ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Musician and composer Brett Dean has been hospitalized in Australia with the new coronavirus. British agent Intermusica says the violist and conductor is in isolation in an Adelaide hospital with the COVID-19 illness. He was to perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the Adelaide Festival on Saturday. Festival executive director Rob Brookman says Dean canceled …
With all the incredible performances that happen every year around this city, it can be easy to forget: Chicago is a hub for new music. This year, one of the cornerstones of Chicago’s contemporary classical music scene — Frequency Festival — celebrates its fifth year in a week of new music concerts.
With a story that highlights how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go, Chicago Opera Theater presents the world premiere of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride, which centers on a pivotal moment in the civil rights struggle.
The classical crossover has not always had the best reputation, but there’s no shortage of ambitious, energizing takes on genre-mixing. Composer and conductor Teddy Abrams, who collaborated with indie-rocker Jim James on a recent album, breaks down the perils and payoffs of the crossover.
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.
Classical music, jazz, Celtic folksongs, and funk — these genres make up just a few of the words in Wynton Marsalis’ musical language. Violinist Nicola Benedetti calls Marsalis’ new violin concerto a “path of discovery.”
Thompson’s 2015 piece brings to light an issue that hits close to home in Chicago and countrywide: the killing of unarmed African American men. Thompson parallels Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ; using the liturgy as a guide, he weaves a piece that prompts conversation about race and social injustice.
“It has been said that a society can be judged by the way it treats its animals,” composer David T. Little says in the program notes for his chamber opera, Dog Days. Based on a short story by Judy Budnitz, the opera is set in a war-torn future that’s not too far away from our own time.
Born in Damascus, Syria, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh’s home country has undergone years of political strife, violence, and a refugee crisis. Azmeh has looked to his own craft in order to draw attention to these ongoing struggles in the form of a concerto by Syrian composer Kareem Roustom.
“I would not consider myself a composer at all,” says Kian Soltani, shortly after playing a piece of music that he composed called Persian Fire Dance. “I’m really a cellist first and foremost, but I try to be creative also.”
“Maybe we’re getting used to being misunderstood… Hopefully, [through] music, we can be more open,” reflects Wang Lu. Her work, Code Switch, will have its world premiere to open the first MusicNOW concert of the CSO season.
In the eyes of tenor Nicholas Phan, living composers and the classical music genre of art song both face a similar obstacle: they’re often overlooked when it comes to programming and promoting classical music.
In February, soprano Tamara Wilson joined WFMT to perform a celestial song cycle composed for her by Chicago composer James Kallembach. The works draw from the experience of women astronauts, including Sally Ride, Sunita Williams, and Peggy Whitson. We’re bringing this video back in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Classical and jazz composer-pianist Anthony Davis’ latest opera, The Central Park Five, with a libretto by Richard Wesley, premiered in June 2019. We spoke with the composer and members of the creative team about bringing the opera to life.
Using his violin and virtuosic whistle, Andrew Bird genre-jumps from indie rock to jazz, and from folk to classical. Born in Lake Forest, Bird began learning classical violin from the Suzuki Method at the age of four and recalls, “My mom would have WFMT on all the time… My dad listened to Merle Haggard.”