Category: concerts in chicago

Quid Pro Quo: Latin for Mediocrity

I went to 3 concerts in 3 days and was pleasantly surprised / deeply disappointed by all 3. The first was Gang Gang Dance who seemed more experimental and less sentimental on record. Maybe I fixated on the one song that I thought rocked, Adult Goth. (Link goes to Spotify) With which they opened (after... Read more »

Will the real John Adams please stand up?

What’s in a name?  For a period in college, my favorite composer [in the world, omg] was this guy named John Adams.  Though he’s super famous, probably one of the most performed American composers, people outside of music were inevitably confused, thinking that one of the early presidents also wrote music.  [As if I would... Read more »

muti + cso = ictus om

Millennium Park was buzzing with hype and anticipation Sunday evening as thousands of people who had never seen the CSO joined thousands of regular subscribers for the inauguration of Muti’s tenure as music director.  But, to actually see them, let alone hear them, you had to get there early. [I had to park my bike... Read more »
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Mixed Reviews: Three Decembers at COT

There are only four performances of Chicago Opera Theater‘s season-closing production, and you’ve already missed one.  The opera, Jake Heggie’s “Three Decembers”, has elicited an intense reaction among critics, receiving high praise from the theater crowd and disdain from the Classical music crowd. ChicagoNOW’s theater blog “The Fourth Walsh” calls it a “triple triumph” and... Read more »

Sunday: New Music Dilemma

Wikipedia defines a dilemma as: “problem offering at least two solutions or possibilities, of which none are practically acceptable.”  [I foresee a day when Valedictorians cite Wikipedia instead of Websters.] The dilemma this Sunday (April 25) is: Palomar or MAVerick? The MAVerick Ensemble has presented concerts in Chicago for a number of years, primarily at the Ukrainian... Read more »

Weekend: CSO goes Beyond the Score

I’ve been to several Beyond the Score concerts, organized and performed by the Chicago Symphony to give people a sense of the history to a classic piece of music–an exegesis in concert form.  The program begins with a about an hour of history, biography, and musical examples, replete with narrators, actors, video, and orchestral examples.... Read more »
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Tuesday: Fulcrum Point

On Tuesday, the Fulcrum Point new music ensemble lives up to its name, presenting a concert called “Heroes and Demons”, which explores the intersection of classical music and popular cultures from around the world.  From the Indian Classical tradition to urban and rural traditions of the Americas, the concert aims to draw connections between legends... Read more »

Monday: MusicNOW

Many concert-goers complain that contemporary music is too dissonant, too angular, too arhythmic.  MusicNOW, as the new music wing of the CSO, proves that there is more to new music than trenchant angst.  Their programs are generally a mix of contemporary writing styles including both serene minimalism, Jazz influenced and the avant garde.   Tonight... Read more »

Saturday 3/13: Dargel & ICE at Velvet

I first heard of Corey Dargel a couple years ago because of a quirky, poppy, “art” song that he made about two gay cowboys.  He then wrote love songs for money–a sort of mercenary cupid cum composer.  Now, he’s somewhere closer to a singer-songwriter.  Trained at Oberlin, now living in Brooklyn, he started off somewhere... Read more »
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Weekend Pick: Winterreise (3/5-3/21)

Chicago is blessed with a fair number of opera companies.  Who, for most of the Spring have been stepping outside of the strict definition of opera, turning it into something else.  Opera Cabal presented “usw”, skewing more performance art, and the Lyric had its Damnation of Faust, which was more oratorio.  Now Chicago Opera Vanguard... Read more »