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Bienen School Concerts Spring Into Action March 28

Anoushka Shankar, Sharon Isbin, Arturo Sandoval, Oscar Ghiglia among guest artists

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Two-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, “risk-taking” violinist Jennifer Koh and renowned Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO) are among the diverse and internationally recognized artists and ensembles scheduled to entertain audiences on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus this spring.

The guest performances, presented by the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, will feature artists from around the globe, including sitarist Anoushka Shankar, a two-time Grammy nominee; Venezuelan-born pianist Gabriela Montero; Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello; and accordionists and bandoneon players, including France’s Julien Labro, Russia’s Alexander Sevastian, Chicago’s Jimmy Keane and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers of New Orleans. Uruguayan-born classical guitarist Eduardo Fernandez; the European Union Youth Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy and featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman; the JACK Quartet, a New York-based string ensemble; and Japan’s Kumoi Saxophone Quartet are also performing. 

Shankar, Montero, Isbin, de Mello, Koh, Labro, Sevastian, Keane, Dopsie, Sandoval and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s programs are part of the Bienen School’s “Soundings” spring festival, which runs from March 28 through April 7. 

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, violinist Viacheslav Dinerchtein and saxophonist Lars Mlekusch will present free concerts this spring. 

All events are open to the public and will take place on the University’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; or Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive, as noted.

Ticket prices are indicated in two ranges: the first for the general public and the second for full-time students with valid IDs. Northwestern faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price. 

MARCH 2012 

Two-time Grammy nominee Anoushka Shankar and guests will present “Traveler,” a project featuring an unusual hybrid of music from Spain and India at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Tickets are $26 for the general public and $10 for students. 

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in Lutkin Hall. Members of the ensemble have performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and Shanghai Radio orchestras. The group is comprised of trumpeters Christopher Martin and Tage Larsen, horn player David Griffin, trombonist Michael Mulcahy and tubist Gene Pokorny. Admission is free.

Grammy-nominated pianist Gabriela Montero will perform works by Chopin and Liszt as well as her improvisations on themes suggested by the audience at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, inPick-Staiger Concert Hall. Montero has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra at London ‘s Royal Festival Hall. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for students. 

Two-time Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin will share the stage with Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The program includes excerpts from Isbin’s album “Journey to the Amazon” and solo works by Andrew York, Albeniz, Granados and others. Tickets are $26 for the general public and $10 for students. 

APRIL 2012 

Violist Viacheslav Dinerchtein will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, in Lutkin Hall with pianist Winston Choi. Dinerchtein has appeared with orchestras and in recitals at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes as well as at the Bach International Festival in Peru, the Niagara Music Festival in Canada and the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy. Admission is free. 

Violinist Jennifer Koh will present the Chicago premiere of her solo program, “Bach and Beyond, Part 1,” at Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Koh’s program includes violin solos inspired by J. S. Bach’s Partitas Nos. 2 and 3, which bookend the concert. Works by Eugene Ysaye and Elliott Carter are featured as well as Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “lachen verlernt,” which incorporates a video by award-winning filmmaker Tal Rosner. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for students. 

Accordionists and bandoneon players from around the world, including France’s Julien Labro, Russia’s Alexander Sevastian, Chicago’s Jimmy Keane and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers of New Orleans, will present “The Big Squeeze” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 6, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The concert will feature classical, Celtic, jazz, tango and zydeco music. Tickets are $16 for the general public and $10 for students.

Arturo Sandoval, winner of four Grammy and six Billboard awards and an Emmy, will perform with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, inPick-Staiger Concert Hall. The Cuban trumpeter and composer has appeared with Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, the Mambo Kings and the Boston Pops orchestra. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO) will be conducted by CJO artistic director Jeff Lindberg. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students.

World-renowned classical guitarist Eduardo Fernandez will close the 2012 Segovia Classical Guitar Series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Winner of the Porto Alegre, Radio France and Andres Segovia prizes, Fernandez’s recordings include 18 albums for Decca that feature many first recordings of classical guitar pieces. Tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students. 

The European Union Youth Orchestra concert, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, and featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The orchestra, comprised of student and young professional musicians from the European Union’s 27 member nations, regularly performs worldwide and at the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw’s Robeco Summer Concert Series. Bronfman, 2010 winner of Northwestern’s $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, will join the orchestra in Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The program also features the Bienen School of Music Symphonic Choir and faculty soloists in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, and a performance of Strauss’ “An Alpine Symphony.” Tickets are $26 for the general public and $12 for students. 

MAY 2012 

Jeffrey Siegel will present “Keyboard Conversations: A Musical Love Triangle -- Robert, Clara and Johannes” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Siegel’s “concert with commentary” will feature music composed by pianist Clara Schumann that was inspired by her husband Robert Schumann and Brahms, and music of Brahms and Schumann inspired by Clara Schumann. Clara was the first pianist to perform some of Brahms’ works. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students. 

The JACK Quartet performance at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, in Regenstein Recital Hall will feature the U.S. premiere of a work by Simon Steen-Anderson, as well as String Quartet No. 5 by Georg Friedrich Haas, “Chakra” by Allain Gaussin and “Gran Torso” by Helmut Lachenmann. Comprised of violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards and cellist Kevin McFarland, the string quartet commissions and performs new works and has collaborated with composers Helmut Lachenmann, Gyorgy Kurtag and Matthias Pintscher. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students. 

Saxophonist Lars Mlekusch will perform in recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, in Regenstein Recital Hall. A graduate of Switzerland’s Basel Conservatory and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, Mlekusch has served as professor of saxophone and chamber music and was an adjudicator at the International Saxophone Competition in Nova Gorica, Slovenia, as well as the International Jean-Marie Londeix competition in Bangkok. Admission is free. 

JUNE 2012 

A program by the Kumoi Saxophone Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall will feature soprano saxophonist and group founder Masato Kumoi, alto saxophonist Wataru Sato, tenor saxophonist Kazuyuki Hayashida and baritone saxophonist Takahiro Hishio. Tokyo native Kumoi received a master’s degree from Northwestern in 1983, the same year he won the silver medal at the International Competition for Musical Performers. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students. 

Oscar Ghiglia, Bienen School of Music guitar faculty member Anne Waller and DePaul University guitar studies coordinator Mark Maxwell will perform solos, duos and trios by Frescobaldi, Merchi, Sor and Granados at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 9, inLutkin Hall. The event is the opening concert of the Bienen School’s Summer Guitar Workshop. Tickets are $16 for the general public and $8 for students. 

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit To order tickets call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit