Symphony of the Shores | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Symphony of the Shores

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In three short seasons the musician-managed Symphony of the Shores has made crossover eclecticism its endearing trademark. Not at all concerned with the decorum of classical programming, this youthful ensemble has, among other unconventional feats, performed works by jingle writers and collaborated with a performance troupe, juxtaposing light entertainment with serious art. This season finale is at once typical and extravagant. The classical part of the program features a gifted young soloist, Evanston native (and New Trier alum) Eunice Lee, in a pair of Russian curiosities: Tchaikovsky's swooning Serenade melancolique and the 1948 Violin Concerto of Dmitry Kabalevsky, the Soviet composer overshadowed by Prokofiev and Shostakovich for much of his career. The program's intellectual heavyweight is surely Elliott Carter's seldom heard Symphony no. 1, which Virgil Thomson called "an elegant search for a transcendental experience." SOS will perform the revised 1954 version. The music for the crossover segment's actually from a modernist ballet classic, Darius Milhaud's 1923 The Creation of the World. A fanciful, exuberant tribute to ragtime, Satie, polytonality, and slapstick, it helped to define what we now identify as the freewheeling, sizzling sound of 1920s Paris. For the piece, Jan Erkert has choreographed a work--to be danced by members of her company--meant to elucidate the "artist's role in society as promoter for change." Sunday, 7 PM, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 1977 South Campus Dr., Evanston; 708-869-3133.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/J. Henry Fair.

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