Holiday Central

Get in the holiday spirit with all of WFMT’s festive musical performances, stories, programs, and more. Visit Holiday Central to make your spirits bright!


Salonen to become San Francisco Symphony music director

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Esa-Pekka Salonen will become music director of the San Francisco Symphony starting with the 2020-21 season. He will succeed Michael Tilson Thomas, who ends his 25-year tenure following the 2019-20 season. Salonen, a 60-year-old Finn who also composes, was given the immediate title of music director designate, the orchestra said Wednesday. He has a five-year contract ...

VIDEO | Chanticleer returns to WFMT for an Impromptu of festive holiday music

Chanticleer, a leading men's vocal group returned to WFMT for an Impromptu and Facebook Live video broadcast of joyous holiday songs. Enjoy the full video broadcast here!

Music in the Prairie State: 5 facts you didn’t know about Illinois music

Happy 200th Birthday, Illinois! On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. You might know about the Prairie State's most famous resident, Abraham Lincoln, but did you know these 5 facts about Illinois music?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Your guide to holiday programming on WFMT

Throughout December, WFMT will share holiday music. We've selected some of the highlight programs to make your spirits bright!

Your guide to holiday music and performing arts in Chicago!

'Tis the season to be musical! Every holiday season, Chicago is home to many incredible performances that make spirits bright for children of all ages. Whether you're looking for a sing-along, some ballet, or anything in-between, check out WFMT's guide to holiday musical in and around the city!

Days after concert, Gaza’s grand piano seized by merchant

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A local businessman on Wednesday seized the Gaza Strip’s only grand piano, claiming he owned the instrument, just days after it made its public debut in a landmark concert following a complicated international restoration effort. Sunday’s recital provided a lucky audience a rare opportunity to see a live concert in Gaza, whose cultural offerings ...

Callas in Chicago — Master Class and Maria by Callas

What a time to be a fan of one of the iconic sopranos of the 20th century! Maria Callas enthusiasts in Chicago can delight in having not one, but two outings to immerse themselves in the life and music of Callas — Master Class, a play at TimeLine Theatre Company, and Maria by Callas, a documentary in the diva's own words.

“What was your secret, Montserrat?” — Arias and Songs host Larry Johnson reflects on Montserrat Caballé’s debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago

I enthusiastically anticipated my first subscription at Lyric Opera of Chicago, for the 1970 season. I joined friends from my alma mater, Indiana University, and together, we attended operas that we’d only heard of. Some of the finest voices of the day came to Chicago for what in retrospect was truly a Golden Age of opera. Birgit Nilsson sang the ...

Michigan professor unearths inmates’ music from Auschwitz

DETROIT (AP) — Patricia Hall went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in 2016 hoping to learn more about the music performed by prisoners in World War II death camps. The University of Michigan music theory professor heard there were manuscripts, but she was “completely thrown” by what she found in the card catalogs: Unexpectedly upbeat and popular songs titles that translated ...

After rescue, Gaza’s only grand piano makes public comeback

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – The only grand piano in the Gaza Strip has been played in public for the first time in a decade, following a complicated international restoration effort to fix the instrument after it was nearly destroyed in an Israeli airstrike. Some 300 fans attended the performance on Sunday, staring in awed silence as Japanese and ...

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