Keys to the City piano festival. If you survive NATO and Mother's Day Brunch, come back for June. " />

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Classical Thu May 03 2012

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

by Elliot Mandel

A raucous band of cellos. A tuba concerto. A double bass concerto. May is Low Register Month (you didn't know?), and the deep-voiced instruments are full of surprises and rare appearances. Plus, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra kicks off its Keys to the City piano festival. If you survive the NATO summit and Mother's Day Brunch, come back for June.

Portland Cello Project
Couldn't get tickets to see Yo-Yo Ma? You can still get your cello fix with PCP, a peerless band of a dozen classically trained cellists who tirelessly tour the country with a massive repertoire that includes Beethoven, Kanye West, and a bunch of other crazy stuff (like this trippy video). Having played the illustrious concert halls of the Empty Bottle and Hideout, PCP blows into Schubas for a one-night-only cellofest. Come for the beer and cheap ticket prices, stay because you've never heard anything like it. Ages 21 and over. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Friday, May 4, 10pm. Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, Chicago.


Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The large and lonely tuba — a brass behemoth relegated to the back of the orchestra — takes a rare turn in front as the CSO's principal tubist, Gene Pokorny, performs Ralph Vaughan Williams's Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra. Pokorny is a giant in the tuba-loving world, a brass section stalwart, and an audience favorite. Also on the program is Dmitri Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony for Strings, a brooding and violent expression of pure torment; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, the second movement of which is alone worth the price of admission. Jaap van Zweden conducts. Tickets start at $20. Performances take place on Tuesday, May 15, 1:30pm; Wednesday, May 16, 6:30pm; and Thursday, May 17, 8pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

Tuba Trunk.JPG
Tuba Trunk (Photo by Elliot Mandel)


Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Long before it was the United Airlines theme song, George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was a revolutionary blend of classical and jazz elements that was instantly modern and American — it remains one of the great show-stopping piano concertos. If you loved this commercial as much as I did, check out acclaimed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut when he plays the whole swingin' thing with the CSO. David Robertson conducts. Tickets start at $32. Wednesday, May 23, 7:30pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.


Music of the Baroque
The venerable Baroque orchestra and director Jane Glover close out their season by featuring their principal string players in solo roles. Barbara Haffner shows off the technical demands of Haydn's bubbly Cello Concerto No. 1. Violinist Robert Waters and violist Roger Chase team up in Mozart's elegant Sinfonia Concertante. And Collins Trier performs the high-flying Double Bass Concerto by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf. Tickets are $30-$75. Wednesday, May 23, 7:30pm. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St..


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

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

About the author: Elliot Mandel plays cello, attends lots of concerts, writes reviews, takes pictures, and loves sports. He believes Belgian waffles are a food group.

 
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Our Final Transmission Days

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