Category Reviews

Rightness in the Rhythm

The Chicago Sinfonietta titles its concerts – Rightness in the Rhythm, which the ensemble played last night at Symphony Center, was the finale of the 2016-2017 season.  Teacher subs in, and when she does she can sometimes offer tickets – the last time I saw them was for their Halloween 2016 Dia de los Muertos […]

Perlman at the Opera House

The category of violinists that includes players of the caliber of 71 year old Israeli-American Itzhak Perlman is tiny; based on his career and raw ability over a lifetime many would argue that he’s simply the best living.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him twice – in Wichita, KS in 1994, during the Wichita […]

A Daniil Trifonov Matinee

Daniil Trifonov is a world-class concert pianist, born in Russia in 1991.  As a child, he was educated in Moscow at the Gnessin School of Music under Tatiana Zelikman, and he has continued studies in performance and composition in the US with Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of music.  He has been captivating audiences […]

Taste of Ravel

I’ve been digging into the music of Maurice Ravel a bit more in anticipation of a Perlman recital we’re attending toward the end of April.  In addition to works by Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Schumann, Perlman will play Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 in G Major. The piece is clearly influenced by Jazz, […]

Carmen at the Lyric

I am no student of Carmen, the classic French 1875 Georges Bizet opera, nor of opera in general, but I very much enjoyed my first excursion to Chicago’s Lyric Opera House on Friday night to see the current production. The title role is undoubtedly both a burden and a feather in the cap – living […]

Reading up on Carmen

This coming Friday we’re off to the opera with some friends – the renowned Lyric of Chicago’s current production of the Bizet classic Carmen.  Though I’ve never been to the Lyric before, and I have seen very little opera otherwise, I do know that it’s best to learn plenty before going.  So this morning I’ve […]

This Is Country

I just downloaded Alison Krauss’s new album – Windy City, the Bluegrass Queen’s first release in six years and the first one I’ve purchased (though we do have the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack).  Nostalgia flared as I read Jewly Hight’s New York Times review of Krauss’s new collection of country and bluegrass covers […]

A Perlman Pearl

Regular readers know that Itzhak Perlman, the 71-year-old violin virtuoso, is one of my favorites.   He has been for a long time; I was privileged to get to see him when I was a teenager in the early 1990s, and I’ve got tickets to see him again in April at the Lyric Opera House.  This […]

Spymonkey’s Deaths

A four-piece band – bass and tenor sax, trumpet, and drum – struck up a New Orleans procession-style dirge “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” the tone at once celebratory and sad. A graveside marker, faux floral in cheap white nylon, descended from the rafters and bore the name of the departed, “Fly.”  The insect’s […]

Sountrack for a Revolution

Yesterday my organization held a screening of the great PBS film Sountrack for a Revolution, which documents the music of the civil rights movement in the American 1960s.  It’s produced by Danny Glover and features many civil rights activists telling their stories of nonviolent protest in service of an end to racial discrimination.  I am […]