Grant Park Music Festival CENTERSTAGE HADELICH and ORION Review – Genius Up Close

Grant Park Music Festival Hadelich

The singular enthusiasm Augustin Hadelich received in his performance of Brahms Violin Concerto in D on the grand Pritzker Pavilion stage brought an energy to the first CENTERSTAGE event of the Grant Park Music Festival.    In these CenterStage performances, the audience sits on the stage where the orchestra and chorus normally sit.  The performers are in front of a window wall, through which you can see the occasional visitor to the Millennium Park grounds wandering behind the outside seats and lawn.  On this day—intermittent squalls perhaps kept those distractions on the outside grounds to a minimum.  Unlike sitting outside, this setting feels intimate and readies you for a treat.

The treat  in this CenterStage inaugural was not only Hadelich, but his piano peer Orion Weiss. These two have both studied at Juilliard and we later learned have also logged many miles crossing the country to perform together.

The program included:  Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor performed by both Hadelich and Weiss; a Weiss solo of Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse; a Hadelich solo of Ysaÿe’s Violin Sonata No. 6 in E Major; John Adams’ Road Movies performed by the duo; and an encore of Hoedown by Aaron Copland.

True, these are masterful musicians who can likely enchant on any stage and any venue.  Yet, the smaller stage – and better acoustics—known to anyone who has been to one of the Harris Beyond the Aria performances strikes this writer as giving an extra jolt of electricity to the performance.

There are two more CenterStage concerts this season. Tickets are free. For more information visit the Grant Park Music Festival website.

All photos by Patrick Pyszka

Grant Park Music Festival Hadelich
Grant Park Music Festival Hadelich
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