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30 Performances in Chicago You Don’t Want to Miss this Fall

Classical concerts

Though summer is winding down and the colder months are coming, at least we have the beginning of the 2015-16 performing arts season to look forward to! While every season brings great performances, this season is particularly special since several organizations are celebrating milestone anniversaries. The Steppenwolf Theatre turns 40, the Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians turns 50, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra turns 125! Below, we’ve rounded up our staff picks of don’t miss performances this fall. Don’t forget to tell us what performances you are eagerly awaiting in the comments below.

Classical Concerts

Classical concerts

Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Concert for Chicago

Who:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti (conductor)

What: Beethoven: Leonore Overture, No. 3 and Mahler Symphony: No. 1

When:  Friday, September 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Where: The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago

Why: Over 25,000 people attended the CSO’s first Concert for Chicago in Millennium Park in 2010. Since, the CSO’s annual concert in Millennium Park has been one of the most popular events of the year. Join thousands of other music lovers under the stars as they say goodbye to summer and welcome the fall in this fun free event.

Read more information on the CSO’s website.

 

Fifth House Ensemble at Constellation

 Who: Fifth House Ensemble

What:  Dan Visconti: Soundings (world premiere) and Lonesome Roads, Jennifer Higdon: Smash and Autumn Music, Stacy Garrop: Frammenti and Silver Dagger

When: Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Where: Constellation, 3111 N Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

Why: Do you sometimes wish you could enjoy a nice cocktail while you enjoy live classical music? In this concert, the Fifth House Ensemble unveils a world premiere by composer Dan Visconti, and celebrates the music of two other living composers. Think contemporary music is inaccessible? Maybe you need a drink to help wash it down in this performance at Constellation!

 Read more information on Constellation’s website.

BJC Masaaki Suzuki Frauenkirche Dresden 15 november 2008 photo: Marco Borggreve

Conductor Masaaki Suzuki at the Frauenkirche Dresden

Bach Collegium Japan plays baroque masterworks

Who: Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki (conductor/harpsichord), Joanne Lunn (soprano)

What: J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047; Vivaldi: Concerto in C Major for Recorder, Strings, and Continuo, RV 443; Handel: Gloria in B-flat Major, HWV deest; J.S. Bach: Flute Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034; Vivaldi: Oboe Concerto in C Major, RV450; J.S. Bach: Cantata “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen”, BWV 51

When: Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Where: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

Why: Masaaki Suzuki is one of the world’s most respected Bach interpreters. He comes to Chicago with his ensemble, the Bach Collegium Japan, for a special performance at Rockefeller Chapel. If you can’t get to Leipzig, hearing Bach under Suzuki’s baton at Rockefeller is a good alternative!

Read more information on the UChicago Presents website.

 

25-Hour John Cage Marathon at the MCA

Who: William Pope.L

What: A 25-hour marathon of John Cage’s Silence: Lectures and Writings (1961)

When: Saturday, November 21 at 3:00 pm to Sunday, November 22 at 4:00 pm, 2015

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Why: Die hard lovers of modern and contemporary music won’t want to miss the chance to hear this 25-hour marathon reading of John Cage’s Silence. Cage pushed the boundaries of what we consider music with groundbreaking works like 4’33. Instead of experiencing just a few minutes of Cage’s experimental sounds, why not experience 25 hours?

Read more information on the MCA’s website.

 

Handel’s Judas Maccabeus

Who: Music of the Baroque Chorus and Orchestra, Jane Glover (conductor), Yulia Van Doren (soprano), Krisztina Szabó (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Cooley (tenor)

What: Handel: Judas Maccabaeus

When: Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm and Monday, November 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077 (Sunday) and Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601 (Monday)

Why: The chance to hear this gorgeous Handel oratorio doesn’t come around too often! Music of the Baroque’s performance features some of today’s most sought after singers who specialize in the music of Handel and his contemporaries: Yulia Van Doren (soprano) and Thomas Cooley (tenor).

Read more information on MOB’s website.

 

 

Opera and Musicals

9/6/14 8:02:34 PM -- Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park in Chicago, IL, USA . © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2014

Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park

Who:  The Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus joined by the star singers of the upcoming 2015-16 season.

What: Excerpts from Rossini’s Cinderella, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and more.

When: Friday, September 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Where: The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago

Why: Like the CSO’s Concert for Chicago, the Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park concert is always one of the most well-attended events at the Pritzker Pavilion. Experience some of Lyric’s upcoming season in performances by some of opera’s brightest stars in this free concert that’s perfect for those new to opera as well as seasoned connoisseurs.

For more information visit Lyric’s website.

 

The Marriage of Figaro

Who: Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra and Chorus, Henrik Nánási (conductor), Barbara Gaines (stage director)

What: Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro

When: Saturday, September 26, 2015 – Saturday, October 24, 2015

Where: Ardis Krainik Theatre, Civic Opera House Chicago, 20 N Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606

Why: Lyric opens its season with one of the most beloved operas of all-time, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. The cast includes world-renowned singers like Luca Pisaroni, who recently performed the role of Count Almaviva at the Salzburg Festival, in a new production by Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s artistic director Barbara Gaines.

For more information visit Lyric’s website.

 

Lucio Silla

Who: Chicago Opera Theater, Francesco Milioto (conductor), Andreas Mitisek (stage director)

What: Mozart: Lucio Silla

When: Saturday, September 26 – Sunday, October 4, 2015

Where: Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Why: The opportunity to experience Mozart’s Lucio Silla live in the United States doesn’t happen too often: one of the most recent American productions was by Santa Fe Opera in 2005. So be sure to catch Chicago Opera Theater’s production if you can. Once you do, you’ll wonder why Lucio Silla and Mozart’s other early operas aren’t revived more frequently.

For more information visit COT’s website.

 

The Turn of the Screw

Who: Chicago Fringe Opera, Codrut Birsan (artistic director), George Cederquist (stage director)

What: Benjamin Britten: The Turn of the Screw

When: Saturday, September 26 – Saturday, October 24, 2015

Where: Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Road. Chicago, IL 60660

Why: One of the newest storefront opera companies in Chicago, Chicago Fringe Opera offers audiences the chance to expand their own operatic repertoire by experiencing rarely  heard works in accessible ways. CFO launches its second season with a performance of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw featuring young artists who have appeared on some of the world’s greatest stages.

For more information visit CFO’s website.

 

afterword-20roulette001-690

The artists of Geroge Lewis’s opera “Afterword”

Afterword

Who: International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Catherine Sullivan (media/theater artist), Sean Griffin (director)

What: George Lewis: Afterword

When: Friday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Where: Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60611

Why: Composer, musician, and MacArthur Genius Fellow George Lewis commemorates the 50th anniversary season of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) with an opera that explores the organization’s past and looks forward to its future: Afterword. This experimental opera comes to the MCA for two performances in conjunction with the exhibit The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now. Your ticket to Afterword also gets you admission to the Museum.

For more information visit the MCA’s website.

 

Amadigi di Gaula

Who: Haymarket Opera Company, Craig Trompeter (music director), Sarah Edgar (stage director)

What: Handel: Amadigi di Gaula

When: Friday, November 6 – Monday, November 9, 2015

Where: Mayne Stage, 1328 W Morse Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626

Why: Though most people know Handel’s music from the Messiah, most people during the 18th century knew Handel as one of the greatest opera composers of the day. Though revivals of Handel’s operas aren’t catching on as quickly in the United States as they are in Europe, companies like Haymarket fill a much needed voided in our cultural landscape. Amadigi is an opera full of magic both in the plot and in Handel’s enchanting score that’s sure to cast a spell on you, too.

For more information visit Haymarket’s website.

Jessie Mueller in "Beautiful"

Tony Award Winner Jessie Mueller in “Beautiful”

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Who: Carole King (music), Marc Bruni (stage director), Josh Prince (choreographer)

What: A musical biopic about Carole King’s life and work

When: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 – Sunday, February 21, 2016

Where: The Oriental Theater, 24 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Why: Chicago native Jessie Mueller wowed audiences in New York with her performance as Carole King in the musical biopic Beautiful, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. This revival of the production features Jessie’s equally talented sister, Abby Mueller, in the lead role.

For more information visit Broadway in Chicago’s website.

 

Bel Canto

Who: Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra and Chorus, Sir Andrew Davis (conductor), Kevin Newberry (stage director)

What: Jimmy López: Bel Canto

When: Monday, December 7, 2015 – Sunday, January 17, 2015

Where: Ardis Krainik Theatre, Civic Opera House Chicago, 20 N Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606

Why: Composer Jimmy López makes his operatic debut with Bel Canto, commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and based upon the eponymous novel by Anne Patchett. Bel Canto is also the first opera that Lyric creative consult Renée Fleming has developed with the company, and the first world-premiere opera that Sir Andrew Davis will conduct. Be one of the first to see this opera of “firsts” for López, Fleming, and Davis.

For more information visit Lyric’s website.

 

 

Jazz, Folk, and World Music

9.10-Sones-de-Mexico

Sones de México Ensemble

 

Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique

Who: Sones de México Ensemble

What: Luis Advis: Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique

When: Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Where: Redmoon Theater, 2120 S. Jefferson Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Why: The opening concert of the 10th annual Latino Music Festival features the Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique, which blends the structure of folk cantatas with European elements. The concert is performed by the Grammy nominated Sones de México Ensemble, Chicago’s premier folk music ensemble specializing in Mexican ‘son.’

For more information visit the Latino Music Festival’s website.

 

Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio

Who: Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio

What: Jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and his Trio

When: Thursday, September 10 – Sunday, September 13, 2015

Where: Jazz Showcase at Dearborn Station, 806 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL 60605

Why: Don’t miss the rare opportunity to hear Kurt Rosenwinkel, considered one of the most influential jazz guitarists alive. Rosenwinkel, based in Berlin, Germany, comes to Chicago for select performances with his Trio that every jazz lover will want to hear.

For more information visit the Jazz Showcase’s website.

 

Indian music and art at the Art Institute

Who: Pandit Rattan Mohan Sharma, Indian classical vocalist, composer, and music director

What: North (Hindustani) classical music

When: Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Where: Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

Why:  Though the term “interdisciplinary” has been a buzz word in the arts for years, India perfected interdisciplinary art thousands of years ago. This concert at the Art Institute allows audiences to explore connections between Indian art and music in conjunction with the exhibit Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings, which opens the same day.

For more information visit the Art Institute’s website.

 

All-night ‘Ragamala’ marathon of Indian classical music

Who: Over a dozen Indian musicians from around the world

What: Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music – North (Hindustani) and South (Carnatic) Indian music

When: Friday, September 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm – Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 8:00 am

Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602

Why: This immersive, all-night long event allows audiences to explore many styles of Indian classical music.. Over a dozen performers will share music in ragas (or modes/scales) that are reserved specifically for the late-night and early-morning hours.

For more information visit the Chicago World Music Festival’s website.

The-Gloaming-Fergal-Ward-83

The Gloaming features Martin Hayes, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Dennis Cahill and New York pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman in a “supergroup” of Irish musicians.

The Gloaming at Old Town School of Folk Music

Who: The Gloaming

What: Music featuring Iarla Ó Lionaird, Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Martin Hayes, and Dennis Cahill

When: Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Where: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625

Why: The Gloaming is a group of Irish and American musicians grounded in the spirit and forms of Irish traditional music, which creates and inhabits a truly original, contemporary soundscape. There is a reason Iarla Ó Lionaird and Martin Hayes are among Ireland’s national treasures, and this is a chance to hear why.

For more information visit the Old Town School of Folk Music’s website.

 

PigPen Theatre at Old Town School of Folk Music

Who: PigPen Theatre Co.

What: Members of PigPen Theatre Co.

When: Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Where: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625

Why: Anyone who saw PigPen Theatre’s The Old Man and the Old Moon years ago will recall the genius and simplicity with which they crafted the tale through music and imagination. The seven members of the troupe are also terrific folk-rock musicians whose story telling abilities translate to the songs they write and perform.

For more information visit Old Town School of Folk Music’s website.

Cécile McLorin Salvant at the 2012 Spoleto Festival USA.

Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant at the 2012 Spoleto Festival USA.

Jazz Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant

Who: Cécile McLorin Salvant

What: TBD

When: Friday, October 23, 2015 at 7:30pm

Where: Performance Hall, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637

Why: French-American Jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant quickly gained the attention of critics after winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010. In 2014, she was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. You’ll want to hear this singer who critics will mention in the same breath as Billie Boliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and other great voices of the last century.

For more information visit the UChicago Presents’s website.

 

Chucho Valdés at Symphony Center

Who: Chucho Valdés and his Latin jazz band Irakere

What: Chucho Valdés celebrates 40 years with his Afro-Cuban group, Irakere

When: Friday, November 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Where: Symphony Center 220 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60604

Why: Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés  comes to the CSO’s Symphony Center Presents Jazz Series for one performance only. The evening celebrates 40 years of the revolutionary Latin jazz band Irakere, which Chucho Valdés co-founded. Despite the political barriers that kept the band from traveling to the U.S. in the 1970’s, Irakere exploded onto the jazz scene with its Afro-Cuban jazz and Cuban popular dance influences, as well as their distinctive use of traditional percussion instruments. With Valdés still a towering figure at the keyboard at 73, the band continues to absorb new styles and sounds, making its mark as one of the most trailblazing Afro-Cuban fusion bands in jazz today.

For more information visit the CSO’s website.

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The Recycled Instrument Orchestra of Cateura

Recycled Instrument Orchestra of Cateura

Who: Recycled Instrument Orchestra of Cateura and the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago

What: Program TBA

When: Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Where: Merle Reskin Theatre 60 E. Balbo Drive Chicago, IL 60605

Why: The Recycled Instrument Orchestra of Cateura proves that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. The Orchestra began as a waste recycling project in a landfill in Cateura to turn waste into musical instruments. Their work is the feature of a new documentary, Landfillharmonic. But you should see them live when they close out the 10th Latino Music Festival!

For more information visit the Latino Music Festival’s website.

 

Japanese music and dance at the MCA

Who: Tatsu Aoki, Grandmaster Shunojo Fujima, and the ensemble Tsukasa Taiko

What: Taiko Legacy 12, a program of Japanese classical music and dance

When: Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Where: Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60611

Why: In one weekend, the MCA will host several performances of taiko drumming, an art that combines music, dance and costume into one energetic multimedia event. The performers at the MCA hail from Tokyo, San Francisco, and Chicago to bring the ancient art of taiko to modern audiences.

For more information, visit the MCA’s website.

 

 

Dance

Red Bull Flying Bach, where Bach meets hip-hop.

Red Bull Flying Bach, where Bach meets hip-hop.

Red Bull Flying Bach

Who: The Flying Steps and Red Bull Flying Bach

What: J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, choreographed

When: Friday, September 25 – Sunday, September 27, 2015

Where: Chicago Theater, 175 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Why: Everyone knows Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, but you’ve never experienced the music like this.             The Flying Steps and Red Bull Flying Bach take Bach’s music as there inspiration, remix it with electronic beats, and use it as the foundation for contemporary choreography.

For more information visit the Chicago Theater’s website.

 

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs Forsythe

Who: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

What: William Forsythe’s N.N.N.N; One Flat Thing, reproduced; and Quintett

When: Thursday, October 15 – Sunday October 18, 2015

Where: Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Why: The world-renowned William Forsythe Company comes to Chicago this fall to set their steps on Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Hubbard Street launches its 38th season with an all-Forsythe program for its Fall Series, offering Chicago audiences the chance to immerse themselves in the works of Forsythe, who has received a Laurence Olivier Award and was appointed a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres by the Government of France.

For more information visit Hubbard Street’s website.

Batya Dance Theatre (Photo:  Amitava Sarkar)

Batya Dance Theatre (Photo: Amitava Sarkar)

Natya Dance Theatre premieres Varna – Colors of White

Who: Natya Dance Theatre

What: Varna – Colors of White, a full evening of words, music, dance and drama

When:  Thursday, October 22 – Saturday, October 24, 2015

Where: The Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605

Why: Natya Dance Theatre has been bringing the ancient art of Bharatantyam (South Indian classical dance) to Chicago audiences for 40 years. The Company celebrates its milestone anniversary season with a new work, Varna – Colors of White, that blends poetry, music, and dance to explore the sensual and sacred.

For more information visit the Dance Center at Columbia College’s website.

Same Planet Different World and Niv Sheinfeld/Oren Laor

Who: Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre (SPDWD), Niv Sheinfeld, and Oren Laor

What: SPDW’s Stripped, Sheinfeld/Laor’s Two Room Apartment, and Vanishing Point – created by SPDW and Sheinfeld/Laor

When: Thursday, October 22 – Sunday October 25, 2015

Where:  Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60611

Why: This program brings together the Chicago-based company Same Planet Different World with two Israeli artists, Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor, to present three works, including one world premiere. Though all performances at the MCA Stage are intimate experiences, seating capacity is limited for this performance, so be sure to reserve your tickets soon!

For more information visit the MCA’s website.

 

Jessica Lang Dance’s Chicago premiere

Who: Jessica Lang Dance, sets by Steven Holl (architect)

What: A new work co-commissioned by the Harris Theater and the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial

When: Friday, November 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Where: Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Why: Choreographer Jessica Lang brings a new work to Chicago created specifically for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, featuring the work of architect Steven Holl. Though Lang has presented her work around the world with companies ranging from the Birmingham Royal Ballet to the Metropolitan Opera, this performance marks her company’s Chicago debut.

For more information visit the Harris Theater’s website.

 

 

Theater

Theater

“East of Eden” at Steppenwolf Theatre kicks off the company’s 40th anniversary season.

East of Eden   

Who: Steppenwolf Theater, Frank Galati (adaptation), Terry Kinney (stage director)

What: John Steinbeck: East of Eden

When: September 17 – November 15, 2015

Where: Steppenwolf Theater, 1650 N Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Why: This year, Steppenwolf Theatre launches its 40th anniversary season, beginning with East of Eden. This theatrical adaptation of John Steinbeck’s influential novel was created by the award-winning adaptor of the classic Steppenwolf production The Grapes of Wrath, ensemble member Frank Galati.

For more information visit the Steppenwolf’s website.

Agamemnon

Who: Court Theater, Nicholas Rudall (translator), Charles Newell (director)

What: Aeschylus: Agamemnon

When: Thursday, November 5, 2015 – Sunday, December 6, 2015

Where: Court Theater, 5535 S Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60637

Why: Classical drama has always had a home at the Court Theater. The Court continues its three-year Greek Cycle with this world-premiere adaptation of Aeschulus’ Agamemnon, translated by one of today’s foremost classics scholars, Nicholas Rudall.

For more information visit Court’s website.

 


To learn more about other events and performances in the Chicago area, tune in the Fine Arts Calendar, 3PM weekdays and 10AM weekends. The Fine Arts Calendar compiles a multitude of events in music, dance, art, and theater so that you know what’s happening in your city. You can send your contributions to [email protected].

 

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