Classical Debuts In Chicago

May 22, 2019

Giancarlo Guerrero and John Clare
Credit John Clare

What does a classical music director do on vacation? WBAA's John Clare spends a "bus driver's holiday" in Chicago for part of this week. His travels included speaking with some of the top classical musicians on Tuesday. 

First, at Northwestern University, John spoke with Giancarlo Guerrero about his return to his alma mater, and leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the first time.

There's more about the concerts here.   

“The CSO has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” he says. In youth orchestra in Costa Rica in the 80s, Giancarlo had a friend whose family had a full cable package, which somehow included WFMT as one of only a handful of American stations. So after rehearsal, they would go to his house on Friday nights and sit around listening to the Chicago Symphony live broadcasts. The CSO was the first professional orchestra he was exposed to.  “It was both inspirational and scary. We thought ‘we have to practice more!’  This is how he learned conductors and repertoire. I knew who all the players were, the same way most kids know the players from their baseball cards.” - Giancarlo Guerrero

Pablo Villegas and John Clare
Credit Valeria Catan

Later, after brunch and a stroll at the Art Institute of Chicago, Clare spoke with violinist Hilary Hahn about her latest projects (keep an eye out on What's New!), and then spoke with guitarist Pablo Sainz Villegas about his debut with the Chicago Symphony.

Again, more about the concerts here.

The evening for Clare concluded with an amazing performance! Tuesday's night concert was led by guest conductor Marin Alsop, with soloist Hilary Hahn playing Sibelius Violin Concerto. Also on that program was Brahms' Academic Festival Overture, and Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2.