Clarinet star Anat Cohen brings new concerto to Chicago

When the Anat Cohen Tentet played the University of Chicago’s Logan Center in 2017, listeners had to be struck not only by the band’s range of repertoire but its breadth of instrumental color.

Cohen’s buoyant clarinet lines soared above and among the plush tones of fluegelhorn, vibraphone, accordion, drums and what-not. To hear a soloist of Cohen’s stature surrounded by so much glowing, shimmering sound was to encounter her music in a welcome new light.

All of that – and more – should emerge in Orchestra Hall on Friday evening, when Cohen plays just the second performance of “Triple Helix,” a concerto written for her and the Tentet by longtime collaborator Oded Lev-Ari. Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Symphony Center, the three-movement work had its world premiere Jan. 12 in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and appears to have stretched the talents of both soloist and composer.

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