Lisztomania? More like Lutz-o-mania

Feb 7, 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympics are here, and for some of us at WCRB, that means one thing: figure skating.  No surprise there - we'll take any excuse to watch the world's top athletes perform gorgeous programs to (mostly) classical music. 

What follows is a list of our favorite programs using some of the most iconic classical music ever written. 

The 18-year-old Grand Prix champion Nathan Chen is one of the favorites for figure skating gold this year in PyeongChang. Here's his free skate program from the 2017 National Championships, set to Alexander Borodin's Polovtsian Dances.

At the 1992 Olympics in Nagano, Michelle Kwan skated to William Alwyn's "Lyra Angelica," or "Angel's Song." Her performance was, in a word, heavenly.

Another Michelle Kwan favorite: Maurice Ravel's "Bolero," from 2005.

And how can we talk about "Bolero" without mentioning Torvill and Dean's flawless, record-breaking 1984 program?

Katarina Witt's "Carmen" program from Calgary 1988 is just as seductive and dramatic as it should be: 

Yuna Kim is stunning skating to George Gershwin's Concerto in F.

A more recent favorite: Meryl Davis and Charlie White skate to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade."

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov's 2012 program to Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" is a gorgeous example of ballet translated to the ice:

Swiss skater-turned-coach Stéphane Lambiel skates to Rossini's "William Tell Overture" in 2010:

Mao Asada's tender, lyrical program to Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat is simply breathtaking:

... and one more from Yuna Kim. Here she is skating to Astor Piazzolla's "Adios, nonino."

For a breakdown by genre of what music you can expect to hear during this year's figure skating events, check out this set of graphics from the Wall Street Journal.