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WFMT: Critical Thinking and Critic's Choice

Critic's Choice, Critical Thinking, and more from Andrew Patner

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Krzysztof Penderecki, composer/conductor (Critical Thinking)

In a program from 2011, Andrew Patner’s guest is Krzysztof Penderecki, in a conversation recorded when the distinguished Polish composer and conductor was in Chicago leading concerts at the Grand Park Music Festival.

53mins

25 Jul 2017

Rank #1

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Music of Marvin Hamlisch (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program from September of 2012, Andrew Patner shares a listen to selections from the late Marvin Hamlisch‘s score to the Pulitzer Prize- and multiple Tony-Award-winning 1975 show A Chorus Line.  He also has some recordings of another artist with surprising parallels to Hamlisch.

55mins

13 Sep 2016

Rank #2

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Music of Ralph Shapey (Rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired January 17, 2011, Andrew Patner presents violin music of the great American composer Ralph Shapey.

59mins

30 Jun 2015

Rank #3

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Susan Nussbaum (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program from 2014, Andrew Patner talks with Chicago playwright and longtime disability rights activist Susan Nussbaum about her award-winning first novel Good Kings Bad Kings.

1hr 1min

22 Nov 2016

Rank #4

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Riccardo Muti (rebroadcast from June 2014) (Critical Thinking)

In a program from June of 2014, Andrew Patner shares a conversation with Riccardo Muti.  The Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director talks about Verdi he has not conducted, Richard Strauss works he plans to add to his repertoire, and the role of principal players in an ensemble.

51mins

25 Oct 2016

Rank #5

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Lee Sandlin (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

Chicago author Lee Sandlin died unexpectedly in December of 2014.  On August 15 of this year, the Chicago City Council ordained the 4500 block of N. Artesian Avenue at the Southeast corner of Wilson and Artesian to be hereby known as LEE SANDLIN WAY. In his memory, we rebroadcast Andrew Patner’s 2013 conversation with Lee Sandlin about his books Storm Kings: The Untold History of America’s Tornado Chasers and Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild.

58mins

25 Aug 2015

Rank #6

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Where Does Greatness Come From? (Rebroadcast) (Critic's Choice)

Andrew shares an article written by Gerald Stein from last year regarding greatness and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

6mins

23 Jul 2014

Rank #7

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Bernard Haitink (Rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

Andrew presents a 2014 conversation with Bernard Haitink discussing his 60th anniversary year as a conductor of leading international orchestras.

1hr 2mins

19 Aug 2014

Rank #8

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Leif Ove Andsnes – Pianist (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired April 11, 2011, Andrew Patner’s guest is Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, in a conversation that followed a set of Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Hall recital appearances.

58mins

6 Oct 2015

Rank #9

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A Quartet of Quartets (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program from 2014, Andrew Patner shares a sampling from American works on releases from the Spektral, JACK, Lark, and Sō Percussion quartets.

58mins

15 Nov 2016

Rank #10

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Neil Steinberg – Author (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired October 7th, 2013, Andrew Patner talks with longtime Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg about his book, “You Were Never in Chicago.”

58mins

13 Oct 2015

Rank #11

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Miranda Cuckson plays Nono (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program from 2012, Andrew Patner shares a recording by enterprising American violinist Miranda Cuckson of the penultimate work of 20th-century modernist Luigi Nono.

1hr 4mins

6 Dec 2016

Rank #12

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Randy Kroszner – Part 1 of 2 (Critical Thinking)

The first of Andrew’s two-part discussion about the role of economics and economists in American society with Randy Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business of The University of Chicago and a former Governor of the Federal Reserve System.

53mins

26 Aug 2014

Rank #13

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David Nirenberg – Author (rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired October 14, 2013, Andrew Patner talks with University of Chicago professor David Nirenberg, on his book, “Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition.”

57mins

20 Oct 2015

Rank #14

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Body and Soul and Robin Williams (Critic's Choice)

Andrew returns to the airwaves following a seven week recovery from a fall.  Andrew remembers Robin Williams and discusses matters of mental health in this week’s Critic’s Choice.

6mins

13 Aug 2014

Rank #15

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Jeremy Denk (Rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired on June 4, 2012, Andrew’s guest is pianist and writer Jeremy Denk, who was then in town for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Keys to the City Piano Festival.

1hr 1min

28 Jul 2015

Rank #16

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Bennett Gordon Hall (Critic's Choice)

Andrew previews upcoming acts at Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall.

5mins

20 Aug 2014

Rank #17

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Nicholas Phillips: New Music for Solo Piano – Part 1 (Rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

Andrew shares some of the commissioned pieces from U.S. composers on “American Vernacular: new music for solo piano,” the latest recording from Midwest pianist Nicholas Phillips. (And an additional teaser, too, from Chicago composer Bernard Rands, who celebrated his 80th birthday in March)

1hr

12 Aug 2014

Rank #18

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Cristian Macelaru (Rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired on February 2, 2014, Andrew Patner talks with young Romanian-born American conductor Cristian Macelaru.

59mins

27 Oct 2015

Rank #19

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A Quartet of Quartets (Rebroadcast) (Critical Thinking)

In a program that first aired on April 14, 2014, Andrew Patner shares a sampling from American works on releases from the Spektral, JACK, Lark, and Sō Percussion quartets.

58mins

11 Aug 2015

Rank #20