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Inside Chicago Composer Stacy Garrop’s Rousing Eco-Oratorio ‘Terra Nostra’

By Kerry Frumkin and Keegan Morris |

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WFMT observes the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day with a fitting broadcast: Chicago composer Stacy Garrop’s oratorio Terra Nostra, which celebrates our planet and explores the relationship between humankind and the natural world.

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Remembering Jamie Gilson, children’s book author, WFMT contributor, and friend

By Kerry Frumkin |

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When Jamie Gilson came into this world there were fireworks, her website explains. She was born on the Fourth of July 1933. She died quietly at her home on February 11, 2020, with her family around her. She was known primarily as a writer of children’s books, but she also wrote for radio, magazines, and film – WFMT, WBEZ, Chicago …

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From 1-9: Your Guide to Beethoven’s Symphonies

By Louise Frank and Kerry Frumkin |

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Beginning January 28, WFMT will broadcast Beethoven’s nine symphonies on weekdays as the 2:00 pm “Afternoon Masterwork.” The performances feature the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Its founder and conductor, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, shares his guide to these symphonic masterpieces.

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“The piano offers you infinity” — Marc-André Hamelin on Chopin and the possibilities of piano

By Kerry Frumkin |

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The New York Times describes him as having “made a career of playing the seemingly unplayable.” The New Yorker is more emphatic, saying he’s “among the wonders of the musical world.” But Kerry Frumkin’s colleague, producer Louise Frank has a more grounded account of Marc-André Hamelin, describing him as a “most approachable genius.”

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“Kerry, it’s Norm!” — Remembering Norman Pellegrini

By Kerry Frumkin |

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When this particular phone call came, it was usually trouble. What often followed was something like “I don’t believe there’s a ‘cough’ in Prokofiev. Love you madly! Goodnight.” Norman Pellegrini, WFMT’s illustrious program director of 43 years, was always listening — vigilant, protective of the station’s values, always blunt in his criticism, and usually right.

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Hit the Road with these 3 Classical Music Road Trips You Can Take from Chicago

By Kerry Frumkin |

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I confess I do need an excuse to take a road trip. But if there’s a guarantee that the sun will be shining, the scenery beautiful, the temperature warm, and the traffic navigable, I can be convinced. And, if there’s great music to be heard at the end of the journey, I’m long gone! Kalamazoo, Michigan was one such destination …

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Sergio and Clarice — Music Runs in the Family for this Father-Daughter Duo

By Louise Frank and Kerry Frumkin |

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The father is Sergio Assad — guitarist, composer, arranger, educator, and with his brother Odair, half of the groundbreaking Assad Brothers guitar duo. The daughter is Clarice Assad — a bold and highly innovative vocalist, composer, orchestrator, videographer, and mentor. Together, they represent the Assad family, for whom making music is breathing…

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A toast to the city of classical music — Living a musical life in Vienna

By Louise Frank and Kerry Frumkin |

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There may be one city in the world that can be considered the capital of New Year’s celebrations and music, and that is Vienna, Austria. With their time-honored concerts, fireworks, and deep cultural traditions, the Viennese have turned these celebrations into an unsurpassed art form. We asked several classical artists to share why they love living in this venerable European city.

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Sound the Shofar!

By Kerry Frumkin and Louise Frank |

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The shofar, an instrument made from a ram’s horn, is heard in synagogues all over the world during the Jewish High Holidays. It has also been heard outside those confines for ages, as a call to battle, or a way for shepherds to summon their flocks.

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The science and the magic behind recording live classical concerts

By Kerry Frumkin |

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Behind every classical recording and broadcast there’s an expert engineer, who combines sciences with, perhaps, a little magic.