Andrew Patner, the Chicago-based critic, journalist, broadcaster, author and activist who died Feb. 3 at age 55, regarded Orchestra Hall as a second home, so it was fitting that the venue served as the setting for a public memorial on March 18. If you missed the event, WFMT-FM, where Andrew worked as critic at large for nearly 20 years, will broadcast the event beginning at 10 p.m. Monday, May 11.

Among family, friends and colleagues presenting tributes were Andrew’s brothers Seth and Josh; Anthony Freud, general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago; from WFMT, Steve Robinson, executive vice president and general manager, and David Polk, program director; Alex Ross, New Yorker magazine music critic; Fred Eychaner, chairman of the Newsweb Corp. and president of the Alphawood Foundation, and Tom Bachtell, noted illustrator and Andrew’s longtime partner. Members of the CSO and Lyric Opera performed in Andrew’s honor, along with jazz pianists Willie and Bethany Pickens.

During the celebration, CSO violist Max Raimi saluted the arts critic and remembered him as “the greatest friend the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ever had or ever are likely to have.”

Following is the program order of the tribute, which also will be available as a podcast on Note: Portions of the celebration broadcast on May 11 will not appear in the podcast.


Introduction by Rabbi Andy Bachman

Video segment: “Andrew in China” (Part I)

Josh Patner, younger brother

Kenny Blum, longtime friend

Live Performance

Bethany Pickens, solo piano

“Critical Thinking” sound collage

Steve Robinson, WFMT general manager, and Hannah Edgar, University of Chicago student

David Polk, WFMT program director

Live Performance

MOZART from Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K. 423, Adagio

Rong-Yan Tang, violin; Max Raimi, viola

Video segment: “Andrew in China” (Part II)

Fred Eychaner, chairman of the Newsweb Corp. and president of the Alphawood Foundation

Lori Cannon, co-founder of Vital Bridges, and GLBT activist

Seth Patner, Andrew’s youngest brother

Laura Washington, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and political analyst for WLS-Channel 7 Chicago

Live Performance

J.S. BACH from Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564

CSO Brass: Christopher Martin, trumpet; Tage Larsen, trumpet; David Griffin, horn; Michael Mulcahy, trombone; Gene Pokorny, tuba

Andrew on “This is why we do what we do.”

Laura Emerick, Andrew’s longtime editor at the Chicago Sun-Times and now CSO digital content editor

Marc Geelhoed, CSO media manager

Live Performance

BRAHMS from Sextet for Strings in G Major, Op. 36, Poco adagio

CSO Musicians: Robert Chen Violin; Stephanie Jeong Violin; Lawrence Neuman Viola; Carol Cook Viola; Brant Taylor Cello; Katinka Kleijn Cello

Andrew on Criticism vs. Reviewing

Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker magazine

Leif Ove Andsnes on Andrew

Daniel Barenboim on Andrew

Riccardo Muti on Andrew

“Soave sia il vento” from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic, Riccardo Muti (conductor), Barbara Frittoli (soprano), Angelika Kirschlager (mezzo-soprano), Alessandro Corbelli (baritone).

Video segment: “Andrew in China” (Part III)

Live Performance

Willie Pickens, solo piano

Richard Shepro, partner at Mayer Brown, and Andrew’s mentor and friend

Anthony Freud, general director, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Live Performance

Aaron Copland, “At the River” (arrangement)

Will Liverman, baritone; Craig Terry, piano

Tom Bachtell

Rabbi Bachman, Kaddish

Video postlude:“Float On,” by The Floaters