Arts

Arts and culture

Karim Wasfi became famous around the world because of misfortune. The renowned performer and conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra played cello at the scenes of suicide attacks in Baghdad in 2015. He was the man who made beautiful music among the wreckage of a great city.

Sessions from Studio A - Lehto & Wright

Dec 13, 2018
Spencer Tritt / WNIJ

Lehto & Wright performs in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find the music of Lehto & Wright online.

SteuartPittman.com

People donate art to museums from time to time. But a really large donation – a whole collection – can help define a museum's very identity. 

Laura and John Fraser, both artists, have collected contemporary art together for decades. Over the years, they amassed a large set of pieces rich - if that's the right word for so subtle a collection – in abstract images and shapes, with the occasional bit of whimsy.

RSO

Rockford Symphony Orchestra Music Director Steven Larsen will be unable to conduct the orchestra's Holiday Pops concerts this weekend.

Larsen was injured in an accident last week and is recuperating in a hospital. Elgin Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Stephen Squires will lead the programs at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in his place.

The RSO says Larsen is expected to make a full recovery, but could not say when he would be able to return to the podium. 

Sessions from Studio A - Blue Dream

Dec 7, 2018

Find Blue Dream online.

In a move that is astonishing much of the classical music world, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) announced Wednesday that it has appointed Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen as its next music director, beginning in September 2020.

Guy Stephens

Editor's note: Many performances of Handel's most famous oratorio invite audience participation. These are called Sing-Along Messiahs, Scratch Messiahs, People's Messiahs, and Do-It-Yourself-Messiahs. For this article about performances in which unrehearsed attendees serve as the chorus, we'll refer to each of them as "Messiah."

George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" shows up in concerts regularly this time of year.  But some performances call for the audience to join in.

Sessions from Studio A - Olivia Dvorak

Nov 29, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Olivia Dvorak performs "Siren's Call" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Olivia Dvorak performs "Drown it all in Whiskey" in WNIJ's Studio A.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Keeping with Morning Edition's longstanding Thanksgiving Day tradition, classical music commentator Miles Hoffman stops by to give listeners a sample of music that speak to the themes of the holiday. This year's music selection serves as a lesson on famous references to musical fowl throughout history.

Rockford Art Museum

When is a house not just a home? When it's the subject of an exhibition, called "Dwellings," at the Rockford Art Museum.   

 

Sessions from Studio A - Justin Gambino

Nov 15, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hnu_Bi7xWUU" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Justin Gambino performs "Your Hands & Feet" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Justin Gambino performs "Silhouettes" in WNIJ's Studio A.

The irony couldn't have been more vivid when Maria Callas sang the words "The dead don't rise again from the grave," from Verdi's opera Macbeth, on stage Friday night at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg, Va.

Sessions from Studio A - Emily Hurd

Nov 1, 2018
Spencer Tritt / WNIJ

Emily Hurd performs "Brush Fire" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Emily Hurd performs "Daytime Fireflies" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Thank you for voting! This competition is now closed. Stay tuned for our Top Ten artists announcement and for the winner's interview on NPR's All Things Considered.


Slingshot, VuHaus public radio stations and NPR Music's emerging artist series, spotlighted 40 artists over the course of the past 10 months. Now it's time for you to tell us your favorite.

Sessions from Studio A - Mackenzie O'Brien

Oct 25, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Mackenzie O'Brien performs "Live by the Sun" at the Prairie Street Brewing Company in Rockford.

Mackenzie O'Brien performs "High Class, Low Rent" at the Prairie Street Brewing Company in Rockford.

Updated Nov. 1 at 9:34 a.m. ET

For the second time in just over two months, renowned opera singer David Daniels has been accused of sexually assaulting a young singer.

Andrew Lipian, a former student of Daniels at the University of Michigan (UM), has filed a civil suit against both Daniels and the school over a March 2017 incident in which he alleges he was drugged and assaulted by Daniels.

The Cleveland Orchestra announced on Wednesday that it has fired two of its prominent musicians on the basis of sexual misconduct: concertmaster William Preucil and principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa.

WNIJ

Rockford artist and owner of The Underground Art Gallery, Roni Golan stopped by the studio today. He spent the morning creating a custom piece, inspired by public radio. And, here's the best news...he's allowing us to offer this amazing painting to one lucky WNIJ listener.

If you missed the excitement of the live painting this morning, check out the highlights below: 

Sessions from Studio A - The Sanctified Grumblers

Oct 18, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The Sanctified Grumblers perform "Nancy Jane" Dockside Live at the Prairie Street Brewing Co. in Rockford.

The Sanctified Grumblers perform "Mama's Little Sonny Boy" Dockside Live at the Prairie Street Brewing Co. in Rockford.

Vijay Gupta's life work has been to make music accessible to all.

That passion caught the attention of others and earlier this month the Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist was awarded a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship — also known as the genius grant.

Sessions from Studio A - Kraig Kenning

Oct 11, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Kraig Kenning performs "Left Chicago" Dockside Live at the Prairie St. Brewing Co.

Kraig Kenning performs "Left Chicago" Dockside Live at the Prairie St. Brewing Co.

Until recently, most classical music videos have been humdrum affairs. Musicians, in concert attire, earnestly produce their notes with eyes closed and heads tilted in a beatific expression, somewhere between a migraine and an attempt to channel Bach from the heavens.

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