Peter Serkin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Peter Serkin

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Peter Serkin, the son of legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin, has always been, perhaps inevitably, a musical rebel. The younger Serkin also took up the piano, but carved out an unusual career for himself based as much on performing jazz and contemporary music as traditional classical repertoire. In the early 70s, as founder of the new-music ensemble Tashi, Serkin helped to introduce a younger audience to new and interesting music. In recent years Serkin's career has taken a more conservative path and he has turned largely to the pieces more associated with his father; but unlike most pianists, in recital Serkin always includes an unusual or new piece or two. Now, in a daring move that would have been adventurous for him even in his most radical days, Serkin is presenting a standard piano recital where every piece on the program was specifically commissioned by and for him. The 11 composers on this fascinating program represent a broad spectrum of styles and influences, but each is a compelling and vital presence on the new-music scene. Included are Luciano Berio, Christine Berl, Alexander Goehr, Hans Werner Henze, Leon Kirchner, Oliver Knussen, Peter Lieberson, Tobias Picker, Tison Street, Toru Takemitsu, and Bright Sheng (who is currently the Lyric Opera's composer in residence). Sunday, 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666 or 435-8122.

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