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Black Music Spotlight (2/1-2/3)

February 3, 2023, 8:30 am

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Bongani Ndodana-Breen

Every weekday morning in February, WFMT host LaRob K. Rafael will present and introduce a piece by a Black musician or composer.


Wednesday, February 1

Bongani Ndodana-Breen: Safika: Three Tales of African Migration
Chen String Quartet; Kuang Hao Huang, piano

Thursday, February 2

Christian Onyeji: “Amurowo ayi out nwa”/ “Ufie III”
Chicago A Cappella; William Chapman Nyaho, piano

Friday, February

Taiwo Adegoke: “My Quest for Knowledge”/ “Evening Market at Oshodi”
Joseph Ehrenpreis, guitar

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Rediscovered Composers

February 1, 2023, 8:00 pm

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A rare opportunity to hear Margaret Bonds’s Montgomery Variations. Composed in 1964 and dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., the work is based on events and ideas in the Civil Rights Movement.


Robert Nathaniel Dett: Magnolia Suite
Part II, No. 4 “Mammy”

Joseph Bologne: Symphonie concertante in B-flat, Opus 6, No. 2
Midori Sugiyuma, violin
Lisa Obert, violin

Julia Perry: Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra in Two Speeds
Kunal Lahiry, piano

Dett: The Daybreak Charioteer
Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water
Samantha Ege, piano

Ali Osman: From the South

Kikuko Kanai: Ryūkyū where the Deigo flowers blossom

Bonds: Montgomery Variations
I. Decision
II. Prayer Meeting
III. March
IV. Dawn in Dixie
V. One Sunday in the South
VI. Lament
VII. Benediction

BBC Philharmonic
Jack Sheen, conductor

Recorded live at Media City, Salford on November 4, 2022 and hosted by Linton Stephens. This concert is made available through WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union.

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Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s DuSable to Obama

January 25, 2023, 8:00 pm

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Orbert Davis

A conversation with composer Orbert Davis on his soundtrack for the critically acclaimed television documentary DuSable to Obama performed by Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.


Orbert Davis: Paradise Blue:
Trumpet Prologue; “Bottoms Up” (excerpt)
Orbert Davis, trumpet; Chicago Jazz Philharmonic members
From the album Paradise Blue (3Sixteen Records [CD-31609], 2017)

Byron Burke, Orbert Davis, Mark Ingram & Byron Stingily: Superficial People
Ten City
From the album State of Mind (Atlantic 7567821462, 1990)

William Russo: Chicago Suite No. 1:
II. “Henry ‘Red’ Allen”
Chicago Jazz Ensemble; William Russo, director
Orbert Davis, solo trumpet; Billy Rogers, solo baritone saxophone
From the album The Chicago Jazz Ensemble (Chase Music Group CMD 8052, 1997)

Orbert Davis & Mark Ingram: Double Blues
Kurt Elling, vocals; Orbert Davis, trumpet; Ryan Cohan, piano; James Cammack, double bass; Ernie Adams, drums
From the album Priority (3Sixteen Records CD-31601)

Orbert Davis: An Afternoon with Mr. Bowie (after Stravinsky):
Part 1
Ari Brown, tsx; Chicago Jazz Philharmonic; Orbert Davis, conductor
From the album Collective Creativity (3Sixteen CD-31604, 2008)

Orbert Davis: The Chicago River:
V. “The Eighth Wonder”
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic; Orbert Davis, conductor
Stephen Eisen, solo tenor saxophone
From the album The Chicago River (3Sixteen CD-31610, 2019)

Orbert Davis: DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis:
“DuSable to Obama” (Main Theme)
“Robert’s Show Lounge”
“Truth Be Told (60s Heat)”
“The Saga of Emmitt Till”
“Prelude for Harold”
“Blues for the President”
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic; Orbert Davis, trumpet and conductor
From the album DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis Original Soundtrack (3Sixteen CD-31605, 2010)

Orbert Davis: Havana Blue Suite:
VI. “Havana @12”
Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble
From the album Havana Blue (3Sixteen CD-31608, 2016)

Count Basie arr. Orbert Davis: Going to Chicago
Terisa Griffin, voice; Chicago Jazz Philharmonic; Orbert Davis, conductor
From the album Collective Creativity (3Sixteen CD-31604, 2008)

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Music and Conversation with Adolphus Hailstork

January 11, 2023, 8:00 pm

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Adolphus Hailstork

The renowned composer, pianist, and conductor joins host LaRob K. Rafael to discuss essential works, including two inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Adolphus Hailstork: Sonata da chiesa (excerpt)
Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman, conductor
(Albany TROY-499)

Trad African-American arr. Adolphus Hailstork: My Lord, What a Morning
McCullough Chorale; Donald McCullough, conductor
(Albany TROY-156)

Adolphus Hailstork: Eight Variations on “Shalom Chaverim”
Andrey Kasparov, piano
(Albany TROY-1112)

Adolphus Hailstork: Fanfare on “Amazing Grace”
Virginia Symphony Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor
(Naxos 8.559722)

Adolphus Hailstork: Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed
Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman, conductor
(Cedille CDR-90000061)

Adolphus Hailstork: Songs of Love and Justice:
II. “Difficulties”
IV. “Love”
Louise Toppin, soprano; Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Julius P. Williams, conductor
(Albany TROY-1878)

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Civic Orchestra and Ryan Opera Center

January 1, 2023, 6:00 pm

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Ring in the New Year with a performance that celebrates remarkable emerging artists in Chicago!


Act 2 from Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss Jr.
Rosalinda: Kathryn Henry
Adele: Denis Vélez
Ida: Lindsey Reynolds
Orlofsky: Katherine DeYoung
Baron Eisenstein: Chris Kenny
Frank: Wm. Clay Thompson
Dr. Falke: Laureano Quant
Party-goers: Ryan Capozzo, Martin Luther Clark, Lunga Eric Halla, Ron Dukes
Civic Orchestra of Chicago; Stefano Sarzani, conductor

Ol’ Man River, from Show Boat, by Joseph Kern
Ron Dukes, bass

Deep in My Heart, from The Student Prince, by Sigmund Romberg
Lindsey Reynolds, soprano; Ryan Capozzo, tenor

Magische Töne from The Queen of Sheba, by Karl Goldmark
Lunga Eric Hallam, tenor

Bugler’s Holiday for Trumpet Trio and Orchestra, by Leroy Anderson

Be My Love, from The Toast of New Orleans, by Nicholas Brodszky
Martin Luther Clark, tenor; Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

Amid Thunder and Lightning, Polka Schnell, Op. 324, by Johann Strauss Jr.


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New Year’s Day in Vienna

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Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in the annual concert of lively and nostalgic music from the vast repertoire of the family of Johann Strauss and their contemporaries.

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A Polish Christmas with Lira Ensemble

December 27, 2022, 8:00 pm

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Christmas celebrations in Gdańsk, Poland

An introduction to Kolęda, or “grand” carols, and “shepherd” carols, plus Witold Lutosławski’s Twenty Polish Carols performed by the Lira Ensemble.


All performances by the Lira Ensemble.

1. Bóg się rodzi
2. Wśród nocnej ciszy
3. Mizerna cicha
4. Przybieżeli do Betlejem
5. Bracia, patrzcie jeno
6. Jam jest dudka
Katarzyna Dorula, soprano
7. A cóż z tą Dzieciną
8. O gwiazdo Betlejemska
9. Przystąpmy do szopy
10. Lulajże, Jezuniu
Judith Partipilo Marth, soprano
11. Anioł pasterzom mówił (arr. Witold Lutosławski)
12. My też, pastuszkowie (arr. Lutosławski)
13. Hola, hola pasterze (arr. Lutosławski)
14. Three Carols in Highlander Style
Susan Smentek and Judith Partipilo Marth, sopranos
15. Gdy się Chrystus rodzi