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Thursday, December 14

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Classical Thu Jan 03 2013

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - January 2013

By Elliot Mandel

The range of concerts this month guarantees that you will start 2013 by 1) hearing something you've never heard before, or 2) experiencing an old favorite performed with new energy — likely on the same program. See them all, or close your eyes and pick one. You won't go wrong.

Northwestern University Winter Chamber Music Festival

NW Winter Chamber Music Fest 2013.jpg

There are many things the Winter Chamber Music Fest does well, and if you are willing to brave the arctic chill off the lake, you will be rewarded with some of the best chamber playing and programming all year. The seven-concert series includes performances by Northwestern music faculty — many of whom are current and former Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians — in works by Brahms, Dvořák, Prokofiev, Ravel, Schumann, and Mendelssohn's rocking Octet. The Festival also offers a chance to hear renowned touring ensembles. The Escher String Quartet delivers a solid program of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Beethoven. The Calder Quartet partners with CSO clarinetist John Bruce Yeh to perform 20th and 21st Century composers. Two chamber orchestras come to town for daring and unusual programs. Boston-based A Far Cry performs Arvo Pärt's meditative Fratres and Osvaldo Golijov's exuberant Last Round. Violinist Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra conclude the Festival with their infectious energy in music by Villa-Lobos, and Richard Strauss. The Festival runs January 11 - 31. Tickets are $22-$30, $10 for students. Northwestern University, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston.

Chicago Sinfonietta - Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Though the Sinfonietta performs an annual tribute to the civil rights leader, the orchestra's organizational mission speaks to the heart of King's goals and is evident in all of its performances. The Sinfonietta excels at emphasizing under-heard composers alongside familiar repertoire, and opens the concert with music by Florence Price, who, in Chicago, became the first African American woman to have a work performed by a major orchestra. Chicago native and acclaimed clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Anthony McGill joins the orchestra in Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto. Music director Mei-Ann Chen shares the podium with bass/baritone Eric Owens in his conducting debut. Even if Owens doesn't sing, he will hold a commanding stage presence. Tickets are $26 - $50. Monday, January 21, 7:30pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

University of Chicago Presents - Brooklyn Rider
Brooklyn Rider is rapidly expanding the scope of string quartet music. Performing and composing regularly for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, the quartet brings a globally charged energy to its music. On the University of Chicago Presents series, Brooklyn Rider begins with Mendelssohn and ends with Persian-inspired music written by the quartet's Colin Jacobsen. Watch this clip from NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts for some purely captivating string playing. Tickets are $35, $5 for students. Friday, January 25, 7:30pm. University of Chicago, Mandel Hall (no relation to the author), 1131 E. 57th, 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, and takes pictures. He loves the lake in winter.

 
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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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