Midori | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Celebrated prodigies face a tough challenge easing into adulthood. For every Itzhak Perlman there's been a Eugene Fodor, unable to live up to early promise. In 1982 11-year-old Japanese violinist Midori was invited to perform with the New York Philharmonic, and she became the first Asian prodigy certified by the West's musical establishment, praised for her uncanny virtuosity and winsome personality. Now 23, Midori's luster has dimmed a bit--her rival, the Korean-born teenager Sarah Chang, is equally impressive and charmingly prim--and she must now rely on the depth of her musicianship rather than technical virtuosity. At this Ravinia solo recital--her fifth appearance at the festival--she'll limit the effusive showpieces to a Paganini tour de force and an etude-caprice by Wieniawski. She's wisely chosen some substantial compositions meant to demonstrate the violin's artful expressivity, including Telemann's Fantasia no. 4, Bach's Partita no. 2, and Bartok's Sonata for Solo Violin. Thursday, August 11, 8 PM, theater, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 728-4642.

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