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Icarus Quartet

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In an effort to dispel classical music's elitist aura and secure an audience for the future, big cultural institutions like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera, and the Ravinia Festival have launched outreach programs that send musicians into the neighborhoods. The Icarus Quartet was formed three years ago by the CSO to take the classics into Pilsen and Little Village; its membership has been fluid but for one constant: violist Max Raimi. The current lineup, with violinists Baird Dodge and Jen Marlas (who are husband and wife) and cellist Stephen Balderston, will appear at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum on Saturday--possibly for the last time if CSO's outreach funding is scaled back. Joining the quartet will be flutist Mathieu Dufour and clarinetist Larry Combs, CSO principals and reasons its wind section is among the finest in the world. The program will be mostly Mozart, including the Variations on "Ah, vous dirais-je, maman" (arranged by Raimi for string trio), the delectable Flute Quartet, and the sublime Clarinet Quintet. Rounding out the bill is the Duo for Violin and Viola (1982) by Raimi, who composes in a late-Romantic style spiked with modernist touches. This promises to be a treat--and with a ten-dollar ticket it's an unbeatable bargain. Saturday, May 31, 3 PM, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th; 773-381-1331.

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