Chicago’s Very Own: cellist Lawrence Block

Chicago's Very Own
Chicago's Very Own Lawrence Block

Retired lawyer makes beautiful music

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Seventy-eight year-old Lawrence Block plays the cello as if it were a precious child. Feeling each note, touching each string to get the exact sound he wants. The same way he did when he picked it up as a child.

Music has always been his true passion. Even when he was eighteen and his cello instructor suggested he pursue a law career instead of music. Block says as a lawyer he made a good living but music has made his living good.

Block retired from a successful law career 10 years ago, giving him more time to spend on the Highland Park Strings Orchestra.
A community of musicians he started with only a handful of artists in the north shore suburb in 1979.
Block’s wife, Abby says the Highland Park Strings became the little orchestra that could. A long way from the first time she met her impresario at freshman orientation at Northwestern University 60 years ago.

But soon this motley orchestra grew, and so did its following. Throughout the years, members have played alongside some of the best musicians in the business.
Fran Shonfeld-Sherman started playing with the Highland Park Strings with her late mother, a first chair violinist.

Her mom played chamber music with Block years before the strings was formed.
Block was glad to have her and she played in concert with her mom for several years before she died.

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