Northwestern Music in May
Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus,” Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” to be performed
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will present Handel’s oratorio “Judas Maccabaeus” and four performances of Mozart’s opera “Cosi fan tutte” at Northwestern University in May.
The Bienen School’s annual outdoor Millennium Park Concert in downtown Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is free and open to the public.
Other May events include performances by guest artists and ensembles; Northwestern student choral, percussion, wind, band, guitar and jazz ensembles; and a Kids Fare program featuring music and dance for children ages 3 to 8.
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.
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All May events 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; Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St.; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; or the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, as noted.
Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy J. Robblee directs the Symphonic Band in a program that includes Ives’ “Variations on ‘America,’” Michael Gandolfi’s “Vientos y Tangos” and other works. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Shanghai Quartet Master Class, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, Regenstein Recital Hall. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Shanghai Quartet regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. The quartet has appeared at Carnegie Hall in chamber performances and with orchestra and has performed with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell, pianist Menahem Pressler, Chinese pipa (lute) player Wu Man, the male a capella chorus Chanticleer and the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets. Notable commissions and premieres include works by Lowell Liebermann, Sebastian Currier and Zhou Long. Admission is free.
Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty directs the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra in an evening that includes Desenclos’ “Incantation, Threne, et Danse,” featuring trumpet soloist Matt Baker and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Newberry Consort, “Celestial Sirens II, Music from the Mexican Convent of the Encarnacion,” 3 p.m. concert, 2 p.m. preconcert lecture, Sunday, May 4, Alice Millar Chapel. The Newberry choir books are the source for this program of New World music by Mexican and Spanish composers. Written for women’s voices and accompanying instruments, these works were designed for convent worship and feature the polyphony, dancing rhythms and rich harmonies that characterize the repertoire from New Spain. Soprano Ellen Hargis will be the featured soloist. Tickets are $45 for preferred seating, $38 for general seating ($35 for general-admission orders made in advance) and $5 for students with IDs.
Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 9, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Alan Pierson guest conducts a program that is part of this spring’s campus residency by Aaron Jay Kernis, winner of Northwestern’s 2012 Nemmers Prize in Composition. The program includes Steve Reich’s “Tehillim” and Kernis’ “Goblin Market.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Piano duo Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 9, Lutkin Hall. Winner of first prize at the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Dank is also a Naumburg and Sydney International Piano Competition laureate. Lee is the winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition as well as the second and Mozart prizes at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. The husband-wife duo recently premiered Fredric Rzewski’s “Four Hands” at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge. Their program includes Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” piano sonatas by Janacek and Rachmaninoff, and music by Brahms and Scriabin. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.
Thaviu-Isaak Endowed Piano Scholarship Competition, 3 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Lutkin Hall. This annual competition features Northwestern piano students nominated by Bienen School of Music faculty. Honoring the school’s late professors Samuel Thaviu and Donald Isaak, the scholarship is the Northwestern piano program’s most prestigious honor. Admission is free.
Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Yampolsky will direct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra in a program that features Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Clarinet Concerto, with clarinet soloist Claire Werling, and Richard Prior’s Symphony No. 3. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with IDs.
Samuel and Elinor Thaviu Endowed Scholarship Competition in String Performance,
3 p.m. Sunday, May 11, Lutkin Hall. Northwestern string students will perform in this prestigious competition honoring the late Samuel Thaviu, longtime Bienen School of Music violin professor. Admission is free.
Percussion Ensemble, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 11, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. She-e Wu directs the Percussion Ensemble in an eclectic afternoon of rhythms. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Northwestern University Saxophone Ensembles and Quartets, 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 12, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Timothy McAllister directs Northwestern saxophone ensembles and quartets in a diverse program highlighting the distinctive voice of the saxophone. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 16, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Mallory Thompson directs the Symphonic Wind Ensemble in a program that features Mendelssohn’s Overture in C Major, Holst’s arrangement of Bach’s “Fugue a la Gigue,” Oskar Bohme’s Trumpet Concerto (featuring trumpet soloist Robert Sullivan), Giancarlo Castro D’Addona’s “Grand Fanfare” and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Kids Fare, “Prancing and Dancing,” 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 17, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The celebrated DanceWorks Chicago ensemble gambols across the stage sharing their creative, energetic and joyous blend of music and dance. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for children and students with IDs.
University Chorale, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Donald Nally and graduate assistants direct the University Chorale. The program explores the sounds of the earth at night and ponders our place among the stars in works by popular American composers Samuel Barber, Morten Lauridsen, Randall Thompson and Lee Hoiby, as well as Finnish master Einojuhani Rautavaara. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Northwestern University Guitar Ensemble, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18, Regenstein Recital Hall. Anne Waller directs the ensemble in a program celebrating Benjamin Britten with a performance of the Courtly Dances from “Gloriana.” Also featured are works by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Brouwer and Falla. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Concert Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Daniel J. Farris directs students from across the Northwestern campus in a concert of band standards. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Alice Millar Spring Festival Concert, Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus,” 7 p.m. Sunday, May 18, Alice Millar Chapel. Few pieces better reflect Handel’s complete mastery of the oratorio genre than the thrilling and monumental “Judas Maccabaeus.” Offering sublime and bravura music in equal measure, the work, performed by Alice Millar Chapel Choir and soloists and Baroque Music Ensemble and conducted by Stephen Alltop, brims with exquisite arias and stirring choruses, including the famous “See, the conquering hero comes.” Admission is free; an offering will be accepted.
Evening of Brass, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Conducted by Gail Williams, Northwestern students will perform works written or arranged for brass ensemble. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Jennifer Gunn, flute/piccolo master class, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Since her appointment to the position of piccolo for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2005, Jennifer Gunn has been active in the orchestra’s contemporary music series MusicNow, in youth programs, and as a coach for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She also has been a regular guest artist with Chicago Chamber Musicians and Music of the Baroque. Prior to joining the CSO, she was a member of the Louisville Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Admission is free.
Spring opera: Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 24, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 25, Cahn Auditorium. Two young officers in Naples agree to a wager with an old philosopher who is confident he can prove that the officers’ lovers are fickle women. The two soldiers disguise their identities, and thus begins the test of the women’s fidelity in this drama/farce. Directed by the Bienen School Artist-in-Residence Michael M. Ehrman and guest conducted by Emanuele Andrizzi, the opera will be performed in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $8 for students with IDs.
Keyboard Conversations, “Mistresses and Masterpieces,” 7:30 pm. Friday, May 23, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Pianist Jeffrey Siegel will perform works of love, passion and longing inspired by “significant others” in the lives of Liszt, Schumann and Brahms. The program will include Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 2, “Allegro non troppo ma energico”; Chopin’s Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 36 (“L’adieu”); Schumann’s “Novelette” in F Major, Op. 21, No. 1; and Liszt’s “Au bord d’une source” and “Liebestraume.” Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: “Larghetto” and Schumann’s Waltz in D-flat Major, Op. 64, No. 1 and “Novelette” in D Major, Op. 21, No. 2, also are on the program. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $16 for students with IDs.
Millennium Park Concert: Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 25, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago. Directed by Mallory Thompson, Northwestern’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs a varied outdoor program in Chicago’s Millennium Park, with featured trumpet soloist and Bienen School faculty member Robert Sullivan. Sullivan was appointed principal trumpet of the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in 2008 and has served on the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Charleston Southern University and the College of Charleston. Admission is free.
Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra, “Student Originals and Arrangements,” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Victor Goines and Christopher Madsen direct the Jazz Orchestra as it pays homage to many great jazz musicians. This concert showcases some of what its members have learned. Students will perform original works and arrangements of popular jazz tunes. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
University Singers, “Songs of the Heart,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Emily Ellsworth conducts University Singers in a mixed program of Brahms and Poulenc, plus contemporary American and world music, focused on the many facets of love. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.
Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Contemporary Music Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. A 20th-century classic, Stravinsky’s sparse and compact Mass is paired with the Chicago-area premiere of “Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing,” written last year by Pulitzer laureate Steven Stucky to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy. The austerity of Stravinsky’s Mass, with its roots in Russian Orthodoxy, is balanced by Stucky’s lyricism and contemporary harmonies. Timothy J. Robblee and Donald Nally will conduct. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with IDs.