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19 African American composers to celebrate on Juneteenth (and every day of the year)

By Stephen Raskauskas |

Though African Americans have not historically enjoyed the same rights and privileges as others, their contributions of music have been nothing short of history-changing. Here are 19 composers to help you celebrate Juneteenth, and which in turn deserve to be celebrated.

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Solti conducts Strauss

June 16, 2018, 4:30 pm

Solti distinguished himself as a notable Strauss interpreter in the world of opera and as conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Selections will be heard from Arabella, Der Rosenkavalier and Ariadne auf Naxos. Singers include Régine Crespin, Leontyne Price, Yvonne Minton, Helen Donath, Lisa Della Casa, and Hilde Gueden.

Music

“Es gibt ein Reich” by Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss
Leontyne Price, soprano; Edita Gruberova, soprano; Barry McDaniel, baritone;
London Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Georg Solti, conductor
(London 1977. DECCA 478 4434)

“Aber der Richtige” from Arabella by Richard Strauss
Lisa Della Casa, soprano; Hilde Gueden, soprano;
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Georg Solti, conductor
(Vienna 1957. DECCA 478 4431)

“Final Trio” from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
Regine Crespin, soprano; Yvonne Minton, soprano; Helen Donath, soprano;
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Georg Solti, conductor
(Vienna 1968. DECCA 478 4442)

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Elsa Knight Thompson (c. 1970)

May 18, 2018, 11:00 pm

Studs Terkel

Early in 1970, Studs Terkel had a conversation with Elsa Knight Thompson. She lived from 1906 to 1983 and was a pioneer of radio news documentaries and a longtime voice of Pacifica Radio’s KPFA in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This discussion about their shared craft – interviews and talking to human beings about their varied lives – is available at the Studs …

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In The Field: Big Ears

By Sarah Zwinklis |

Seth Boustead and producer, Sarah Zwinklis are travelling to Knoxville, Tennessee. Regarded as one of the most unique, boundary-defying and eagerly anticipated cultural gatherings in the world – “a music festival with a rare vision” (The New York Times) – Big Ears Festival returns in 2018 with perhaps its most multi-faceted and diverse line up to date. Spanning four days …

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How food and friendship inspired a Chicago musician to compose again

By Daniel Goldberg and Sarah Zwinklis |

Longtime friends, musician Frank Orrall (Poi Dog Pondering and Thievery Corporation) and chef John Manion have inspired and shared each other’s passion for music and cooking. And one of their favorite subjects to talk about is the relationship between these two art forms.

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No Introductions: WFMT Spring Pledge Drive

By Michael San Gabino |

To support original programming on WFMT like Introductions and to continue giving performance opportunities to talented young artists in the Chicago area, please consider making a donation to WFMT by clicking here.

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Remembering Dimitri Hvorostovky

January 13, 2018, 4:30 pm

Larry will offer a tribute to the late Russian baritone who passed away in November, 2017.

Music

Verdi: Don Carlo, “Per me giunto . . . O Carlo, ascolta”
Dimitri Hvorostovsky with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Valery Gergiev
Recorded in Rotterdam in 1990
PHILIPS 426 740‐ 2

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin, “Can this be the same Tatiana?”
Dimitri Hvorostovsky with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Valery Gergiev
Recorded in Rotterdam in 1990
Philips 426 740‐2

Mozart: Don Giovanni, “Finch’ han dal vino”
Dimitri Hvorostovsky with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra Conducted by Richard Bradshaw
Taken from the soundtrack of the film Leporello’s Revenge
Recorded in North York, Ontario, Canada in 1999
CBC RECORDS SMCD 5205

Rachmaninov: Aleko, Aleko’s cavatina, “Beneath the moon”
Dimitri Hvorostovsky with the Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg Conducted by Valery Gergiev
Recorded in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1993
PHILIPS 438 872‐2

Traditional: “A Snowstorm Blows”and“O Sweet Night”
Dimitri Hvorostovsky with the Ossipov Russian Folk Orchestra Conducted by Nikolai Kalinin
Recorded in Moscow in 1991
PHILIPS 434 080‐2

 

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Highlights from Lerner & Loewe Musicals

January 5, 2018, 4:30 pm

Picture: Stanley Holloway (center) as Alfred P. Doolittle from the Broadway presentation of My Fair Lady.

Selections from three highly successful Broadway musicals by Lerner & Loewe bring in the New Year. Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Stanley Holloway and more will be heard in Brigadoon, My Fair Lady and Camelot.

Music

Lerner & Loewe: Brigadoon, “Overture” and “Once in the Highlands” Vernon Midgley with Chorus and the London Sinfionetta
Conducted by John McGlinn
Recorded in London in 1991 EMI 6 98341 2

Lerner & Loewe: Brigadoon, “I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean”
John Mark Ainsley with Chorus and the London Sinfionetta
Conducted by John McGlinn
Recorded in London in 1991 EMI 6 98341 2

Lerner & Loewe: Brigadoon, “The Heather on the Hill”
Rebecca Luker and Brent Barrett with the London Sinfionetta Conducted by John McGlinn
Recorded in London in 1991
EMI 6 98341 2

Lerner & Loewe: My Fair Lady, “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”
Julie Andrews with Chorus and Orchestra
Recorded in London in 1959
SONY SK 60539

Lerner & Loewe: My Fair Lady, “Get Me to the Church on Time”
Stanley Holloway with Chorus
Recorded in London in 1959 SONY SK 60539

Lerner & Loewe: Camelot “What Do the Simple Folk Do?”
Julie Andrews and Richard Burton
Recorded in New York in 1960
SONY SK 60542

Lerner & Loewe: Camelot “If Ever I Would Leave You”
Robert Goulet with Orchestra
Recorded in New York in 1960
SONY SK 60542

 

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Two Sleepwalkers

December 16, 2017, 4:30 pm

“Out, out damned spot” sings Leontyne Price as Lady Macbeth as she sleepwalks with blood on her hands. Maria Callas as Amina in La Sonnambula awakes from her nocturnal rambling to find that love conquers all.

Music

 Verdi: Macbeth “Una Macchia e qui Tuttora”
Leontyne Price with Corinna Vozza and Robert Hage with the RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra Conducted by Francesco Molinari‐Pradelli
Recorded in Rome in 1967
RCA VICTOR 09026‐61236‐2

Bellini: La Sonnambula “Ah! Non Credea Mirarti . . Ah! Non Giunge”
Maria Callas with the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Conducted by Tullio Serafin
Recorded in Milanin 1955
5 66457 2

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Music of the Baroque

December 14, 2017, 1:00 pm

Music of the Baroque

For more than forty years, Music of the Baroque has celebrated the repertoire of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Their performances and recordings have earned devoted fans in Chicago and around the world. This Impromptu features MOB’s acclaimed brass ensemble in works Giovanni Gabrieli crafted for St. Mark’s in Venice, lively dances by Michael Praetorius, and more.