Category Reviews

Recorder and Harp at the Cultural Center

Outside of elementary school music rooms, the heyday of the recorder was in the baroque era, prior to the ascension of the modern flute.  Laura Osterlund, one of the Musician’s Club of Women scholarship award winners, is a rare modern musician who has specialized in the instrument.  Her talents, which were showcased alongside collaborative harpist […]

John Cameron Mitchell and The Origin of Love

When I was in my early 20s a subcultural phenomenon emerged, a rarified entry into the ranks of cult classics like the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch was the brainchild of John Cameron Mitchell and songwriter Stephen Trask, conceived, as I learned on Friday night, after a transcontinental flight during which […]

Rachmaninoff 3, Tchaikovsky 1: a Sunday at the Symphony

Two guests from Europe led a program of Russian music at Symphony Center over the weekend – I was happy to make it out for the final concert, this past Sunday’s matinee, snatching up the very last seat on the main floor available online about four hours prior to showtime.  The Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado […]

Goldberg Variations, by Vogt

Monumental pieces for the piano occupy a special place in the repertoire – recently I saw Oliver Messiaen’s epic Visions de l’Amen duet played by Aimard and Stefanovich, for example.  Players treat these pieces differently than they do orchestral works, program music or chamber pieces.  My experience is extremely limited, but Lars Vogt’s performance of […]

Lovera’s Chaconne

My Mondays off afford me the opportunity to take in free concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center from time to time.  I gravitate toward the recitals sponsored by the Musicians Club of Women – they present “award winners in concert” and start at 12:15 (on the dot).  Last Monday, November 26, the award winner was […]

Diwali with The Chicago Sinfonietta

A week ago I attended the Chicago Sinfonietta’s most recent concert at Symphony Center, a program entitled Sea of Light timed to coincide with Diwali, the 5 day Hindu celebration of the triumph of light over darkness, of knowledge over ignorance.  In Hindu cultures, Diwali is a time for reflection, celebration, family, and starting fresh.  […]

A Matsuev Matinee

Symphony Hall was nearly full yesterday for a matinee recital by Denis Matsuev, the 43-year-old Russian pianist.  I bought a cheaper seat, since I wasn’t previously a fan and I didn’t think the playlist included any of my favorites.  But sometimes programs change – after I bought the ticket, I went online to check the […]