Maxim Vengerov | Ravinia Festival | Classical | Chicago Reader
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Maxim Vengerov 

When: Mon., July 15, 8 p.m. 2013
Price: $50-$75, $10 lawn seats
In 2007, when he was 32 years old, Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov put down his Stradivarius. Though he was the highest-paid violinist in the world, he’d been suffering for two years from a weightlifting injury and professional burnout. His right shoulder healed in less than a year from the surgery he needed, but the exhaustion from a career that had begun at age five—recording by ten, playing concerts internationally by his teens—took longer. As the sabbatical went on, his focus on conducting and teaching left many wondering if he’d ever appear onstage with his violin again. In 2011 he finally returned to giving concerts (he told an interviewer that he’d fallen in love with the violin again), eventually making an official comeback recital at London’s Wigmore Hall in April 2012 that was recorded and released by the venue’s label, Wigmore Hall Live; it proves that his enormous range, beautiful tone, brilliant virtuosity, and profound musicality are all still intact. He was accompanied by his longtime recital partner, pianist Itamar Golan, who joins him tonight at Ravinia for the first time since 1995. They’ll play a program of Beethoven, Schubert, Franck, and Saint-Saens. —Barbara Yaross



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