Ambitious festival of Soviet music and art to launch in October

Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 7:01 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

“The Soviet Experience” will be launched this fall, a 14-month collaborative festival with 11 Chicago-area organizations taking part, which will offer an array of works by composers and artists who labored in–or responded to—the Soviet Union.

Spearheaded by the University of Chicago Presents series, “The Soviet Experience” will encompass 48 events taking place in a dozen venues throughout Chicago. The festival will include events by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Art Institute of Chicago, the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, Chicago Opera Theater, the Harris Theater, and the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University.

The festival will include the complete Shostakovich string quartets performed by the Pacifica Quartet at Roosevelt University’s Ganz Hall, and CSO performances of Shostakovich’s Fifth and Eighth Symphonies led by Riccardo Muti and Jaap van Zweden.

The Mark Morris Dance Troupe will perform Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet at the Harris Theater. Pianist Simon Trpceski will lead performances of an array of Russian piano trios at Mandel Hall. And Chicago Opera Theater will present performances of Shostakovich’s musical, Moscow, Cheryomushki, newly orchestrated by Gerald McBurney. The festival will also include an array of Soviet propaganda posters, to be exhibited at the Art Institute, not seen in the U.S in decades.

A festival website, will be launched this summer.

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