Music Reviews

Shining art from a dark era

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The Chicago Symphony Orchestra recently completed its three-week festival entitled “Truth to Power.” The performances are of works written in the 1930s and 1940s and the uniting idea is that though this period of history was fraught with peril “yet in this dark era, Benjamin Britten, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri(…)

Review: “The Emperor of Atlantis” and “The Clever One”

Where: Merle Reskin Theatre (60 E. Balbo) When: through Jun. 8 Tickets: 312-704-8414 In 1943 two men living under the Nazis completed one-act works of musical theater. One of them died in Auschwitz, the other lived in comfort for almost another 40 years. Chicago Opera Theater is presenting these two pieces in four performances at(…)

Review: “Truth to Power”

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Where: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan When: through Jun. 8 Tickets: 312-294-3000 The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is in the midst of its three week festival entitled “Truth to Power.” The performances are of works written in the 30s and 40s and the uniting idea is that though this period(…)

Mischievous Medieval Minstrels at the top of the Logan Center

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic It can be fun and fascinating to learn about something just as it coalesces into being. Sunday night the newly formed University of Chicago Medieval Minstrelsy gave their first concert and I was there at the ground floor. And by ground floor I mean the penthouse of the university’s(…)

Chicago Ensemble charms at I-House

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The Chicago Ensemble, now in its 37th season, is clearly one of Chicago’s most durable music performing groups. Artistic director Gerald Rizzer has consistently proven that he can craft engaging programs that combine well-known works with music off the beaten path. Sometimes the lesser-known pieces are by the most(…)

Review: “The Sound of Music”

Where: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through May 25 Tickets: $29-$199 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The 1965 movie “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews, is one of the greatest musicals ever put on film. Millions of people who have seen the screen version(…)

SOBs shine through Baroque Band

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Baroque Band has been pleasing Chicago and particularly Hyde Park audiences since 2007. Founded by British violinist Garry Clarke, it has established itself as a fixture on the Chicago music scene. Such is its strength that it has continued without a glitch this season even with Clarke on a(…)

Salonen shows his skill at CSO

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Last month Esa-Pekka Salonen was awarded the Nemmers Prize in Music Composition by the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and last week Chicago audiences had a chance to hear him conduct one of his recent works on the podium in front of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Entitled(…)