11 Studs Terkel Conversations for Black History Month

Just a few of the Black voices from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

MLK, Mahler, Making Community with the Chicago Sinfonietta

The Chicago Sinfonietta’s longstanding mission of bringing communities and people together through the symphonic experience takes center stage this weekend with the Sinfonietta’s annual tribute concert to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., featuring orchestral settings of spirituals, folksongs, hip hop, and Mahler’s Ressurection Symphony.

Met Opera to hold celebration of Jessye Norman on Nov. 24

Latonia Moore, Eric Owens, Lise Davidsen, J’Nai Bridges, and Leah Hawkins are scheduled to perform, the company said Wednesday, along with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Late opera star Jessye Norman’s US hometown honors her life

City officials of Augusta, Georgia, plan to name the street outside the arts school Norman opened in 2003 after the beloved soprano.

From 2014: Jessye Norman Visits WFMT

WFMT is deeply saddened to learn that soprano Jessye Norman has died at age 74. As a tribute to her inspiring life and career, we are re-sharing this story from when Ms. Norman herself visited WFMT.

Jessye Norman, the international opera star, dead at 74

The renowned international opera star, whose passionate soprano voice won her four Grammy Awards and the National Medal of Arts, has died.

‘No path is easy’: Black opera singers detail struggles

More than 60 years after Marian Anderson broke the color barrier at the Met, Black singers still face unique obstacles within the opera industry. “We’ve made some strides, but not a whole lot,” said Professor Naomi Andre.

Rhiannon Giddens, Francis Johnson to get Americana award

The Americana Music Association said the new award has been created to honor those who have “either made a lasting impression through music or inspired art to recognize the legacy of Americana music traditions.”

Pianist Lara Downes on Drawing Courage, Joy From Women Composers and Artists

“You have these pieces of music that are part of you, part of your DNA, and every time you return to them, it just comes out differently because you are different.”

Hungary: ‘Porgy and Bess’ cast asked to be African American

The opera’s decision to put on George and Ira Gershwin’s seminal work set in the American south and intended for a Black cast has caused a conflict with the creators’ estate.

Met Opera to hire all-black chorus for ‘Porgy and Bess’

The Metropolitan Opera will hire an all-black outside chorus next season for its first presentation in nearly three decades of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.

Finding James Baldwin: Chicago’s Renée Baker Composes Opera Inspired By the Great Writer

Renée Baker’s interest in Baldwin began when she first heard recordings of his voice. “The person that I’d only accessed from books became quite real once I was able to actually hear and listen to him speak.” She notes.

Concert pianist, Marian Anderson protege Burton-Lyles dies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Blanche Burton-Lyles, a concert pianist who was mentored by pioneering opera singer Marian Anderson, has died. She was 85. Burton-Lyles died of heart failure Monday at a rehabilitation center, according to Slater Funeral Home in Philadelphia. Burton-Lyles was born and raised in Philadelphia. She learned how to play classical piano at the age of 3. Burton-Lyles was …

Aretha Franklin doc ‘Amazing Grace’ to finally see the light

Sydney Pollack shot most of the footage that documented Franklin’s performance at a Los Angeles Baptist church in January 1972.

Conductor Leslie Dunner: “You need to be a well-rounded human being”

“We want people who want to move in a new direction. And we want our students to have a well-rounded background in arts or science. If they want to go on in dance or in film or in literature, they can.”

How D-Composed Aims to Re-Compose the Experience of Classical Concerts

“We want to dismantle the notion that classical music is reserved for a certain group of people,” said D-Composed Chicago founder Kori Coleman.

Producer who worked with Franklin recalls great performances

Ken Ehrlich recalls some of his favorite memories working with “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin.

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

DETROIT (AP) — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul,” has died at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee on the Artists Who Have Inspired Him the Most and Why Black Composers Matter

Learn how Lawrence Brownlee, hailed as one of the world’s leading tenors, is developing new works that respond to issues facing men of color today.

You’re Guaranteed to Get “So Emotional” Watching Whitney Houston Sing With Luciano Pavarotti

If you get “so emotional” every time you hear Whitney Houston sing, this video may make you reach for the tissues. This video will have you wondering just what Whitney Houston couldn’t do as a singer. She steals the show from opera powerhouse Luciano Pavarotti, and renowned musicians Sting and Elton John in this video of the singers sharing a …

This Chicagoan Never Expected To Sing Opera. Now She’s Singing on One of the World’s Largest Stages.

Soprano Whitney Morrison began singing before she could even speak. Through her early years of singing in church, she never thought she would pursue a career in opera. Now, Morrison is one of 12 young artists selected for the 2017/2018 ensemble at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. The Ryan Opera Center is one …

Hearing George Shirley, the Met’s First Black Tenor, Sing Mozart Will Melt Your Heart

In 2015, former President Barack Obama awarded Shirley with the National Medal of Arts.

STREAM: This Rare Live Recording of ‘Queen of Gospel’ Mahalia Jackson Will Take You to Church

Hear a rarely-heard live performance by Mahalia Jackson’s broadcast from the Morrison Hotel in 1975 courtesy of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

Hear What Maya Angelou, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ Author, Sounds Like Singing the Blues

Author and activist Maya Angelou is best for her autobiographical memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. But have you heard Angelou sing?

The 1 Concert That Inspired Riccardo Muti to Create the CSO’s African American Network

Maestro Muti sat down with Sheila Jones, coordinator of the CSO’s African American Network, years ago to ask, “How do we bring the African American community into Symphony Center?”