Chicago String Ensemble | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chicago String Ensemble 

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Eighty-five-year-old Samuel Thaviu has led the kind of life any violinist could be proud of. Born into a musical family on the North Shore, he started his apprenticeship as the concertmaster of the Little Symphony of Chicago. Then he joined the first violin section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the Frederick Stock days and played with the Mischakoff String Quartet. After stints in various other cities, he settled down in Pittsburgh in 1946. With the exception of one year, when he moved to Cleveland at the invitation of the distinguished maestro Georg Szell, he stayed put as the concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, first under the direction of Fritz Reiner (who later took over the helm of the CSO), then under William Steinberg. In 1966 Thaviu returned to his hometown and eased into academic routines at Northwestern. The elder statesman is making a rare guest appearance this weekend with the Chicago String Ensemble. On the docket is the complete cycle of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, a perennial crowd pleaser and a fiddler's delight, plus Purcell's Chacony in G Minor, in observance of the tricentennial of the British master's death, and Sinfonia no. 3 in C by C.P.E. Bach, the most imaginative of J.S.'s sons. Alan Heatherington, who's getting more assured with each season, conducts. Friday, 8 PM, Saint Pauls United Church of Christ, 2535 N. Orchard. Saturday, 8 PM, First United Methodist Church, 1630 Hinman, Evanston. Sunday, 3 PM, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 203 S. Kensington, La Grange. 332-0567.

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