Critic’s Choice

Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 4:57 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Along with Gil Shaham performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Macbeth and Carmen at the Lyric Opera, the coming week offers a dizzying variety of worthy musical events with five competing concerts Sunday afternoon alone.

First up on Friday is an intriguing multimedia premiere, The Eternal Tao by Kyong Mee Choi. The Roosevelt University professor’s electronic opera incorporates voices, instruments, video, and dancers. Concert time is 7:30 p.m. at Roosevelt University and admission is free. Fulcrum Point’s Stephen Burns will lead a pre-performance talk with the composer at 6 p.m.

Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto No. 2 will have its Chicago premiere 3 p.m. Sunday at the Harris Theater. Titled “The American Four Seasons,” Glass’s concerto will be performed by Robert McDuffie, its dedicatee, and the Venice Baroque Orchestra. The other “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi, will be heard on the first half.

Ars Viva opens its season Sunday with a bracing program of American music. Alan Heatherington will lead the orchestra in Barber’s School for Scandal Overture and Symphony No. 1, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and the local premiere of John Williams’ suite from Fiddler on the Roof with CSO assistant concertmaster David Taylor as soloist. Concert time is 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Other events to note:

One will have a rare chance to experience the entire roster of the Chicago Chamber Musicians on a single program next week. Ingolf Dahl’s Music for Brass Instruments, Mozart’s Serenade No. 11, K.375, and Cesar Franck’s Piano Quintet will be presented 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Pick-Staiger Hall in Evanston and 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Harris Theater.

Andras Schiff performs an all-Schumann program (Waldszenen, Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen and Symphonic Etudes) 3 p.m. Sunday at Symphony Center.

The Chicago Chamber Choir opens its season with a wide-ranging program titled “Songs of War and Peace.” In a collaboration with the Milwaukee Choral Artists, Timm Adams’ singers will perform works of Lauridsen, Randall Thompson, Stephen Foster and others 4 p.m. Sunday at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston

On Tuesday night, ICE will offer “La Frontera,” a program of three world premieres by young Mexican composers commissioned in memory of Omar Hernández-Hidalgo, a Mexican violist who was murdered in Tijuana this past June. 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan Ave.

Fulcrum Point serves up a typically envelope-pushing program Wednesday at the Harris Theater with “Motown Metal.” Expect Fluxus theatrics with plenty of brass, percussion and electronics in a program featuring David Lang’s Anvil Chorus, Stefan Freund’s Metal, Yan Maresz’s Metallics, Mark Anthony Turnage’s Out of Black Dust and Michael Daugherty’s Motown Metals.

And the newest addition to Chicago’s chamber music scene, the Spektral Quartet debuts with a concert 3 p.m. Sunday at the Cultural Center offering Mozart’s String Quartet in C major K.465. Glass’s Quartet No. 2, and Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 5. Admission is free.

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