In a 6/1 posting on, critic Lawrence A. Johnson writes that “it’s nice to be able to report some upbeat economic cultural news for a change.” The Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, which “was forced to down-size two of its [2008-09] events to chamber concerts, the last of which was presented Sunday evening at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Evanston,” is working to turn things around. “Artistic coordinator James Berkenstock said Sunday that this season’s retrenchment has helped to aright the Philharmonic’s financial ship, and that the $60,000 deficit (on an estimated $800,000 annual budget) has been largely erased. The Philharmonic will be back up to full seventy-player strength for three of its four concerts in its 20th anniversary season starting in October.” Johnson praises Sunday’s performance. In Mozart’s D Major Flute Quartet, a “slight astringent edge to the strings provided an apt period feel, and all musicians displayed closely knit ensemble with Berkenstock floating an elegant line in the Adagio … The tricky balancing act in Mozart’s Horn Quintet was deftly negotiated by the Philharmonic members as well.” 

Posted June 3, 2009