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Classical Mon Dec 03 2012
By Elliot Mandel
Take a breather from all the running around this month and check out some unusual performances. Tickets are affordable, so you still have enough cash to drop in the Apple store. Happy Whatever!
CSO All-Access Chamber: Burnham Ensemble
Yes, there are some great shows this month with the full Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but for a different look at the CSO, the All-Access Chamber program offers a free and intimate concert experience. The Burnham Ensemble — eight CSO musicians, including principal players — will perform chamber works by 20th Century Russian masters Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev; the Beethoven Septet for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, and bass closes the program. Reserve your free tickets by calling the CSO box office: 312-294-3000. Wednesday, December 5, 6:30pm. Buntrock Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.
The Nutcracker Swing
Give the kids an early gift of classical, jazz, and dance all in one hour. Axiom Brass, Quintet Attacca, and Foster Dance Studios perform The Nutcracker Swing - Tchaikovsky's famous ballet music and the 1960 adaptation by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. A musical instrument petting zoo opens at 9am, when kids can play a variety of instruments. The concert begins at 10am. Tickets are $10 for families of 6 or fewer. Saturday, December 8, 9am. Music Institute of Chicago, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.
Video: Nutcracker Swing
No newfangled Bach or Mozart for Schola Antiqua. Chicago's acclaimed vocal ensemble specializes in music written before 1600 — old repertoire given new energy by conductor Michael Alan Anderson and his small band of devoted singers. Schola Antiqua's performance this month features Pierre de la Rue's Missa Conceptio tua, a sacred work for low male voices that was greatly popular in the early 1500s, but which does not exist on modern recordings. Tickets are $25 general; $10 for students/seniors (order online and save 20%). Sunday, December 9, 3pm. St. James Chapel at Quigley Center, 835 N. Rush, Chicago.
Ensemble Dal Niente: Hard Music Hard Liquor
Don't know anything about modern music? You're not alone, so grab a drink and take in the energetic, high-quality performance of one of the city's premier contemporary music groups. Not a chance of sleigh bells or fa-la-la-la-la on this program; just contemporary virtuoso musicians showing off their chops in some crazy-hard repertoire. Tickets are $25 reserved seating; $20 general admission; $10 for students. Friday, December 14, 8pm Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave., Chicago.
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, and takes pictures. He used to work retail during the holidays. Never again.