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A More Perfect Union: A Musical Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Broadcast: March 14, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime championing her two passions: equal rights and classical music, often referencing the similarities between the courtroom and the concert hall. WFMT presents a new 1-hour special as family and friends, including her son Jim Ginsburg, Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Lawrence Brownlee, Francesca Zambello, and Nina Totenburg, honor Ginsburg’s legacy and devotion to music.


Ginsburg was a frequent opera-goer, classical music aficionado, and champion of equal rights that extended into the fine arts sector. On several occasions, Ginsburg hosted talks about the correlation between opera and the law. These programs were made up of selected scenes from a wide range of operas that deal with the subjects of law and justice. Some examples include Bizet’s Carmen and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, which RBG herself presents in a past WFMT Impromptu. Other musical excerpts heard in this special have been hand-picked by family and friends: arias from Don Giovanni, Fidelio, selections from Chicago’s Cedille Records who released Notorious RBG in Song, African American Spirituals, and much more.

Audio not available for this episode.