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Pulitzer Prize Winner Joseph Schwantner to Appear at Four Events

Composer will coach music students, speak to audiences at each performance

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and alumnus Joseph Schwantner will return to Northwestern University’s Evanston campus in early February for a residency that will include four special public events with seven Northwestern ensembles and the world premiere of his “Chapel Music.” Schwantner will coach several hundred students for these performances and will speak at each concert.

Presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, Schwantner’s residency events will take place on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at either Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, or Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, as noted.

Schwantner -- one of America’s most prominent composers -- is known for his dramatic style as an orchestral colorist. After studying at the Chicago Conservatory and Northwestern University, he was later a member of the Juilliard, Eastman and Yale faculties. In 1979, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral composition “Aftertones of Infinity” and has earned several Grammy nominations. Among the artists who have performed his compositions are Evelyn Glennie, Emanuel Ax, Dawn Upshaw, Pinchas Zukerman, Ursula Oppens and Sharon Isbin.

Schwantner events

Schwantner’s residency begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall with a concert by the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Timothy J. Robblee will conduct Schwantner’s “Sparrows” and “Music of Amber.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Timothy J. Robblee and Mallory Thompson will conduct the Symphonic Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The program will include Schwantner’s “From a Dark Millennium” and “…and the mountains rising nowhere.” It also features John Estacio’s “Frenergy,” Persichetti’s Symphony for Band and Frank Ticheli’s ”Pacific Fanfare.” Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Robert G. Hasty will conduct the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, as the ensemble performs Schwantner’s “Morning’s Embrace” and “The Poet’s Hour,” as well as Ives’ “The Unanswered Question” and “Central Park in the Dark.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

Schwantner’s residency will conclude with Alice Millar’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Birthday Concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in Alice Millar Chapel. The concert will open with Vierne’s “Marche triomphale” for brass, timpani and organ followed by the world premiere of Schwantner’s “Chapel Music: Five Diverse Songs for Chorus and Orchestra.” The program will include Schwantner’s “New Morning for the World,” based on texts by Martin Luther King Jr., with narration by Rodrick Dixon. The Alice Millar Chapel Choir conducted by Stephen Alltop, the University Singers conducted by Emily Ellsworth, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and organist Eric Budzynski will perform. A freewill offering will be collected at the door.

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

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