Critic’s Choice

Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Avner Dorman’s percussion concerto, “Frozen in Time,” will have its Chicago premiere Wednesday night at the Grant Park Music Festival.

If anyone wants to know why the Grant Park Music Festival is Chicago’s summer classical series of choice, one need look no further than this week’s concerts, which offer a Chicago premiere and two significant podium debuts.

On Wednesday night, conductor James Gaffigan will make his first appearance at the lakefront music festival.  The fast-rising young American has been making the rounds of major U.S. orchestras, and will lead the Grant Park Orchestra in Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and the local premiere of Avner Dorman’s Frozen in Time, featuring percussion soloist Martin Grubinger.

Jun Märkl will make his Grant Park debut on Friday and Saturday. The German conductor has been receiving increasing international accolades and will direct the orchestra in Beethoven’s not unfamiliar Symphony No. 5. Two rarities are on the first half, Debussy’s Khamma and Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5, subtitled Egyptian, with Pascal Rogé as soloist.

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