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Tuesday, December 12

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Classical Thu Jan 05 2012

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - January 2012

by Elliot Mandel

Do your 2012 resolutions include hearing more live music? You have a variety of options this month, some of them free, and all of them excellent ways to fight the dark onset of a long Chicago winter. Plus, you can go to Symphony Center for music you are sure to hear during the NFL playoffs.

Note for Philip Glass fans: tickets for his recital on April 1 at the Art Institute go on sale January 5.

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

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts
Great music, a beautiful space, a break from the workday: the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center are a popular musical institution. The concerts feature internationally acclaimed young performers, and are held each Wednesday under the pristine Tiffany stained glass dome of Preston Bradley Hall. This month, a Russian pianist plays Chopin, Ravel, and Liszt; an American cellist plays Schumann and Brahms; an Iranian-American pianist plays Schumann and Chopin; and a French-American violinist plays Mozart, Brahms, and Piazzolla. So escape from the office for 45 minutes. Admission is free. Performances take place on Wednesdays at 12:15pm at Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center (Washington St. entrance).

Lynn-Harrell.png
Lynn Harrell

Winter Chamber Music Festival
World-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell returns to Northwestern University to headline the annual Winter Chamber Music Festival (January 6 - 22). Harrell is known for his muscular sound, which will be on full display during his performance on January 15, a concert that will also feature several Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellists. Other festival highlights include a concert by the dynamic St. Lawrence String Quartet (January 22), three master classes with Harrell, and faculty recitals. Tickets range from $20 to $28, depending on the concert; student tickets are $10. Performances are January 6-22 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Afterwork Masterworks
Rather than sitting in rush hour traffic, sit in Orchestra Hall for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's popular Afterwork Masterworks concert. A more casual concert-going experience, the program is a shortened version of the regular full-length weekend concert, start and end times are earlier, tickets are cheaper--but you still get the same conductor, guest artist, and orchestra. On the bill this month is Beethoven's elegant Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by Till Fellner; and Antonin Dvořák's Symphony No. 8, which brims with the Czech composer's beloved Bohemian melodies (and it's one of this writer's personal favorites). Renowned Viennese conductor Manfred Honeck leads the CSO. Tickets start at $20. The concert is January 18, 6:30pm at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Pacifica Quaret
The ever-popular Pacifica Quartet returns to the University of Chicago's Mandel Hall (no relation to the author) for an afternoon devoted to two great folk-influenced chamber works. Beethoven's "Razumovsky" Quartet No 1, named after the Russian ambassador in Vienna who commissioned a series of three quartets, features Russian folk melodies. Mexican pianist (and Chicago area resident) Jorge Federico Osorio joins the Pacifica for Dvořák's Piano Quintet in A Major, a fiery piece full of Czech spirit. Tickets are $25; $5 for students. The concert takes place on January 22 at 3pm at Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th St., Chicago.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Carmina Burana
You know that big dramatic scene in that movie/video game when the good guys finally clash with the bad guys in an epic battle to save the universe? The music in the background is Carmina Burana, composed by Carl Orff in 1936 and set to ancient poems from the Middle Ages about everything from the clutches of fate to debauchery and drinking. Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti returns for his winter residency to conduct the CSO, CSO Chorus, and Chicago Children's Choir, plus three vocal soloists. Tickets are limited -- call the CSO box office at 312-294-3000 for availability. Performances take place on January 26, 27, 28, 8pm; January 31, 7:30pm at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.


Programs, artists, and prices subject to change. Tickets subject to availability.

About the author: Elliot Mandel plays cello, attends lots of concerts, writes reviews, takes pictures, and loves sports, but wonders why Chicago fans are always surprised when the Bears collapse.

 
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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.

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