Critic’s Choice

Tue Jan 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Michael Hersch
Michael Hersch

Michael Hersch is among the most compelling of contemporary American composers. His style is personal and adheres to no dogma, feeling both traditional and modern. His most celebrated work, The Vanishing Pavilions, is characteristically ambitious, quirky and explosive, a work for solo piano that spans nearly 2-1/2 hours.

Dal Niente is presenting the Chicago premiere of Hersch’s On the Threshold of Winter in two performances this week. Inspired by the final poems of Martin Sorescu, this music-theater monodrama is a meditation on death. Soprano Ah Young Hong will reprise her role as the solo protagonist.

Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Ave.


In a more traditional vein, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents an attractive program of favorite composers Wednesday night. Brahms’ Piano Trio in C minor and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major are the main works, prefaced by selections from the same composers’ Hungarian Dances and Slavonic Dances, respectively.

Concert time is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Harris Theater.

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