Grant Park Symphony Orchestra | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Grant Park Symphony Orchestra 

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Every composer should have a son like Maxim Shostakovich; since 1971 the younger Shostakovich has zealously championed his father Dmitry's musical legacy, first in the Soviet Union, then in the west after emigrating here in 1981. At these Grant Park concerts, he will guide the orchestra in a performance of the 12th Symphony, a fine specimen from his father's final resurgence of creativity after a long hiatus. Expect him to stress the music's mordant wit and emotional highs and lows. The all-Russian program also includes Alfred Schnitke's Piano Concerto no. 1. A worthy successor to the elder Shotakovich as Russia's premier composer, the inventive, forward-looking but ascetic Schnitke often writes music that reflects the despair and desolation he senses in his countrymen. The soloist is Alexander Slobodyanik, a Ukrainian-born master of soulful sensitivity. Finally, from the golden age of Russian nationalism--the second half of the 19th century--is Mussorgsky's A Night on Bald Mountain, a ferocious stretch of demonic music that has entered into pop-culture consciousness via Disney's Fantasia. Saturday, 8 PM and Sunday, 7 PM, Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson; 819-0614.

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