Salute To Vienna New Year’s Concert 2017

Salute to Vienna celebrates more than 21 years of New Year’s concerts, rounding off the holiday season with entertaining, light-hearted performances in 23 North American cities this year. More than 60,000 concert-goers will party like it’s 1899 between December 27 and January 3, when Salute to Vienna will kick off 2017 in the 81-year old tradition of Vienna’s world famous “Neujahrskonzert” Read more

Salute To Vienna New Year’s Concert

Created by Attila Glatz Concert Productions Featuring the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Bernhard Schneider Featuring Patricia Nessy soprano (Vienna) and  tenor Adam Luther With the Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine and International Champion Ballroom Dancers Concert Date: December 27 at ORCHESTRA HALL, SYMPHONY CENTER, Chicago The ageless beauty of Viennese music is a wonderful way to bring in the New Year. In one of the most wonderful music concerts of this or any year, the beautiful Salute to Vienna was a true delight! I was swept away by the romance of Strauss waltzes –including the Blue Danube, and melodies from operettas. The cast of singers featuring Patricia Nessy soprano (Vienna) and  tenor Adam Luther highlighted this classical operetta-oriented salute to Vienna. Conductor Bernhard Schneider hosts and narrates this concert in his most charming Viennese manner. Salute to Vienna celebrates more than 20 years of New Year’s concerts, rounding off the holiday season with entertaining, light-hearted performances in 23 North American cities this year. More than 60,000 concert-goers will party like it’s 1899 between December 27 and January 3, when Salute to Vienna will kick off 2016 in the 80-year old tradition of Vienna’s world famous “Neujahrskonzert”. This concert is a musical confection. If you are experiencing the timeless pleasure of Vienna’s most beautiful music for the first time this year, or you know and love the music, the New Year's tradition, this Salute To Vienna is 2+ hours of sheer joy! Viennese soprano Patricia Nessy and Canadian tenor Adam Luther soared to Viennese arias  while members of the exquisite Kiev-­‐Aniko Ballet and  the Champion Ballroom Dancers added smooth flowing waltzes and swift movement with sheer elegance! With operetta music from Emmerich Kalman's Gypsy Princes to Johann Strauss, Jr's Die Fiedermaus to Franz Lehar's Land of Smiles and Merry Widow , we enjoy the lush sweeping grandeur of Viennese music. With a rich assortment of polkas to folk sounds to stirring marches and, of course the melodic waltzes, the nostalgic sounds of European elegance soars into our psyche. From the haunting "Lippen Schweigen" from Merry Widow to the hypnotic  "Blue Danube" waltz, this concert was immensely entertaining. What a way to bring in the New Year! This yearly concert is now one of my "must see" holiday events like the Messiah and The Nutcracker . See it next year. Highly Recommended Tom Williams Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast … Read more

Messiah 2015

By George Frideric Handel Music Director/Conductor Produced by Apollo Chorus of Chicago At the Harris Theater, Chicago Heavenly rendition of Handel's masterpiece a terrific holiday tradition Handel's 1741 oratorio Messiah has been presented since 1879 in Chicago by the Apollo Chorus of Chicago! This 136th yearly production is more than a holiday tradition, it is a staple. Featuring the over 110 member chorus with a baroque orchestra and four singers, the Messiah roars to the heavens. The Messiah sounds so breathtaking that entering heaven couldn't sound better! The family audience at the Harris Theater relished the “Hallelujah” portion of the oratorio as everyone stood throughout that moving piece. (Watch and listen to the video below.) The music, under the direction of Stephen Alltop, was stellar in the best of the baroque tradition. Of the four singers, Soprano Amanda  Majeski, fresh off her acclaimed work in the Lyric Opera's The Passenger stood out!. Her rich soprano  voice and clear articulation was quite melodic. This Chicago tradition has only today (December 20 at 2 pm) performance at the Harris Theater. Just get there to get a taste of heaven. It may be as close as most of us get to the pearly gates! Highly Recommended Tom Williams Theatre in Chicago podcast Date Reviewed: December 19, 2015 At the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, Chicago, IL, tickets $30 0 $60, running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission, Sunday December 20 at 2pm, … Read more

The Nutcracker (Joffrey 2014)

The story is minimal but allows Joffrey to establish a tone of vaguely holiday related fancy. A family is hosting a Christmas party. The older child, Clara, is calm and well-behaved, while her hyperactive little brother Fritz is everywhere at once. A magician, Dr. Drosselmeyer, arrives and produces mechanical dolls to delight the guests. Gifts are exchanged; some genius gave Fritz a bugle. Dr. Drosselmeyer gives Clara a figurine nut cracker in the shape of a soldier, which Fritz breaks within two seconds. That night, the dolls come to life and battle against mice trying to eat them. Clara saves the nutcracker by bonking the mouse king with her slipper, and in gratitude nutcracker, now a handsome prince, takes her and Dr. Drosselmeyer to a magical kingdom to be entertained for the night. Read more

Sphinx Virtuosi Concert

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, I was luck enough to experience on the finest chamber music orchestra, Sphinix Virtuois with Catalyst Quartet as they Tour in their Americana program. The young dynamic troupe is a professional chamber orchestra and theonly all-Black and Latino string orchestra in America. This 18 person is a a one month tour is an homage to The Star Spangled Banner as member and composer-in-residence premieres a new work titled Banner as an ode to our beloved anthem. Read more

Gala Benefit Evening at the Ravinia Festival

In short, although none of the repertoire here was completely first-rate (the Mozart overture excepted), and despite my reservations about Joshua Bell's playing, this was a highly engaging evening of music, and the performance of the Dvořák was beyond reproach. James Conlon clearly has an exceptional rapport with this ensemble and often brings out its best; I, for one, would gladly welcome him as a frequent guest during the regular CSO season at Orchestra Hall. Read more

All-Beethoven Program at Ravinia Festival

The opening performance of Beethoven's Egmont Overture at the CSO concert he presided over at Ravinia on Thursday evening gave barely a glimpse of the heights to which his conducting would rise at its best over the course of the program. The orchestra played especially well for him, with clean articulation and a good deal of alertness, but the piece – part of the incidental music written to Goethe's play of the same name, but perhaps not Beethoven at his most inspired – never quite came alive, between the at-times wooden phrasing (especially in the woodwinds) and lack of passionate abandon; the somewhat restrained tempo did not help matters, either. Read more

Emerson String Quartet at Ravinia Festival

The venerable Emerson String Quartet opened their Monday-night program at Ravinia with what is arguably the greatest piece for string-quartet by the greatest master of the genre. Op. 131 is part of the series of five quartets that together represent Beethoven's last major achievement – he was dead within a year of its 1826 completion. Composed in seven movements instead of the usual four, it is perhaps the most ambitious attempt to create a string quartet of symphonic sweep, and the result is at once dazzling and overwhelming: by turns melancholy, mischievous, serene, and tragic. If one can follow the many diverse threads brought together over the course of these seven movements, it is an experience not quite like any other. Read more

Juilliard String Quartet at Ravinia Festival

The esteemed Juilliard Quartet must be America's longest-running major chamber ensemble, with a career stretching all the way back to 1946. Today's lineup is, of course, much younger, although Joel Krosnick has been the quartet's cellist since 1974. And however one feels about their interpretative sensibility, it cannot be denied that these are serious-minded, virtuosic musicians. Read more