Chicago Musicians to Honor Elijah McClain in Violin Vigil

Under the baton of conductor and violinist Kyle J. Dickson, vigil attendees will play string arrangements of music by William Grant Still, Florence Price, Paul Simon, and Bill Withers to mourn and demand justice for Elijah McClain.

Have a Happy, Musical, and Safe Holiday With These 9 Chicago Performances

Just because we can’t gather in person, it doesn’t mean the weekend won’t be fun and music-filled! Here are nine musical events (most of them virtual), that will provide a great soundtrack for your celebrations.

This Chicago Program is Helping Young Musicians of Color Break Barriers. Here’s How to Audition.

In arts and music, there’s an important — but sometimes overlooked — facet of diversity that needs to be addressed: not just of the people in the audience, but also of the people onstage.

Musicians Protest in Harmony: Violin Vigils for Elijah McClain

As protests in the ongoing fight against systemic racism and police brutality continue, musicians are coming together to pay tribute and raise awareness after the death of fellow violinist, Elijah McClain.

4 Can’t-Miss Chicago Juneteenth Livestreams

As the city, state, and country celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US, Chicago arts and music organizations are giving performances and leading discussions centering Black artists. Here are four music-related streams we think you should tune in to.

No 2020 ‘Nutcracker’ as Joffrey Ballet Cancels Performances Through December

Today, the Joffrey Ballet announced cancellations through December 2020 in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Chicago’s All-Time Top Musical Moments? That’s for You to Decide.

In a city replete with an embarrassment of musical riches, you can help decide the 35 musical moments and events that will be remembered in years to come. Or, as the organizing nonprofit Art & Business Council of Chicago, which supports arts, music, and cultural organizations, puts it, you can “help ensure that the beat goes on.” In what is …

Three Chicago Premieres in Chicago Opera Theater’s 2020-21 Season

General director Ashley Magnus maintains that even in troubled times, the company is “moving forward with the belief that opera truly is a living, resilient art form.”

CSO Cancels Remainder of 2019-20 Season

The CSO’s season was set to continue through June 27 and include a two-week residency with music director Riccardo Muti. Per the statement, the CSO is working to reschedule canceled programs in future seasons.

Grant Park Music Festival Cancels 2020 Season

Today, the Grant Park Music Festival announced the cancellation of its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 crisis. The season was to run from June 10 to August 15, primarily at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion. According to the release, highlights from the now-canceled season were to have included two “genre-bending world premieres,” with one by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko, …

Ravinia Cancels 2020 Season

The summer season was to feature more than 120 events, including concerts featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which takes its summer residency at the venerable, Chicago-area music festival.

Earth Day 2020: Stacy Garrop’s ‘Terra Nostra’

This past February, Stephen Alltop led the Northwestern University Symphony, the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, the Evanston Children’s Choir, and soloists in Terra Nostra – Our Earth – by the acclaimed Chicago-based composer Stacy Garrop. This large-scale celebration of our planet, and the relationship between humankind and the natural world, uses poetry by Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Walt Whitman, and …

Inside Chicago Composer Stacy Garrop’s Rousing Eco-Oratorio ‘Terra Nostra’

WFMT observes the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day with a fitting broadcast: Chicago composer Stacy Garrop’s oratorio Terra Nostra, which celebrates our planet and explores the relationship between humankind and the natural world.

Chicago Area Young Artists Bridge Continents with International Cello Collaboration [Video]

Two young Chicago-area cellists have risen to the challenge of social distancing, bringing together 24 young artists from around the world for one moving performance.

CSO to Premiere Video of Beethoven’s 9th for Facebook Streaming

This Sunday, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will host a Facebook premiere for a video recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 from its archives, in part because it is “widely recognized as one of music’s most powerful and inspiring works.”

Rich Warren Pays Tribute to John Prine

John Prine, who began his career in Chicago, exhibited the ability to wring every possible meaning from a word to expose the joy, sorrow, frailty, and strength of the human condition.

Update: Singer John Prine is in stable condition, his wife says

March 30 update: NEW YORK (AP) — John Prine is in stable condition after being placed on a ventilator while being treated for COVID-19-type symptoms, his wife, Fiona Whelan Prine said Monday. The singer-songwriter’s family said Sunday that Prine was critically ill. Fiona Prine’s message Monday on social media, suggested his condition had improved overnight. Prine remains hospitalized. News that …

A Printable Classical Coloring Sheet, Thanks to David Lee Csicsko!

With everyone cooped up inside, David Lee Csicsko returns with another great design. Our four avian conductors perch, waiting for an orchestra. You’ll notice that they’re also waiting for a splash of color, so print it out and paint, crayon, pencil, or marker to your heart’s content! 

Violinist Isabella Brown Wins 2020 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition

On Saturday, March 7, four young artists competed for a dream opportunity: to perform with the CSO. With her performance of the first movement of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, violinist Isabella Brown won the competition.

Larry Johnson, Host of WFMT’s ‘Arias and Songs’ Has Died at Age 72

Larry Johnson, the host of WFMT’s Arias and Songs, died over the weekend in his home on Chicago’s North Side. He was 72 years old. He leaves behind a brother, Alan Johnson, and a cousin, Lynn Newhart. Larry had a business career in the textile industry but was always an avid music lover and record collector. He joined WFMT as …

Playlist: 14 Marching Band Videos You Have to See to Believe

Marching bands are art in motion. But you have to see the intricate formations – moving images, clever phrases, and more – to truly believe the artistic capabilities of a marching band. In keeping with WFMT’s Midwest roots, we’ve selected 14 astonishing marching band halftime performances — one for each of the schools in the Big 10 Conference (and yes, there are 14 schools in the Big 10!).

Playlist: Listening to the ‘L’, CTA-Centric Music from Classical to Hip-Hop

For many of us, the ‘L’ is more than just a means of getting around the city. It’s a social network, concert venue, observation deck, and roving reading room, uniting Chicago’s cosmopolitan mix over 224 miles of track.

Lake Forest Symphony Cancels Rest of Season Amid Lagging Fundraising

Citing fundraising shortages in the face of rising costs, the Lake Forest Symphony has announced the cancellation of the remainder of its 2019-20 season. This decision comes despite good concert turnout. According to the symphony, the announcement followed a weekend of sold-out concerts midway through the ensemble’s 62nd season. The early termination will bring the cancellation of three programs, including …

5 Questions with Marin Alsop [Video]

“I think that art needs to serve the public… not just to be comforting and familiar, but to push the envelope,” declares Marin Alsop.

Music of the Baroque Announces 2020-21 season

On February 21, Music of the Baroque announced its 2020-2021 season, the ensemble’s 50th.