Century Orchestra Osaka | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Century Orchestra Osaka 

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The Century Orchestra Osaka is young--it was put together in 1989 by the Osaka prefecture, which generously subsidizes it--and so are most of its 56 members: their average age is 30. Their maestro, though, Jerusalem-born Uriel Segal, has a couple decades of experience under his belt. While the Century ranks a notch or two below East Asia's finest--perhaps more on par with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago--its fresh and exuberant style has already won accolades. One of its roles is to serve as a cultural ambassador, drawing attention to Japan's second most populous city and the center of its industrial heartland--a role that perhaps explains its seemingly premature debut U.S tour. Guest soloist Kyoko Takezawa is a young Japanese-born violinist whose star is rising rapidly. Reared on the Suzuki method and a student of the Juilliard's legendary Dorothy DeLay, the 25-year-old Takezawa has shown an affinity for the Romantic style. Her sound, which can be heard on a number of RCA CDs, is velvety and songful--well suited to Samuel Barber's sweet and nostalgic Violin Concerto, which she'll play in this concert. Also on the standard-issue program are a pair of late symphonies by two inventive masters: Haydn's no. 95 and Dvorak's Seventh. Sunday, 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Richard Houghton.

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