Articles by Lawrence B. Johnson
In an exclusive interview with Chicago On the Aisle, Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti explains his limited enthusiasm for Mahler and reflects on a lifelong struggle with the immensity of Beethoven.
Fischer’s landmark bio of the great symphonist is now in English. 4 stars!
Company to get check for $10,000.
Celebrating the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth, music director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra forged a sublime performance of Liszt’s epic “Faust Symphony.”
“Red” paints a master-apprentice face-off at the Goodman. 5 stars!
Portraying an experienced arms negotiator during the 1980s missile crisis for TimeLine, Brooks manages to be sly, funny and serious — in precisely accented English she learned from an interview with a Russian opera star.
In her Liszt debut CD, Khatia Buniatishvili reveals the heart of an old-school romantic virtuoso. Though she’s still little known in the U.S., the 24-year-old Georgian’s schedule is packed with European concert dates.
Eight operas for 2011-12 include new productions of “Showboat,”Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Handel’s “Rinaldo.” The new season opens Saturday night with Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann.”
High-voltage effects “In the Next Room” at Victory Gardens. 4 stars
“The Pitmen Painters” at TimeLine is a charming mine of creativity. 4 stars!
Complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies are among the many major works in recordings from the 1970s and ‘80s by the CSO’s conductor with the Philadelphia and Philharmonia Orchestras.
The distinctive qualities of Riccardo Muti’s genius as a conductor, above all a lyrical sensibility cultivated through decades in the opera house, will shape his tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony.
In “The Real Thing” at Writers’ Theatre, love’s a moving target. 5 stars!
Ingrid Fliter’s fresh take on three favorite masterpieces. 4 stars!
“A Walk in the Woods” at TimeLine.
Cold War contretemps. 4 stars!
In a chat with high school singers picked for a new Lyric collaboration with the Merit School of Music, the soprano diva Renée Fleming admits she struck out twice competing in the Met auditions — and taking her driver’s exam.
“Clybourne Park” at Steppenwolf. Bias on the block. 5 stars!