Stories

Video | Loge, the Opera-Loving German Shepherd, Sings Along to Wagner

Tom, of Wilmette, IL, has had German Shepherds for almost forty years, and most of them have been named after characters from Wagner’s "Ring Cycle." Hear his opera-loving dog Loge sing along to Siegfried's horn call.

VIDEO | Mandolin 101 with Avi Avital

World-renowned Avi Avital gives us an introduction to the mandolin, explains what makes his instrument so special, and shares his unique journey to becoming a professional mandolin player.

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 ...