World champion says Rubik’s Cube and violin go hand in hand

Stanley Chapel is capable of remembering and applying thousands of algorithms to solve a Rubik’s Cube and performing one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin sonatas from memory.

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Watch WFMT Listener Favorite, Pianist Vera Gornostaeva, Play 12 Chopin Mazurkas

One of Russia’s greatest pianists, Vera Gornostaeva, was virtually unknown outside of her native country for most of her career. She taught at the Moscow Conservatory, earned the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, had a popular television program, Open Piano, and trained dozens of prize-winning pianists. Yet for most of her life, she was never permitted to ...

How Choreographer Martha Graham Named Aaron Copland’s American Classic, “Appalachian Spring”

Martha Graham Dance Company's Lloyd Mayor and Mariya Dashkina Maddux in "Appalachian Spring." (Hibbard Nash Photography) When you think of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, do you think of iconic American landscapes? Would it surprise you to know that one of America’s most iconic musical works got its name after it was composed? Appalachian Spring, though perhaps known best as an orchestral suite, was ...

Playlist: Classical Music to Enjoy During the Supermoon

Tonight’s full moon will be the biggest in 68 years since it will be at its closest point in relation to Earth’s orbit – 221,524 miles away. Why is it closer to Earth now? NASA’s website explains: “The moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical so sometimes it is closer and sometimes it’s farther away. When the moon is full as ...

VIDEO: “A Shot of Malört” Is the Song Every Chicagoan Needs to Hear

Two of the most famous songs about the Windy City have been recorded by Frank Sinatra: “Chicago” and “My Kind of Town.” WFMT host Robbie Ellis has composed his own Chicago song, “A Shot of Malört,” that he shared during the station’s first Classical Cabaret, hosted at the Uptown Underground nightclub and broadcast live. For those who aren’t familiar, Jeppson’s ...

Pianist Mary Sauer Retires from Chicago Symphony Orchestra After 57 Years of Service

Sauer began her long tenure with the CSO in 1959 when Music Director Fritz Reiner invited her to perform with the orchestra. During the 1967-68 season, Music Director Jean Martinon officially added her to the roster. She was named principal piano at the start of the 2000-01 season.

6 Times Orchestras Scored at Major Sporting Events

Memorable performances by orchestras at recent sporting events.

Baroque Opera Discovered in Bolivian Jungles Has Midwest Premiere

When exploring the jungles of South America, perhaps one of the last things you would expect to find are centuries old scores by European composers like Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Bassani, and Hasse. But that’s exactly what Father Piotr Nawrot encountered in Jesuit Missions located in modern-day Bolivia, along with the score to an opera, San Ignacio, which receives its Midwestern premiere ...

Powder sprinkled into opera pit may have been human ashes

NEW YORK (AP) — A powdery substance a man sprinkled into the orchestra pit at New York’s Metropolitan Opera may have been an opera lover’s ashes, police said Saturday. The freakish incident during an afternoon performance of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” forced Met officials to cancel the rest of the show as well as an evening performance of a second opera. ...

Second City and Lyric Look for the Lighter Side of Wagner with “LONGER! LOUDER! WAGNER!”

The  latest collaboration between Lyric Opera of Chicago and Second City is LONGER! LOUDER! WAGNER!, which runs through Sunday, October 30 at the Civic Opera House. Actor Tim Ryder, who appeared in The Second City Guide to the Opera  (also in collaboration with Lyric), said: “This show tells two stories in parallel: the story of Richard Wagner as he creates the Ring ...

Joan Baez Talks Trump, Taxes, and Dylan

Joan Baez has always said she is an activist first and an artist second. At 75 years old, her priorities have not changed. This fall, Baez is on a tour of major cities throughout the United States to, in part, raise awareness about the nation’s criminal justice system.

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