Gidon Kremer and Oleg Maisenberg | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gidon Kremer and Oleg Maisenberg 

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The Latvian-born violinist Gidon Kremer is arguably our town's favorite visiting virtuoso: he's been a regular fixture here since his local debut in the early 80s, often at the invitation of Chamber Music Chicago. His long-standing international renown can be attributed to the intensity and intelligence of his playing and the astonishingly wide range of his musical taste. This time around Kremer is returning not as a soloist or conductor but as a chamber recitalist, joined by Oleg Maisenberg. Russian-trained like Kremer and now based in Vienna, pianist Maisenberg is a compatible sidekick and a regular participant in Kremer's summer quasi workshop, the Lockenhaus Festival. The easy camaraderie of their long collaboration should be evident in this recital, the first in Chicago for Maisenberg. The largely central-European bill of fare--pieces by Bartok, Dvorak, and Schubert along with Liszt's flashy Grande Duo Concertante--is distinguished by the inclusion of Czech innovator Erwin Schulhoff's Second Violin Sonata. Well-versed in serialism and jazz, the young Schulhoff wrote this sparse, harrowingly emotional sonata in 1929 and was on his way to a brilliant career when World War II intervened. Imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, he continued to play the piano and compose for the spiritual life of fellow inmates. He was executed in 1942. Monday, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 242-6237 or 435-6666.


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