COVID-19-delayed Chopin piano competition opens in Poland

The competition was scheduled for the fall of 2020, but authorities put the popular event off due to social distancing rules.

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Hear 5 of Alisa Weilerstein’s Favorite New Works for Cello

“I’m a cellist, therefore I don’t have the luxury of ‘favorite’ repertoire,” Alisa Weilerstein said. She is committed to expanding the repertoire by developing relationships with living composers. “I try to take Rostropovich’s example, who had incredible relationships with composers and of course was the muse to Shostakovich and Prokofiev,” she said. “Without him, we might not have these titanic 20th century cello works."

Stanisław Moniuszko: The Most Famous Polish Composer You Haven’t Heard Yet but Should

Stanisław Moniuszko may not be a household name today, the composer is literally the face of Polish opera... a statue of him rests outside of the Warsaw Opera House.

How Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Singer Kurt Elling Developed His Chops Singing Motets by J.S. Bach

As Elling returned to his native Chicago for performances at City Winery, he spoke about how classical music has influenced him throughout his life.

5 Rising Stars in Classical Music Who Got Their Start in Chicago

Many musicians have started their careers in Chicago, and some of them have also studied at the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago. Founded in 2006, the Academy was established to serve as a training center for gifted pre-college classical musicians. The program is designed for piano and strings. “The Academy was modeled after another program, the oldest of its ...

Chicago Fringe Opera Brings Rarely Performed Glass Opera ‘In the Penal Colony’ to the Windy City

At 79 years old, Philip Glass has composed 27 operas. Yet, only a handful have been performed in Chicago, though the composer spent formative years in the Windy City as a student.

How Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ Became an Opera

“Opera is an irrational art form,” Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec reflected as he prepares for the world premiere of his latest work, The Shining, at Minnesota Opera. “The first question that a composer must ask when writing an opera is: why are the people singing? There has to be a reason why these people standing on stage are singing ...

15 Books About Music For the Young & Young at Heart

Every library could use more books! Here are our top books about music for the young and the young at heart.

Conductor Mariss Jansons on Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony, Music, and Politics

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, titled “Leningrad,” was written during one of the most horrific sieges in history. From 1941 to 1944, Hitler’s army surrounded Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and over one million civilians died. Conductor Mariss Jansons, renowned for his interpretations of Shostakovich symphonies, has a particularly interesting connection to Leningrad. Jansons was born in Soviet-controlled Latvia. Later, he would ...

Leif Ove Andsnes on Becoming Beethoven, Brahms

Like most musicians, Andsnes does not always get to pick and choose what he plays. In recent years, however, Andsnes has been able to immerse himself in some of his favorite repertoire. “I just finished a four year Beethoven journey where I immersed myself in the music of this great composer, especially his five piano concertos,” he said. “I basically just played Beethoven for years.”

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