Hear Milton String Quartet Live

Wednesday at 12:15, live from the Chicago Cultural Center


How One Chord Changed the World: “Tristan” at 150

If you’re a music lover, you may have heard of the so-called “Tristan chord” from Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde. Audiences were stunned to hear this infamous harmony when the opera premiered on June 10, 1865 in Munich, Germany. As Tristan turns 150, let’s take a look at what makes the Tristan chord so unique. The “Vorspiel,” or Prelude, to Tristan begins with with a “dissonant” chord. The terms “consonance” ...

What if Nina Simone Had Been a Classical Pianist?

Before Nina Simone became one of America’s most iconic jazz musicians, she wanted to have a career as a classical pianist.

Minnesota Orchestra To Perform Historic Concerts in Cuba

On Friday, May 15, at 7:00 pm Central and running until 10:00 pm, WFMT will join American Public Media for a live broadcast from the Teatro Nacional in Havana, Cuba, featuring the Minnesota Orchestra. The Orchestra is joined by pianist Frank Fernández and two Cuban choirs in an all-Beethoven program that features the “Choral Fantasy” and the “Eroica” symphony. Osmo Vanska conducts. This performance and broadcast are the ...

Star Soprano Kate Royal on the joys and difficulties of singing rare French works

Soprano Kate Royal has made her name singing in some of the oldest and most beloved operas in the repertoire by Monteverdi and Mozart, but the London native is also drawn to and sought-after to perform in more modern operas. In 2015, Royal made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in a program of rarely performed French works: Ravel’s opera L’enfant et ...

5 Mexican Composers You Should Know on Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by learning more about Mexico’s most celebrated composers of the past and present. Here are 5 Mexican composers you should know because of their incredible contributions to the world of music. Read more about some of Mexico’s most influential composers below, and tell us your favorite Mexican composers in the comments below. A bust of the composer by Andrés Peraza (Photo: ...

6 Songs to Welcome the Merry Month of May

“April is the cruelest month,” T.S. Eliot famously wrote. But May is here, and what better way to welcome this merry month than with music? Here are six songs to help you say goodbye to April showers and say hello to May flowers.

WFMT’s Top 10 Reads on World Book Day

Today is World Book Day, a yearly event celebrated worldwide on April 23rd and organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. Looking for a good read to celebrate World Book Day? We at WFMT have picked some of our favorite reads to share with you.

Guggenheim Fellow Rudresh Mahanthappa On Creating Music that Defies Genre

Musicians today work across genres to create sounds that defy categorization, yet listeners crave categories. Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, whose many awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, has created sounds that defy categorization for his latest project, Song of the Jasmine, an interdisciplinary collaboration with Ragamala Dance that comes to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago this weekend. Manhathappa was born in Italy to Indian ...

14 Facts About Haydn

As we celebrate Haydn’s Birthday on the air, enjoy these fun facts about the composer from hosts and Haydn lovers Peter Van de Graaff and Carl Grapentine. Share your favorite facts about Haydn with us in the comments below. 1. Haydn was born the year George Washington was born (1732) and died the year Abraham Lincoln was born (1809). 2. ...

$32 Million to the CSO

The legacy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra received a boost on Thursday with the announcement of two multimillion-dollar gifts − among the largest in the orchestra’s history according to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. Chicago-based Sam and Helen Zell acknowledged a $17 million dollar gift from the Zell Family Foundation for the endowment of the position currently held by music director Riccardo Muti. Maestro ...

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