Impromptu

Impromptu

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.

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Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

October 21, 2015

When the musicians of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center perform at the Harris Theater this evening, they will take listeners on a journey from the classical to romantic era. In this Impromptu we will hear music by Barber and Dvořák performed by Wu Han, piano; Michael Brown, piano; Chad Hoopes, violin

Lawrence Brownlee, Tenor

October 6, 2015

Hailed by the Associated Press as one of “the world’s leading bel canto tenors,” American-born Lawrence Brownlee captivates audiences and critics around the world. His voice, praised by NPR as “an instrument of great beauty and expression…perfectly suited to the early nineteenth century operas of Rossini and Donizetti,” has brought him to the top of opera world, ushering in “a ...

Rachel Barton Pine, Viola d’amore

October 2, 2015

Rachel Barton Pine’s latest recording for Cedille features the complete viola d’amore concerti by Vivaldi. When she visits with Kerry Frumkin, Rachel will share selections from the new CD, and also demonstrate the sounds of this remarkable baroque instrument with its extra strings and widely varied tunings.  

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 21, 2015

Lisa Flynn welcomes the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg for two hours of music and commentary. First, the Supreme Court Justice will share an hour of her favorite recordings. Then she will present her Opera and the Law lecture, aided by members of the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center who will perform scenes that deal with law and justice.

Vassily Primakov, piano and Ben Capps, cello

September 15, 2015

Formidable Duo Team Ben Capps (Cello) and Vassily Primakov (Piano) teamed up for an ultimate romantic program of Chopin and Rachmaninoff Cello Sonatas.

ARVO PÄRT 80th BDAY: Mathias Tacke, violin, and Marta Aznavoorian, piano

September 11, 2015

Violinist Mathias Tacke and pianist Marta Aznavoorian will perform music by Arvo Pärt in honor of the Estonian composer’s 80th birthday today. Hosted by Kerry Frumkin.  

Cuban Pianist Frank Fernández

August 18, 2015

Internationally renowned Cuban pianist Frank Fernández has played in some 40 countries, but never the United States – until now. On August 18th, Fernández made his long-overdue recital debut in the U.S. as part of the Ravinia Festival. He offered a sample of some of his Ravinia recital in WFMT’s Levin Studio in concert, spoke with Elbio Barilari, host of ...

Inon Barnatan, piano

August 4, 2015

Pianist Inon Barnatan performs works of Bach, Franck and Mendelssohn live from the Levin Performance Studio on this Impromptu. Kerry Frumkin hosts.

Igudesman and Joo

July 29, 2015

“A Little Nightmare Music brings surrealism to the concert hall and takes its trousers down! Very musical, very engaging and very funny. 
A Big Hand for A Little Night­mare Music’s Big Hands.” -Terry Jones, Comedian/Monty Python/Director

The Secret Garden

June 2, 2015

A five-time Joseph Jefferson Award winner for musical director for beloved shows like Caroline, or Change and Porgy and Bess, Doug Peck and his team bring to life the exquisitely beautiful musical arrangements in Court Theater’s production of The Secret Garden. The esteemed Hyde Park theater company celebrates 60 years of exceptional productions.

Dimitris Marinos, mandolin

May 19, 2015

Mandolin virtuoso Dimitris Marinos performs music of Bach, Bartók and Lombardo when he is Lisa Flynn’s guest on Impromptu.

Spektral Quartet

May 12, 2015

The Spektral Quartet returns to Impromptu to perform Dvořák’s “American” quartet, and other musical delicacies.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Cast members from Paul Gordon’s world premiere musical, “Sense and Sensibility”

May 8, 2015

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s deliciously charming romance full of wit and passion, is now a world premiere musical from Tony Award®-nominated composer Paul Gordon. The work was specially commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater for the 2014/15 Season.

Marta Aznavoorian, piano and Ilya Kaler, violin

April 30, 2015

On Sunday, May 10 at 3:00 pm, violinist Ilya Kaler and pianist Marta Aznavoorian perform works by Mozart, Brahms, R.Strauss, Bartok, Gershwin at DePaul University, 800 W. Belden, in Chicago. The concert is free and open to the public. First though, an Impromptu.

Orion Weiss, Piano

March 27, 2015

Pianist Orion Weiss stopped by the WFMT Levin Studio for a LIVE concert on Impromptu on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM. One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, the pianist Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony.

Kronos Quartet

March 12, 2015

For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience.

Silk Road Ensemble

March 6, 2015

The Silk Road Ensemble joins its founder and CSO, Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma for a special 15th anniversary concert at Symphony Center.

Mandolinist Avi Avital

February 20, 2015

GRAMMY®-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital has been called one of the world’s most exciting and enterprising musicians, deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and distinctive new repertoire while celebrating the instrument’s classical roots. Before a performance with the University of Chicago Presents, Lisa Flynn welcomed him on Impromptu.

Pianist Winston Choi

February 5, 2015

Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France’s 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d’Orléans, Canadian pianist Winston Choi is an inquisitive performer whose fresh approach to standard repertory and masterful performance of works by living composers make him one of today’s most dynamic young concert artists.  

Dover Quartet

January 26, 2015

The Dover Quartet has been making quite a name for themselves as one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world.  You can hear why when violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw make their Impromptu debut.