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David Royko Psy.D

Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor, Yo Yo Ma, preview

Chicago Tribune

Friday Section, p. 3

March 31, 2000


By David Royko

For a branch of the humanities that typically thrives on things

harmonious, partisans of various musical genres tend to view one

another with the suspicion of enemy camps in wartime. From criticism of

Leonard Bernstein straddling the Broadway and "serious" musical worlds,

to John Zorn being labeled "radical kitsch" for his hebraic-jazz

"Masada" melange, some audiences are comfortable only with musical

segregation. But cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist/composer Edgar Meyer and

fiddler/composer Mark O'Connor do not simply straddle musical fences,

they bulldoze them. The trio's new CD, "Appalachian Journey," blends

these virtuosi's strengths and styles, from classical to bluegrass,

into a musical statement at once substantial and accessible. "I like

writing for individuals with really rich musical personalities," says

Meyer of his trio mates. And while O'Connor has studied the standard

concerto repertoire, the violinist notes that "there are many artists

who can cover that wonderful material. What interests me most about

music is whether I can create something new."

The Ma/Meyer/O'Connor trio performs 8:00 PM Monday at Symphony Center, 220 S.

Michigan Ave. $30/$65. 312-294-3000.