KAIA Kids Around the World: The Music of Mexico

Mexico is home to many people and musical traditions. In the KAIA Kids adventure to Mexico, the quartet explores the history of mariachi and teaches you one of most popular mariachi tunes today, “México lindo y querido.”

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein on “Mozart in Havana,” the Importance of Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein just released her latest album, Mozart in Havana, following four years of artistic collaboration in Cuba. She recorded two concertos by Mozart with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra, founded in 2009 and composed of music students, recent graduates, and professors. Dinnerstein reflected on her experiences working in Cuba and why it’s important for musicians to foster cross-cultural collaborations ...

From Polka to Mariachi, Discover Why Pilsen is One of Chicago’s Most Diverse Musical Melting Pots

If there’s any neighborhood in Chicago where a Czech swing orchestra and an Afro-Latin funk band can share a stage, it’s Pilsen. The neighborhood has been home to diverse music and musicians since its early history and today it remains a musical melting pot of traditions from around the world.

VIDEO: You’ll Go Bananas for This DIY Keyboard

You don’t need an expensive piano sitting in your living room to impress your friends and family when they come to visit. Instead, wow them with a keyboard you made yourself. Stian Eikeland, a “developer, hacker, techno-foodie, diver, hobby-photographer” from Bergen, Norway, found a way to turn bananas into a fully functioning touch-sensor keyboard. The banana keyboard’s hardware consists of ...

10 Shakespeare-Inspired Operas You Should Know

If “Music oft hath such a charm / To make bad good, and good provoke to harm,” perhaps these 10 Shakespeare-inspired operas will charm you.

“Difficult, But Worth It” | Singers Share Their Secrets to Memorizing Opera Scores by Philip Glass

Anyone who’s ever tried to sing or play an instrument knows that hard work and practice are essential to make a performance successful. But performing music from memory presents another challenge. The repetitions Glass uses make memorizing his music particularly difficult.

Soprano Nadine Sierra wins 2017 Richard Tucker Award

NEW YORK (AP) — Soprano Nadine Sierra has won the 2017 Richard Tucker Award, dubbed the Heisman Trophy of opera. The 28-year-old Florida native is “an American singer at the threshold of a major international career,” according to the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. That’s the condition for the award honoring Tucker, a Brooklyn-born tenor who died in 1975. Sierra says ...

Hearing George Shirley, the Metropolitan Opera’s First Black Tenor, Sing Mozart Will Melt Your Heart

In 1961, tenor George Shirley was named a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and subsequently received the first contract given to a black tenor to perform with the company. Later, he would become the first black tenor to perform a leading role at the Met. Shirley was also the first black member of the United States Army ...

Make Music Day festival is coming to dozens of US cities

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 50 U.S. cities will be hosting Make Music Day, a free one-day outdoor festival celebrating music and music-making. The annual event is June 21, the summer solstice. Highlights of Make Music Day in the U.S. will include Sousapaloozas in Chicago; Cleveland; Madison, Wisconsin; Minneapolis-St. Paul; New York; and San Jose, California. Part of Make ...

This Split Screen Performance of Bach’s St. John Passion is the Most Metal Thing You’ll Hear All Day

Chicago musician Brandon J. Acker played several performances of Bach’s St. John Passion over the course of one weekend. He was overwhelmed by the immediacy and emotional power of Bach’s masterpiece, and noticed that he experienced a similar visceral reaction when listening to heavy metal. Feeling that Bach’s music transcends time, genre, and instrumentation, Brandon created a brilliant re-imagining of ...

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