Arts

Arts and culture

When a poet writes a novel, it's natural to expect the story to include a poem or some reference to poetry. For her debut novel, poet Marydale Stewart uses a 10th Century verse, "The Wanderer," as a symbol for one of her main characters.

Stewart's book, The Wanderers, is our Read With Me selection for December.

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist established their community more than 20 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich. where music is a daily part of the Catholic nuns' lives in the Motherhouse. With the holiday season looming, the sisters joined NPR's Scott Simon for an in-studio performance and discussion of their latest album, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: Christmas with The Dominican Sisters of Mary.

What are the holidays without Charlie Brown?

Nowadays, the quietly elegant and celebratory recordings by pianist Vince Guaraldi have become as much a part of the holidays as the sound of unwrapping presents. And every year we are treated to at least one interpretation of that classic Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack by one of the pianists on NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas. This year is no exception.

Sessions from Studio A - Kindoves

Dec 14, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Kindoves perform "Orange Morning" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Follow Kindoves online at Facebook.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

DeKalb’s Municipal Band will not be traveling abroad next summer to celebrate the anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, due to financial constraints. 

They originally had been selected to be the only band from Illinois to perform in D-Day celebrations.

Conductor Kirk Lundbeck says the DeKalb Municipal Band was not able to raise the needed funds. But he says there still may be other performance opportunities to come for the band, which could include playing in Washington, D.C., Mount Rushmore or Pearl Harbor in 2019.

Sessions from Studio A - CHEER-ACCIDENT

Dec 7, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

CHEER-ACCIDENT performs "Humanizing the Distance" in WNIJ's Studio A.

You can find the music of CHEER-ACCIDENT on their website, cheer-accident.com.

ENCORE! Cor Cantiamo

Dec 7, 2017

Professional vocal ensemble Cor Cantiamo is on the next ENCORE! 7pm Monday, December 11.

Classical music has never lived in a bubble. For centuries, it's always found common ground with folk music.

Enter, the Danish String Quartet.

Richard Reed Parry plays to arenas full of fans as a member of the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire, but he impressed listeners in 2014 with a more intimate record. Parry's Music For Heart And Breath featured compositions that asked some of the best musicians in contemporary classical music to use their own heartbeats and breathing to guide their performances.

The Metropolitan Opera has suspended its longtime conductor and former music director, James Levine, following allegations of sexual abuse reported by The New York Post and The New York Times. The three sets of allegations span from the 1960s to the '80s.

Sessions from Studio A - Iverson

Nov 30, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Iverson performs "Chosen Ones" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find the music of Iverson at weareiverson.com.

In a cheerful rehearsal room at Temple University, a few dozen professional musicians inspect the instruments that they'll be playing to debut an audacious piece of music by a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.

The composition is called "Symphony For a Broken Orchestra" and, fittingly, these instruments are all broken.

There's a phrase that comes up when discussing Southern literature. You might've heard it:

The South is a place; East, North and West are merely directions.

This will make sense to anyone who has read To Kill A Mockingbird or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Authors like Harper Lee and John Berendt take you to places with distinct voices, characters and surroundings. You can hear the accents, feel the prejudice, and picture the unique landscape and architecture.

churchjazz.com

The Christmas story has been told in many ways. And many kinds of music have been used to help tell that story anew. One such piece, billed as “A Jazz Nativity,” will bring its interpretation to northern Illinois this weekend.

It is an important moment in the life of a symphony orchestra when a new conductor is selected — not just to lead the orchestra, but to create the programs, hire the artists and more. In short, to be the music director.

In Washington, D.C., the choice was made with astonishing harmony.

John Adams might be called the "documentarian" among American composers. His works have traced the birth of the atomic bomb, President Nixon's trip to China and the 9-11 attacks. Now, Adams turns to the California Gold Rush.

Like a good mixtape from a friend, performances by David Greilsammer tend to range widely in repertoire and surprise with cunning juxtapositions. On a recent album for example, the Israeli pianist alternated sonatas by avant-garde pioneer John Cage and baroque master Domenico Scarlatti.

Sessions from Studio A - Liv Lombardi

Nov 23, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Liv Lombardi performs "Heart on Fire" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Liv Lombardi performs "The Swell" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find the music of Liv Lombardi at LivLombardi.com.

David W. Berner's latest book is about a song he wrote for his children and his journey to perform it for the first time in public.

Berner's composition, a finalist in a national contest, is the star of October Song: A Memoir of Music and the Journey of Time. His book is our Read With Me selection for November.

Sessions from Studio A - The Giving Tree Band

Nov 16, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The Giving Tree Band performs "Live Love" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find The Giving Tree Band online at thegivingtreeband.com.

Rockford's Famous Kantorei Takes On A New Dimension

Nov 16, 2017
Guy Stephens/WNIJ

For more than half a century, the youth choir Kantorei has been known as the Singing Boys of Rockford. This year, that changed.

On a late Tuesday afternoon, members of Kantorei’s Training Choir go through their paces. The treble voices sound a lot like those in years past. It’s when you look at them that you notice the difference. The long-time boy choir now includes … girls.

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

Nov 10, 2017

One of the premier classical pianists of her generation, Ruth Laredo (1937–2005) was known as America's First Lady of the Piano. In partnership with Marian McPartland and Dick Hyman, Laredo produced wildly popular Three Piano Crossover Concerts, exploring the boundaries between classical music and jazz.

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About Benjamin Zander's TED Talk

Years of conducting a world-famous orchestra have shown Benjamin Zander the power of classical music. He says music speaks to our emotions — and has the ability to reach everybody.

About Benjamin Zander

Sessions from Studio A - Northern Wind Trio

Nov 9, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Northern Wind Trio performs "Cavalry" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Terry Riley's In C might be considered one of the seminal pieces of minimalism, but at its heart it's an open invitation. The score resides on a single sheet of paper with 53 phrases to be repeated by an indefinite number of musicians.

Imagine a dinner party that never ends. The guests can't leave. That's the premise for Luis Buñuel's classic 1962 surrealist film The Exterminating Angel. It might seem an unlikely subject for an opera, but that's just what London-born composer Thomas Adès has brought to New York's Metropolitan Opera.

The Hebrew Psalms have inspired composers for thousands of years.

Now, New York's Lincoln Center is presenting The Psalms Experience, a festival of choral settings of all 150 Psalms by 150 different composers. It includes nine U.S. premieres.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers performing "Let Me Down Easy in WNIJ's Studio A.

Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers performing "Lonely Enough" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find the music of Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers at Bandcamp.

Pages