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All the Biggest Classical, New Music, and Opera Concerts in Chicago This November

Between the CSO, the Lyric Opera, and a lot of other performances, there are 41 great shows in Chicago this month.

The Lyric Opera rehearsing Parsifal this week. The show starts November 9.   Photo: Lyric Opera of Chicago

Access Contemporary Music

11/15 at 7 The new-music hydra ACM tapped 10 people from its composer-collective head, paired them with 10 printmakers, and compiled the resulting works into an installation and album called Ten × Ten. Admission to this event includes food and drink, a live performance of the ten works, and an LP whose booklet contains the prints. $15–$35. Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W Chicago. acmusic.org.

Bella Voce

11/23–24 at 7 The chamber choir gets in the first Messiah of what we’ll call the extended holiday season. The Callipygian Players perform the instrumental parts of a smaller-scale period-instrument version of the oratorio. $15–$45. 11/23: St Clement Church, 642 W Deming. 11/24: St Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman, Evanston. bellavoce.org.

Chicago Chamber Musicians

11/3–4 at 7:30 An all-strings program combines a pair of sextets—a piece from Richard Strauss’s Capriccio and Brahms’s No. 1—with man-of-the-hour Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet No. 2, played by the visiting Borromeo String Quartet. $10–$45. 11/3: Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. 11/4: Gottlieb Hall, Merit School of Music, 38 S Peoria. chicagochambermusic.org.

FREE!

Chicago Cultural Center

11/4 at 12 Chicago Chamber Musicians play the Poulenc Cello Sonata and a Ravel duo for violin and cello.
11/6 at 12:15 Hye-Won Cho, piano.
11/13 at 12:15 The Horszowski Trio has existed for only two years, but it has captured the attention and the accolades of some heavy-hitting critics.
11/20 at 12:15 Clara Yang, piano.
11/27 at 12:15 Nikki Chooi, violin, and Jung-A Bang, piano.
78 E Washington. explorechicago.org.

Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra

11/10 at 3 Joel Smirnoff, the chamber violinist turned conductor, leads the orchestra in Berlioz’s Rêverie et Caprice, Strauss’s terrific Metamorphosen (a piece “for 23 string soloists”), and Brahms’s violinless Serenade No. 2. $25–$75. Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. chicagophilharmonic.org.

Chicago Sinfonietta

11/9 at 8, 11/11 at 7:30 The orchestra’s typically eclectic programming sticks to Latino composers for the Día de Muertos concert, including music by Argentineans Osvaldo Golijov and Ástor Piazzolla, the Spaniard Manuel de Falla, and the one-woman Benetton ad Gabriela Lena Frank, a Lithuanian-Jewish-Chinese-Peruvian contemporary composer. The “Muertos” part comes to life in movements from Mozart’s Requiem, accompanied by a performance by Redmoon Theater. $10–$54. 11/9: Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E Chicago, Naperville. 11/11: Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

11/1–2 at 8, 11/3 at 3 The CSO’s BFF Bernard Haitink leads the orchestra in Bruckner’s “Romantic” Symphony (No. 4) and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, featuring the exuberant Emanuel Ax. $32–$217. Child friendly.
11/2 at 10 and 11:45 a.m. Once Upon a Symphony, the CSO’s storytelling-plus-music series for tykes ages 3 to 5, presents “Stone Soup.” $16.
11/8–9 at 8 John Williams leads the CSO in his violin concerto, with the soloist Gil Shaham. $49–$156.
11/10 at 3 Williams conducts all film music (minus the concerto, but not minus Shaham) as part of the CSO at the Movies series. $57–$229.
11/14–16 at 8 The Grant Park Music Festival may have just staged Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in June, but the composer’s orchestral-choral masterwork rewards repeat listenings (or second chances). The pacifist work alternates the Requiem Mass text with poetry by Wilfred Owen, a soldier killed in World War I. $32–$246. Child friendly.
11/16 at 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. CSO instrumentalists play pieces inspired by fairy tales and nursery rhymes. $6–$57.
11/21 at 8, 11/22 at 1:30, 11/23 at 8, 11/24 at 3 The thoughtful conductor Michael Tilson Thomas commemorates John F. Kennedy 50 years after his assassination with Stravinsky’s little-played Elegy for J.F.K. Mahler’s Ninth Symphony follows. $31–$246. Child friendly.
11/23 at 10 and 11:45 a.m. Once Upon a Symphony reprises “Stone Soup.” $16.
Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org.

Frequency

11/3 at 8:30 The pianist Karl Larson plays Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories. $12–$15.
11/10 at 8:30 Fonema Consort presents Clay and Water, a program of short new-music chamber works. $12–$15.
11/17 at 8:30 Fifth House Ensemble presents the first act of its signature piece, Black Violet, the story of a black cat in plague-infested London, which features graphic-novel-style illustrations accompanied by Brahms, Villa-Lobos, Walter Piston, and others. $12–$15.
11/24 at 8:30 The new-music string quartet Chicago Q presents Three-Sided, promising monologue, movement, and video. $12–$15.
Constellation, 3111 N Western. constellation-chicago.com.

FREE!

Latino Music Fest

11/14 at 6:30 Ensemble Dal Niente juxtaposes old music from the Spanish Renaissance with new music by living Latino composers, Chicago’s own Marcos Balter among them. Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library, 400 S State.
11/21–22 at 8 Gustavo Leone’s double bill Absurdopera, premiering here, uses plays by Samuel Beckett and Eugéne Ionesco as texts to create an opera of the absurd. $20. Mayne Stage, 1328 W Morse. latinomusicfest.org.

Lyric Opera

Through 11/2 Lyric’s season begins with Verdi’s Otello, its only 2013–14 production seen in Chicago before. The cast will also look familiar to regular operagoers, with the casually powerful Johan Botha as Otello and the luxuriant Ana María Martínez as Desdemona. $69–$264.
11/9–29 The Richard Wagner opera Parsifal draws from Arthurian legend. $34–$264.
11/20–12/20 The New York director Arin Arbus leads this production of La Traviata, a second installment in Verdi’s 200th birthday fiesta. Also starring the Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka as Violetta. $44–$264.
Civic Opera House, 20 N Wacker. lyricopera.org.

Music Of The Baroque

11/17 at 8, 11/18 at 7:30 MOB’s music director, Jane Glover, conducts her first concert of the season, with a program full of early symphonies by Schubert and Beethoven. $27–$75. 11/17: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie. 11/18: Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. baroque.org.

North Shore Choral Society

11/17 at 3 The omnipresent organist David Schrader performs Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. $15–$25. Glenview Community Church, 1000 Elm, Glenview. northshorechoral.org.

Peregrine Vocal Ensemble

11/1–2 at 7:30 The selective chamber choir inaugurates its first full season with a Day of the Dead program. $15–$20. Instituto Cervantes Auditorium, 31 W Ohio. peregrinemusic.org.

Pianoforte Foundation

11/1 at 12 Yu-Sui Hung, piano, and Michael Hall, viola. Free.
11/16 at 7:30 Andy Costello and Adam Tendler play modern two-piano works, including Steve Reich’s seminal Piano Phase, as well as pieces by David Lang, Aaron Copland, and Robert Palmer (not the “Simply Irresistible” guy). $10–$20.
Pianoforte Studios, 1335 S Michigan. pianofortefoundation.org.

Ravinia

11/2 at 8 The young violinist Benjamin Beilman plays a recital headlined by Stravinsky’s Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée, Brahms’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, and a new work by David Ludwig called Swan Song. $10.
11/16 at 8 A Far Cry, a hip Boston-based chamber orchestra, anchors an American-themed program featuring Ives and Gershwin, with an orchestral arrangement of Dvořák’s “American” string quintet. $10.
Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park. ravinia.org.

FREE!

Second Saturday Concert Series

11/9 at 2 The early-music evangelists of Ars Antigua mount A Baroque Bestiary, a collection of animalia by the likes of Vivaldi, Purcell, and William “The Bird” Byrd. St James Chapel, 835 N Rush. windows.org/events.

Symphony Center

11/17 at 3 The superb violinist Christian Tetzlaff, notably absent four years from Symphony Center, plays a recital full of composers with six letters in their names—Mozart, Bartók, Webern, and Brahms (probably not intentional). $34–$111.
11/19 at 8 The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s training orchestra, presents Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes alongside Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony (No. 3). Free.
11/30 at 3 The Vienna Boys’ Choir comes to Chicago for a holiday concert on Thanksgiving weekend. $27–$85.
Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org.

University Of Chicago Presents

11/1 at 7:30 The Spanish string quartet Cuarteto Casals does Haydn’s “The Bird” quartet and one by Debussy, then welcomes the classical guitarist Denis Azabagic. $5–$35. Mandel Hall, U of C, 1131 E 57th.
11/8 at 7:30 The viol consort Fretwork and the lutenist Elizabeth Kenny play John Dowland’s Lachrimae. Come an hour early at 6:30 to hear a special performance of Benjamin Britten’s theme and variations: Lachyrmae: Reflections on a Song of Dowland. $5–$35. Mandel Hall, U of C, 1131 E 57th.
11/10 at 3 In residence at the U. of C., the new-music string ensemble Spektral Quartet plays Thomas Adès’s gorgeous Arcadiana, a mercifully short miniature by Brian Ferneyhough, three Britten divertimenti, and Bartók’s virtuosic and otherworldly String Quartet No. 4. $15. Logan Center, U of C, 915 E 60th.
chicagopresents.uchicago.edu.

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