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Classical Thu Nov 03 2011

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - November 2011

by Elliot Mandel


England, Austria, Mexico, Bolivia—this month's music comes from faraway places. Whether composed by the Viennese demigods of Beethoven and Brahms, or cultivated among indigenous populations of South America, each piece is rooted in its own time but alive and vibrant among contemporary audiences. Old favorites and rare offerings from touring and local artists promise to make for memorable concerts. Go check them out for something different to discuss over turkey and stuffing.

Hear a great concert recently? Have a tip on an upcoming show? Talk about it in the comments.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

George Frideric Handel composed a series of suites to be played on a barge as King George I and his royal party partied on the River Thames; ever since, the Water Music has turned up in weddings, movies, TV commercials, and in the introduction to "The Frugal Gourmet" on PBS. Hear the CSO perform the complete version without the distraction of product placement. The program also offers a rare opportunity to hear the Symphony Center organ, a massive structure whose 3,414 pipes wrap around the stage. Organist Richard Paré will perform two Handel organ concertos with the orchestra; Bernard Labadie conducts. Tickets start at $29. November 3, 4, 5, 8pm; November 6, 3pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Vienna Symphony Orchestra


Conductor Fabio Luisi caused ripples of controversy in the orchestral world this year by accepting the position of principal conductor with New York's Metropolitan Opera and subsequently canceling previous engagements (gasp!). Fortunately for us, his only appearance in Chicago this year is still on, and he will lead the Vienna Symphony in two mighty works from the Viennese Romantic era. The famed Eroica Trio (pictured, above - photo by Nina Choi) will join the orchestra in Beethoven's Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano; the orchestra will conclude with Brahms' Second Symphony, a glorious expression of emotion and triumph. Come for the hype, stay for the really great music. Tickets are $20-$45. November 7, 7:30pm. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago.

Latino Music Festival at the Art Institute

Maestro Carlos Prieto from oktavio on Vimeo.

The Art Institute presents three imaginative concerts of Latino music. Mexican cellist Carlos Prieto has dedicated his career to Iberian music, and will perform works by Samuel Zyman, Joaquin Gutierrez Heras, and Astor Piazzolla; he will also discuss his book, Adventures of a Cello (Univ. of Texas). Prieto's playing is filled with life, and he speaks of his cello--a 1720 Stradivarius--as if it was his child. Admission is free. November 4, 6pm. Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

With a flair for the unexpected, Chicago favorite Baroque Band turns up to perform music from the Jesuit missions of Bolivia. The Jesuits brought their popular music by Bach and Vivaldi to the Chiquitano Indians who transformed it into their own cultural expression still practiced today. Admission is free. November 18, 6pm. Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Chicago-based violinist Rachel Barton Pine will appear in a recital of works by Spanish and Latino composers, performing selections from her new album, Capricho Latino (Cedille). The album is a unique presentation of solo violin pieces from composers representing Argentina, Cuba, Panama, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Concert is free with museum admission. November 27, 2pm. Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Avalon String Quartet

Few phrases will widen the eyes of music lovers quite like "Complete Beethoven Quartets"—these are words spoken with reverence lest they be taken in vain. The Avalon is one of the Chicago area's premier quartets, and it began this monumental cycle last month to a packed auditorium. The next installment features the early String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 1, and the stormy String Quartet Op. 95. The Avalon Quartet performs once a month through June at the Art Institute. Concert is free with museum admission. November 13, 2pm. Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Note: Programs, artists, and prices are subject to change. (We'll try to update if we can.)

About the author: Elliot Mandel plays cello, attends lots of concerts, writes reviews, takes pictures, and loves sports. Pass the pumpkin pie.

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Megan / November 3, 2011 10:19 AM


Jordan / November 10, 2011 3:32 PM

Wonderful listings and extensive research! Great variety--I never knew so much live classical music existed in Chicago. Bit of criticsm though--what's the deal with the gorilla in a tuxedo? Gorillas don't even look like they wear tuxedos. At least a penguin has the correct coloring. But why an animal for classical music anyways? Also, are you in a group and do you play out? If so, where, when?

Keep up the great blog!!!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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