Arts and Music


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Is it possible to define music? What is its utility? What needs does it serve? Does it have survival value? Is it biologically necessary? Are humans inherently musical? Using audio & video examples from around the globe and drawing on historical, psychological, neurological & cultural research on music making, saxophonist and educator David Borgo explores why we make music, ultimately arguing that music is a universal human phenomenon but not a universal language.

Haydn is widely acknowledged as the father of the string quartet, but his contributions to the development of the piano literature have been unjustly overlooked. His groundbreaking efforts in the piano trio form are most evident in the Trio in C Major, composed in 1795. Recorded on 8/19/2014.

There are no opening notes more famous or thrilling than the clarinet trill at the start of Rhapsody in Blue that suddenly spirals upward and broadens into a seductive, near-sleazy glissando, followed by the main theme. Arguably the single best-known piece of American symphonic music, Rhapsody is not quite a true piano concerto, nor is it pure jazz; rather, it's a musical melting pot that proceeds in a series of artfully connected episodes to a jazzy, triumphal conclusion. If you've ever wondered if an orchestra can swing, Rhapsody in Blue dispels all doubts. Recorded on 11/5/2017.

The Young People's Concert is a fun and informative "family-friendly" introduction to the symphony. Host/Conductor Steven Schick and the orchestra perform annotated excerpts from the 2018 season-opening concert, including Tan Dun's striking "Concerto for Water Percussion and Orchestra" and Igor Stravinsky's beloved ballet "Petrushka." The program features an audience Q&A in addition to the Conductor's commentary. Recorded on 11/2/2018.

The December 2018 concert teases our sense of memory. We know Messiah very well, but few know that Mozart re-scored Handel's Messiah for a much larger orchestra, making this performance an often-heard rarity. Co-concertmaster David Buckley is soloist in the Second Violin Concerto of Florence Price, a prolific African-American composer that made her long career in Chicago, where her music was championed by the Chicago Symphony in the 1930s. Our collective musical memory is intimately combined with African-American music. Let's always remember that. And let's remember that we are a nation of immigrants, as we celebrate with the stunning music of Chinese-American composer Qingqing Wang in the 2018 Thomas Nee Commission. Recorded on 12/09/2018.
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