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2015 Fall Culture Preview

Fall’s 25 Must-See Performances

Classical, new music, and dance—sorted from more avant-garde to more traditional

↓ More Avant-Garde ↓

Adam Rose

Links Hall

Take a walk on the witchy side with dancer and choreographer Rose, whose new piece, Against Being, digs into the unsettling dark side of the human mind. October 30 to November 1. $10 to $12. linkshall.org

George Lewis

Museum of Contemporary Art

The experimental piece Afterword, an Opera is the work of several artists—including composer Lewis, whose book about the South Side ensemble the AACM provides the libretto—and premieres in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit The Freedom Principle. October 16 to 17. $30. mcachicago.org

Barak adé Soleil   Photo: Sophie Bufton

Barak adé Soleil

Evanston Art Center

The disabled dancer and performance artist weaves disability culture and tales of the African diaspora into The Black/Body: Re-staged, a three-hour performance cycle of new material. November 5 to 8. Free. evanstonartcenter.org

Chicago Sinfonietta

Symphony Center

The never-dull orchestra invites flamenco and tap dancers to its stage on a program that includes contemporary composer Roberto Sierra’s Fandangos and Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird. October 5. $18 to $60. chicago sinfonietta.org

Alexander Djordjevic and Paul Barnes

PianoForte Studios

Expect a mellow evening as pianists Djordjevic and Barnes pay homage to the prodigious grandfather of minimalist music Philip Glass. October 4. $20. pianofortefoundation.org

Stephen Petronio Company   Photo: Sarah Silver

Stephen Petronio Company

Columbia College

In Bloodlines, Petronio, known for his magnetic, fast-paced pieces, pays tribute to the iconic postmodern choreographers who influenced him. October 1 to 3. $30. colum.edu/dance-center

Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor

Museum of Contemporary Art

Partners in dance and in life, Sheinfeld and Loar bare it all (literally!) in their reimagining of the revered Israeli duet Two Room Apartment. October 22 to 25. $30. mcachicago.org

Palomar Ensemble

University of Chicago

Contemporary Korean composers get the Palomar treatment (the group plays only the works of living composers). November 6. $15. acmusic.org

Ted Hearne

Harris Theater

Musicians from the CSO play Chicago native Hearne’s Law of Mosaics, a collage of classical pieces chopped up and reimagined for the digital age. November 23. $26. cso.org

Camille A. Brown   Photo: Matt Karas

Camille A. Brown

Columbia College

Using dance touchstones such as juba, stepping, and tap, the NYC choreographer explores black female identity in urban America in Black Girl: Linguistic Play. November 5 to 7. $30. colum.edu/dance-center

Chad Lawson

PianoForte Studios

This Internet sensation deconstructed 10 Chopin works, turning them into minimalist modern pieces. He plays them here. October 22. $20. pianofortefoundation.org

Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Evgeny Kissin

Symphony Center

The big-name, big-haired pianist pounds out Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, one of the Russian composer’s most popular. October 15. $39 to $295. cso.org

Ballet Folklórico de México

Auditorium Theatre

Expect arrestingly beautiful costumes combined with flawless executions of danza, mestizo, and bailes regionales dances. September 26 to 27. $30 to $73. auditoriumtheatre.org

Zubin Mehta   Photo: Terry Linke

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphony Center

Beloved for his flashy style, Zubin Mehta leads the orchestra through Ravel’s La Valse and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. November 15. $51 to $175. cso.org

Twyla Tharp

Auditorium Theatre

Twelve dancers who have worked with the modern dance deity perform two world premieres on a tour commemorating the company’s 50th anniversary. November 5 to 8. $33 to $103. auditoriumtheatre.org

Beyond the Aria

Harris Theater

Lyric Opera soloists Amanda Majeski and Luca Pisaroni unplug for a night of curated selections from the pop, jazz, and Broadway songbooks. October 12. $40. harristheaterchicago.org

Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Marin Alsop

Symphony Center

The first female musical director of a major American orchestra, Alsop steers the CSO in a program of masterworks, including Gershwin’s buoyant Rhapsody in Blue, featuring pianist Jon Kimura Parker. November 27. $36 to $255. cso.org

Joffrey Ballet   Photo: Holger Badehow

Joffrey Ballet

Auditorium Theatre

Ditching the fey conventions of classical ballet in favor of athletic women as huntresses, John Neumeier’s Sylvia is a game changer. October 14 to 25. $32 to $155. auditoriumtheatre.org

Xavier de Maistre

Symphony Center

The lauded French harpist proves that the ethereal-sounding instrument can go dark, playing Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s blistering harp concerto. September 24. $34 to $217. cso.org

Pacifica Quartet

University of Chicago

The elegant chamber group welcomes British pianist Paul Lewis for an afternoon of works by Beethoven and Mozart. October 18. $30. chicagopresents.uchicago.edu

Sharon Isbin   Photo: J. Henry Fair

Sharon Isbin

Harris Theater

Classical guitar’s reigning superstar teams up with vocalist Isabel Leonard to perform Of Love and Longing, written for the pair by touted composer Richard Danielpour. November 16. $35 to $125. harristheaterchicago.org

Hubbard Street Dance

Harris Theater

See works by living legend William Forsythe and watch the U.S. premiere of N.N.N.N., a dance for four men. October 15 to 18. $30 to $99. harristheaterchicago.org

Giordano Dance

Harris Theater

One of the few groups that continue to pull off “jazz hands,” the Chicago company brings its signature high energy to a new work by choreographer Roni Koresh. October 23 to 24. $15 to $75. harristheaterchicago.org

Joshua Bell

Symphony Center

Bloomington, Indiana’s most famous classical expat plays sonatas by Beethoven, Fauré, and Strauss. October 30. $40 to $116. cso.org

The Marriage of Figaro

Civic Opera House

Bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni stars as the Count and soprano Amanda Majeski as the Countess in Mozart’s famous opera buffa. September 26. $20 to $299. lyricopera.org

↑ More traditional ↑
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