Critic’s Choice

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 10:43 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Peter Serkin

At a time when the vocal recital has largely vanished from Chicago, and most instrumental programs tend to concentrate on the safe and familiar, it’s heartening to know that there are still some musicians willing to trod the repertorial path less taken.

Peter Serkin returns to Chicago Friday night with a bracingly smart and well balanced program for the University of Chicago Presents series. Beethoven’s epic Diabelli Variations is the main work, prefaced by music of three 20th-century composers Serkin has long championed. The evening will begin with Stefan Wolpe’s Toccata in Three Parts, Toru Takemitsu’s For Away and Charles Wuorinen’s Adagio.

Concert time is 7:30 p.m. at Mandel Hall. 773-702-8068.

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