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Violinist Vadim Gluzman Makes His Third Appearance at the Grant Park Music Festival

Kyle MacMillan | July 24, 2019 | People

World-class violinist Vadim Gluzman plays to a home crowd at Grant Park Music Festival.


Violinist Vadim Gluzman plays all over the world, but Northbrook is home.

Vadim Gluzman typically has to travel hundreds of miles when he performs with top orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and Israel Philharmonic. But Aug. 2 and 3, the Northbrook resident will just have to jump on a Metra train and head to Millennium Park for concerts as part of the Grant Park Music Festival. “I get to be home and perform, and this is fantastic,” he says. Normally, the festival’s offerings take place outdoors at Pritzker Pavilion, but because Lollapalooza is happening nearby that same weekend, these performances will be indoors at the Harris Theater.

The Ukrainian-born Israeli violinist and his wife, pianist Angela Yoffe, moved to the Chicago area in 2002 and decided to remain and raise their daughter here. “We’ve lived in Chicago for 17 years now,” Gluzman says. “It’s longer than I’ve lived anywhere, and I’ve lived in many places. It really does feel like home.”

In addition to his international career, Gluzman promotes classical music on the North Shore. In 2011, he and his wife founded the North Shore Chamber Music Festival, which is held each June. They invite some of their many noted friends and colleagues from the classical world to join them for three concerts at Northbrook’s Village Presbyterian Church. “I kind of believe that when you do something out of love, it has a very good chance of succeeding,” Gluzman says. “And that is truly the case.”

For his August set of appearances, his third with the Grant Park festival, Gluzman will be the soloist for Leonard Bernstein’s infrequently heard Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium), a five-movement work for violin and orchestra that the violinist has championed for 20 years. He believes it has been unfairly overlooked in part because of its formidable technical challenges and lingering biases against Bernstein’s compositions outside of musical theater. “This piece is really one of the greatest loves that I have, musically speaking,” he says. “It is an absolute masterwork.”


Photography by: Marco Borggreve