Saturday, April 24, 2010

WFMT Broadcast Will Be a Festival First

Audience members at the April 25 Bach Week Festival concert will be part of a historic event: the first-ever live broadcast from the festival, now it in its 37th season.

Radio station WFMT (98.7 FM) will be airing the concert live from Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston starting at 7:30 p.m. and streaming it simultaneously to a worldwide audience via the station's Web site,

Carl Grapentine, the station's popular morning personality, will host the broadcast.

Grapentine has been attending the festival regularly since moving to Chicago from Michigan in the late 1980s.

"It's Johann Sebastian Bach in a perfect setting in the springtime," Grapentine says. "What could be better?"

He says, "I'm really looking forward to bringing Bach Week to the WFMT airwaves. Thousands of listeners will now be able to hear Sunday's concert, and it's an honor to be hosting it"

WFMT general manager Steve Robinson, who first proposed the idea, says, "I'm just thrilled that we'll be airing a Bach Week Festival broadcast. It will not be the last."

Robinson says WFMT focuses extensively on live broadcasts "to distinguish ourselves from among the many canned classical music sources out there, be it satellite, cable, or Web-based music streams. We're bringing listeners unique performances they won't hear anywhere else.

"We're excited about Sunday night's broadcast and the wonderful concert that's in store for our listeners," Robinson said.

Works will include Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Major, BWV 1042, with violin soloist Desirée Ruhstrat; Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F Major, BWV 1047; and Cantata No. 147, “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” (“Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life”), with soprano Patrice Michaels, mezzo-soprano Emily Lodine, tenor William Watson, bass Douglas Anderson, and the Bach Week Festival Chorus. The cantata is the source of the popular and beloved chorale theme, “Jésu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”

Tickets are available at or by calling (800) 595-4849.

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