Live broadcasts from the WFMT studios with some of today’s best artists.
Our live afternoon series of “impromptu” music and conversation features some of today’s most sought-after musicians from around the world. Previous guests on Impromptu have included cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and author Salman Rushdie. Other guests have included Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tenor Joseph Calleja, violinist Joshua Bell, and the vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Broadcast live from the Levin Performance Studio at WFMT, the program also features local performers who are vital to Chicago’s vibrant musical culture.
There are no upcoming broadcasts at the moment.
September 2, 2022
Marta Aznavoorian, David Cunliffe, and Desirée Ruhstrat named the Lincoln Trio after the ensemble’s place of origin: the heartland of the United States and the Land of Lincoln.
Timothy McAllister, saxophone & Liz Ames, piano
August 26, 2022
Two-time Grammy Award winning classical saxophonist Timothy McAllister and the renowned pianist Liz Ames have performed as a duo since 2012.
Danish String Quartet & Juho Pohjonen, Piano
August 19, 2022
The dazzling quartet once reflected: “Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did.”
Miriam Fried, violin & Musicians from Ravinia Steans Music Institute
August 12, 2022
Each summer, talented young musicians make music together under the auspices of the Steans Music Institute, Ravinia’s summer conservatory.
Till Fellner, piano
August 5, 2022
Back in 2016, Austrian pianist Till Fellner performed live on Impromptu.
Elena Bashkirova & Friends from the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival
July 29, 2022
In 2008, pianist Elena Bashkirova and musicians from the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival were on tour in advance of the festival’s 11th season.
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin & Marta Aznavoorian, piano
July 22, 2022
In this Impromptu encore from August 2019, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performs with pianist Marta Aznavoorian.
Piano Duos from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
July 15, 2022
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center proves good things come in pairs. In this Impromptu encore from 2012, four pianists associated with CMS – Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Anne-Marie McDermott, André-Michel Schub, and Wu Han – took turns performing works for piano duo.
Oscar Ghiglia, guitar
July 8, 2022
Famed Italian guitarist Oscar Ghiglia was Kerry Frumkin’s guest in this Impromptu encore from 2005.
The Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force
July 1, 2022
On July 2, 2003, members of the Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force, delighted WFMT’s listeners with a live performance.
Philip Setzer, violin; and David Finckel, cello; and Wu Han, piano
June 24, 2022
This Impromptu encore from 2016 features three virtuosic friends and longtime collaborators: pianist Wu Han, cellist David Finckel, and violinist Philip Setzer.
California Guitar Trio
June 17, 2022
Paul Richards, Bert Lams, and Hideyo Moriya have been known collectively as the California Guitar Trio since 1991. The three friends and collaborators performed on Impromptu in 2019.
Midsummer’s Music Festival
June 10, 2022
Founded in 1990, Midsummer’s Music has been bringing chamber music to Door County, Wisconsin, audiences for more than three decades. In 2016, musicians from the festival performed live on Impromptu.
Benjamin Hochman, piano
June 3, 2022
Pianist Benjamin Hochman first performed live on Impromptu in 2009. This encore broadcast features his gorgeous renditions of works by Bach, Kurtág, and Brahms.
Vadim Gluzman, violin and Angela Yoffe, piano
May 27, 2022
Enjoy violinist Vadim Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe’s performance in this Impromptu Encore from May 27, 2011. The duo’s 2022 North Shore Chamber Music Festival takes place on June 8, 10, and 11.
Hugo Wolf Quartett
May 20, 2022
For more than 30 years, the Hugo Wolf Quartett has demonstrated crystalline virtuosity across many styles. When the Vienna-based ensemble gave a rare Chicago performance in 2009, George Preston welcomed them to WFMT’s Levin Studio for this Impromptu.
Lawrence Brownlee, tenor & Craig Terry, piano
May 13, 2022
On October 15, 2015, the extraordinary American tenor, Lawrence Brownlee, and the superb collaborative pianist, Craig Terry, shared repertoire by Rossini – a Brownlee specialty – as well as a spiritual, “Come By Here,” as well as Britten’s lovely “Down By the Sally Gardens.”
Stephane Wrembel, guitar
May 6, 2022
Born in Paris, home of Impressionism and Django Reinhardt, guitarist Stephane Wrembel is one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music. In this Impromptu from February 2020, he performed his composition “Bistro Fada,” a Django-influenced swinging waltz, evoking the spirit of the night in the City of Lights.
Awadagin Pratt, piano and Zuill Bailey, cello
April 29, 2022
The friends and collaborators performed Brahms works for cello and piano.
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
April 22, 2022
Pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Roe aim to make classical music a relevant and powerful force around the world. Their joyful virtuosity shines through chart-topping albums, Emmy-nominated music videos, and an extensive international touring schedule.