Samuel Magad | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Samuel Magad 

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Sam Magad is a familiar figure at Chicago Symphony's subscription concerts: he's the gent wearing dark shades in the first chair of the violin section--near the edge of the stage, only a few steps left of the podium. A CSO concertmaster since 1972, the Chicago native--whose affiliation with the orchestra started when he was 11--has on numerous occasions demonstrated his considerable prowess as a concerto soloist. As longtime head of the Northbrook Symphony, he's also shown a flair as conductor. This recital presents yet another facet of his musical personality: chamber virtuoso. For the special occasion--incredibly, this is his first recital in Orchestra Hall--Magad has asked Shulamit Ran, CSO's composer-in-residence and our town's latest Pulitzer honoree, to write a piece for him; the three-movement Inscriptions for Solo Violin was completed, I'm told, only days ago. Magad will also get three other opportunities to display his mastery of wide-ranging techniques: Tartini's Sonata in G minor, a Baroque fancy; Ravel's Piano Trio in A Minor, a masterpiece of Gallic urbanity; and Richard Strauss's Violin Sonata opus 18, an exercise in Brahmsian expansiveness. Accompanying Magad are pianist Rita Sloan and cellist Barbara Haffner. Sunday, 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666 or 435-8122.

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