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Review: Riccardo Muti has given Chicago many reasons to celebrate his music directorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but perhaps the most perfect expression of his belief in art’s purpose comes in the current run of rarely heard works for chorus and orchestra by Brahms, Schoenberg and Cherubini. ****
Review: You’ve got to hand it to countertenor Iestyn Davies and conductor Harry Bicket. When they take a night off from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where they’re performing music of George Frideric Handel, they’re in another part of town performing … George Frideric Handel. Is this love or what? ****
“Aida” with four new singers. 4 stars!
Not your grandfather’s Handel. 4 stars!
The Chicago Lyric Opera’s new season begins and ends with shows that should attract aficionados of opera and theater: “Elektra” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Here’s the show-by-show breakdown.
Feature: Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances in California and at Carnegie Hall will introduce new works by young resident composers Feb. 14-19 and Oct. 4.
Interview: The Texas native talks about his unlikely mid-career burst into stardom at the Metropolitan Opera. Morris plays the hero Siegfried in the Met’s HD broadcast of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung” at cinemas worldwide Saturday, Feb. 11.
Complete season highlights, details.
The Berlin Philharmonic began live concert broadcasts over the Internet in mid-2009 amid some high-tech speed bumps. Is 2012 the year it all comes together?
Our selective guide to the best national broadcasts, international radio streams, concert replays and festive downloads to help you ring in New Year 2012.
Review: “A Steinway Christmas Album,” a classy bundle of seasonal arrangements compiled and performed by pianist Jeffrey Biegel. (Steinway) ****
Debut tour at Chicago Theatre. 4 stars!
Profile: Anonymous 4, the vocal quartet renowned for its plainchant and medieval music recordings, celebrates 25 seasons with a holiday concert of favorites at Chicago’s Art Institute Dec. 18, and a new release called “Secret Voices.”
Mozart’s classic opera revives. 3 stars.
Appreciation: The showgirls of Broadway’s “Follies” have histories of their own. Hats off to these flawless charmers and their former selves in a present — and past — perfect production.
Festive retelling for all ages. 4 stars!
One-man invasion at the Court. 4 stars!
Deliciously bizarre test of wits. 4 stars!
Preview: The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts throughout the U.S. feature a landmark of American minimalism not to miss — ”Satyagraha” by Philip Glass, Nov. 19 and Dec. 7. Here’s a peek.
Preview: U.S. and Chicago premieres abound in the season opener of the new-music series Contempo, at the Harris Theater Tuesday. The concert is a double bill featuring a second set with Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara and her trio.
Tortured soul of a Russian czar. 4 stars!
Review: Is there an optimal year in one’s life to conduct a masterpiece of Haydn for the first time? In the case of Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink and Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation,” the magical number would appear to be 82. ****
Review: MusicNOW, the contemporary series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, began its 2011-12 season alive with the music of ping-pong balls, marimba, country fiddle and eerie vocals. Composers converged from Dublin, Connecticut, Minnesota and London to hear their works performed.
Lyric Opera close-up: We had to know. How is it that soprano Anna Christy is able to zip around like a hovercraft while pinging those sparkling high notes as Olympia, the mechanical doll, in “The Tales of Hoffmann”?
At Chi. Shakespeare Theater. 5 stars!
It’s the phone call all struggling musicians hope for — the announcement of a competition prize complete with recording contract. For Wayward Sisters, a Baroque ensemble specializing in 17th-century music, the news lit up lines in Chicago and three other locales where its four members reside.
Mahler conducted the world premiere of Busoni’s “Berceuse élégiaque” at the last public performance of his life, with the New York Philharmonic in 1911. At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s re-creation of the event, the nine incredible minutes of the “Berceuse” alone are sufficient reason to attend.
Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” opens Lyric Opera of Chicago season. 4 stars!
Chicago On the Aisle is a performing arts web magazine devoted to news and reviews of theater, classical music, dance, exhibitions and other cultural splendors — best bets for cultural travelers and local enthusiasts. If …
It’s tough to choose amid the bounty and variety that music director Riccardo Muti and guest conductors will offer in the coming months, but we’ve assembled an alluring 12-pack. The envelope, please… …