In Memory of Joyce Mitchell, Friend of Classical Music and 90.5

Gifts in Joyce Mitchell's memory can be made to Classical 90.5 FM's “Chopin Café," which she helped establish.

Classical News from NPR

In Chicago, musicians have gone on strike. The players in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, one of the country's top orchestras, let their contract expire on Sunday, March 10, and performances scheduled for this week have already been canceled.

Fans of Hector Berlioz — and record companies, it appears — need no excuse to celebrate the music of the pioneering French composer and quick-witted music critic. The sesquicentennial of Berlioz's death falls on March 8, and to mark the occasion, Warner Classics has released a 27-CD box containing, purportedly, every forward-thinking note the composer ever wrote.

In some early press materials for the new release by The Comet Is Coming, the album is said to "envisage a 21st-century take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Blade Runner." That unlikely mashup of influences should begin to make sense within the first 30 seconds of the album's opening track, with its ominous yet strangely meditative synth-and-sax drone.

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Farewell To Blackfaced Otellos At The Met

Sep 28, 2015

When the curtain rises on the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Verdi's Otello tonight, opera fans will quickly notice what's not there. For the first time since the opera was first staged at the Met in 1891, a white singer performing the title role will not be wearing makeup to darken his complexion to play the Moor at the center of the tragedy.

Over in London, the Independent's arts editor, David Lister, recently published a scathing commentary about the paucity of valuable or even interesting information in artist biographies. He wrote it in a fury after paying £4 to obtain the program for a Proms concert he attended, featuring the excellent German violinist Julia Fischer.

Most working cellists play in classical ensembles that perform in concert halls and music theaters. Tonight, Columbia's Rose Music Hall features a different take on the instrument. The Portland Cello Project is an ensemble interested in testing the boundaries of what you expect from the cello.

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