Civic Orchestra of Chicago | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Civic Orchestra of Chicago 

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CIVIC ORCHESTRA OF CHICAGO

Of all the events in this weekend's marathon bash inaugurating the new Symphony Center, Sunday's three-hour open rehearsal of Monday's concert by the Civic Orchestra seems the most appropriate: an ensemble of musicians in training for the next century trying out a revamped hall designed for the future--under the guidance of a conductor with definite notions about where serious music ought to be headed. Pierre Boulez, one of the most compelling spokesmen for 20th-century aesthetics, has the clearest and cleanest beat around and an analytical mind that can encompass the most complex musical structure--a good thing when tackling Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and his third piano concerto. The soloist in the piano concerto is Elena Bashkirova, a Moscow native trained in the Soviet school of keyboard pyrotechnics who later learned finesse and understatement from playing chamber music with her ex-husband, violinist Gidon Kremer. Now married to Daniel Barenboim, she's in town whenever he is--a boon to local groups. Sunday, 10 AM (open rehearsal); Monday, 8 PM (concert); Symphony Center, 200 S. Michigan; 312-294-3000. TED SHEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Elena Bashikirova photo/ uncredited.

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