Performers: Fireworks from the Battery

Chicago's Ravinia Park music festival looked like an Eastern bazaar. Strewn around the stage one evening last week were 47 pieces of Western and Ori ental hardware: four full-grown timpani, four little timpani, three barrel drums, nine objects that resembled brass flower pots (they were Buddhist prayer bells), an array of bamboo, glass and wooden utensils, and lots and lots of gongs.

The occasion was the world premiere of a 20-minute Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra. If the event had a distinctly Japanese flavor, that was understandable. The star of the evening...

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