Chicago Sinfonietta ‘Revels’ in 2021-22 Returns to Live Concerts

The Chicago Sinfonietta has over 30 years of experience making classical music relevant, accessible, and reflective of Chicago’s diverse communities. This season, the orchestra is tackling diversity through the lens of joy.

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Rufus Wainwright’s 3 Favorite Opera Composers

Opera has always been important to composer Rufus Wainwright, though many know him as the man behind the piano crooning confessional songs. If you listen closely, you can hear hints of French mélodie and even references to Verdi in his chart-topping hits. Wainwright began composing his first opera, Prima Donna, because the Metropolitan Opera was interested in commissioning the work from ...

How a Modern Orchestra Plays a Period-Perfect ‘Messiah’

Handel’s oratorio Messiah is everywhere this time of year. Here in Chicago in the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we’ll have large-scale performances of Messiah, period instrument chamber performances of Messiah, Do-It-Yourself Messiahs, sing-along Messiahs, not to mention the jazz/gospel versions of Messiah.

Recipes Composed by Classical Composers

Did you know that some of your favorite composers composed recipes as well? Here are a few culinary masterpieces composed by Rossini, Verdi, Ned Rorem, Puccini, and Janáček.

High Kicks and High Notes in Lyric’s ‘Merry Widow’

Though dance has been an important part of opera production since the genre was born in the late 16th century, dance is not incorporated into modern opera productions as often, perhaps, as it could be or should be.

Itzhak Perlman’s 5 Most Memorable Moments at 70 Years Old

Violinist Itzhak Perlman is one of the most famous names in classical music. The Israeli-American, now 70 years old, has collaborated with some of the greatest musicians of our time in his long and illustrious career. Here, he reflects on five of the most memorable moments in his career.

The Many Colors of American Indian Music

What do you hear in your mind’s ear when you hear the phrase “American Indian Music”? Your ideas about American Indian music might be rooted in general stereotypes many people have about American Indians. Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, a Chickasaw composer, said, “American Indians have been involved in the fine arts for a long time, in every genre from literature to dance ...

How ‘Wozzeck’ Changed Opera Forever

Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck revolutionized the art form when it premiered in 1925. When Berg saw Georg Büchner’s play Woyzeck, he knew that he wanted to compose an opera based upon it. But an opera based upon this revolutionary expressionist play “demanded a new kind of operatic language as well,” according to The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera. Sir Andrew Davis, music director and principal ...

8 Tips to Better Your Bach from Masaaki Suzuki

Decades ago, many musicians played Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms all the same way. Now we know that music of every era requires special techniques to bring out its best qualities. Conductor and musician Masaaki Suzuki, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Bach, has recorded the composer’s complete cantatas with his chorus and ensemble, Bach Collegium Japan. Here are Suzuki’s ...

Natya Dance Brings the Ancient Art of Bharatanatyam to Modern Audiences

Thousands of years before European ballet was born, Bharatanatyam flourished in India. The ancient art of Bharatanatyam seems to be having a bit of a moment in modern times. Months after appearing in Chicago, dancer Aparna Ramaswamy recently made her debut at the Joyce Theater in New York: one small step for a Bharatanatyam dancer, one giant, dazzling leap for Bharatanatyam ...

Inside the Beautiful, Bizarre World of Butoh

One of the most unique styles of dance today is undoubtedly butoh. I spoke with dancer and choreographer Ushio Amagatsu as he tours across North America with his company, Sankai Juku. The New York Times called Sankai Juku, “One of the most original and startling dance theater groups to be seen.” Read our conversation to learn more about butoh, Amagatsu’s ...

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