Demarre and Anthony McGill | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Demarre and Anthony McGill


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Fredda Hyman started the "Music in the Loft" series four years ago at her spacious home on West Washington intending to revive the 19th-century salon, where chamber music was born. A former dance instructor, she believes in nurturing young talent, so she tends to book musicians in their 20s and 30s; given the chance to play music of their choice, they charge her dirt-cheap rates. This weekend in Hyman's book-lined living room, where Rachel Barton and the Pacifica String Quartet have already taken bows this season, two local sons will give a pair of concerts. Demarre McGill and his younger brother Anthony showed a knack for flute and clarinet, respectively, while still in kindergarten on the south side, and their parents, both visual artists, prodded them toward the classical repertoire. When I heard 16-year-old Demarre play six years ago he already knew how to deftly turn a phrase, how to be precise without sounding mechanical. He has since graduated from Kenwood Academy and the Curtis Institute; now 22, he's studying at Juilliard with Julius Baker, one of the best. Anthony, who's 18, took private lessons from the CSO's Larry Combs, a master of melodious phrasing and breath control; he's now studying at the Curtis Institute. Less bent on a solo career than his brother, Anthony shies away from virtuosic grandstanding. On Sunday the two will perform pieces for flute, clarinet, and piano by Bloch, Ibert, and Saint-Saens, accompanied by David Dunford; they'll also play separately in works for flute and piano and clarinet and piano. They fill up only the second half of the Friday program, playing only some of the same works; the top half features tenor Karim Sulayman and pianist Jennifer Au. Friday and Sunday, 8 PM, 1017 W. Washington; 312-243-9233. TED SHEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photos.

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