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.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Alon Goldstein, piano

September 9, 2019

Hailed as one of the most original and sensitive artists of his generation, Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein returns to WFMT’s Levin Performance Studio to perform on Impromptu.   At Ravinia, on Sunday, September 8, he’ll share a program of music inspired by Domenico Scarlatti.

Philippe Quint, violin, and Marta Aznavoorian, piano

August 19, 2019

Grammy nominated artists violinist Philippe Quint and pianist Marta Aznavoorian showcase their collaborative album, Chaplin’s Smile. Tune in to hear a collection of arrangements for violin and pian o of songs composed by Charlie Chaplin for his most well-known films.

Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

August 16, 2019

Before performing the Barber Violin Concerto at Ravinia with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers returns to WFMT’s Levin Studio to perform live on Impromptu. Want to attend the concert? As a WFMT listener, join general manager George Preston and host Candice Agree for an exclusive pre-concert party, then get two-for-one seats for the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and ...

Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar

May 20, 2019

Global cultural ambassador and “soul of the Spanish guitar,” Pablo Sáinz Villegas makes his long-awaited return to Impromptu. Video excerpt — Asturias (Leyenda) by Albéniz.

Solera Quartet

May 9, 2019

Acclaimed by critics as “top-notch, intense, stylish, and with an abundance of flare and talent” and “one of the foremost young string quartets,” the Solera Quartet has quickly gained a reputation for their fiery musical expression, poetic sensibility, entrepreneurial acumen, and exceptional dedication to social initiatives.

Alisa Weilerstein, cello, Sergey Khachatryan, violin, and Inon Barnatan, piano

May 6, 2019

Three exciting soloists cellist Alisa Weilerstein, violinist Sergey Khachatryan, and pianist Inon Barnatan, return to WFMT’s Levin performance studio to perform Beethoven’s Ghost Piano Trio in D Major.

Juan Falú

April 23, 2019

The great Argentine folkloric guitarist and composer Juan Falú makes his Impromptu debut with an instrumental performance. See him in concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music later this evening. Enjoy this video excerpt of Juan playing his own composition, "Chacarera ututa."

Beatrice Rana, Piano

February 25, 2019

Italian pianist Beatrice Rana is the 2013 Cliburn Competition silver medalist, and a recent winner of Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year Award. She made her Chicago debut at Symphony Center on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

Lincoln Trio

February 21, 2019

Music of Turina and Fauré on this Impromptu. 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.

Parker Quartet with Richard O’Neill, viola, and Edward Arron, cello

February 1, 2019

Acclaimed violist Richard O’Neill and elegant cellist Edward Arron join the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet for a live performance.

Cavatina Duo

January 15, 2019

The Cavatina Duo brings together Spanish flutist Eugenia Moliner and Bosnian guitarist Denis Azabagic.  Hear them play live with the “style, sympathy, and technical aplomb” that captivated Fanfare Magazine as well as fans around the globe.

Trio Céleste

January 10, 2019

Hailed as “a first-class ensemble” (Orange County Register), “unfailingly stylish” (The Strad), “technically dazzling” (Long Beach Gazette), “flawless” (New York Concert Review), and “the epitome of what chamber musicians should be” (Palm Beach Daily News), Trio Céleste has firmly established itself as one of the most dynamic chamber music ensembles on the classical music scene today. On this Impromptu, Trio Céleste shares works ...

Fareed Haque, Guitar, and KAIA String Quartet

December 18, 2018

Guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque and the KAIA String Quartet perform pieces by Latin American masters. This Impromptu on WFMT features selections from their collaborative recording on the Delmark label.


December 4, 2018

Chanticleer returns to WFMT’s Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio to share songs of the holiday season. Host Michael San Gabino will also preside over a Facebook Live simulcast.

Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet and Michael Brown, piano

November 16, 2018

Tune in for a wonderful live performance when clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein and pianist Michael Brown play Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s 1945 Clarinet Sonata.

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues

October 9, 2018

Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues blends the sounds of classical chamber music, American blues, and Indian percussion. The ebullient harmonica virtuoso and composer made his Earthly debut in Chicago in October 1943, and we wish him a very happy 75th birthday. For this Impromptu, the ensemble welcomes special guest Rachel Barton Pine. Enjoy this video excerpt from their performance!

Pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion, violinist Giora Schmidt, and cellist Leonardo Altino

October 4, 2018

Hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” Filipino-American pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion returns to the Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio to perform on Impromptu. This time, he’s bringing friends violinist Giora Schmidt and cellist Leonardo Altino.

Elias Goldstein, viola and Angela Draghicescu, piano

September 27, 2018

Hear Elias Goldstein perform Paganini caprices for unaccompanied viola as well as duets with his longtime collaborator, pianist Angela Draghicescu. Their upcoming CD, called Melanconico, will be released on Centaur in the early part of 2019.

New Comma Baroque

September 6, 2018

Emmanuel Episcopal Church of La Grange’s artists-in-residence New Comma Baroque launch their season with rare gems for viol & harpsichord from the twilight of the viol. From ‘last gambists’ Carl Friedrich Abel and Franz Xaver Hammer to master Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and lesser-known composers Johann Gottfried Mente and Christian Wilhelm Podbielski, New Comma Baroque exploration includes the Chicago premiere ...

Paul Huang, violin & Marta Aznavoorian, piano

July 19, 2018

Violinist Paul Huang makes his Grant Park Music Festival debut this weekend playing the Barber Violin Concerto. First though, the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists returns to WFMT to perform on Impromptu with pianist Marta Aznavoorian.