Grant Park Music Festival Announces 2018 Season

The summer festival’s 2018 season of concerts runs for 10 weeks from June 13 to August 18.

Playlist: 31 Freaky and Frightening Classical Works to Haunt Your Halloween

Whether you’re looking for spooky music as you wait for trick-or-treaters, or you need some music to accompany your own “danse macabre,” we have your perfect Halloween soundtrack.

This Gorgeous Piano Nocturne by Chopin Might Be Even Better Arranged for Violin

Chopin wrote his Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in E-flat major between 1830 and 1832 and the piece was first published in 1833. The Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 is one of the most popular of Chopin’s 21 nocturnes as evidenced by the number of arrangements made for other instruments. Karol Lipiński made the first arrangement during Chopin’s lifetime for …

Video: Watch This Young Pianist Play Ridiculously Hard Works by Chopin… Blindfolded!

Frédéric Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 4 and Prelude Op. 28, No. 16 are notorious for being among the composer’s most challenging works to play. And when pianist Aldric Gozon learned these two pieces, he didn’t stop at getting the notes right – he played both blindfolded. Chopin wrote Étude Op. 10, No. 4 in 1830 as part of his …

Your Guide to Chopin’s Nocturnes

Frédéric Chopin composed nocturnes throughout his career, including 18 published between 1832 and 1846 and 3 published posthumously. The first person to title instrumental works of this kind “nocturnes” was John Field. He published a collection of piano nocturnes in the early 19th century. In a eulogistic preface to an 1859 edition of John Field’s collected nocturnes, composer Franz Liszt …

Playlist: Your Guide to Chopin’s Orchestral Works

Though Chopin did not compose many works for piano and orchestra — just six! — he kept them in his concert repertoire throughout his career.

This Breakdance Duet to Chopin’s ‘Fantaisie-Impromptu’ Will Send You Spinning

When Frédéric Chopin composed his Fantaisie-Impromptu, he probably didn’t expect for the work to serve as the music for a breakdance duet. But at Arabesque 2014, an international ballet competition hosted by the Perm Ballet Opera Theatre, one entry in the “modern choreography” category used Fantaisie-Impromptu for just that purpose. Fantaisie-Impromptu was written in 1834, but it wasn’t published until …

Help Us Decide if Chopin’s ‘Marche Funèbre’ Played Backwards Is More Morose Than the Original

The third movement of Frédéric Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 35 – better known as his “Marche funèbre,” or funeral march – is one of the most iconic pieces of music ever written about death. Historians believe this somber movement was inspired, at least in part, by the November Uprising, a Polish rebellion against the Russian …

Video: Pianist Vassily Primakov Plays Chopin and Rachmaninoff

The Pregnant Buffalo Lounge, a subterranean space at the Chopin Theatre was home to the second WFMT Cabaret.

Why Chopin Composed Fewer Works for Piano and Orchestra Than You Can Count on Your Two Hands

The majority of Chopin’s surviving works are for the piano. Surprisingly, however, the composer only left us with two piano concertos and a handful of other works for piano and orchestra. Polish-Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, who recorded Chopin: Works for Piano and Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon, reflected on these works and why Chopin didn’t write more of them. Expanding the …

Watch WFMT Listener Favorite, Pianist Vera Gornostaeva, Play 12 Chopin Mazurkas

One of Russia’s greatest pianists, Vera Gornostaeva, was virtually unknown outside of her native country for most of her career. She taught at the Moscow Conservatory, earned the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, had a popular television program, Open Piano, and trained dozens of prize-winning pianists. Yet for most of her life, she was never permitted to …

Hearing Rachmaninoff Play Chopin Will Make You Fall in Love With Your Favorite Pieces All Over Again

In addition to an influential composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff was a fine conductor and magnificent pianist who enjoyed playing music by Liszt, Schubert, and Chopin.

Playlist: 8 Chopin Recordings Every Music Lover Should Own

If you love the music of Frédéric Chopin and are looking to expand your recording collection, here are a few albums you might want to consider. These 8 recordings feature 8 different pianists performing 8 different genres, giving you an appreciation for the diversity of Chopin’s works and the musicians who perform them.

Watch ‘Do You Speak Chopin?’ – Emmy-Winning Filmmaker Marian Marzynski’s Newest Doc

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker’s Marian Marzynski newest documentary is Do You Speak Chopin?. Marzynski’s love letter to Chopin is centered around the “Chopin Olympics” of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland.

Classical and Jazz: How Composer and Musician Paquito D’Rivera Thrives in Both Realms

A fourteen-time Grammy Award winner, Cuban-born saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera is revered in both the jazz and classical worlds.

Stanisław Moniuszko: The Most Famous Polish Composer You Don’t Know (But Should)

Stanisław Moniuszko may not be a household name today, the composer is literally the face of Polish opera… a statue of him rests outside of the Warsaw Opera House.