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Classical Tue Jul 03 2012

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

By Elliot Mandel

Fun fact: The 1812 Overture, which you will hear on the Fourth of July, was written by a Russian (Tchaikovsky) to celebrate Russia's defeat of Napoleon at Moscow. The Overture begins with a Russian Orthodox hymn and includes the Russian national anthem, God Save the Czar; the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, is very clearly blown to smithereens. The Overture entered the American patriotic songbook in 1974 as a brilliant publicity stunt by Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler, and cannon fire in classical music was here to stay, if only for one performance a year. For other musical offerings in July, see below.

Emerson Quartet.jpg

Emerson String Quartet at Ravinia
The Emerson String Quartet is without equal in chamber music: three decades of international touring, over thirty recordings, nine Grammy wins, and a whole mess of other prestigious awards. Catch the Emersons in their only Chicago-area appearance this year in a program that includes the monumental Grosse Fugue in Beethoven's String Quartet, op. 130 (which he wrote when he couldn't hear a darn thing), and stands as one of Herr Ludwig's major achievements. Watch the performance inside Ravinia's intimate and beautifully restored Martin Theatre for $60 or $40, or pack a picnic and camp out on the lawn for $10 to hear the live broadcast. Friday, July 6, 8pm. Ravinia Park, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

Vierne Symphonies at Rockefeller Chapel
The organ — not just for church or Dracula. Concert organist Christopher Houlihan will prove this when he plays the six organ symphonies of blind composer Louis Vierne over two evenings. Vierne was the principal organist of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris from 1900 to 1937; he died during his 1,750th performance at that post, but succeeded in expanding the range of organ compositions and the entire concept of the instrument. Houlihan will perform on Rockefeller Chapel's E.M. Skinner Organ, built with the Chapel in 1928. Admission is free. Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7, 7:30pm. Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Frozen Planet Penguins.jpg

Frozen Planet at Grant Park Music Fest
As of this writing, nothing sounds better than going to Antarctica, which is why I am looking forward to Frozen Planet — the soundtrack to the BBC/Discovery Channel documentary about the coldest regions on Earth, performed live by the Grant Park Orchestra and conducted by the composer, George Fenton. The BBC's amazing images from the film will be projected to accompany the music. If you saw the GPO's performance of Planet Earth Live in 2010, you know how spectacular this show can be. Plus, who doesn't love penguins? Admission is free. Wednesday, July 11, 8:30pm. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park.

The Mendelssohn Octet at Rush Hour
The Mendelssohn Octet is awesome, and you should go see it. Need more convincing? Two renowned ensembles — the Euclid and the Lincoln string quartets — team up in Felix Mendelssohn's chamber work for strings on steroids. More than pretty background listening, the Octet is music to be seen live. Mendelssohn weaves layers of melody through eight parts, creating some of the richest string textures of any chamber piece; the last movement is an exhilarating ride that crackles with energy. The Euclid Quartet's players hail from the U.S., Britain, China, and Venezuela, and the Lincoln Quartet is comprised of current and former Chicago Symphony Orchestra members. Really, go see it. Admission is free. Tuesday, July 17, 5:45pm; free reception at 5:15pm. St. James Cathedral, Wabash and Huron, Chicago.

Denis Matsuev at Ravinia
Denis Matsuev is Russia's biggest piano star, possessing the chops to back up his international fame. His sound rings through the hall, thunderous but with astonishing clarity. Catch this all-Russian recital that includes music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and selections from Stravinsky's early 20th-century ballet, Petrushka, about everyone's favorite jealous ghost-puppet. Watch the performance inside the Martin Theatre for $60 or $40, or hear the live broadcast on the lawn for $10 to hear the live broadcast. Monday, July 30, 8pm. Ravinia Park, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

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 played the 1812 Overture eight years ago and still can't get it out of his head.

 

Classical Music / July 5, 2012 1:38 AM

One thing i will also tell about the Denis Matsuev, that his mother was a piano teacher, and his father was a well-known pianist, so a great combination of music and composition.

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Classical Thu Sep 04 2014

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - September 2014

By Elliot Mandel

It's gonna be a great season.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
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

  Venues:

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

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
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


Events

Thu Sep 18 2014
DJ James Murphy @ Smartbar

Thu Sep 18 2014
Shonen Knife @ Bottom Lounge

Thu Sep 18 2014
World Music Festival

Fri Sep 19 2014
Pinback @ Bottom Lounge

Fri Sep 19 2014
Black Lips & King Khan @ Logan Square Auditorium

Fri Sep 19 2014
World Music Festival

Fri Sep 19 2014
Nellie McKay and Diana Lawrence @ SPACE

Sat Sep 20 2014
Elbo Room 25th Anniversary

Sat Sep 20 2014
312 Urban Block Party

Sat Sep 20 2014
World Music Festival

Sat Sep 20 2014
City Made Festival

Sun Sep 21 2014
World Music Festival

Sun Sep 21 2014
AAHH! Fest @ Union Park

Tue Sep 23 2014
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist @ HOB

Tue Sep 23 2014
White Mystery @ MCA

Tue Sep 23 2014
David Bowie Is @ MCA

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