METROPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Having changed its name to the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, the former Symphony of the Shores is hoping to broaden its North Shore audience base to include the city. Founded seven years ago, this orchestra of spunky, mostly youthful players has managed to entice the under-40 crowd with less-than-stuffy fare, often mixing the classics--which are given a well-considered, high-octane approach--with jazz, global music, movie scores, and new commissions from unconventional composers. The orchestra's string sections are remarkably consistent and disciplined for such a relative newcomer, thanks in part to the poised, exhortatory direction of Steven Martyn Zike, who's put the Metropolis squarely at the top of the second tier of local orchestras, on a par with Symphony II. "Fun to play" may as well be the motto for the Metropolis when it ventures outside the classical arena. Its inaugural debut at the Medinah Temple, its new downtown venue, opens with Beethoven's Consecration of the House overture, a marvelous quasi-fugue, but the program also includes "Lex," the first movement of Michael Daugherty's birthday ode to Superman, the Metropolis Symphony. Littered with pop-culture references and ferociously propulsive, this movement features an assertive solo violin (Thomas Yang) cajoling, bragging, railing against a backdrop of urban hubbub. Also on the program are The Happy Prince, a children's tale by De Kalb composer Jan Bach (with WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert as narrator), and Howard Hanson's Second Symphony. (Five hundred free tickets have been set aside for kids.) Sunday, 3 PM, Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash; 847-869-3133. Ted Shen
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Steven Martyn Zike photo / uncredited.