Stories

Watch pianist Marianna Prjevalskaya perform Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Brahms

Russian born, Spanish pianist Marianna Prjevalskaya performs live in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center during a Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert.

Meet the women of the Chicago Black Renaissance who changed classical music around the world

Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Irene Britton Smith, Nora Holt, and countless other women of color contributed to the Chicago Black Renaissance and changed classical music around the world.

Ana María Martínez: “Czech Was the Hardest”

Ana María Martínez is a seasoned performer on the stage of Chicago’s Civic Opera House. In the last year, she’s sung Mimì, Desdemona, and opens as Rusalka on Saturday. What is less dazzling, less conspicuous, has been her role as a role model to Chicago’s youth. The Puerto Rican-American soprano (who is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish) frequently volunteers as a ...

Beethoven’s Smile: Yes, He Had One

“After the final chord, I looked up. The Master’s darkly glowing gaze was fixed upon me penetratingly. Yet suddenly a benevolent smile broke up his gloomy features, Beethoven became quite close, bent over me, laid his hand on my head and repeatedly stroked my hair. ‘Devil of a fellow’ he whispered, ‘such a young rascal!’ I suddenly plucked up courage. ...

Composer Exploration: Jacques Ibert

Jacques Ibert was born in Paris in 1890; his father was a businessman; his mother was a pianist. She began teaching him piano and violin at age 4. When young Jacques finished grade school, he found a job in a movie house, playing piano for silent films. In 1910 he enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, joining Arthur Honegger and Darius ...