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Articles in Classical + Opera

Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric Opera music director, adds the Melbourne Symphony to duties

Jun 18, 2012 – 3:17 pm
SIR_ANDREW_DAVIS credit Dario Acosta Photography

Will shuttle between continents.

In lightning-quick Beethoven 7th Symphony, van Zweden and CSO deliver a poetic thriller

May 16, 2012 – 11:05 am
Jaap van Zweden credit Hans Vanderwoerd

Review: It’s one thing to hear a hair-raising orchestra performance on a CD, and quite another to experience it happening right in front of you, live, in the splendorous acoustics of a concert space. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s rocket-sled finale in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony on May 15 at Orchestra Hall, with conductor Jaap van Zweden, was one to send a writer combing his thesaurus for a higher form of wow. *****

Chicago Symphony nabs key player from Detroit to helm bass

May 14, 2012 – 11:46 am
Alexander Hanna featured image

Alexander Hanna, 26, was groomed at Curtis, Tanglewood and Verbier.

On the Lyric Opera stage, pianist Lang Lang lends Schubert, Chopin a tenor of virtuosity

May 14, 2012 – 12:32 am
Lang Lang 250 credit Robert Kusel Lyric Opera

Review: Lang Lang’s debut at Chicago’s 3500-seat Civic Opera House was quietly elegant, cogently argued and intensely focused. That is, until the abundantly gifted pianist gave himself over to some astonishing fireworks. With a technique like that, who can blame him? ****

Chicago Symphony plans Asian tour with Muti, and adds Mexico debut to fall Carnegie opener

May 8, 2012 – 12:33 pm
Chicago Symphony 2012-2013 tour map credit Nancy Malitz

Beijing, Mexico City, Seoul among stops.

Lang Lang, star pianist and global citizen, will bring Chopin, other friends to Chicago recital

May 7, 2012 – 2:35 pm
Lang Lang feature image credit Philip Glaser

Preview: When Chinese piano sensation Lang Lang steps onto the stage at the Civic Opera House for his recital Saturday night, it will be a special moment for everyone in the house – including the pianist.

Louis Langrée to helm Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Apr 24, 2012 – 1:10 pm

Starts in 2013 as 13th music director

From the Bard to Beethoven: Actor Simon Callow to return to Chicago in June with Symphony

Apr 24, 2012 – 10:49 am
Simon Callow performs in "Being Shakespeare" a new play by Jonathan Bate and directed by Tom Cairns, presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music at the BAM Harvey Theater on April 4, 2012.Credit: Stephanie Berger

‘Beyond the Score’ with Riccardo Muti

Handel’s early vengeance opera ‘Teseo’ shines amid Chicago Opera Theater’s vocal splendors

Apr 24, 2012 – 12:37 am
TeseoFeatured

Medea’s very, very jealous. 4 stars!

Chicago Opera lavishes style on Shostakovich comedy about romance — and finding a flat

Apr 18, 2012 – 10:35 am
Moscow Cheryomushki Dmitri Shostakovich feature image Sophie Gordeladze as Lusya Dominic Armstrong as Sergei Chicago Opera Theater credit Liz Lauren

‘Moscow, Cheryomushki.’ 4 stars!

Conductor Charles Dutoit leads French lesson as CSO matches Impressionists with Dutilleux

Apr 14, 2012 – 1:51 pm
Charles Dutoit featured image credit Philadelphia Orchestra

Review: From the admixture of opulence and asceticism that constituted conductor Charles Dutoit’s program of French music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this weekend, one might have taken away good lessons offered in a perhaps subversively gleeful spirit. ****

Jazz composer’s song-cycle for Dawn Upshaw tops Chicago agenda for Australian ensemble

Apr 12, 2012 – 4:42 pm
Richard Tognetti  feature 1 Australian Chamber Orchestra credit Jon Frank

Preview: It sounds like a perfect mix of guests for a dinner party, the composers queued up for the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s concert April 15 at Orchestra Hall. George Crumb and Anton Webern will be arriving together, so to speak, along with Schubert and Grieg – and a newcomer whose radical voice should give the affair a good jolt.

CSO debut: Pianist Lugansky shows Russian school still thrives with grand Rachmaninoff

Apr 6, 2012 – 5:07 pm

Review: Sensational. That, in a word, was Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky’s debut April 5 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Charles Dutoit. The tall, assured pianist – one could only think of the young Van Cliburn – made epic poetry of Rachmaninoff’s formidable Third Piano Concerto in a performance that probed a deep vein of lyricism and simply transcended technical issues. ****

In a week to remember, pianist Mitsuko Uchida bridges the lyrical realms of Schubert, Mozart

Mar 31, 2012 – 5:59 pm
Mitsuko Uchida featured image credit Hyou Vielz

Commentary: Pianist Mitsuko Uchida’s two appearances this last week at Orchestra Hall, in a recital of Schubert’s late sonatas March 25 and her current concerts playing and conducting Mozart concertos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, resonate not like discrete encounters but rather like an epic testimonial to her phenomenal art.

Cultural twins, tied to Chicago and Poland, set to make their mark in the orchestra world

Mar 29, 2012 – 8:49 am
Eska Laskus featured image

Receive management fellowships.

Surprise! Renée Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma spring serenade on lunch crowd at Thompson Center

Mar 19, 2012 – 5:17 pm
Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma jam on 3-19-2012 at James T. Thompson Center Chicago  credit Nancy Malitz

Soprano and cello, burgers and pizza.

Solemnity rules as Riccardo Muti guides CSO through musical perspectives on human spirit

Mar 16, 2012 – 4:31 pm
Riccardo Muti music director Chicago Symphony 2012

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. ****

In a program of Handel arias, Iestyn Davies illuminates Baroque art of the countertenor

Mar 10, 2012 – 6:48 pm
Iestyn Davies Photo: Marco Borggreve

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? ****

Virtuosity on display, CSO and Zukerman burnish Brahms concerto, 2nd Symphony

Mar 9, 2012 – 5:02 pm
Pinchas Zukerman featured image credit Paul Labelle

Review: Sometimes, in the course of a symphony orchestra season, it’s good just to hear the band dial up the core German repertoire and show what it can do. That’s exactly what the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and music director Riccardo Muti did March 8 in a sumptuous double dose of Brahms, the Violin Concerto with soloist Pinchas Zukerman and the Second Symphony. *****

Soprano Hui He takes over as Aida in Lyric’s new cast, and suddenly the chemistry bubbles

Mar 9, 2012 – 11:21 am
Aida featured image Quinn Kelsey Amonasro Hui He Aida Chicago Lyric Opera DAN_7621 c. Dan Rest

“Aida” with four new singers. 4 stars!

In a bold CSO debut, English conductor meets twin challenges of Mahler and Schoenberg

Mar 2, 2012 – 7:29 pm
Thomas Nott Featured Image Michelle DeYoung Stuart Skelton Chicago Symphony 2012 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: Stepping in to pinch hit for Pierre Boulez may not be the least stressful way to make one’s conducting debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Subbing on short notice to take over Boulez’s rare pairing of Mahler’s song-symphony “Das Lied von der Erde” and Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto – that’s quite a debut.****

Handel trips back to the future as Lyric Opera proclaims the outrageous genius of ‘Rinaldo’

Mar 1, 2012 – 3:30 pm
RINALDO featured image Elza van den Heever, dancers,  RST_2961 c. Dan Rest

Not your grandfather’s Handel. 4 stars!

Lyric Opera commissions a young Peruvian’s first stage work, setting of Lima hostage crisis

Feb 29, 2012 – 2:13 am
Lopez

The Lyric Opera of Chicago has commissioned the first opera from 33-year-old Peruvian composer Jimmy López, and will present the new work’s world premiere in December 2015.

‘Meistersinger’ to ‘Streetcar,’ Lyric Opera’s new season offers scenic route with 9 stops

Feb 27, 2012 – 3:55 pm
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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.

Lyric Opera ventures into American musical with a ‘Show Boat’ that you can’t help lovin’

Feb 16, 2012 – 1:50 pm
Show Boat Lyric Opera featured image c. Robert Kusel

Song and dance on the Delta. 5 stars!

Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony unleash alternative energy of Mason Bates, Anna Clyne

Feb 14, 2012 – 9:01 pm
Clyne_Anna_Bates_Mason_featured image credit_Todd_Rosenberg

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.

Forget brass ring, tenor Jay Hunter Morris appears from nowhere to grab Wagner gold

Feb 9, 2012 – 10:36 am
Deborah Voight and Jay Hunter Morris Met Gotterdammerung featured image credit Ken Howard

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.

Chicago Symphony’s 2012-13 plans highlight Wagner, Stravinsky and waterway themes

Feb 6, 2012 – 7:38 pm
Riccardo Muti Orchestra Hall credit Todd Rosenberg

Complete season highlights, details.

‘Aida’ at the Lyric Opera: Verdi’s tragedy hits the pitches but misses some dramatic notes

Jan 28, 2012 – 8:00 pm
Aida Chicago Lyric featured image credit Dan Rest

The Princess’ rival is her slave. 3 stars

In Orff’s earthy ‘Carmina Burana,’ Muti guides CSO and vocal force to Fortune’s throne room

Jan 27, 2012 – 7:14 pm
CSO Muti Carmina Burana featured image

Review: Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with the Chicago Children’s Choir conducted by Riccardo Muti. Maria Grazia Schiavo, soprano; Max Emanuel Cencic, countertenor; Stéphane Degout, baritone. Through Jan. 28. *****