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Northwestern Music in March

Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Company, pianist Kevin Robert Orr, others to perform

EVANSTON, ILL. --- The 2013 Segovia Classical Guitar Series continues with a March 1 program by the Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Company and a March 10 concert by Vladimir Gorbach.

Other program highlights presented by Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music include a March 15 recital by pianist Kevin Robert Orr; and the fourth and final performance on March 2 of the Chicago premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera “The Grapes of Wrath,” which will also be performed Feb. 22, Feb. 24 and Feb. 28. Based on John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, the production features a libretto by Tony Award nominee Michael Korie and a 60-member cast of Bienen School students. 

All March programs listed below are open to the public. They take place on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive; Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive; Alice Millar Chapel (Vail Chapel), 1870 Sheridan Road; or Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., as noted. 


Due to construction on the south end of campus, Arts Circle Drive is currently closed to traffic. Free parking is still available on weekends and after 4 p.m. weekdays in the two-level lakefront structure located on Campus Drive. After turning onto Campus Drive from Sheridan Road, enter the parking structure on the right by way of ramps leading to the upper and lower levels. For vehicles with handicap placards, reserved spaces are available on weekends and after 4 p.m. weekdays in the lot directly west of Louis Hall. For more construction and parking information, visit

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

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


Paco Pena Dance Company, “Flamenco Vivo,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pena embodies authenticity and innovation in flamenco, boldly transforming the perception of this archetypal Spanish art form. Through dance, song and guitar, “Flamenco Vivo” revels in the rhythmic complexities of modern flamenco while paying homage to its tradition. Tickets are $30 for the general public and $12 for students with IDs.

Baroque Music Ensemble, “Baroque Fireworks II,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, Lutkin Hall.

Completing its exploration of Bach’s orchestral suites that began in the fall, the Baroque Music Ensemble performs Bach’s Suite No. 2 in B Minor and Suite No. 4 in D Major. While the Second Suite is a tour de force for solo flute, the Fourth Suite recalls music of the royal court, complete with trumpets and timpani. The Fourth Suite’s final “Rejouissance” is Bach at his most festive. Also featured is Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. Stephen Alltop will conduct the performance, which features violinist David Douglass. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Guest Artist, violinist Graeme Jennings, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, Vail Chapel, adjacent to Alice Millar Chapel. As part of his Feb. 26 to March 1 residency at the Institute for New Music, renowned violinist Graeme Jennings presents a concert of music written for him by advanced Bienen School of Music composition students. As a member of the Arditti Quartet from 1994 to 2005, Jennings premiered more than 300 works by composers, including Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter and Gyorgy Kurtag. In addition to performing his solo and chamber music work, Jennings performs regularly with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Adorno Ensemble and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Jennings is senior lecturer in violin and viola at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. For more about Jennings’s residency, visit Admission is free.

Chicago Premiere, Winter Opera, “The Grapes of Wrath,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2, Cahn Auditorium. Ricky Ian Gordon’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is based on John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, with a libretto by Tony nominee Michael Korie. The opera follows the Joad family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California in search of a better life. Gordon’s score evokes American popular music of the 1920s and 1930s, bringing new depth to this tale of hope in the face of despair. Michael Ehrman directs and Hal France will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra. Donald Nally is the chorus master. Guest baritone Robert Orth, who played Uncle John in the opera’s 2007 premiere, reprises his role in this production. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $8 for students.

Clarinetist Steven Cohen and the Lincoln String Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, Lutkin Hall. Clarinetist Cohen has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Since joining the Bienen School of Music faculty in 2005, he has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque and Chicago area chamber groups. The Lincoln String Quartet, comprised of four current and former CSO members, performs regularly at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Art Institute and Northwestern University. The program includes Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C Major. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.

Small Jazz Ensembles, “Composition 502 -- Student Originals,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, Regenstein Recital Hall. Victor Goines, Northwestern’s director of jazz studies, will direct Bienen School jazz students in a showcase of new original material. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students.

Boston Brass Master Class, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, Regenstein Recital Hall. The Boston Brass presents more than 100 performances each year, with programs ranging from classical arrangements and jazz standards to original brass quintet repertoire. The group has conducted master classes and residencies throughout the world and appeared on
“The CBS Early Show” and National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” In this master class, members of the quintet will coach Bienen School chamber music students. Admission is free.

Pianists Elizabeth Buccheri and Sylvia Wang, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, Lutkin Hall. Buccheri, assistant conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1987, is the founder and director of the Chamber Music at North Park concert series. Her solo and chamber music recordings have been issued on the CRI, Spectrum, Sony, Cedille, Boston and Albany labels. Wang has presented solo and collaborative performances throughout the world, and her recordings include Debussy for Cadenza Classics, chamber music for Newport Classics and Boston Records, and contemporary American music for Northeastern and CRI. Their duo recital includes Brahms’ Sonata for Two Pianos in F Minor. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra Student Showcase, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra in a program that includes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, featuring pianist Yingying Su, and Elgar’s Cello Concerto, featuring cellist Richard Narroway. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $4 for students.

Segovia Classical Guitar Series, Vladimir Gorbach, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, Lutkin Hall. With 10 international first-prize awards and solo recitals around the globe, Gorbach’s performances have drawn a new audience to the classical guitar. Gorbach’s program will include Giuliani’s Rondoletto, Op. 4
; Scarlatti’s sonatas K. 87, K. 27 and K. 441; 
Asencio’s Suite “Collectici Intim
”; Dionisio Aguado’s Andante and Rondo in A Minor
; Piazzolla’s “Primavera Portena,” “Verano Porteno” and “Otono Porteno
”; and Miguel Llobet’s “Soles,” “El Mestre” and “Variaciones sobre un tema de F Sor,” Op. 15. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $12 for students.

Concert Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Daniel J. Farris will conduct students from across the Northwestern University campus in a concert of band standards. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Philharmonia, “A Night at the Opera,” 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty will conduct a program of overtures, arias and ensemble works from beloved operas, featuring Bienen School voice and opera students. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble and Quartets, 7:30 Tuesday, March 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy McAllister, the new Bienen School saxophone professor, will conduct the ensemble and quartets in an evening of original works and transcriptions for saxophone, including music by Roshanne Etezady, Paul Siskind and Steve Reich. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students. 

Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The program will feature compositions by Aaron Jay Kernis, the Bienen School’s 2012 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize winner, including his “Invisible Mosaic II.” Works by current and former Bienen School faculty members, including Jay Alan Yim and Alan Stout, will also be performed. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students.

Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, “Polish Your Polish,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty will conduct a program of works by Polish composers, including Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Marcin Błazewicz’s “Concerto Rustico” and Henry Gorecki’s “Three Dances for Orchestra.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students.

Symphonic Band, “Fiesta in Winter,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy J. Robblee will conduct a program of Latin-inspired works, including Nancy Galbraith’s “Danza de los Duendes,” Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture” and Clifton Williams’ “Symphonic Dance No. 3: Fiesta.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Pianist Kevin Robert Orr, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, Lutkin Hall. As performer, educator and adjudicator, Orr has traveled to major music institutions throughout North America, Europe, China, South Korea and Australia. His recordings of the complete Brahms piano sonatas and ballades have received critical acclaim, and his performances of both new and standard repertoire have been aired on public radio stations throughout the United States. A University of Florida Research Foundation Professor and a Steinway Artist, Orr will perform works by Mozart, Brahms and Barber. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.

Jeffrey Siegel, Keyboard Conversations, “Schubert in the Age of the Sound Bite,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Siegel’s “concert with commentary” will pay homage to Schubert’s “glorious melodies, incandescent harmonies and heavenly visions” in contrast to today’s robotic, impersonal and computerized world. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students. 

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