Public Critics Series

Rachmaninoff at Rockefeller

James Kallembach, conductor of the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, reminded us that a concert’s setting can be utilized as skillfully as a player’s instrument – or, in this case, a singer’s voice.

Isserlis, Gerstein glow in Brahms sonatas

Cellist Steven Isserlis is clearly in love with the two Brahms sonatas for cello and piano.  He is capable of channeling his endless exuberance into these works, though with unique affection and respect for their two very different moods.  Isserlis and pianist Kirill Gerstein treated an attentive and large crowd to these gems of the cello repertoire, among other lesser known pieces, Friday evening at University of Chicago’s newly renovated Mandel Hall (no relation to the byline).

New Century Chamber Orchestra closes Chamber Music Fest

“Not every conductorless group can pull it off, ” remarked violinist Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on Thursday evening.  “But we can.”

Brooklyn Rider goes far beyond classical

While major American orchestras struggle to maintain budgets and build audiences, the string quartet seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance in recent years.  Chicago has seen this reemergence up close: the Pacifica Quartet has revived the standard repertoire with youthful vivacity; the Spektral Quartet has reimagined the traditional concert format to contextualize modern music.  Though the quartet Brooklyn Rider is based on the east coast, its members have appeared in Chicago in various other iterations – as members of The Knights and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, to name two.