Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, May 7

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Donda Esta Kanye? Grouplove and More at Tomorrow Never Knows 2012 »

Classical Thu Jan 05 2012

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

by Elliot Mandel

Do your 2012 resolutions include hearing more live music? You have a variety of options this month, some of them free, and all of them excellent ways to fight the dark onset of a long Chicago winter. Plus, you can go to Symphony Center for music you are sure to hear during the NFL playoffs.

Note for Philip Glass fans: tickets for his recital on April 1 at the Art Institute go on sale January 5.

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

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts
Great music, a beautiful space, a break from the workday: the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center are a popular musical institution. The concerts feature internationally acclaimed young performers, and are held each Wednesday under the pristine Tiffany stained glass dome of Preston Bradley Hall. This month, a Russian pianist plays Chopin, Ravel, and Liszt; an American cellist plays Schumann and Brahms; an Iranian-American pianist plays Schumann and Chopin; and a French-American violinist plays Mozart, Brahms, and Piazzolla. So escape from the office for 45 minutes. Admission is free. Performances take place on Wednesdays at 12:15pm at Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center (Washington St. entrance).

Lynn Harrell

Winter Chamber Music Festival
World-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell returns to Northwestern University to headline the annual Winter Chamber Music Festival (January 6 - 22). Harrell is known for his muscular sound, which will be on full display during his performance on January 15, a concert that will also feature several Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellists. Other festival highlights include a concert by the dynamic St. Lawrence String Quartet (January 22), three master classes with Harrell, and faculty recitals. Tickets range from $20 to $28, depending on the concert; student tickets are $10. Performances are January 6-22 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Afterwork Masterworks
Rather than sitting in rush hour traffic, sit in Orchestra Hall for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's popular Afterwork Masterworks concert. A more casual concert-going experience, the program is a shortened version of the regular full-length weekend concert, start and end times are earlier, tickets are cheaper--but you still get the same conductor, guest artist, and orchestra. On the bill this month is Beethoven's elegant Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by Till Fellner; and Antonin Dvořák's Symphony No. 8, which brims with the Czech composer's beloved Bohemian melodies (and it's one of this writer's personal favorites). Renowned Viennese conductor Manfred Honeck leads the CSO. Tickets start at $20. The concert is January 18, 6:30pm at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Pacifica Quaret
The ever-popular Pacifica Quartet returns to the University of Chicago's Mandel Hall (no relation to the author) for an afternoon devoted to two great folk-influenced chamber works. Beethoven's "Razumovsky" Quartet No 1, named after the Russian ambassador in Vienna who commissioned a series of three quartets, features Russian folk melodies. Mexican pianist (and Chicago area resident) Jorge Federico Osorio joins the Pacifica for Dvořák's Piano Quintet in A Major, a fiery piece full of Czech spirit. Tickets are $25; $5 for students. The concert takes place on January 22 at 3pm at Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th St., Chicago.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Carmina Burana
You know that big dramatic scene in that movie/video game when the good guys finally clash with the bad guys in an epic battle to save the universe? The music in the background is Carmina Burana, composed by Carl Orff in 1936 and set to ancient poems from the Middle Ages about everything from the clutches of fate to debauchery and drinking. Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti returns for his winter residency to conduct the CSO, CSO Chorus, and Chicago Children's Choir, plus three vocal soloists. Tickets are limited -- call the CSO box office at 312-294-3000 for availability. Performances take place on January 26, 27, 28, 8pm; January 31, 7:30pm at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., 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, takes pictures, and loves sports, but wonders why Chicago fans are always surprised when the Bears collapse.

GB store
GB store

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.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

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


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

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15