Friday, June 28, 2013

Blackhawks Celebration Day in Chicago

Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people have gathered in downtown Chicago for a rally celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team's Stanley Cup victory. Every Chicago television station is hosting live coverage, and all of Chicago is proud and happy. It is a joyous day for Chicago, and it's possible that this is the largest crowd gathered in all of Chicago history.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

North Shore Chamber Music Festival a Great Treat

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend the second night of the North Shore Chamber Music Festival which runs through tomorrow, Saturday, June 8, 2013 at the Village Presbyterian Church at 1300 N. Shermer in Northbrook, Illinois. This is a stunning festival, featuring seasoned musicians who have won major performance prizes, have appeared with symphonies around the word, teach at highly regarded music schools, and have amassed a large discography.  Tonight’s program featured Shubert’s “The Trout,” as well as the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings by Carl Maria Von Weber, and a very short Adagio by Arvo Part, all of which were received very  enthusiastically by the audience.

Tomorrow night’s offering, which starts at 7:30 pm, includes Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok, a selection of Jazz Piano solos in a tribute to Oscar Peterson, and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor. At 6:00 pm, a number of young Chicago performers will present a pre-concert musical program. While the concert will be broadcast on WFMT-FM (98.7), if you are anywhere in the area you really should go in person. I bought tonight’s ticket shortly before the concert, and there were plenty of seats left for tomorrow. While the seats near the front have been sold out, there were plenty of seats left in the balcony. At a price of only $15, it is a bargain, indeed.

Kudos are in order to Vadim Gluzman, the Festival’s Artistic Director, and Angela Yoffe, the Executive Director, for putting together a very ambitious and successful festival.  It is always a treat to be able to hear world class musicians, and when it is possible to hear them in a convenient suburban location, it is a very happy occasion.