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Classical Tue Apr 01 2014
By Elliot Mandel
Love fugues? Dig counterpoint? Get your fix this month as the music of J.S. Bach fills the city. Plus, don't miss a Chicago debut and all five Beethoven cello sonatas.
Chicago Bach Project: St. Matthew Passion
The fourth installment of the Chicago Bach Project returns as acclaimed conductor John Nelson leads Bach's St. Matthew Passion, one of the most loved and stirring sacred works ever written. In this one-night-only engagement, musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, and Grant Park Orchestra are joined by soloists Nicholas Phan, Stephen Morscheck, Lisette Oropesa, Lawrence Zazzo, Colin Ainsworth, Matthew Brook, and Tobias Greenhalgh. It will be one big night of Bach. Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph.
University of Chicago Presents: Rafal Blechacz
Since winning every category at the 2005 Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition, Rafal Blechacz has established himself as the newest star pianist in the classical music world. A recent winner of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, and a highly sought after interpreter of Chopin, Blechacz makes his Chicago debut at Mandel Hall (no relation to this author) with a healthy dose of polonaises, mazurkas, nocturnes, and scherzos, along with Bach's Partita No. 3 and Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata. Do yourself a favor and go to Hyde Park a concert that promises to be some of the best piano playing of the year. Friday, April 25, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35; $5 students. Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th.
Rafal Blechacz plays Chopin:
2014 Bach Week Festival
From solo works and cantatas to concertos and orchestral suites, this year's Bach Week Fest packs three concerts with a varied selection of the master's massive output. Pianist Sergei Babayan and tenor William Watson kick off the music at Nichols Hall followed immediately by a candlelight concert with guitarist Adam Levin. The music continues at North Park University's Anderson Chapel with a performance featuring CSO principal trumpet Christopher Martin and organist Margaret Martin. The finale concert includes CSO cellist Katinka Kleijn performing the Suite No. 5 for Unaccompanied Cello, along with the beloved Orchestral Suite No. 3 and the Mass in G Major. April 25 - May 4. Individual concert tickets are $30; festival subscriptions are $80. Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston and Anderson Chapel, North Park University, 5149 N. Spaulding, Chicago.
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Beethoven Cello Sonatas
In a feat of endurance and supreme technical command that rivals anything in music, CMS co-artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han perform all five of Beethoven's Sonatas for Cello and Piano. Written over the course of Beethoven's career, the sonatas are central to the cello repertoire but rarely performed in one sitting. Finckel, the former cellist of the Emerson Quartet, is one of today's most versatile artists; with his wife and pianist Wu Han, the pair makes a formidable chamber duo. Tuesday, April 29, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph.
David Finckel and Wu Han perform Beethoven:
Programs, artists, and prices subject to change. Tickets subject to availability.