Robert Chen, Violin
Benjamin Loeb, Piano
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Dining Package: (SOLD OUT) You can make the concert a complete evening out when you purchase the concert/dining package for $50 per person. This convenient package comes complete with dinner in the Freehling Room before the performance in Bennett Gordon Hall. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.
To Order: Click the "Buy Now" button and select the dining package ticket option from the drop-down menu on the left side of the next page.
Tartini: “Devil’s Trill” Sonata
John Corigliano: Violin Sonata
Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 2
Ysaÿe: Sonata for Solo Violin No. 6
Kreisler: Works for violin and piano
With the New Year comes a new look at one of the most visible figures of Ravinia’s classical season, Chicago Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Robert Chen. Though he regularly performs solo passages and even concertos with the orchestra, recently including those of Brahms (at Ravinia, 2011) and Bartók (at Orchestra Hall, in April)—the latter earning him praise in the Chicago Tribune for “deploying his silken tone and throbbing vibrato to tenderly expressive effect”—Chen hasn’t been heard at Ravinia with only a piano since his very first appearance at the festival in 2000. For his return to the intimate stage, he promises music from Brahms, Ysaÿe, and the virtuoso (and secret composer) Kreisler, as well as the Sonata for Violin and Piano by John Corigliano, who came of age steeped in the musicianship of Leonard Bernstein—his father a longtime concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, including under Bernstein’s leadership, and himself becoming an assistant director of the famed Young People’s Concerts. Shades of fellow Americans Bernstein and Copland resonate through the sonata, a model of their modern Romanticism with its vibrant tonality and strident rhythms.
Experienced arts administrator, accomplished soloist, accompanist, conductor, arranger, educator, and entrepreneur Benjamin Loeb has served primarily as the Executive Director of the Quad City (Iowa) Symphony Orchestra since 2013. His piano performances have been heralded by the Boston Globe: “[his] vigorous, cogent playing signaled the kind of equally weighted partnership, plus competition, plus mutual quest, etc. that [makes] this music live.” In May 2015, he performed Morton Gould’s Interplay with the Boston Pops Orchestra at the invitation and under the direction of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. He has also collaborated as concerto soloist with many other conductors including JoAnn Falletta, Carl St. Clair, and Rossen Milanov. His widely varied projects range from concerts of Beethoven and Bruckner Symphonies to recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of Italian 16th century madrigalists to tours with popular rock musicians to world premieres of the most cutting-edge avant-garde contemporary music.