Video: Weird Al Flexes His Classical Music Muscle

When beloved satirist and musician “Weird Al” Yankovic visited Ravinia, WFMT spoke with him about his tour… and then challenged him to a classical music speed round!

From 2015: Ramsey Lewis On His Long Overdue CSO Debut

WFMT spoke to the Chicago-born Lewis in 2015, when, at the age of 80, his music received its first CSO performance.

Pianist Stewart Goodyear on the Magic of Music

“Every time I play a piece of music, I train my mind to look at a score fresh.”

Seasons, Tan Dun, and Ghostbusters in Chicago Phil’s 2022/23 Season

The new season will kick off with a live concert performance and screening of Ghostbusters.

Ravinia Festival’s 2022 Lineup Brings Signature Music Mix, Bevy of Guests

In addition to the annual CSO residency, Ravinia will play host to a spate of guest ensembles, including Music of the Baroque, The Knights, the Lincoln Trio, Chanticleer, the Chicago Philharmonic, and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

10 Woman Conductors You Should Know

Though there is a long way still to go, today’s stages are richer because these pioneering conductors are on them.

Alsop In at Ravinia Through 2025; Will Curate New Breaking Barriers Festival This Year

In her role as chief conductor, Alsop curates and conducts a three-week stretch of programs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Embedded within that residency will be the Breaking Barriers Festival.

See Photo Highlights from WFMT’s 70th Anniversary Day of Celebration

We’re still soaring from our big day last week, when we welcomed some of Chicago’s leading artists to take part in a daylong celebration of WFMT and the music we’ve been presenting for the last 70 years!

Stream Highlight Performances from WFMT’s 70th Anniversary Day of Celebration

How better to mark 70 years of WFMT than with a party!?

Artist Icebreaker: Pianist Lara Downes

Ahead of her appearance at Ravinia this week, we sat down to talk with Lara Downes about her efforts to broaden the classical canon, her first introduction to Black composers like Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, and why she loves to work with Rachel Barton Pine.

Artist Icebreaker: Conductor Teddy Abrams

Ahead of his Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, conductor Teddy Abrams explains why classical music needs to reach out to young people and embrace other artforms — and explains how Leonard Bernstein was a role model for both of these missions.

Artist Icebreaker: Conductor Yue Bao

Ahead of Yue Bao’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut at the Ravinia Festival this Sunday, August 8, she reveals to us some conducting secrets, her favorite cities for music, and more!

Watch WFMT’s Latest Classical Conversations With Jessie Montgomery

“Whenever people buy a ticket to a concert, they’re committing to a shared experience…” composer, violinist, and educator Jessie Montgomery reflects.

Ravinia Returns for 2021 Season

Ravinia Festival is back for 2021 for its 85th concert season, offering up a signature blend of classical, jazz, folk, and rock music performances.

Watch WFMT’s Classical Conversations With Marin Alsop

One of the world’s leading conductors, Marin Alsop was in 2020 appointed the principal conductor and curator of the Ravinia Festival. WFMT was honored to speak with the celebrated conductor in the latest installment of our Classical Conversations series.

James Levine, who ruled over Met Opera, dead at age 77

Conductor James Levine, who ruled over the Metropolitan Opera for more than four decades before being eased aside when his health declined and then fired for sexual improprieties, has died.

Ravinia Is Back: Festival Announces Plans For Live Music in 2021 Season

The Ravinia Festival today announced its plans to reopen in July for a 2021 summer music season comprised of classical, popular, and chamber music. The 2020 season was canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

WFMT, Ravinia Announce New Broadcast Series

WFMT is pleased to announce a new broadcast series in partnership with Ravinia Festival. The eight-program, limited-run series “New From the Ravinia Festival,” brings listeners new performances recorded at Ravinia — without an audience — this summer.

Ravinia Festival Names Next President and CEO

This morning, the Ravinia Festival announced its next president and CEO: Jeffrey P. Haydon. The CEO of the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts in New York since 2012, Haydon was previously on the staff of the CSO.

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.

Bernstein MASS: Join Marin Alsop, Paolo Szot, and WFMT’s George Preston for a Live Panel Discussion

In the hour leading up to the premiere of the Ravinia Festival recording of Bernstein‘s MASS on PBS‘s Great Performances, we invite you to join us for this free panel.

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.

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.

Ravinia Appoints Marin Alsop Chief Conductor and Curator

The two-year appointment was created especially for Alsop, who curated Ravinia’s multi-season celebration of the Leonard Bernstein centennial.

The Diva Gets Her Way: Larry Johnson Recalls a Signature Jessye Norman Recital

On a sweltering summer evening in the early 1990s, Jessye Norman visited the Chicago area for an intimate recital at Ravinia. Host Larry Johnson recalls the singular concert experience.