The Earliest Opera Is Over 800 Years Old… And It Was Written By a Woman

The extraordinary story of Hildegard von Bingen.

Listen to the One Cuban Singer That Omara Portuondo of Buena Vista Social Club Wants Everyone to Hear

Omara Portuondo is proud to be compared to Édith Piaf, but she also wants the world to know more about Cuban artists.

Hear Music by Chiquinha Gonzaga, the Brazilian Composer Who Was 100 Years Ahead of Her Time

When Brazilian pianist, conductor, and composer Chiquinha Gonzaga’s first husband told her to choose him or music, she replied, “Well, sir, my husband, I do not understand life without harmony.” Shortly after, they parted ways. The stigma of divorce, however, followed her. Shunned by her own family, Gonzaga was left to fend for herself in Rio de Janeiro. During the …

The Women of Nordic Affect Share What Makes the Music of Iceland Some of the Coolest Stuff on Earth

Learn about what makes Iceland’s music scene so unique from the only group that’s performed with both Björk and The English Concert.

“Females Disrupting The Tap World” Explore Dance, Art, and Gender with New “Hansel and Gretel”

For jorsTap Chicago, a company that describes itself as “females disrupting the tap world,” dance functions not only as a storytelling medium but as a way to create safe spaces. The company’s latest project is a gender-inclusive re-telling of Hansel and Gretel created in collaboration with multimedia artist David Lee Csicsko. The original tale of a brother and sister who …

Meet CSO Solti Conducting Apprentice Erina Yashima

For ten weeks each year, Erina Yashima works directly with Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti and leads the Civic Orchestra.

Sitarist Anoushka Shankar on Sexism, Collaboration, Her Return “Home” to the United States

Sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar has lived her life around the world. Born in London, a city she currently calls home, Shankar spent her formative years in England, India, and the United States. Touring first with her father Pandit Ravi Shankar and later as a solo artist, she has also called many other countries her temporary home. Before embarking on …

Playlist: 10 Composers Changing Classical Music (Who Also Happen to Be Women)

If you’re looking to expand your own repertoire, why not explore the music of living composers? Check out these 10 composers changing contemporary classical music today who also all happen to be women.

Meet Susie Lape, the New Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Now in its 70th season, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) recently announced that Susie Lape will serve as the orchestras’ new Executive Director. Susie is currently Executive Director of the Lake Forest Symphony. You might recall a recent WFMT series highlighting the Lake Forest Symphony’s search for a new music director in the aptly named program The Search. The CYSO …

How Angélique Kidjo Went from Hating Classical Music to Collaborating With Philip Glass

Kidjo’s curiosity about classical music was sparked in an unlikely way. Her father started playing Beethoven on the banjo.

Watch WFMT Listener Favorite, Pianist Vera Gornostaeva, Play 12 Chopin Mazurkas

One of Russia’s greatest pianists, Vera Gornostaeva, was virtually unknown outside of her native country for most of her career. She taught at the Moscow Conservatory, earned the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, had a popular television program, Open Piano, and trained dozens of prize-winning pianists. Yet for most of her life, she was never permitted to …

Joan Baez Talks Trump, Taxes, and Dylan

Joan Baez has always said she is an activist first and an artist second. At 75 years old, her priorities have not changed. This fall, Baez is on a tour of major cities throughout the United States to, in part, raise awareness about the nation’s criminal justice system.

Playlist: 10 Contemporary Composers You Should Know (…Who Also Happen to Be Women)

During March, Women’s History Month, we draw special attention to the music of women composers past and present on WFMT. Here are 10 living composers who are changing music today, along with 10 albums featuring their music you might want to add to your library.

‘I’m a white composer, living in white privilege, setting the poetry of Langston Hughes’

When Karpman encountered Langston Hughes’ poem, she was instantly fascinated.

5 Women on Being Modern Women in Dance

Choreographer and modern dance maven Claire Bataille: “But gender discrimination is really no different in the dance world from what it is in the corporate world…”

How Gabriela Montero Uses the Piano for Political Protest

“I wrote Ex Patria in 2011 to honor the 19,336 victims of homicide that year in Venezuela.”