What better way to inaugurate a program celebrating music for kids and families than by inviting a very musical family to perform — violinist Rachel Barton Pine and her 8-year-old daughter Sylvia Pine?
The 2010s were a tumultuous decade, replete with astounding artistic highlights, superlative new voices, and watershed moments of reckoning. WFMT hosts and staff reflect on what the past decade brought for classical music, and what the new decade may have in store.
December 21st’s broadcast marks the 350th program of Arias and Songs. Over the seven years on WFMT, host Larry Johnson has played everything from Callas and ‘La Traviata’ to Nat King Cole and ‘The Producers.’
One of the most exciting things about working at WFMT over the years has been the opportunity to travel on music-themed trips, meeting new friends who share a love of classical music. In early September, I led a group of eleven listeners on a journey to Denmark and Norway, where we saw cosmopolitan capitals and incredible natural beauty. Along the …
When this particular phone call came, it was usually trouble. What often followed was something like “I don’t believe there’s a ‘cough’ in Prokofiev. Love you madly! Goodnight.” Norman Pellegrini, WFMT’s illustrious program director of 43 years, was always listening — vigilant, protective of the station’s values, always blunt in his criticism, and usually right.
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.”
“Among the eminent broadcast journalists of his generation, Studs Terkel may well stand alone in his consistent compassion for lesbian and gay people and curiosity about their lives.” Here are just a few testaments to that compassion.
Andrew Patner, WFMT’s late critic-at-large and music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, passed away in 2015, but his characteristic wit and wisdom live on in his book, A Portrait in Four Movements: The Chicago Symphony under Barenboim, Boulez, Haitink, and Muti.
Richard Strauss’s Elektra is challenging, dramatic, and very, very bloody. This thrilling, one-act opera is based on an ancient Greek myth: Elektra seeks her sweet revenge on her mother for murdering her father. Lyric Opera of Chicago’s intense production features WFMT host Maggie Clennon Reberg. Go behind the scenes at Lyric, and be astonished as Maggie transforms in hair and makeup!
On February 10, some of the biggest names in the music industry convened at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles. R&B and soul singer Alicia Keys hosted the ceremony, as winners were announced in 30 fields and 84 categories. Here are the nominees and winners for the classical music categories.
WFMT has a new Vice President and General Manager, but it is someone you may recognize! George Preston, who will begin in this position March 1, 2019, returns to WFMT, where he served as the afternoon drive host from 2009 to 2013, and hosted and produced the internationally syndicated Lyric Opera of Chicago broadcasts. Sandra Cordova Micek, CEO of Window …
My musical New year’s resolution: Listen More Mindfully Many of the most important and rewarding musical works demand our full attention and were written in and for far less harried times. In Chicago, in particular, we’re lucky to have access to live performances of great works year round, sometimes at low cost or even for free. It’s so easy to …