Concerts are all canceled, but you can still support artists by buying their albums.
A Hawk and a Hacksaw’s lessons from Budapest, mysterious Italian unrock, and improvised German postdub
Two idiosyncratic guitarists engage with abstract expressionism.
Give contemporary R & B a chance.
Gwen Stefani and Ciara try to prove they’re not just perfect pop stars.
Grim coke rap, post-Pulp pop, and big-tent folk.
Middle-of-the-road doesn’t have to mean middling.
On his latest tour, the king of the hundred-man electric-guitar orchestra was traveling light.
Chicago Symphony Orchestraat Orchestra Hall, November 27, December 3, and December 10 Pierre Boulez is the best orchestra conductor alive. He’s also the most cold-blooded. His rep hasn’t changed for decades: he’s the ultraintellectual modernist, the disdainer of imprecision and emotional sloppiness, the unyielding advocate of all music harsh, obscure, and avant-garde. It’s true that […]
Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, October 1 By Lee Sandlin The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first subscription concert of the season was an OK evening’s entertainment, featuring passable performances of a couple of old standards, the Brahms First Symphony and the act three prelude of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, together with the American premiere of an […]
Fidelio Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, May 26 By Sarah Bryan Miller The Enlightenment was an optimistic time, and the men who shaped the age believed that their optimism was justified. They’d thrown off the shackles of superstition-based religious authority and governmental tyranny, and in their vision of the future, humanity would rise from […]
Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, March 12 and 19 By Lee Sandlin Modernist music is about a century old, and nobody knows yet what to do with it. Its proponents used to push it on audiences with millennial fervor: they would tell you, quite seriously, that its shrieking dissonances and insane chromatic harmonies were […]
Yo-Yo Ma at Orchestra Hall, March 8 By Michael Solot When Yo-Yo Ma arrives at a certain pitch of intensity in performance, you not only hear his passion in the music but see it plainly in the man. He snaps his head sharply in time to the beat, whipping his hair this way and that. […]
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, February 13 By Lee Sandlin Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, currently on a world tour, stopped off at Orchestra Hall the other night for one sold-out concert. On the bill were Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto and Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. Chailly has been getting ecstatic […]
Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, February 5 By Lee Sandlin There’s a rule orchestras follow about new music: they always play it in the first half of the concert, and they always follow it up with one of the blandest, safest, most overplayed works in the repertoire. Their assumption is that audiences hate any […]