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ILLINOIS PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

The title of Lita Grier's Renascence for flute and orchestra holds a double meaning: the ten-minute concertino not only was adapted from a sonata composed three decades ago but also signals the rebirth of Grier's composing career, dormant since the mid-60s. At 16 Grier won a New York Philharmonic young composers' contest. While at the Juilliard she prepped with Peter Mennin, and at the University of California at Los Angeles, where she earned her master's, her teachers included Roy Harris and Lukas Foss. Though Grier showed great promise as a composer--she'd already completed a number of highly polished chamber works--she was discouraged from getting a PhD and pursuing an academic career. So Grier earned a living first as an agent, then as a publicist in Chicago. These days she also heads a company that produces classical-music radio programs for syndication. The rediscovery of Grier's youthful works, most of which recall French impressionism in their moody lyricism and sensual texture, began three years ago with a performance of the exquisitely evocative Sonata for Flute and Piano at Ravinia. Since then Grier's other pieces have also received enthusiastic reviews, leading to a call for the revival of her compositional career. Renascence, commissioned by the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and American Women Composers-Midwest, is her first major undertaking in more than 30 years and will be premiered by the IPO. Technically tough for the soloist, it will be handled by ace flutist Mary Stolper with an assist from the often-reliable IPO under the baton of Carmon DeLeone. Also on the program are Haydn's Cello Concerto in C, Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 4. Grier will give a preconcert talk. Saturday, 8 PM, Center for Arts and Technology, Governors State University, Stuenkel Road and Governors Highway, University Park; 708-481-7774. TED SHEN

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