Playlist: Classical Music Inspired by Flowers and Nature

Many composers have also answered the call of springtime’s riotous colors during this, the blooming season.

Finding Hope in Handel

Little known fact: Handel ranked ‘Theodora’ — not ‘Messiah’ — as his best oratorio. You’ll see why in a rapturous performance by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.

Playlist: Christmas Classics Performed by Chicago Artists

Chicagoans really know how to celebrate the holidays! Here’s a playlist of Christmas favorites as performed by Chicago-area artists and ensembles.

How a Modern Orchestra Plays a Period-Perfect ‘Messiah’

Handel’s oratorio Messiah is everywhere this time of year.

Playlist: Classical Music From Composers’ School Days

Just because the school year is right around the corner doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing (or writing) music. As proof, here are 16 pieces from composers written when they were still students!

How to Make a Baroque Opera Work in the 21st Century

How does an opera written in 1735 hold up today? Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante presents a contemporary perspective on the nearly 300-year-old Baroque opera, with updated gender and sexual politics to boot.

♪ Treat Yo Self to Retta’s 5 Favorite Classical Works ♪

Actress and comedian Retta grabbed classical music lovers’ attention when she appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show, Conan when she revealed that she loves to treat herself to classical music. We spoke with Retta to find out what classical works she wants you to treat yo self to and why.

Playlist: Classical Music for Weddings (That’s Not Pachelbel’s Canon)

If you’re looking to add a classical touch to your nuptials, but would like to avoid the ubiquitous “Canon,” we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite pieces to match the mood of each moment in the ceremony.

Playlist: 10 Handel Operas Everyone Should Know

This article was originally published on February 23, 2016.

Playlist: 8 Classical Composers Who Were Cuckoo for Cuckoos

Few birds have inspired more composers than the cuckoo. Lisa Flynn selects some of her favorite works inspired by the cuckoo, from intimate chamber works to grand symphonies.

Playlist: Opera’s Most Ghastly Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins

The opera house can be a scary place – and we’re not talking about all those crazy singers and their shenanigans backstage! Many operas contain ghastly ghouls, ghosts, goblins, witches, dragons, and all kinds of crazy creatures. Here are some of the most frightening pieces from the history of opera.

This Is What Your Favorite Composers Would Look Like if They Actually Cracked a Smile…

Though the music of your favorite composers might make you smile, chances are, the composers themselves aren’t smiling in their portraits. Until now…

Playlist: 10 Shakespeare-Inspired Operas You Should Know

If “Music oft hath such a charm / To make bad good, and good provoke to harm,” perhaps these 10 Shakespeare-inspired operas will charm you.

Here Are the Best Christmas Albums of 2016 to Get for the Classical Music Lover In Your Life

This holiday season has an especially rich and varied selection of new releases. If you’re looking for gift ideas, here’s a list of Lisa Flynn’s favorites from 2016.

Playlist: 38 Classical Hidden Gems You Should Listen to Right Now

Time for a musical deep dive!

How Handel’s Messiah Got a Gospel Makeover

Handel’s Messiah has been a perennial favorite since the oratorio premiered in Dublin in 1742. Like any beloved classic, the work has also been a favorite for composers to adapt. Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah offers a contemporary, American interpretation of Handel’s original.

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.