On a good day, this midsize orchestra--the youthful multiethnic ensemble founded by maestro Paul Freeman--justifiably stakes its claim as an alternative to the Chicago Symphony. Its five-year-old practice of spotlighting non-European works and soloists continues at this season's finale with Japanese violinist Kyoko Takezawa. A child prodigy weaned on the Suzuki method and a recent Juilliard grad, Takezawa has already performed with a score of world-class orchestras and garnered well-deserved praise. Technically she's almost flawless--which means that she should make mincemeat out of Max Bruch's dazzling though rather empty-headed Violin Concerto no. 1. The program also includes Romantic Variations, a fluffy piece by contemporary Russian composer Andrei Petrov, and Beethoven's Symphony no. 7, a classic that puts an orchestra's credentials to the test. Sunday, 2:30 PM, Lund Auditorium, Rosary College, 7900 W. Division, River Forest. Monday, 7:30 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan. 708-366-1062.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Elizabeth Marshall.