Arts

Arts and culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

  • Riccardo Muti, music director and conductor
  • Rosa Feola, soprano
  • Antonio Giovannini, countertenor
  • Audun Iversen, baritone
  • Chicago Symphony Chorus (Duain Wolfe, chorus director)
  • Chicago Children's Choir (Josephine Lee, artistic director)

It is one of classical music's most resilient creatures, repeatedly set loose across concert halls, recording studios and the landscape of popular entertainment.

The Academy Of St. Martin In The Red

Sep 28, 2012

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

  • The biggest news of the week was the walkout at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which forced the cancellation of the first Saturday night concert of the 2012-13 season. Management and the players wrestled over players' health care contributions. How does their compensation stack up, you may ask? "The current average salary of CSO musicians, who have a base salary of $145,000, is $173,000.

The Danish art-rock trio Efterklang took the stage with the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Thursday for this, the American premiere of music from the band's album Piramida.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Travel down the long dirt driveway leading to WLUV just north of Rockford and you’ll find yourself in a different time and maybe even a different place. Not much has changed at the tiny AM country radio station since it signed on the air 50 years ago this weekend. 

Twenty-five years ago, no one — and I mean no one — would have predicted that a little budget label out of Hong Kong would totally upend the classical music industry. But after doing everything pretty much counter to received wisdom, the Naxos catalog includes more than 7,000 recordings, and they've sold more than 115 million CDs worldwide. A very popular streaming service, the Naxos Music Library, contains nearly a million tracks.

In terms of international prestige, it's hard to think of bigger prizes in the classical community than those given annually by the British classical music magazine Gramophone (where I served as the North America editor for several years). Sure, the Grammys have more general name recognition, but these Eurocentric awards, completely dedicated to classical music, offer far more depth and breadth than their nearest American counterparts, both in terms of artists and repertoire.

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz was just 20 years old when he swept all five top prizes at the 2005 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. His domination was so thorough the judges declined to award a runner-up.

Today, Sept. 25, 2012, would have marked the 80th birthday of Glenn Gould, and Oct. 4 is the 30th anniversary of his death. One can only wonder what Gould might have done had he lived a full life — he had many plans and spoke of them with customary enthusiasm — but I have no doubt that he would have loved the internet above all.

Cecilia Bartoli has a passion for musical archaeology: "I am the Indiana Jones of classical," she says jokingly to All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

Bartoli rummages through music history to uncover forgotten opera composers deserving of her detailed and dramatic performances. Her new album, Mission, introduces her most recent "find," the late-17th-century Italian Agostino Steffani.

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