Margaret Hillis: Unsung Pioneer 

Still today, the attributes of celebrated conductors – those dominating master magicians of the orchestra – are commonly gendered.  Female presence on the podium is much more common than in 1867, nevertheless – as with CEOs – we have yet to appreciate ways of conducting other than, in the words of Wagner, “your German (male) masters”.  To envision what excellent podium presence could eventually mean in the 21st century, we might look back at an extraordinary “unsung pioneer” of 20th-century classical music in the United States, the conductor and founder of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Margaret Hillis.  Dr. Cheryl Frazes, her protégée, and Interim Director of that Chorus, knows her uncommon story of success as an executive lesbian woman in a mid-20th-century man’s world better than anyone else.  Cheryl has just published a new biography that highlights Hillis’ inspiring deeds, but more importantly, details the inspiring way that Hillis achieved them in the face of all odds.  Come welcome Cheryl and Frank Villella, Director of the Rosenthal Archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, to our show and let’s get to know an inspiring new way of conducting!

WATCH: YouTube / Facebook

(CANCELLED*) Ron Rosenstock: The World Through My Eyes 

“Rock Garden, Reykjavik” by Ron Rosenstock (2014)

Photographer Ron Rosenstock brings us the natural world through his camera lens.  He travels all over the globe to meet the earth on its own terms and has just returned from the deserts of Morocco with a collection of his newest awe-inspiring vistas.  Will his striking photos of mother earth be the sole inheritance we bequeath the next generations of her inhabitants?  Ron wants his incredible discoveries to stir our collective human conscience to action before it comes to that.  Rather than speaking on her behalf – as has become commonplace – he allows nature to speak directly to us in her own inimitable voice.  Come welcome Ron Rosenstock to our show and let’s listen to what she has to say!

WHEN: This show, originally scheduled for January 4th, has been rescheduled for April 26th, 2023.

William Deresiewicz: The End of Solitude

Are we still afraid of the dark?  Yes, writes William Deresiewicz in his sharp critique of a contemporary West that is spoiled by overabundant material wealth.  But our biggest fear is called solitude.  Describe that noun as you will – the state of being alone, by one’s self, or not in the physical or virtual presence of others – solitude has come to mean everything that a successful modern life should avoid.  Inexpensive WIFI and its companions, smartphones and social media apps, have molded our perception of being to the point that, if we are not connected to everyone else at any given moment, something is wrong.  Just how wrong depends on how many steps we are up the social ladder.  But who cares if we are so afraid of solitude?  Aren’t governments and corporations working day and night to assure the resilience of hyperconnected social media networks, so that no one ever has to experience solitude again?  We should all care, argues Deresiewicz, because solitude is the only path to becoming a fully-formed human being, one able to think and act for her- or himself.  Come welcome William Deresiewicz to our show and let’s ask him about the exorbitant value humans have attributed to solitude over the ages.

WATCH: YouTube / Facebook