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Hyde Park Jazz Festival artistic and executive director Kate Dumbleton has spent years bringing international jazz stars and local heroes to a growing neighborhood audience. The COVID-19 pandemic made her completely reverse course and discourage mass numbers from gathering while still presen…

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Lyric Opera of Chicago formally kicked off its 2020–21 season Sunday night with a free online gala concert. Lyric had originally planned a cabaret-type event but when coronavirus restrictions made large events impossible, it pivoted and created a virtual concert instead.

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With performances before large live audiences still considered unsafe, some of Chicago’s biggest music makers are moving forward with digital offerings either for the rest of the year or for the entire season. Both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater have just made impor…

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The Rush Hour Concert Series, hosted by the International Music Foundation, continues their weekly free summer concert streams on Tuesdays, concluding Sep. 22. This past week they featured a talented and exciting trio from Nexus Chamber Music.

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Chicago Opera Theater teamed up with the Refugee Orchestra Project to offer four performances overlooking Lincoln Park this past weekend, two performances each on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Chicago History Museum’s Uihlein Plaza. Matching up these two groups was natural to Lidiya …

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Fulcrum Point New Music Project had an idea that would allow them to perform live music in public with an audience and which would maintain physical distance among listeners. They found large park spaces where several dozen folks could space themselves out and still enjoy the music. And what…

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Two principal players from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — both relatively recent appointments by music director Riccardo Muti — and a talented freelance pianist joined forces for a marvelous concert of trios last week.

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Fundraisers are a time to put a group’s best foot forward, brag a little, and offer tempting examples of the kind of performances your organization is known for. There was all that and more for the Chicago Sinfonietta’s online fundraiser this past weekend. 

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The opera and classical music communities continue to grapple with coronavirus restrictions that make live performances nearly impossible. Planning for future performances remains a tricky enterprise because no one knows when venues will be able to reopen.

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The Rush Hour concerts began 20 years ago as a brief respite of music between the end of the Chicago workday and the beginning of a warm summer evening. The International Music Foundation (IMF), the organization putting on these concerts, knew that government coronavirus rules wouldn’t allow…

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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and WFMT have announced the extension of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra radio broadcast series launched in April of this year. The programs air under the somewhat bulky title, “From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice—For All Music Lovers in These …

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The University of Chicago Presents continues at the forefront of classical music here in Chicago during the pandemic. While venues remain closed to live audiences, UCP has kept its audiences engaged with top-quality online streaming concerts. Last week they joined with several other organiza…

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A composer based in Hyde Park has written what may be the first work based on the coronavirus pandemic, which has been released on YouTube with a fascinating video.

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In the world of opera and classical music the biggest effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been the shutting down of all live performances with an audience. But another huge effect has been the uncertainty of what will follow in not just the days and weeks ahead, but the months and years a…

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Because the Hyde Park Youth Symphony could not have a live spring concert as they would normally do, they decided to have an online one. On May 20, they unveiled a 20-minute video that featured both music and spoken word. Both of the leaders of the organization, Matthew Sheppard and Lindsay …

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University of Chicago Presents has been a local leader in offering Chicagoans alternative ways to experience classical music during the pandemic. Late last month they joined with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Academy of Early Music (Ann Arbor), and WFMT to present a free livestre…

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Hyde Parker August Tye is a ballet dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She is ballet mistress at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the founder of the Hyde Park School of Dance (originally, the Hyde Park School of Ballet, which expanded its offerings and necessitated a name change). She began winnin…

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Classical music fans received bad news only days ago when the Ravinia Festival announced on May 1 that it was cancelling its entire 2020 season. Ravinia is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, so all those concerts will be lost along with the other concerts at the leafy, north …

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Luther Vandross soundtracking a Greater Grand Crossing block party. Kids rollerblading over Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” A young couple sitting and laughing with each other while Curtis Mayfield sings “I wanna go back, to the sweetness of time/I wanna go back, and reminisce what was mine.” 

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Katherine Davis has been learning the piano at home the last month. In fact, she’s been learning the piano for years, despite the fact that, as a blueswoman, she’s tended to stay downstage with the audience during her performances. “I let the musicians play the music, and they let me sing an…

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This week was the scheduled opening of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” the final opera in the Ring Cycle. But the three full Ring Cycles as well as two performances of “Götterdämmerung” were cancelled due to restrictions on large gatherings enacted by G…

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For over 60 years the Hyde Park Youth Symphony has served the South Side of Chicago by offering an orchestral experience for kids. Saturday afternoon at the Logan Center a good-sized audience was on hand for the HPYS’s spring concert that featured three different ensembles: the Preparatory S…

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A stream of perplexed and dismayed patrons filed out of the Lyric Opera House last Saturday, after Lyric unveiled a new-to-Chicago production of Tchaikovsky’s “Pikovaya dama” (“The Queen of Spades”). Pushkin’s short story, on which the opera is based, is about greed. The composer’s brother M…

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“Folk music at the time was still kind of underground music,” said journalist, author and panelist Mark Guarino as he recounted the early history of the University of Chicago Folk Festival during a celebration of the Fest’s 60th year at the Hyde Park Historical Society, 5529 S. Lake Park Ave…

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It’s not just any living composer who can draw 350 people to a concert of a single modern string quartet. But that’s just what happened Friday night at the Logan Center, when University of Chicago Presents hosted the JACK Quartet playing the String Quartet No. 9 of Georg Friedrich Haas.

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Sunday afternoon was cold and icy in Hyde Park, and as I trudged through the neighborhood to International House, I wondered if it would affect the audience at that afternoon’s concert by the Chicago Ensemble. Indeed, the audience was much smaller than usual, but those present were treated t…

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“As a scholar of the Great Migration, I have spent most of my career trying to understand the multiple meanings of Black bodies in motion. If I’ve learned anything from my explorations, it is that a Black body in motion is never without consequence.”

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In a culturally rich city like ours, it is easy to find a wide range of solo piano concerts and recitals nearly every week of the year. Less common is the slightly old fashioned piano duo. Such duos may share a single piano (and a remarkable degree of physical proximity), or perform with two.