Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Studying Beethoven

Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin were some of my early favorites as I embarked on a journey of discovery about my new instrument five years ago.  The Kreutzer and Spring Sonatas in particular – numbers nine and five respectively – have become some of my favorite music for the instrument.  I’ve been able to […]

Progress Report

Vivaldi isn’t going anywhere, and I continue to play both the first and the third movement of the A Minor Concerto daily, but I’m now three weeks in to learning a new piece.  Teacher started me on Karl Bohm’s Perpetual Motion prior to her heading out of town for a couple of weeks, then in […]

Darkness Ascending – Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare

Teller and Posner, coming off their successful comedy The Tempest a few years ago, have returned to Navy Pier for their second Chicago Shakespeare Theatre collaboration, a tensely wicked and at times oddly humorous adaptation of Macbeth, running through June 24.  The play is staged at the newest addition to Chicago Shakespeare’s now three-stage campus, […]

Sunday at the Symphony

Marek Janowski guest conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra over the weekend in a program that included Weber, Beethoven, and Wagner.  Sunday’s was the final performance of the run, and I decided to check it out on a whim, securing an upper balcony seat around noon for the 3 pm show.  There was a pre-concert lecture […]

In Memoriam: You Are Not Alone

Yesterday, I led a memorial service commemorating the life of a good friend.  I worked with two of her very closest friends in the lead-up to the service, and, as is common, we gathered photos together for a slideshow to commemorate the occasion.  As we compiled the show, a question arose about what kind of […]

Birthday

It’s a birthday – 42.  Like others lucky enough to have landed on this age, I can’t help but consider Douglas Adams’s supercomputer from his fabulous Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  In the universe Adams created, the computer is a mammoth device constructed over eons with one purpose – to reveal the answer to the […]

Chamber Mondays

Lyric soprano Laura Bumgardner was the Musicians Club of Women’s featured artist at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Chamber Mondays Concert today at lunchtime.  She was accompanied by Chao Gao on piano.  The soprano was delightful, filling the Tiffany dome with her soaring vocals and mesmerizing the crowd.  As usual, there was a decent turnout, independent […]