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From YouTube to Lyric: Composer Jimmy López on his Operatic Debut

Composer Jimmy López never could have imagined that uploading some of his music on YouTube would land him his first opera commission, and at Lyric Opera of Chicago, no less. “I’ve been working towards this my whole career,” he said excitedly as he observed summer technical rehearsals for Bel Canto, his newly composed opera, at the Civic Opera House. Superstar soprano ...

WFMT’s Favorite Beach Reads

If you need recommendations for what to read when you're relaxing on the beach, look no further; our staff shares their favorite books about music.

15 Queer Composers You Should Know

Can you imagine a world without the music of Handel, Tchaikovsky, or Britten? These great composers of the past are just a few of many important musical figures who did not identify as heterosexual. Check out this list of 15 composers, some of whom are still living, and let us know who your favorite queer composers are in the comments ...

9 Living Black Composers You Need To Know

If you’re not familiar with these 9 composers, we’ve got 2 things to say: June is African-American Music Appreciation Month, and while you shouldn’t limit your appreciation of music by African-American composers to the month of June, it’s a nice excuse to explore their important contributions. You’re likely familiar with popular pieces by Scott Joplin or Miles Davis. But, if ...

What if Nina Simone Had Been a Classical Pianist?

Before Nina Simone became one of America’s most iconic jazz musicians, she wanted to have a career as a classical pianist.

Star Soprano Kate Royal on the joys and difficulties of singing rare French works

Soprano Kate Royal has made her name singing in some of the oldest and most beloved operas in the repertoire by Monteverdi and Mozart, but the London native is also drawn to and sought-after to perform in more modern operas. In 2015, Royal made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in a program of rarely performed French works: Ravel’s opera L’enfant et ...

5 Mexican Composers You Should Know on Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by learning more about Mexico’s most celebrated composers of the past and present. Here are 5 Mexican composers you should know because of their incredible contributions to the world of music. Read more about some of Mexico’s most influential composers below, and tell us your favorite Mexican composers in the comments below. A bust of the composer by Andrés Peraza One ...

6 Songs to Welcome the Merry Month of May

“April is the cruelest month,” T.S. Eliot famously wrote. But May is here, and what better way to welcome this merry month than with music? Here are six songs to help you say goodbye to April showers and say hello to May flowers.

$32 Million to the CSO

The legacy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra received a boost on Thursday with the announcement of two multimillion-dollar gifts − among the largest in the orchestra’s history according to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. Chicago-based Sam and Helen Zell acknowledged a $17 million dollar gift from the Zell Family Foundation for the endowment of the position currently held by music director Riccardo Muti. Maestro ...

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 ...
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dennis's morning quiz

Dennis Moore“Russlan and Ludmilla” is an opera by Mikhail Glinka based on a fairy tale of the same title by Alexander Pushkin. We heard the work’s exuberant overture, based on themes from the opera. The orchestra whose recording of this Glinka favorite we played recently had to cancel its entire summer concert series. A labor dispute and the orchestra’s financial crisis led to a lockout of its players this week. Which orchestra is this?


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