer, who “floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee,” inspired the opera Approaching Ali by composer D.J. Sparr. The work is based on Davis Miller’s 1996 book The Tao of Muhammad Ali.

WFMT General Manager George Preston will interview Sparr and lead Soloman Howard, who will discuss the challenges of telling the story of this larger-than-life person in an opera format, and how Muhammad Ali transformed their lives and world. MUHAMMAD ALI premieres on all WTTW platforms on September 19.

This event is free but RSVP is required.

The WTTW presentation of MUHAMMAD ALI is made possible, in part, by Binny’s Beverage Depot. Major support comes from Rita and John Canning, Marshall Field V, Denny and Sandy Cummings, Sylvia Furner, the Mary and Mark Hoppe Family, Larry and Mary Mages, Catherine M. and Frederick H. Waddell, and WTTW Members.

Corporate funding for MUHAMMAD ALI was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by David M. Rubenstein. Major funding was also provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by The Better Angels Society and by its members Alan and Marcia Docter; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tudor Jones; The Fullerton Family Charitable Fund; Gilchrist and Amy Berg; The Brooke Brown Barzun Philanthropic Foundation, The Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation and The Augusta Brown Holland Philanthropic Foundation; Perry and Donna Golkin; John and Leslie McQuown; John and Catherine Debs; Fred and Donna Seigel; Susan and John Wieland; Stuart and Joanna Brown; Diane and Hal Brierley; Fiddlehead Fund; Rocco and Debby Landesman; McCloskey Family Charitable Trust; Mauree Jane and Mark Perry; and Donna and Richard Strong. And viewers like you.