Choreographer Cathy Marston and the Joffrey Ballet Take ‘Jane Eyre’ From Page To Stage

To conceal that the book’s author was a woman, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was first published in 1847 under a pen name. Choreographer Cathy Marston feels the book was revolutionary: “It truly was groundbreaking for a woman to write about her emotions and station in life with such honesty.”

Music Acts as a Translator, Cultural Bridge in Wang Lu’s ‘Code Switch’

“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.

Playlist: 12 Clara Schumann Pieces You Should Know

Clara Schumann was one of the 19th century’s most celebrated composers and performers for the piano. Ahead of the 200th anniversary of her birth, celebrate her with a playlist of some of her greatest compositions.

Meet the Conductor Who’s Resurrecting Maria Callas (in Hologram Form)

With a laugh, Irish conductor and composer Eímear Noone describes herself: “My background is very traditional classical, and my love of all things shiny and new and technological brought me to this world where the orchestra meets technology.” By her description, she seems like a logical candidate to conduct a cutting-edge orchestral recital featuring a hologram Maria Callas.

Celebrate Art Song and Living Composers in Chicago and Beyond at this Three-Day Festival

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.

Rhiannon Giddens, Francis Johnson to get Americana award

The Americana Music Association said the new award has been created to honor those who have “either made a lasting impression through music or inspired art to recognize the legacy of Americana music traditions.”

On the Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary, Hear a Song Cycle Inspired by American Women Astronauts

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.

Playlist: 10 Piano Concertos You Need to Know But Probably Don’t

You voted on your 10 favorite piano concertos and we aired them on WFMT along with 10 piano concertos that might be less familiar to you. Which of the concertos below are discoveries to you? Which of your favorites would you add to the list?

Pianist Lara Downes on Drawing Courage, Joy From Women Composers and Artists

“You have these pieces of music that are part of you, part of your DNA, and every time you return to them, it just comes out differently because you are different.”

Where Are the Women Composers? How Classical Music is Faring in the Fight for Gender Equality

Over the span of just 9 months, Philadelphia Orchestra went from being one of the least representative orchestras of women composers to being the most.

Settling the Score: Oscar Noms Highlight Gender Disparity in Film Composition

Despite shifting tides, especially since the rise of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements in 2017, women are often left out of the spotlight when it comes to leadership roles in film and music production.

Finding James Baldwin: Chicago’s Renée Baker Composes Opera Inspired By the Great Writer

Renée Baker’s interest in Baldwin began when she first heard recordings of his voice. “The person that I’d only accessed from books became quite real once I was able to actually hear and listen to him speak.” She notes.

Video | Soprano Tamara Wilson Sings Music Inspired by Female Astronauts

With pianist Justina Lee, Wilson shared a selection from Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Weightless Dreams, a song cycle composed for Wilson based on the writings and experiences of women astronauts.

WFMT Audio Engineer Mary Mazurek Nominated for a Grammy Award

If you’ve ever listened to a live broadcast on WFMT, chances are you’ve heard Mary Mazurek’s work. Since beginning at WFMT in 1993, Mary has come to engineer for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Live from WFMT, Impromptu, and more. She’s worked with leading artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to the Kronos Quartet. And now, she’s received her first …

Meet Missy Mazzoli, the CSO’s New Composer-in-Residence

Missy Mazzoli is a composer who is inspired by “weird stories,” and that’s a good thing. Her fascination with “humans who support, undermine, and love each other” has paved the way for opportunities in nearly every realm of the music industry. She is one of two women composers commissioned to write an opera for the Metropolitan Opera in New York …

Less than 5% of Audio Engineers are Women: This is My Story

My name is Mary Mazurek, and I am a recording engineer, an artist, an educator, and a Ph.D. candidate. But most of all, I am a woman working in a very male-dominated field. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful career. But it almost didn’t happen.

How D-Composed Aims to Re-Compose the Experience of Classical Concerts

“We want to dismantle the notion that classical music is reserved for a certain group of people,” said D-Composed Chicago founder Kori Coleman.

The Most Important Lessons Conductor Marin Alsop Learned From Her Mentor Leonard Bernstein

As the world celebrates the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, one of his protégés, conductor Marin Alsop has a busy schedule conducting his works around the world. During rehearsals with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for performances of Bernstein’s MASS at the Ravinia Festival, Alsop spoke about some of the most important lessons she learned from her mentor about music and about life.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Appoints Missy Mazzoli as Composer-in-Residence

Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti has appointed Missy Mazzoli as the orchestra’s new Mead Composer-in-Residence. Mazzoli will write a new work for the CSO, to be performed during the 2019-2020 season, and she will curate the orchestra’s Music Now concert series, plus give guidance for the programming of other contemporary music by the orchestra. Mazzoli’s compositions include two …

Playlist: 19 African American Composers to Celebrate on Juneteenth (and Every Day of the Year)

Though African Americans have faced oppression throughout American history and the arts, Black composers’ contributions to music have been nothing short of history-changing.

How Women of the Chicago Black Renaissance Changed Classical Music Around the World

Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Irene Britton Smith, Nora Holt, and countless other women of color contributed to the Chicago Black Renaissance and changed classical music around the world.

Video | Jennifer Koh Plays 6 New Works That Redefine Violin Virtuosity for the 21st Century

Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 1 has defined virtuosity on the solo violin for nearly 200 years. Violinist Jennifer Koh is changing that.

Video: 5 Questions with Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya

When conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya was recently named the new music director of Chicago Opera Theater, she became the only woman to hold that title with a major American opera company. Get to know Yankovskaya in this video interview.

Hear the Timeless Sound of Yma Sumac, the Soprano Called “a Descendant of the Last of the Incan Kings”

Imagine you’re seated in Royal Albert Hall in London. You look to the stage and see a woman in a glamorous, feathered skirt. Her headpiece crowns her like royalty, and her neck drips with jewels that glow in the dim lights of the hall. When she opens her mouth, you wonder, “Is that a canary?” But you are witnessing none other than soprano Yma Sumac.

Listen to the Music of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou: Pianist, Composer, Nun, and Living Legend

From Mahmoud Ahmed to Tilahun Gesesse, Mulatu Astatke to Getatchew Mekuria, there have been many beloved musicians throughout Ethiopia’s history. However, there is only one that has combined the musical traditions of St. Yared, the father of Ethiopian religious music, with classical piano and the traditional pentatonic scales of Ethiopian music.