It's easy to forget that many familiar melodies originally had lyrics, which is why it took musicologists so long to discover that The Beatles filled their first five singles with the words from Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Sing along with the symphony with this GrouponLive deal to see the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Evanston. Choose between the following options:
- "The Romantic Violin" on Sunday, May 20, at 7 p.m.
- "Bravo Brazil!" on Sunday, September 30, at 7 p.m.
For $80, you get one ticket for main-floor seating to both of the above shows (up to a $160 value, including all fees).
Beneath a honeycomb of sound-enhancing panels at Northwestern's Pick-Staiger Hall, the Chicago Philharmonic's tight-knit career musicians—many of them drawn from the Lyric Opera—profile beloved composers with help from nationally acclaimed guest performers. CPO's music director, Larry Rachleff, emphasizes homegrown talent in May's violin-themed performance. Dvořák's wistful Symphony no. 8 sets a lighthearted birdcall flute theme rolling across a landscape of complex, layered phrases. In Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, the symphony builds a pulsing, rhythmic foundation as CPO concertmaster David Perry's agonizingly sweet strings climb acrobatically to ever-higher registers until all canines in the house are reduced to tears.
September's concert brings Brazilian conductor and former principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Alex Klein, to the podium to lead the Philharmonic. Brazilian pianist Arnaldo Cohen also takes the stage with a piano performance whose sprightly tunes subvert classical structures with the subtle playfulness of a bright pink wig worn under a regular white wig.
When the Chicago Philharmonic was founded in 1988, it was a tightly knit ensemble consisting of principals from the Lyric Opera Orchestra. Since then, it has blossomed into a collective of more than 200 professional Chicagoland musicians. But despite the increased size and bow-tie budget, the players have lost none of their precision or dynamic nature, prompting the Chicago Tribune to herald the group as “one of the country's finest symphonic orchestras.”