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Vadim Repin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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The most prized pupils of renowned violin pedagogue Zakhar Bron, Siberians Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov, are now the preeminent Russian violinists of their generation. While the volcanic Vengerov is immensely popular, the less dramatic Repin probably excites his peers more than the public. Both play with passion, but where Vengerov erupts, Repin smolders. His extraordinary virtuosity isn't flamboyant, and his gorgeous, perfect tone flows so easily that it can seem less expressive than his counterpart's. Repin joins the CSO for this all-Brahms program featuring the imposing violin concerto, which expanded the technical demands of the traditional solo role to the point that one conductor referred to it as "a concerto against the violin." Repin's blazing rendition of Tchaikovsky's similarly demanding concerto, recorded with the Kirov Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, bodes well for this performance. The concert opens with Brahms's Symphony no. 1; Myung-Whun Chung conducts. A preconcert lecture begins at 7 PM. a 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, $19-$119. Also Fri 6/1, 1:30 PM, and Sat 6/2, 8 PM.

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