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Murray Perahia and Gabriela Montero Among Guest Artists

Bienen School of Music welcomes top performers to Evanston campus this fall

EVANSTON, Ill. --- An impressive lineup of world-renowned guest artists, including Northwestern University’s 2012 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize winner pianist Murray Perahia, Grammy-nominated multi-genre pianist Gabriela Montero, acclaimed baritone opera star Nathan Gunn and renowned jazz pianist John Medeski, highlight the Bienen School of Music’s 2012-13 music season this fall.  

A festival honoring the life and work of avant-garde music composer John Cage is also scheduled, including performances by the ensemble So Percussion and pianist Stephen Drury. As part of the John Cage Festival (Nov. 15-17) a performance will be held in the newly renovated lobby of Northwestern’s Deering Library where, for the first time in more than 40 years, the public will be able to enter the building through the soon-to-reopen main doors.

Events are open to the public and are held on the University’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; or Deering Library, 1935 Sheridan Road, as noted. 

Fall 2012 Guest Artists

• Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will open the fall series of guest artists with “Spellbinding Bach,” a Keyboard Conversations program at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Keyboard Conversations offer the audience a concert-plus-commentary format in which Siegel presents historical information regarding the works that he will perform. In this concert, he will discuss and play piano masterworks by J.S. Bach, including his Toccata in D, “Italian Concerto” and “Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue.” Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students with valid IDs.

Murray Perahia, 2012 recipient of Northwestern’s Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, will present a master class featuring Bienen School piano students at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, inPick-Staiger Concert Hall. Perahia has won countless awards in his 35-year career, including the Avery Fisher Prize and the Royal Philharmonic’s Instrumentalist Award. He has performed with the world’s leading orchestras and is the principal guest conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in London. His 2012-13 engagements include a recital tour with appearances in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing. Admission is free.

• Danish-German conductor and cellist Hans Erik Deckert conducts the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, in Pick-Staiger. The program will feature his own works as well as works by Bach, Per Norgard, Piazzolla, Popper, Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov. The ensemble will be joined by young Chicago area cellists to form a 60-cello orchestra in several pieces. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

• Grammy-nominated Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero performs a program of Romantic-era classics and improvisations at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in Pick-Staiger. Known for visionary interpretations of classical repertoire and her improvisational gifts, Montero has earned accolades from around the world, including five star reviews from BBC Music Magazine and Classic FM. She has performed across Europe, South America and the U.S. as a soloist and with ensembles, including the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Rotterdam Philharmonic. Montero will perform Chopin’s Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op. 47 and Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor, S. 178 in the first half of the program. In the second half, she will ask the audience for melodies on which she can improvise. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for students. 

• Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist David Allen Moore will coach Bienen School bass students in a master class at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in Regenstein Recital Hall. A professor of strings at the University of Southern California Thorton School of Music, he has performed with the Boston Baroque and the Houston Symphony under maestro Christoph Eschenbach as well as at the Tanglewood, Grand Teton and Mainly Mozart festivals. Admission is free.

• Acclaimed baritone Nathan Gunn will guide Bienen School voice and opera program students in a master class at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in Pick-Staiger. Gunn was awarded the first Beverly Sills Artist Award and has performed throughout Europe and the U.S. Recent credits include title roles in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Billy Budd,” the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Show Boat” and the Houston Grand Opera’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

• The John Cage Festival opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, inLutkin Hall, with a performance by pianist Stephen Drury and students from the Bienen Contemporary/Early Ensemble under the direction of Donald Nally, the Bienen School’s new director of choral organizations. Winner of the Concert Artists Guild and Carnegie Hall/Rockefeller competitions and a proponent of 20th-century music, Drury has collaborated with composers John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti, Steve Reich and John Luther Adams. This recital includes Cage’s solo piano works as well as Cage’s piece for 12 singers and 12 microphones. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• The John Cage Festival continues at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, with a performance by members of So Percussion in the newly renovated lobby of Northwestern’s Deering Library. The concert features acoustic guitarist and vocalist Grey Mcmurray as well as members of the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble. The program includes Morton Feldman’s “King of Denmark,” Steve Reich’s “Marimba Phase,” Cage’s “Child of Tree and Branches” and Jason Treuting’s “24x24,” as well as select songs by the Beatles from the Cage Collection. The Deering Library is home to the Cage Collection, the world’s largest treasury of correspondence and ephemera collected by John Cage, which will be on display during this performance. A public reception in the lobby will follow the concert. Admission is free.

• The John Cage Festival Finale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in Pick-Staiger includes performances by So Percussion; Grey Mcmurray; Bienen School percussionists; Turkish composer Cenk Ergun, who will perform on his laptop; and Loud Objects, a trio known for soldering custom audio circuits live to create complex electronic sounds. Brooklyn-based So Percussion -- comprised of Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting -- rose to prominence through their commissions by new-music mavericks Steve Reich, David Lang and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche as well as collaborations with electronic duo Matmos and composer/DJ Dan Deacon. So Percussion has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall and Cleveland Museum of Art and recently toured the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Italy and Germany. The program includes Cage’s “First Construction,” “Credo in US,” “Inlets (Improvisation II),” “0’00,” “Duet for Cymbal,” “Imaginary Landscape” and “Third Construction” as well as Cenk Ergun’s “USE,” Jason Treuting and So Percussion’s “24x24” and So Percussion arrangements of Beatles songs from the Cage Collection. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $6 for students with valid IDs.

• Celebrated jazz pianist John Medeski presents a solo recital previewing his upcoming solo recording at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, inPick-Staiger. A member of the trailblazing instrumental trio Medeski Martin & Wood, Medeski has galvanized audiences in the U.S., Mexico, Japan and elsewhere with his solo performances. Projects with T Bone Burnett, former Phish guitarist-frontman Trey Anastasio, Grateful Dead alumnus Phil Lesh and hip-hop DJ Dan the Automator have made him a highly sought-after collaborator. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

• The Keyboard Conversations series with pianist Jeffrey Siegel continues at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall with a performance of works by Debussy. On tap are “Claire de lune,” “Fireworks,” “Girl with the Flaxen Hair” and “Isle of Joy.” Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students with valid IDs.

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 For information regarding construction, visit