The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

(Heavily-Discounted) Weekend Classical Music Picks

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 15, 2010 3:40PM

Chris Potter performs Saturday night (Photo from Harris Theater's website)
Lots of great, affordable stuff going on this weekend, so let's cut to the chase.

  • January 15-16, 19 - CSO plays "The Rite of Spring" - Gift Guide Special still in effect!

    It seems like Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," a piece inspired by the composer's vision of a pagan ritual sacrifice honoring the coming of spring, only gets played in the middle of winter. Maybe Stravinsky's ballet won't cause warm weather to spring forward, but you'll be plenty toasty for thirty-five minutes as Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra music director David Robertson leads the CSO through the savage polytonality and eerie beauty of this brilliant piece. The program also includes Olivier Messiaen's "Les offrandes oubliées" and Kyoko Takezawa playing Alban Berg's Violin Concerto. If you're looking to save some money, the Chicagoist Gift Guide Special is still in effect for Tuesday's concert. Call or stop by the box office and say "special 2-for-1" to get two tickets for the price of one (some restrictions apply).
    Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 8:00 p.m. (except Tuesday, which starts at 7:30 p.m.), $22-$109, $10 students, call (312) 294-3000 or stop by the box office for the discount

  • Saturday, January 16 - Pressenda Trio - FREE!

    Members of CSO perform piano trios by Ludwig van Beethoven (No. 2 in G Major), Antonín Dvořák (No. 3 in F Minor), and early-20th century Spanish composer Joaquín Turina ("Circulo").
    Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 2:00 p.m., FREE but call (312) 294-3000 to reserve a space

  • Saturday, January 16 - Jazz Bigs and Contemporary Music - New Discount Available!

    We recently told you how to get discounted tickets to this killer Contempo/University of Chicago Presents concert featuring new-music superstars eighth blackbird, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, and jazz giants saxophonist Chris Potter and pianist Kenny Werner. That particular discount is over, but you can now get 2-for-1 general admission tickets (enter code 6147 online) and free student tickets (call the box office and mention code 6144).
    Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, 7:30 p.m., $25-$40 before discount, FREE student tickets

  • Sunday, January 17 - Civic Orchestra of Chicago - FREE!

    This concert by the CSO's training orchestra features three of our favorite works by the Arnold Schoenberg disciple Anton Webern. The Passacaglia, his first cataloged work, contains the lush textures and flowing lines of late Romanticism that Webern and other atonalists would later destroy. Five Pieces for Orchestra and Six Pieces for Orchestra were both written only a few years later but are the work of a more mature Webern, and are actually some of the more accessible serialist music available. The orchestration is sparse, allowing individual lines and layers to be better heard, and the works are extremely short - most of the "pieces" are two minutes or less - which makes for easy digestion, particularly for atonal newbies. Also on the program will the Adagio from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 10, the only completed movement from Mahler's last-ish symphony.
    Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 3:00 p.m., FREE but click here to reserve a space

  • January 16-18 - Chicago Sinfonietta's "A Dream Unfolds"

    In the only local classical music celebration of Martin Luther King Day, the Sinfonietta will play three shows, one in Naperville, one in River Forest, and one at Symphony Center. The concert will include Gabriel Fauré's "Pavane," "Four Negro Spirituals" arranged by Hale Smith and featuring the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Northwestern University Chorus and conducted by Kazem Abdullah.

    Saturday - 8:00 p.m. at Wentz Concert Hall, 117 E. Chicago, Naperville; Sunday - 2:30 p.m. at Dominican University, 7900 W. Division, River Forest; Monday - 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $26-$50, $10 children