5 Things to do in Chicago this week

By Stephen Raskauskas |

See Bill Murray at Symphony Center, have a Monteverdi marathon, get a symphonic scare on Friday the 13th, and more.

See Bill Murray at Symphony Center

Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, and friends.

Bill Murray, a native of the Chicago suburbs, stops by Symphony Center this week for a special program with cellist Jan Volger. Together, Murray and Volger will present an evening of music and literature, including readings of works by Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain, and performances of music by Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. They are joined by violinist Mira Wang and Vanessa Perez.

Details:  Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends appear on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30 pm at Symphony Center located at 220 S Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60604. More on CSO’s website.

Have a Monteverdi marathon

John Eliot Gardiner and Hana Blažíková in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. (Photo: Colston Hall ©ShotAway)

Claudio Monteverdi wrote some of the first works in history to be considered operas. 450 years after his birth, the stories he told through song continue to move audiences. Sir John Elliot Gardiner, one of the world’s most eminent interpreters of Monterverdi, is touring the world to present the composer’s three surviving operas: L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. The Monteverdi 450 tour offers audiences the chance to hear some of the best music in history with some of today’s best musicians. Performances feature the oustanding Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists.

Details: L’Orfeo, Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 pm. Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Friday, October 13 at 7:30 pm. L’incoronazione di Poppea, Sunday, October 15 at 1:00 pm. All performances at the Harris Theater, located at 205 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601. For more information, visit the Harris Theater’s website.

Discover the U.S. premiere of an opera with the whole family

Costume renderings for “The Scorpions’ Sting” by costume designer Noel Huntzinger (Courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago/Lyric Unlimited)

Lyric Unlimited, an initiative of Lyric Opera of Chicago, presents the U.S. premiere of an opera for audiences of all ages called The Scorpions’ Sting. Set in ancient Egypt, a group of archeology students uncover the Lost Temple of Isis. They learn a bit about ancient Egypt and themselves in a musical adventure recommended for ages 7-12.

Details: Saturday October 14 at 2:00 and 4:00 pm, and October 15 at 12:00 and 2:00 pm at the Studebaker Theater (Fine Arts Building) located at 410 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. More info on Lyric’s website.

Cure your blues at Logan Center Blues Fest

Guitarist Jimmy Johnson

The first Logan Center Blues Fest presents some of the best blues artists today over three days in historic Hyde Park, Chicago. Concerts feature venerable musicians like Eddy Clearwater and Jimmy Johnson. Other festival offerings include workshops, talks, films, and food.

Details: October 13-15. Many events are free, though some require tickets and reservations which can be made online at tickets.uchicago.edu. For a full schedule and more info on Logan Center Blues Fest’s website.

Get a symphonic scare on Friday the 13th

Detail of “Danse Macabre,” by Bernt Notke

October is the best time of year to enjoy some scary music. Can’t wait until the end of the month to hear some of your favorite, frightening works? Enjoy some spooky symphonic works in a Friday the 13th concert presented by Loyola University of Chicago’s Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Hear the ever-popular Danse macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns, Incantation and Dance by John Barnes Chance, and works by Mackey and Schumann.

Details: Friday, October 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts located at 1020 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660. More information on Loyola University of Chicago’s website.