The International Beethoven Project Presents Christopher O'Riley, 5/13
The International Beethoven Project presents renowned pianist Christopher O'Riley in Chicago one night only on Monday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Merit School of Music's Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, 38 S. Peoria St. in the West Loop. Popularly known for his groundbreaking transcriptions of Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and other rock musicians, O'Riley returns to Chicago with a very different repertoire: virtuosic selections from his new album of iconic Franz Liszt transcriptions, O'Riley's Liszt. O'Riley delves into the works of that master interpreter, adding his own touches and insight to the music of Mozart, Wagner, Berlioz, Schubert and Schumann. Tickets for the May 13 concert are $15 for general admission and $50 for VIP priority seating that includes an exclusive post-concert reception with O'Riley. To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit www.internationalbeethovenproject.com.
"As a constantly innovating artist and media personality, Christopher O'Riley represents the type of boundary-pushing musician the International Beethoven Project believes is most relevant in the 21st century," says President and Artistic Director George Lepauw. "We especially admire his ability to embody so many significant roles-from his inspiring work with brilliant young musicians as host of NPR's From the Top to his transcriptions of modern rock artists and now, Liszt's fiendishly difficult transcriptions for solo piano."
In the spirit of O'Riley's promotion of young musicians, the International Beethoven Project will showcase Merit School of Music student groups at 6 p.m. on May 13, prior to O'Riley's concert. The student performance is free and open to the public.
Christopher O'Riley's first recording of Radiohead transcriptions, True Love Waits, received four stars from Rolling Stone and was as critically acclaimed as it was commercially successful. His Hold Me to This: Christopher O'Riley plays the music of Radiohead followed suit. Tackling the deeply emotional and complex work from the troubled singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, Home to Oblivion: An Elliott Smith Tribute drew critical praise from both Classical and pop music critics. O'Riley's fourth set of transcriptions from the contemporary popular songbook was Second Grace - The Music of Nick Drake, a collection of repertoire written and originally recorded by the late enigmatic British guitar wizard and songwriter. In collaboration with cellist Matt Haimovitz, Oxingale Records released Shuffle.Play.Listen, including O'Riley's arrangements specially written for the duo of works by Arcade Fire, Blonde Redhead, A Perfect Circle, John McLaughlin and Bernard Herrmann. O'Riley has taken his unique vision to both traditional classical music venues and symphonic settings, as well as to entirely new audiences on the radio, at universities and clubs. As host of the most popular classical music radio show ever, National Public Radio's From The Top, O'Riley works and performs with the next generation of brilliant young musicians, demonstrating to audiences that these young artists are as interesting and diverse in their personal lives as they are in their music-making. O'Riley also hosted the Emmy-winning PBS series From the Top from Carnegie Hall. From early in his career, O'Riley was honored with many awards at the Leeds, Van Cliburn, Busoni and Montreal competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career Grant. O'Riley studied with Russell Sherman at the New England Conservatory of Music.
The International Beethoven Project, a Chicago-based non-profit, is dedicated to the promotion of revolutionary culture, inspired by the music and life of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), one of the most groundbreaking artists of all time. Its mission is accomplished through the presentation of festivals, concerts, mixedmedia exhibits, lectures, the production of recordings and films, the commissioning of new music and art, publications and educational outreach in schools, universities as well as in nontraditional venues. Beethoven's vision of humanity, justice and "brotherhood" inspires us to build a better world through music and art, continuing the dialogue that is necessary between past, present and future generations of artists in order for culture and civilization to flourish. For more information, please visit www.internationalbeethovenproject.com.