Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham has made some beautiful music here over the years, but none like the recital of rare French songs that she sang a couple of years ago at Mandel Hall. The sheer timbre of Graham’s voice is at its peak, and what a spellbinding sound it is. This Ravinia recital will replicate much of the same repertoire, including chansons by Bizet, Franck, Fauré, Lalo, Gounod, Saint-Saëns, Chabrier, Paladilhe, Debussy, Chausson, Bachelet, Duparc, Ravel, Caplet, Caplet, Messiaen, Debussy, Hahn, Satie, Honeggar, Sauguet, Rosenthal and Poulenc and is likely to be the vocal highlight of the summer, if not the year. This is Graham’s signature music; no one does it better. Pianist Brian Zeger will provide accompaniment. (Dennis Polkow)
July 13, Ravinia’s Martin Theatre, Lake-Cook & Green Bay Roads, Highland Park, (847)266-5000. 8pm.
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org