Pianist Christopher O’Riley has developed an unusual following over the last couple of years with his recordings and performances of the music of Radiohead and Elliott Smith in arrangements that many feel communicate more than the originals, so you would think that Ravinia would do the smart thing and program this segment of what O’Riley does within the same recital as his bread-and-butter classical fare to give both of his audiences a taste of the other side of the piano bench as it were, but Ravinia is greedily presenting two separate recitals with separate admission prices and seating back-to-back, charging more for the classical recital than for hearing Radiohead and Elliott Smith. And classical music venues wonder why audiences are shrinking? In any case, O’Riley’s artistry is such that it is well worth hearing both recitals, and the 8pm one will feature Schumann, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov while the 10:30pm recital will spotlight the rock repertoire. (Dennis Polkow)
August 7 at Ravinia Festival’s Martin Theater, Lake-Cook and Green Bay Rds., Highland Park, (847)266-5100. 8pm & 10:30pm. $10-$40.