Critic’s Choice

Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Wolfgang Rihm

One factor that makes Chicago such a premier classical destination is the abundance of young, venturesome new-music ensembles, and two of the city’s finest are offering back-to-back midweek concerts well worth attending.

Access Contemporary Music will offer the Chicago premiere of Lichtes Spiel by Wolfgang Rihm on Tuesday night. Written for Anne-Sophie Mutter, this 17-minute violin concerto reflects the German composer’s shimmering, elliptical style. The soloist will be Jeff Yang, only the second musician, after Mutter, to perform “Light Games.” Other composers represented on the ACM program are Erkki-Sven Tüür, Shulamit Ran, Grainne Mulvey, Dan Becker, Evan Chambers and Vivian Fung. Concert time is 7 p.m. at Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood.

On Wednesday, the (Un)familar Music Series will present the Chicago Q Ensemble in “Hour of Power,” a typically edgy program at The Empty Bottle. The Q Ensemble string quartet will offer the Chicago premieres of Shawn Jaeger’s Thy Wondering Eyes and Judd Greenstein’s Four on the Floor, with movements from Beethoven’s Quartet in E flat, Op. 127, and Shostakovich’s Fourth Quartet also on tap. Concert time is 7 p.m. at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Avenue.


Returned from its Asian tour, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gets back to work at its Michigan Avenue home with a Late Romantic program starting 8 p.m. Friday night. Sir Mark Elder’s CSO podium stands are invariably season highlights and with Garrick Ohlsson as soloist in Rachmaninoff’s mighty Piano Concerto No. 3, the ticket is self-recommending. Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1 and Dvořák’s tone poem, The Water Goblin, fill out the program, which repeats 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.; 312-294-3000.

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