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Northwestern Music in February

World premiere of Schwantner work, Adamo’s opera “Little Women” and more

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A Valentine’s Day concert featuring Chopin’s romantic waltzes and etudes is just one of many February events presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music to brighten winter. 

February highlights include a Segovia Classical Guitar Series concert featuring Eliot Fisk, the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner’s “Chapel Music”; Mark Adamo’s opera adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” and a performance featuring songs from Habib Koite’s new album.

Concert 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 receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall office at (847) 491-5441 or visit Pick-Staiger. To order subscriptions or single or group tickets, call (847) 467-4000 or visit Pick-Staiger.

For series brochures, call (847) 491-5441 or email Visit Pick-Staiger for video and audio clips, photos and information on upcoming events. To receive a monthly events newsletter and special discount offers, email For updates on parking and directions, visit Pick-Staiger.

All February programs listed below are open to the public. They take place 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 Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, as noted. 


Andrew Simon Clarinet Master Class, 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, Regenstein Recital Hall. Principal clarinetist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and an alumnus of the New World Symphony, Simon has performed and lectured throughout the U.S., Italy, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic, Japan and Australia. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he serves on the faculties of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University. Admission is free.

Segovia Classical Guitar Series, Eliot Fisk Guitar Master Class, 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, Lutkin Hall. Acclaimed guitarist Eliot Fisk will coach Bienen School guitarists at this master class. Admission is free.

Yehuda Hanani Cello Master Class, 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Cellist Hanani will lead a master class for Bienen School students in the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall Rehearsal Room. Admission is free.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will conduct a program that includes Wagner’s Venusberg Music from “Tannhauser,” Strauss’ “Don Quixote” and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E Minor.  Violist Amy Hess and cellist Joseph Johnson are the featured soloists. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $9 for students with IDs.

Segovia Classical Guitar Series, Eliot Fisk with Yehuda Hanani, 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Fisk is known worldwide for his compelling guitar performances and adventurous repertoire. He has collaborated with artists Paco Pena, Bill Frisell and the Miro Quartet. Hanani, a cellist, has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and other prestigious ensembles, winning acclaim for his charismatic playing and profound interpretations. The duo will perform a Boccherini sonata, a Schubert lieder, Spanish masterpieces, and classics by Britten, Faure and more. Tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with IDs. 

Mary Stolper Flute Master Class, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern alumna Mary Stolper has performed in Ravinia’s recital series and with Chicago Chamber Musicians, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players.  Principal flutist of the Grant Park Symphony, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Opera Theater and Fulcrum Point, she also is an active studio musician. Admission is free.

Small Jazz Ensembles: “Light as a Feather -- The Music of Chick Corea,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, Regenstein Recital Hall. Pianist Armando Anthony (“Chick”) Corea is recognized as a pervasive influence on countless modern musicians. Equally adept as a composer and an instrumentalist, Corea has crafted some of jazz’s most popular standards, including “You’re Everything,” “500 Miles High,” “Windows” and “Light as a Feather.” Victor Goines, Christopher Madsen and Marlene Rosenberg will direct the Northwestern student jazz ensembles as they pay tribute to this master of modern jazz. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Joseph Schwantner Residency, Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy J. Robblee will direct the Contemporary Music Ensemble in a program that features two works by Joseph Schwantner -- “Sparrows” and “Music of Amber.” The program will include a world premiere of “Three Scenes” by Northwestern student Conner VanderBeek. The concert is part of Schwantner’s Bienen School residency. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Joseph Schwantner Residency, Symphonic Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy J. Robblee and Mallory Thompson direct two Northwestern groups in the second concert of  Schwantner’s residency. The program features John Estacio’s “Frenergy,” Vincent Persichetti’s Symphony for Band, Frank Ticheli’s “Pacific Fanfare” and Schwantner’s “From a Dark Millennium” and “…and the mountains rising nowhere.” The concert will be webcast at Pick-Staiger. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with IDs. 

Joseph Schwantner Residency, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The Joseph Schwantner Residency continues with a performance conducted by Robert G. Hasty and featuring two works by Schwantner, “Morning’s Embrace” and “The Poet’s Hour.” Two works by Ives, “The Unanswered Question” and “Central Park in the Dark,” also will be performed. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Newberry Consort: “The Feast of the Pheasant -- A Recreation of a 15th-Century Banquet,” 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 preconcert lecture; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 performance, Lutkin Hall. In February 1454, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, threw a lavish party to promote a crusade against the Turks. Although the crusade never took place, the banquet was a day to remember. Contemporary accounts describe in detail the banquet’s amazing entertainments and music. The Consort, featuring violinists David Douglass and Rachel Barton Pine, soprano Ellen Hargis, vielle (a European bowed stringed instrument) player and harpist Shira Kammen; lute, psaltery (a stringed instrument of the zither family) and citole (a kind of dulcimer) player Mark Rimple; and wind player, bagpiper and percussionist Tom Zajac will perform music from the banquet. The program includes works by Guillaume Dufay and Gilles Binchois, with a projected backdrop of illustrations and supertitle translations. Tickets are $45 for preferred seating, $38 for general seating, $35 for general-admission orders made in advance and $5 for students with IDs.

Joseph Schwantner Residency, Alice Millar Birthday Concert 50th Anniversary Celebration, 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, Alice Millar Chapel. Preceded by the glorious strains of Louis Vierne’s “Marche triomphale” for brass, timpani and organ, the world premiere of Schwantner’s “Chapel Music: Five Diverse Songs for Chorus and Orchestra” will conclude the composer’s residency at Northwestern and display his extraordinary imagination for musical color in a work for mixed chorus, solo flute, brass, tuned goblets, percussion and strings. Rounding out this celebratory evening is Schwantner’s “New Morning for the World,” based on texts by Martin Luther King Jr. Narrated by Rodrick Dixon, performers will include the Alice Millar Chapel Choir conducted by Stephen Alltop, University Singers conducted by Emily Ellsworth, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and organist Eric Budzynski. Admission is free.

Percussion Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. She-e Wu will conduct the percussion ensemble in an eclectic evening of rhythms. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs. 

Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra with Ryan Kisor, trumpet, “The Music of Charles Mingus,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. A contemporary jazz master meets a giant from the past as world-class trumpeter Ryan Kisor and the Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Victor Goines and Christopher Madsen, perform music by boundary-pushing composer Charles Mingus. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Keyboard Conversations, “The Romantic Music of Chopin,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bring someone close to your heart for this Valentine’s Day celebration of one of the world’s most popular Romantic era composers. The program includes Polonaise in A-flat, waltzes, etudes and the Nocturne in F, performed with commentary by pianist Jeffrey Siegel. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students with IDs.

Cellists Toke Moldrup and Lars Hoefs, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, Lutkin Hall. Toke Moldrup, principal cellist of the Copenhagen Philharmonic, has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and won first prize at the European Broadcast Union’s New Talent Competition in 2007 and at the Danish String Competition in 2006. Lars Hoefs has performed throughout Europe with pianist Marek Zebrowski and given chamber music concerts with the Blue Rose Trio and the California Quartet. He performed the complete Heitor Villa-Lobos works for cello and piano at the 50th annual Festival Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro, and in June 2014 he will present the complete works for cello and orchestra with the Orquestra Sinfonica da Unicamp in Campinas, Brazil. Pianist Shirley Trissell will accompany them. The program includes Bach’s Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 and Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, BWV 1010 and Villa-Lobos’ Pequena Suite and Grand Concerto. Admission is free. 

Kids Fare, “Festejar o Ritmo de Brazil!”, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Brazilian percussion virtuoso Dede Sampaio and friends will introduce the audience to exotic rhythms and instruments as well as a sampling of “capoeira,” a Brazilian martial art combining elements of dance and acrobatics with music. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for children and students with IDs.

Northwestern University Guitar Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, Lutkin Hall. Anne Waller directs Northwestern’s Guitar Ensemble in a program that includes guitar music by Sor, Villa-Lobos, Domeniconi and Dyens. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and University Chorale with Leipzig’s Johann Sebastian Bach Music School Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Germany’s most accomplished youth orchestra makes its home at Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, where Mendelssohn was once conductor. The ensemble’s collaboration with Bienen School choruses celebrates music from the New World (Barber’s romantic setting of Pablo Neruda’s poetry in “The Lovers”) and the old (Mendelssohn’s chorale cantata Verleih uns Frieden gnadiglich,” Reger’s “Hymnus der Liebe” and Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture”). Donald Nally and Ron-Dirk Entleutner will conduct. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with IDs. 

Cynthia Meyers Flute Master Class, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Piccolo player in the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2006, Meyers previously served as principal piccolo of the Houston Symphony and principal flutist of the Omaha Symphony. She also has performed with the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The concert will be webcast at Pick-Staiger. Admission is free.

Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble and Quartets, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy McAllister directs Northwestern’s Saxophone Ensemble and quartets in a program highlighting the distinctive voice of the saxophone. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Evening of Brass, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Conducted by Gail Williams, the concert features works written or arranged for brass ensemble. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.  Mallory Thompson directs a program that features John Leszcynski’s “Scherzo a la Britten,” Wagner’s “Trauermusik” and Messiaen’s “Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.

Baroque Music Ensemble, 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, Alice Millar Chapel. Few epochs matched the French Baroque for majesty and splendor. In a concert devoted to music of this grand age, the Baroque Music Ensemble, conducted by Stephen Alltop and featuring violinist David Douglass, will perform works featuring flutes, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, timpani, strings and continuo. Selections include rarely heard music from Lully’s “Roland,” Muffat’s Concerto Grosso in E Minor (“Delirium amoris”) and a suite from Rameau’s “Les Indes galantes.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with IDs.

Habib Koite, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. With his band of West African musicians, Habib Koite showcases the diverse sounds of Mali, blended seamlessly with Afro-Cuban, flamenco and blues influences. Koite, who has sold more than 250,000 albums worldwide and collaborated with artists Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Eric Bibb and Gary Davis, is one of Africa’s most beloved and popular musicians. This lively evening of music will feature songs from Koite’s new album “Soo,” presented in conjunction with One Book One Northwestern. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $10 for students with IDs.

Winter Opera, “Little Women,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, Cahn Auditorium. Adamo’s operatic adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel premiered at the Houston Grand Opera in 1998. “Little Women,” which will be directed by Michael M. Ehrman, follows the stories of the four March sisters growing up in Civil War-era New England. The symphony orchestra will be co-conducted by Hal France and Chia–Hsuan Lin. Tickets are $16 for the general public and $7 for students with IDs. 

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